​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 a Loma Linda University Health International Partner Site after their residency program, in exchange for amortization of student debt. Graduates who aren’t in need of loan re-payment assistance may also apply. DMA's are approved and employed by the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. 


  • LLU medical and dental 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.

DMA Application Steps (I-III)

Step ​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. 

Step II = Complete the GC Personal Information Form:

Form Instructions:

  1. Fill out the GC Personal Information Form, which allows you to submit details about you and your family

    • ​​Google Chrome seems to be the most reliable internet browser.

    • Please make note of your login username and password.

    • For login credential recovery, please email isewebmaster@gc.adventist.org.

    • Please note: For husband and wife applicants, please register only once per couple as the form has space for both partner's information.

  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.

Step 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, 909-558-4509 
  • Angeli Yutuc, MPH, manager of Global Outreach, ayutuc@llu.edu

​School of Medicine Students

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

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