Communication ETDs

Publication Date

Spring 5-13-2018


The prevalence of short-term mission trips by churches and/or faith-based organizations has increased tremendously (Howell & Door, 2007, Anaheier & Themudo, 2005). However, no research has been completed on the training offered to in preparation for these types of trips, specifically, training for intercultural trips. I joined a church on their short-term mission experience to examine as a participant observer how they were trained to interact with people of another cultural group and then, how the training affected the interactions on the trip.

Through the use of Grounded Theory, I examined the discourse used in the trainings offered and throughout interactions on the trip. I then analyzed the effectiveness and appropriateness of those trainings and specific lessons based on their enactment in the field. This uncovered the church’s approach to intercultural encounters, showing they used a relationship maintenance strategy more similarly resembling Rusbolt’s (1998) Investment Model of Communication, and allowed me to propose future research and the beginnings of a possible theory for faith-based organizations and non-profit/non-governmental organizations.




Intercultural Communication, Missionary, Christian, Culture, Communication

Document Type


Degree Name


Level of Degree


Department Name

Department of Communication and Journalism

First Committee Member (Chair)

Dr. Myra Washington

Second Committee Member

Dr. David Weiss

Third Committee Member

Dr. Kathy Isaacson