​A Deferred Mission Appointee (DMA) is a Seventh-day Adventist medical or dental student studying at Loma Linda University, who is willing to accept a mission appointment abroad at at a Loma Linda University Health International Partner Site after their residency program, in exchange for amortization of student debt. DMA's are approved and employed by the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists.

DMAs currently serving

DMA Application Steps (I-III)

I. Submit the DMA Application: 

Please fill out the DMA application and email to gc@llu.edu or return in person to the GC Loma Linda Office. 

II. Complete the GC Personal Information Form:

Form Instructions:

  1. Fill out the GC Personal Information Form (Google Chrome seems to be the most reliable internet browser) *Please Note: For husband and wife applicants, please register only once per couple (the form has space for both partner's information). This form is designed to gather personal details about you and your immediate family.
  2. Final tab and submission: click Save on “Comment and Submit” tab; the Submit button will then appear to select and complete the process.
  3. Notify the GC Loma Linda Office of the form completion by emailing gc@llu.edu.

GC Website Login

III. Schedule Interviews with the following individuals:

School of Dentistry Students

  • Esther Forde, RN, MA, MBA, assistant dean for Admissions and Student Affairs, eforde@llu.edu
  • Doyle Nick, DDS, MS, director of the Office of International Dental Affairs, dnick@llu.edu
  • Verdell Schaefer, director of Student Aid, vschaefer@llu.edu
  • Angeli Yutuc, MPH, program manager, International Service, ayutuc@llu.edu

​School of Medicine Students


DMA Application Process

  • Students may apply to the DMA program after the completion of their first quarter.
  • Applications are reviewed and DMAs are selected by the Global Mission Appointment (GMA) Committee.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Deferred Mission Appointee?

A Deferred Mission Appointee (DMA) is a Seventh-day Adventist medical or dental student studying at Loma Linda University, who is willing to accept a mission appointment after their residency program in exchange for amortization of student debt. DMAs serve abroad and are approved and employed by the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists.

What is the purpose of serving as a DMA?

This program is designed to allow medical and dental students committed to overseas mission to pursue their professional education with financial stability. In addition, at the conclusion of the service term, a DMA may be eligible to become part of a Loma Linda University Health faculty practice group. 

Who is eligible?

All Seventh-day Adventist Loma Linda University medical and dental students and residents who are interested may apply for the DMA program. Freshman students must await the completion of their second quarter of school in order to apply. Sophomore, junior and senior students may also apply. A companion program for other LLU students, the Global Service Award is also available. 

Who finances the DMA program?

Half of the eligible debt is amortized by the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. The remaining half is sponsored by the Loma Linda University School of Medicine. 

What about living expenses while in school?

As early as their sophomore year, DMAs are given a Loma Linda University sponsored stipend to cover expenses such as room, board and personal living costs.

How quickly is debt repaid?

During each year of service, eligible debt is amortized at the rate of one-tenth. Thus, if the student borrows the full amount required for tuition and books, the debt will be repaid after approximately ten years of service. If the student is able to borrow less, the balance is paid more quickly. 

Which specialties are needed most?

Typically, the specialties that are in highest demand are general dentistry, general surgery, obstetrics/gynecology, family medicine, internal medicine, emergency medicine and pediatrics. In some cases, other specialties may also be needed.

How do I connect with DMAs who have previously served?

Our DMA Mentorship Program allows you to connect with DMA missionaries who have perviously served abroad. They will share their own experiences with you, answer your questions and provide you with resources.

READ ABOUT DMAs Serving Abroad

Malamulo International School

September 18 marked the first day of school for six children of medical missionaries and local healthcare professionals serving at Malamulo Adventist Hospital, a Loma Linda University Health Global Campus in the Southeastern African nation of Malawi.

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Missions Boot Camp

The Missions Boot Camp is a new program specifically designed for Deferred Mission Appointees (DMA) and Loma Linda University students interested in long-term international service at Loma Linda University Health & Adventist Health International partner sites. It prepares participants for leadership and medical ministry in Adventist mission hospitals.

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Family on a Mission in Chad

The story is somewhat typical of what life is like for Drs. Olen and Danae Netteburg, Loma Linda University School of Medicine graduates (Olen 2007, Danae 2006) working, since 2010, as missionaries in the African country of Chad at Bere Adventist Hospital. The 100-bed facility is nearly 25 miles away from the nearest paved road.

Read More