Student Mission Trips

“To know the will of God, we need an open Bible and an open map.”

-William Carey​
1-3 Week Mission Trips
Summer Mission Trips
Semester Hands On

Most missionaries’ testimonies go back to a life-changing experience on a short-term mission trip. Whether it’s your Spring, Summer, or Winter break there are many ways for you to serve for 1-3 weeks around the world with IMB missionary teams.

Join with thousands of college students using their Summer break to reach the lost with missionary teams. IMB has numerous, inexpensive ways for you to serve for 6-8 weeks each summer in Europe, Africa, Asia, the Americas, and many other places all over the world.

Hands On is an international semester mission opportunity for students and young adults interested in working alongside a missionary mentor to share the gospel with unreached peoples. Members of Southern Baptist Churches can receive funding to cover half the cost to go.

IMB offers a unique, fully-funded, 2-year missions opportunity for college graduates under age 30. As a Journeyman, you can be sent by your church through IMB to join an international missionary team to share the gospel, make disciples, and help plant churches.

IMB has sent students for over 50 years

Are you ready to leave your comfort zone and join in community with other Christ-followers focused on sharing the gospel, discipling believers, and meeting human needs in 189 countries? ​

How do I go?

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International Mission Board

The IMB partners with Midwestern Seminary and Spurgeon College’s Fusion programs to equip students—high school, college or masters—in making disciples of all nations.

compass icon Guides & Resources

We’re so grateful for the chance to share about student missions. If you’re new to student mission, here are our best onboarding and training guides to get you started.

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Our standard is for you to be part of a team. In most instances, you will be assigned with one or more students who will serve with you. Regardless, you will be part of a group that includes our long-term field personnel.

You might hear the term “fundraising” for your trip. Fundraising is simply asking someone for money; support development is asking a donor to join you in a mission endeavor. We encourage you to take the support development approach: Ask others for the opportunity to explain the call that God has put in your heart to share the gospel with people who do not know Jesus as their Savior. Invite them to join you in sharing the gospel by actively praying for you and/or helping provide for the financial needs of this mission experience. The support approach requires more effort on your part, such as providing prayer updates, reports, and follow-up when you return, but it will be more fruitful for both you and those supporting you.

You can expect to experience new languages, foods, sights, smells and sounds! As you encounter these and other experiences, remind yourself that one way is not the “right” way to live and the other way is “wrong.” Seek to embrace the differences and learn as much as you can to appreciate other cultures. You can prepare before you travel by researching your trip location and seeking out a local “outpost” of that culture in your city or area. Find and visit a restaurant that serves authentic food from the culture. Know that your field team will welcome your questions.

Yes! There are numerous opportunities around the world for you to use your passions, major, skills, and interests to engage the nations with the gospel. Quite often it is a skill, interest, or ability that provides the connecting point to build relationships with others in a different culture. Missionary teams look for such entry points into unreached and unengaged people groups and can use your abilities to meet their needs, spiritual and physical, for the sake of the gospel. We trust that God will use your skills and interests for His glory during your time of service.

Serving as a student missionary is worth your best efforts to prepare spiritually, physically, intellectually and emotionally. While all mission opportunities deserve preparation, a simple principle is “the longer your trip, the more essential your readiness.” Here are some suggestions to get you started: Gain ministry experience before you go. Serve here and now in areas that you expect to do overseas. Engage in spiritual disciplines, like daily Bible study and prayer, as well as Scripture memory. Meet with others regularly to pray for the people you will serve and opportunities to share the gospel. Get healthy! Eat nutritious foods, exercise often, and get plenty of sleep. Living overseas will likely require more walking and climbing that you do at home. Identify any emotional challenges you may have like anxiety, depression, or anger and if needed, seek help from a professional, biblical counselor. Learn about the people and place where you will serve. Start the process of crossing cultures now. Get to know internationals in your area.

If you are facing some pushback about your decision to go, take a step back and ask why. Are their concerns valid? It is tempting to cast our parents’ questions in a negative light without considering the motivations behind their concerns. Parents may need you to share more information. You have likely spent days and weeks considering an opportunity and your decision to go, but your parents only get minutes to agree. Your application (as an adult) with us is confidential; it is your responsibility to help them learn the details. Parents may need reassurance that you are maturing. A recent past of careless spending, speeding, and skipping classes can make it difficult for you to convince your parents that you are ready to travel across the world and make a difference. What needs to change in your life? Parents may need some grace and empathy. Perhaps they simply are grieving your departure. Pray for your parents. Bring their concerns, fears, and hopes before the Lord and ask Him to give you and your parents a unified vision for His kingdom. Parents may worry that you will short-circuit your education. College is expensive, and also essential in many careers, but a degree should not take God’s place in your life. Are you hearing God’s call to make disciples of the nations? God’s plans will likely lead you through an education, but not at the expense of putting obedience on hold. Parents may need you to invite them into this vision and discover that it is more than a whim or sidetrack.

Yes, there are opportunities to gain experience and serve in ways that can advance your education. Work with your school to determine what is required to be considered an acceptable internship while overseas. Search the IMB trip finder for existing requests that might be a match. You can also contact to inquire about other opportunities not listed that may be suitable.

Student Generosity

In 2019 students across North America gave $400,000 to fund specific ministry needs of IMB teams. Will you trade a cup of coffee to see the bible translated for deaf communities?