Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry (DMin)



First Advisor

Carole Spencer, PhD

Second Advisor

Randy Woodley, PhD

Third Advisor

Carole Spencer, PhD


This dissertation proposes that mission agencies who develop a spiritual formation paradigm that incorporates the principles of wayfinding to navigate personal, vocational, and spiritual shifts enhance cross-cultural resiliency for missionaries (also known as global servants). Section One highlights the problem: mission agencies are not adequately addressing the numerous stressors that global servants constantly manage resulting in less healthy, unhealthy or toxic behaviors. In addition, organizational and historical mission culture often creates untenable expectations that contribute to the global servant's stress. Section Two analyzes how stressors might alternatively be addressed via pre-assignment counseling, sending churches, corporate support structures, or enhanced self-care. The findings suggest that even though mission agencies and corporations implement member care initiatives with the hope that employees will last for the long haul, very few implement an intentional spirituality that invites people to engage sustainable practices for long-term ministry. Studies show that spaces that allow for meaningful reflection and authentic community are factors that keep individuals grounded during stress. In response, Section Three proposes that mission agencies and global servants need to co-create an alternative organizational culture that no longer relies on historical, hierarchical, and imperialistic models. The concept of developing a spiritual formational model grounded in wayfinding, ancient practices of navigation for one's interior and exterior journey, will be explored. Section Four introduces the artifact: a spiritual formation curriculum that addresses the key components of a global servant's journey from pre-assignment to retirement incorporating soul care, self-care, and community care practices in addition to specific wayfinding principles. Section Five offers a detailed description of the curriculum including the goals, content, and implementation. Finally, Section Six is a reflection on my learning through the dissertation process, with suggestions regarding further research.

Included in

Christianity Commons