Starting an ESL program in your church requires the entire congregation’s support and involvement. Newcomers (immigrants, refugees, temporary foreign workers, international students, etc.) can go to an ESL class and learn English, but to feel a sense of community, a church congregation must be willing to welcome and embrace ESL students.

  • Cooperative ESL Ministries offers various training events throughout the year for church volunteers. To learn more about our training events, visit our Training Options page.

     Start your ESL program off right with our ESL Quick Start Guide and our Which ESL Program is Right for Your Church documents, your church can get a head start on planning the ESL outreach program that best suits your needs. Use our Teacher Resources page to help your teachers get started on lesson planning. For more information or resources on starting an ESL program, feel free to contact us at

  • Church congregations need to be informed about cultural issues so they can show hospitality to ESL students. Cooperative ESL Ministries offers 3-hour intercultural training to all Calgary churches. For more information, visit our Intercultural Communications page.

  • Churches need to know about immigrants in Calgary. See Cooperative ESL Ministries’ Immigrants in Calgary fact sheet for an overview of current immigration trends in Calgary.


Once you have trained an ESL teacher and prepared your congregation to welcome newcomers, you also need to spread the word about your ESL program. Consider putting an ad in your church’s local neighbourhood newspaper. If your church has a website, add information on your ESL program to the site. It’s also a good idea to list your ESL program in the ESL Directory produced by Immigrant Services Calgary. This organization is one of the largest immigrant-serving agencies in Calgary.

You can also list your ESL program on our website. Our directory of church-based ESL programs provides contact information for all churches offering ESL classes, Bible studies, conversation groups, or other types of program for newcomers.


Your investment will help support Cooperative ESL Ministries’ mission to empower churches to reach out in love to the immigrants and internationals in our communities.

Cooperative ESL Ministries is a charitable organization and depends on donations from Calgary’s Christian community to reach out to those immigrants, refugees, and other newcomers trying to integrate into Canadian society. By supporting Cooperative ESL Ministries, your church will contribute to the growing needs of Calgary’s newcomers, showing God’s love by dissolving barriers and building community. For more information visit our donate page.


Thank you for partnering with us as we train and equip churches and volunteers to better reach newcomers in their communities. Your investment equips volunteers to invite immigrants out of isolation, serve them in a tangible way, and welcome them to connect with a Christ-centered community.