Improving the Level of Care for Southern Baptist Intercultural Missionaries Serving in North America
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SubjectNorth American Mission Board
ABSTRACT IMPROVING THE LEVEL OF CARE FOR SOUTHERN BAPTIST INTERCULTURAL MISSIONARIES SERVING IN NORTH AMERICA Trent Isaac DeLoach, D.Miss. The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, 2013 Chair: Dr. J. D. Payne This dissertation explores the contemporary conditions and challenges of Southern Baptist cross-cultural missionaries serving in North America for the purpose of determining how Southern Baptists can improve the level of care for their domestic missionaries. The dissertation will be guided by three basic questions: How are the missionaries doing? What challenges are they facing? How can Southern Baptists better care for their needs? The spiritual, physical, emotional, and financial condition of the missionaries will receive special attention. An effort will be made to identify challenges that are unique to cross-cultural missionaries in the North American context. Finally, the data obtained from the missionaries will determine how Southern Baptists can improve the level of care for its domestic missionaries. Chapter 2 describes the significance of cross-cultural missions in North America. Research will be presented that reveals the growing gap between the diversity of North America and the diversity found within Southern Baptist churches. Chapter 3 presents the results from the qualitative research gained from the surveys, interviews, and site visits. Special attention is paid to the spiritual, physical, emotional, and financial condition of the missionaries. The missionaries' assessment of the care they are receiving from the Southern Baptist entities concludes the chapter. Chapter 4 provides a response and an interpretation of the data collected from the study. Strengths and weaknesses of Southern Baptist care for cross-cultural missionaries in North America are explored. Chapter 5 concludes the study by presenting a strategy to improve missionary care in North America among Southern Baptists. The strategy includes practical steps that can be taken to ensure Southern Baptists remain on the frontlines of engaging the nations in North America. Chapter 6 reviews the salient observations from the study and presents areas that need further research.