Date of Award


Document Type



Christian Studies

First Reader

Dr. Ray Franklin

Second Reader

Dr. Terry Carter

Third Reader

Dr. Jason Doroga


Every year, thousands of short-term mission teams are sent out all over the world. It is estimated that more than four million Americans take an overseas short-term mission trip every year. Most of these participants are youth and young adults. The American church is estimated to spend as much, or more, on short-term mission trips as they do on sending and sustaining long-term missionaries. The question is, with all these participants and resources being sent out, are short-term mission trips helping or hurting the long-term goal of missions? Short-term missions can be helpful if they are plugging in and supporting the long-term project at hand.

Researching through literature, survey responses, and personal experiences, it can be proven that short-term mission trips can be helpful to the long-term goal. However, these teams must be more adequately prepared culturally, linguistically, mentally, and spiritually before they can effectively plug into the mission's strategy and appropriately share the Gospel. This training must come early in the preparation for the short-term trip in order to give teams the most chance of success for plugging in and supporting the long-term missionary. Amy Young, author, and former long-term missionary, puts it this way, "If you start preparing for your transition early, you can invest in the areas that are important to you instead of reacting as they come up."

This presentation is broken into four parts: the history of short-term missions, characteristics of a successful trip, intercultural communication and intelligence. and lastly, the success ratings of short-term trips. Each of these sections is a different aspect of the short-term mission's experience. Together, these sections can help churches specifically, but other sending organizations as well, better prepare lheir short-term teams to go overseas to be effective bearers of the Gospel.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.