Short-term mission trips carry potential for much good and much harm. Wise engagement is critical, especially when we hope to benefit children.

More than two million Christians travel on international short-term mission trips every year. Such service travel can cause great harm if not wisely led, and these risks can be especially high when visitors seek to serve vulnerable children.

At the same time, the potential for good offered by short-term missions calls for continued refinement, correction and improvement. When carried out with due caution and wisdom, short-term missions can benefit children for the long term – especially by building up the families and communities capable of caring for them over time.


These resources are for you if...


You desire to make a difference with your service. Even in a short period of time, you have the potential to do good, if well trained and prepared. These resources are for you.


You are responsible for organizing a group of diverse individuals into a cohesive and effective blessing to the community you intend to serve. Facilitating excellent training and preparation can help you avoid many of the pitfalls trip leaders often face. These resources are for you.


You make decisions that affect dozens or hundreds of trip participants every year. You want short-term trips that benefit children, families, and communities, while connecting participants to what God is doing in the world. These resources are for you.

EXPLORE the resources

Certificate Training Virtual Course

The “Short-Term Volunteering: The Good, The Bad, and the Better Way” certificate course is a brief training program perfect for leaders and participants on short-term mission trips. Any trip organizer can utilize this free training to prepare participants on key topics such as child protection, attachment, cultural humility, and long-term impact.

Evidence-Based Principles & Practices Guide

“Wise Short-term Missions: Principles and Practices to Benefit Vulnerable Children & Families” elevates the impact of short-term volunteering. In addition to evidence-based guiding principles, it offers examples of innovative models of short-term missions, as well as case studies of programs facilitating excellent short-term mission experiences to benefit children and families long term.

Short-Term Missions Webinar Series

Four webinars explore short-term missions from various perspectives, bringing the conversation to life. By both offering ideas for implementation and addressing tough questions, they prepare listeners to limit risk of harm and maximize impact in realistic and achievable ways.