Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


College of Education and International Services


Curriculum and Instruction PhD

First Advisor

Paul S. Brantley

Second Advisor

Gottfried Oosterwal

Third Advisor

George H. Akers



Cross-cultural orientation programs facilitate missionary preparedness. Orientation is more effective if driven by valid and suitable goals determined before methods are selected and programs implemented. This study attempted to identify valid goals for pre-departure programs and develop a framework for selecting them.


The goals of the Seventh-day Adventist (SDA) Institute for World Mission (IWM) were selected for validation. IWM is a 4-6 week pre-departure orientation program that started in 1966 and had effectively prepared 2,500+ cross-cultural missionaries by 1993. Their goals are broad areas suitable for establishing sub-goals and objectives. The validation process comprised four phases: identification and clarification of goals, collection of data from six validation sources, synthesis/analysis of data for cross-validation, and a reconceptualization of findings into a framework to guide determination/evaluation of suitable goals. A combination of documentary, statistical, and analytical techniques was used to treat the data from six sources: three case study populations (staff/attendees, leaders, and current/returned missionaries); and three external sources (missionary preparation literature and practice, cross-cultural literature, trends/issues).


All IWM’s goals were validated directly or indirectly by the six sources. Goals were considered appropriate (important, essential, and relevant) by 96% or more of the enthusiastic case populations. No essential goals are missing, although women’s/children’s preparation and leaming-to-leam skills need greater emphasis.


Orientation contributed to cross-cultural personnel preparation in 12 critical goal areas: cross-cultural awareness and skills/competencies, a sense of call/commitment, spiritual formation/growth, essential emotional/attitudinal growth, cultural understanding from area studies and mission issues, knowledge and practices important for new roles and psychological/physical health, familiarity with the sending organization information about philosophy/practices/policies, a paradigm shift for continuing growth through the transformation of the mind/worldview, and fellowship which is a critical program goal for achieving an orientation purpose. Several other conclusions related to effective future preparation. Although IWM is more effective than might be expected because of valid goals, focus on participant readiness, and orientation purpose, it could improve if goal implementation were expanded to before and after the orientation program.

Subject Area

Seventh-day Adventists--Missions; Missionaries--Appointment, call, and election; Missionaries--Psychology


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