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McDonough, Daniel P.  The Role of Short-Term Missions in the Great Commission: A Study of the Effects of STEM Ministries' Short-Term Mission Program on the Participants.  Calvin Theological Seminary: Grand Rapids, MI, 1996.  (Dissertation)

Summary:

Survey of 432 participants in STEM Ministries two-week mission trips found that participants doubled giving and increased prayer for missions.   Builds off of Peterson and Peterson's 1991 STEM Ministries survey. 

Methodology:

Printed survey mailed to 900 people.  635 had participated in one two-week STEM

mission, 265 had participated in more than one two-week STEM mission.  (This second group consisted of all people who had ever gone on two or more STEM two-week trips; the total number of people who had gone one or more STEM two-week trips was around 2035).  It was determined that a 50% response rate or better would guarantee a 95% confidence interval of + or - 5%.

Limitations:

Over 121 out of the 900 addresses supplied were incorrect and thus returned, several of the proposed respondents had died, and one refused to answer because he/she was offended.  A limited but unknown number of the survey recipients had not participated in a STEM trip.  Most importantly, the study does not show whether changes since the STEM trip(s) were directly caused by those trips or by other events in respondents' lives.

Highlights:   

Table 2 contains the responses which showed a median monthly giving before

their trip of $1-$10, compared to the median of their present giving of $11-$25. 

Probably the most encouraging change which can be noted in Table 2 is the shift

away from the giving at the $0 level.  The number of people in that range dropped by

105 individuals, a 60.3% reduction."  --p. 49. 

      ".it can be concluded that there was on the average a doubling in the giving of those

      who had participated from before their trip to the present. [.] An important

      qualification, however, is that several of the respondents commented that their change 

      in giving (both positive and negative) reflects more a change in life stage than a   

      change in mission perspective." [i.e. retiring, moving from college to full-time work]

      --p. 52                   

      "The median reported for the amount of mission-focused prayer each week

      before the STEM trip was 1-5 minutes whereas at present, the median has shifted

      up to 6-10 minutes." --p. 53

     Missions-related activities (i.e. reading books and magazines, getting to know  

      missionaries, attending conferences, etc.):

      "While most of the sample did not alter their patterns of behavior, those who did

      change primarily did so by increasing their activity." -p. 54

    ".those who participate in short term mission trips are much more likely to return

    for another short-term mission than they are to commit to serving full-time.  This

    implies that two-week short-term missions such as those that STEM offers do not

    motivate a majority of the participants to consider full-time work."  --p. 57

    Multiple trip participants' prayer increased more than that of single trip participants,

    but giving and other factors were the same for both groups.  -pp. 59-60

Demographics:  see following page