Chris WhiteFollow




Rawlings School of Divinity


Doctor of Ministry (DMin)


Charles N. Davidson

Primary Subject Area

Religion, Clergy; Religion, General; Religion, Biblical Studies; Theology; Sociology, General


Business, Missionaries, Missionary, Missions, Tentmaker, Tentmaking


Biblical Studies | Business | Christianity | Comparative Methodologies and Theories | Missions and World Christianity | Practical Theology | Religion | Religious Thought, Theology and Philosophy of Religion | Sociology


The purpose of this paper is to discuss the important place that tentmaking holds or should hold in missions strategy. It is the belief of the author (supported by almost 20 years of ministry experience overseas) that visas and money are often barriers to ministry effectiveness. This paper would like to provide a solution (i.e. tentmaking) to these common tensions that most missionaries encounter. The value of the topic is very personal to the author's ministry: first because I am currently serving on the mission field (needing a visa and money), and second because of the potential tentmaking holds for engaging the local community on a deeper level through the "how to" techniques this paper provides. Missionaries everywhere can and will benefit, just as I have from the practical findings and instructions that have come to light from this project. Specifically they will discover that tentmaking is a biblical missions methodology that not only acts as a financial supplement but also provides access to the necessary visas and legitimizes the missionary's presence in the eyes of the local authorities. The research for this paper will be approached from a biblical or theological direction. The history of tentmaking will be explored and the modern day examples will be examined. Interviews with tentmaking missionaries will be conducted and personal illustrations will be given. The various aspects of tentmaking will be discussed, such as legal issues, the ideal types of businesses, and the necessary teamwork.