School of Behavioral Sciences


Doctor of Education in Community Care and Counseling (EdD)


Stacey C. Lilley


Short-term Mission Trips, Religiosity, Motivation, College Students


Education | Missions and World Christianity


There is an abundant amount of research on the negative aspects of short-term mission trips; however, there is a lack of literature that reflects the religiosity of college students and studies using religious assessments for the specific age range of 18-25. The current research intends to answer the following three questions: Does going on short-term mission trips make a difference in religiosity in the lives of college students who participate? What is the mean difference in religiosity practices between college students that participated in short-term mission trips compared to those that did not? What are the motivating factors that lead young people to volunteer? This research uses questions from the Belief Into Action (BIAC) Scale, and The Attitudes Towards Helping Others (AHO) scale. College students from a multi-site, religious congregation of approximately 25,000 members, that meets in 14 campuses in South Florida, who went on mission trips and college students that did not participate in mission trips were assessed through an online survey via On average, those with mission experience have a higher score than those that did not on the BIAC, but it is not statistically significant. The mean difference was slightly in favor of those college students that did participate in at least one short-term mission trip. The motivating factors were inconclusive, but the AHO items were combined to create a social factor revealing college students attending a Christian college showed statistically higher pro-social values such as benevolence and universalism than secular college students. This study is imperative due to the gap in the literature on this subject and because the results of this study could have an impact on church programming, college recruiting, volunteer retention, and growth in non-profit involvement.