Vocational Development

A Foundation for the Future

Vocational Development at City Union Mission, also known as “Mission Works”, is an integrated, essential part of our long-term programming. It is founded on a Theology of Work curriculum which describes the high, biblical view of vocation and the essential character traits to pursue it successfully.

Program participants begin by considering their giftings and interests as the concept of vocation (calling) is built in their lives. From these exploratory beginnings, an educational and training plan is pursued.

Mission Works is focused on successful, long-term outcomes where participants become contributors to their families, communities and churches through their work. Enduring vocational success is our vision for the successful, lifelong pursuit of God honoring work.

Mission Works has four areas all contributing to comprehensive work readiness.

Here we build the moral, spiritual, technical, educational, and strategic views of work required for our ambitious outcome goals.

computer literacy classes

Core Education

Program participants are often deficient in their general literacy and numeracy. Online high school and high school equivalency programs are offered for the 25% of our participants missing this important credential. General tutoring is also provided to raise grade-level reading and math across all participants. Finally, digital literacy classes offer computer and technology skills required for all vocations. Our vision is life-long learners who pursue God as the beginning of wisdom and truth itself.

building contracting school

Vocational Training

Technical training programs are made available across specialized organizations, community colleges and corporate partners. There is no limit to the possible trainings which can be pursued within the limits of prudent planning. Building trades, welding, manufacturing, warehousing, culinary, transportation, barbering, IT and technology are a few of the possibilities our participants pursue.

work detail

Practiced Work

Successful work requires many tacit skills and behaviors which are only acquired with experience. The Trades Camp, is an introductory, trades-based experience offered at The Harbor, our rural campus in Warsaw, MO. The Workforce Academy, at our Lexington Ave. building, provides more extensive trainings in maintenance and is hosted by corporate partners and skilled volunteers. Finally, internal trainings are available across City Union Mission departments in culinary, retail (City Thrift), transportation, and warehouse. Our Mission staff provide technical training and build work-virtues through intentional mentoring and encouragement.

adult classes

Career Development

Reentering the workplace is especially difficult for those who have experienced homelessness, substance use addictions, or are justice-involved. We help them develop an attainable career trajectory, supporting participants with resume building, job applications, and interviewing. Career development extends beyond their programming time as ongoing services are offered to alumni (program graduates).

businesses donating to local charity, donor advised funds


Mission Works is an ambitious programming element that seeks to address some of the core drivers of homelessness and intergenerational poverty. To achieve our outcomes, we rely heavily on partners of various kinds: 1. individuals, 2. corporations, and 3. nonprofits. Please contact us if you or your organization wish to explore a partnership in this regard.

"Now I'm ready to get out and experience my new life... to get a job and enjoy my life with God."

-Mark, a participant in our long-term program

Vocational training

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