About Missions

"Sympathy is no substitute for action" - David Livingstone

Andrews University has taken on a motto: “Seek Knowledge, Affirm Faith, Change the World.” Here at the missions department, we believe the experience of being a student missionary heavily affirms our motto.

As a missionary you will learn about life from a broader perspective. The missionary calls vary from the United States to across the globe. Whether the culture is more familiar, or very different. Gaining a year of experience in “the real world” will allow for the Andrews student to learn about life in a tangible way.

As a missionary you will have the opportunity to affirm your faith in God as you serve Him. This is a very individual experience, but there is no missionary that has gone out that hasn’t been touched by God in some way. Many find that funding comes in just in the nick of time, or some realize that they gain more than they give, and some most importantly gain the kind of personal relationship with Jesus that they never had before.

As a missionary you will change the world in the hearts of those your reach. Without a doubt you will impact someone while you are away. When you dedicate a year to God, you will be amazed in the results. Sometimes results are seen by a new church building and happy smiles, or knowledge learned. Often these results are unseen, and lives are slowly changed. But take heart! How greatly our God appreciates those who serve Him

Mission History

The Student Missions program first began as an idea thought up in the informal setting of the living room at the home of Dr. William Loveless, who at the time was pastor of the Sligo Seventh-day Adventist church in Takoma Park, Maryland. The student leaders of religious activities on the campus of Columbia Union College were searching for a way to make missions real to them. Until that time missionaries, though numerous, had been older people. This new idea of students sending out fellow students was one that set imaginations on fire and was readily accepted and supported. The first student missionary, Marlin Mathiesen, served during the summer of 1959 in Mexico. He primarily helped local pastors evangelize in a remote area of the country. As he returned, he brought with him stories and excitement which quickly drew fellow college students to the idea of being a student missionary[1].


Student Missions at Andrews University

 This excitement spread to other colleges, and in 1960 the student missions program at Andrews University (then called Emmanuel Missionary College) was born. By May of 1960, a student missionary project was proposed by the Student Association and the Missionary Volunteer Society. The student missionaries were to be selected by a committee, including the SA president and other student leaders, based on five criteria[2]:

  1. The student must be a student of EMC and be returning to EMC the following year.
  2. The student must have Sophomore or Junior class standing.
  3. The student must be a native of the United States or Canada.
  4. If possible, the student should have a speaking knowledge of the language.
  5. The student must be willing to enter into future mission service.

General Conference records show that two student missionaries were sent through Andrews University in 1960, along with one from Columbia Union College and one from Walla Walla College. By 1963, Andrews had sent out 3 student missionaries. Then between 1967 and 1975, Andrews sent out 15 student missionaries. Through 1996, approximately 722 calls total were filled by Andrews students. Since then, 266 more calls were filled, 51 of them were from the 2006-2007 school year. For the 2007-2008 school year, Andrews students will fill 27 more calls for mission service. These numbers however, only represent students who went through Andrews University. There are many other Student Missionaries who have chosen to go through such agencies as the Korean Language Institute, REACH International, or may simply go independently, thus making the total number of student missionaries from Andrews nearly immeasurable.

Long-term missions aren't the only opportunities for students to serve their community; Andrews University also accomodates student volunteers that want to help out in short-term projects and missions around the world. Groups such as WeCare have provided hundreds more students with the opportunity to serve internationally. Likewise, Campus Ministries Inreach and Outreach offer many opportunities for service in local areas, reaching our own community in powerful ways for Christ.

[1] Taken from the research of Donna J. Habenicht in 1977.
Habenicht, Donna J. "A descriptive study of the personality, attitudes, and overseas experience of Seventh-day Adventist college students who served as short-term volunteer missionaries". Diss. Andrews University, 1977.

[2] "Student Missionary Project Sponsored by SA & MV" Andrews University Student Movement 2 May, 1960.