Mission Trip for College Students: 5 Reasons You Should Participate

When you participate in a mission trip for college students, you get a unique opportunity to help people across the street, across the country, or in another part of the world entirely. Your ministry can create a ripple effect that continues to resonate and impact people long after you’ve returned home.

Serving on a mission team can also enrich your college experience. Just ask Jose Brown, a 2019 Azusa Pacific University business marketing graduate who completed multiple mission trips during his time as a student. Brown was a member of Team El Salvador in 2017 and served as a leader for Team Greece in 2018. For both, Brown participated as part of APU’s “Action Teams” and noted that the experience was incredibly eye-opening for all involved.

“Students who participated in Action Teams have been impacted in ways that have widened their perception of other countries and positively changed their worldview by getting to experience life with people outside of APU,” Brown said. “Action Team participants’ mindset about mission trips change, their level of empathy increases, their cultural awareness develops, and they get to see in a whole new light what it means to share the Gospel with the world.”

5 Benefits of Participating in Mission Trips

Aside from getting to travel to new locales and experience new things, there are many benefits associated with participating in a mission trip for college students. Here are five advantages you can enjoy by signing up and shipping out to help others.

1. Broaden Your Perspective of the World Through these trips, you get to experience new cultures and meet people who will help you see the world in a new way. Additionally, your participation in a mission trip prepares you for engaging in a global community, which is critical in today’s competitive job market (regardless of your intended profession).

2. Gain Experience in Your Field The skills you’re looking to employ in your career are needed in ministry locations worldwide. Whether you’re training to be a nurse, a missionary, a teacher, an engineer, or another profession, getting an opportunity to hone your skill set in real-world situations is incredibly valuable.

3. Serve a Higher Purpose Mission trips are about helping others and making connections. You’re not just there to sightsee—you get the chance to make a genuine difference in the world.

4. Make New Friendships and Deepen Existing Ones When you’re working alongside any group of people for a week, you naturally get to know them. By serving as a member of a collegiate mission trip, you’ll get the opportunity to make friends that will last a lifetime.

5. Develop Your Personal Faith Nothing will develop your faith more fully than serving in a new place and in new ways. Like a muscle, your faith grows when you use it! On mission trips, you use your faith constantly—and it grows in the process.

Mission Trips at APU

Azusa Pacific University students learn all of this firsthand through the school’s Action Teams. During the 2018-19 school year, APU sent out 29 action teams (totaling 241 students) to ministry locations around the world, including the Dominican Republic, Hong Kong, Ireland, Hungary, Peru, Romania, and Uganda.

APU’s Action Teams regularly partner with long-term and national workers to meet their physical and spiritual needs as short-term participants. Among many other activities, Action Team programs include educational development, refugee resettlement, sports, computer science, and orphan care.

“Offering these experiences at APU is so important because we’re teaching students how to practically become a difference maker in their community,” said Karen Rouggly, director for mobilization in APU’s Center for Student Action. “We’re teaching them how to approach whatever work they are called to do with an attitude of service. We are carrying on the institution’s legacy of being a training school for Christian workers. We get the chance to teach students what being a Christian worker might look like in societies all over the globe.”

Are you interested in enrolling at Azusa Pacific University and helping others through service? Learn more about the different ways to serve locally and internationally through APU.