Missionary Resilience

by Emily Edwards, Anna Savelle, Kristina Whiteman and Geoff Whiteman

In less than a generation, globalization has dramatically changed the world in which missionaries live and minister.  At the same time, the world of missions has experienced an equally dramatic metamorphosis. For example, the country that receives the most missionaries is also the country that sends the most missionaries (United States).  These global shifts are also marked by identity shifts where more and more missionaries identify with the causes they fight for rather than the denominations and agencies they belong to.

These and many more factors have led to a rise in missionary attrition and a respondent increase in efforts to intentionally understand and care for missionaries…

…The aim of this research is to build upon what has been learned through earlier research into missionary attrition and to contribute to the growing body of research into missionary resiliency by exploring this question: “How do missionaries become resilient?”  This paper reports the preliminary findings from the first phase of combined quantitative and qualitative research.