A Guide for the Journey - Short Term

Guide To Pursuing Short-Term Missions

Our step-by-step process for equipping you & helping you get to your mission field



Missions is the risky, rewarding work of taking the gospel of Jesus Christ to every people group where it has not yet been heard. It is also the establishing of viable churches in every place to carry on that same work of reaching, teaching, and sending.

Unlike most people in the West who have a Christian friend or neighbor who can share the gospel with them, more than 6,500 people groups throughout the world have little-to-no access to the gospel. That totals about 3 billion people who are searching for hope, but have never heard about Jesus and the salvation he offers.

Is God leading you to go? We urge you to pray and study seriously before you answer. Explore our Guide for the Journey article series or the accompanying PDF booklet A Guide for the Journey.

Recommended Reading

  • Let the Nations Be Glad by John Piper
  • Radical by David Platt
  • Found: God’s Will by John MacArthur
  • Decision Making and the Will of God by Garry Friesen
  • 9 Marks of a Healthy Church by Mark Dever
  • Gaining by Losing by J.D. Greear
  • Decision Making and the Will of God by Garry Friesen


You may have an unwavering passion for missions, or you may just be curious. Either way, we want to walk alongside you throughout your journey. We are passionate about connecting your heart and talents with missions opportunities because we believe God can use your unique skills to share the hope of Jesus Christ with the world.

For nearly 90 years, we have been working to multiply leaders, churches, and missions movements among every people. Our hope is that these global missions movements extend beyond ourselves, where local leaders are trained, mission-minded churches are planted, and believers are compelled to carry the message of Jesus to every nation—and we’d love for you to join us.

Get To Know Us Better


You may have already decided that short-term missions is right for you. If you’re not sure, review our Pathways.


Once you’ve determined that you fit our qualifications, begin filling out ourapplication. This application asks for your basic personal information, personal salvation testimony, sending church information, education information, your ministry interest, and references. Our team will contact you as soon as possible!



Once you’re finished our application, our team will assess you in various areas, including…

  • Testimony. You must have a salvation experience and reflect the essential characteristics of a Christian found in Galatians 5:22-23 and Titus 1-2.
  • Citizenship. You must be a citizen of the U.S. or Canada.
  • Doctrine and Core Values. You must be committed to the baptistic distinctives and be in complete agreement with ABWE’s Doctrinal Statement, our Missionary Handbook and Policy Manual.
  • Church Membership. Your church membership is essential because ABWE’s partnership with the local church is essential to sending student interns and missionaries.

Once you have completed your initial application questionnaire, our Mobilization team will review your submission and approve you to proceed.


Once your application is fully processed and approved and our team has extended an invitation to served alongside them, you’re ready to proceed and begin raising funds. Congratulations!



As an ABWE short-term missionary, you will have the option of raising funds through ABWE or self-funding your ministry. Our finance team will help you assess the cost of living, the expenses you’ll incur in ministry, and how to best share your vision with your potential partners.


If you are serving under one year, our online Short-Term Field Prep training is based on preparation training we provide for our long-term missionaries, while uniquely focused on service in a short-term context. Training included preparation to effectively communicate your ministry and develop your prayer and financial support team. Preparation for your arrival on the field is also an important focus, including cultural awareness, team dynamics, transition to a new culture, and more.

Because of the difficulty of learning a new language, we will evaluate your need for language preparation and will provide basic training to help you start this part of your journey to the field. If more extensive training is needed, we will recommend a language acquisition program.

At the end of the training process, you will be cleared to depart for the field.


After your development process is complete, you’re cleared to leave for the field. For short-termers, interns, and others serving on a temporary basis, we’ll debrief you afterwards and provide critical care as you seek God’s long-term will. For others staying on the field indefinitely, we’ll continue to develop you, orient you, and guide you throughout the duration of your ministry.

Ready, Set, Go.