Zimbabwe Immersion Program


The Zimbabwe Immersion Program (ZIP) was developed to enable individuals from Western PA United Methodist churches to spend significant time in Zimbabwe to learn church growth, discipleship, and leadership dynamics. The first group of ZIP participants lived with host families in Zimbabwe during the summer of 2012. The dates for the 2016  immersion program are June 28 - August 4. The deadline for applications and references to be received is February 1, 2016. 

The purpose of the program is to introduce U.S. citizens to Zimbabwean culture and to enable participants to learn from Zimbabweans best practices in ministry and church.  ZIP participants will be expected to participate in all trainings and debriefings as well as to share their ZIP experience with future participants, local churches, and at district and conference events.  


  • To establish and nurture personal relationships between Western Pennsylvania United Methodists and Zimbabweans.
  • To enable laity and clergy to learn about “church” in another culture and to have firsthand experience that will be applicable to their ministries back home.
  • To offer WPA laity and clergy the opportunity to learn in depth about Zimbabwean culture, history, religion, and practice. 
  • To enable Zimbabweans to teach WPA United Methodists without travel costly to Zimbabweans.
  • To guide ZIP alumni in implementing in their own context the Zimbabwean best practices observed during the program. 

In order to develop relationships with Zimbabwean United Methodists and to enable Zimbabweans to help us learn best practices about ministry and church, The Zimbabwe Partnership is offering an Immersion Program.  Selected applicants will be responsible for only $500 of the cost.  The rest of the program cost will be paid by the partnership. 

Zimbabwe Immersion Program Application 

Zimbabwe Immersion Program Reference 

  • Immersion Application deadline- February 1, 2016
  • Interview dates- February 13, 2016- 9:30am-12:30pm
  • February 20, 2016- 9:30am-12:30pm
  • Orientation One: March 12, 2016- 9:30am- 1pm
  • Orientation Two: April 9, 2016 – 9:30am- 1pm
  • Orientation Three: May 14- 9:30am-1pm
  • Orientation Four: At annual Conference either June 10 or 11, 2016

Read Rev. Dennis Lawton's reflections from his 2014 Zimbabwe Immersion experience.