Bethel College Professor Conducts National Research Project Study of Short-Term Missions In Youth Ministry

Dr. Terry Linhart, Bethel College associate professor of youth ministry, teamed with Dr. Kara Powell of the Center for Youth and Family Ministry at Fuller Seminary and Dr. Dave Livermore of Intersect at Grand Rapids Theological Seminary on a national study of short-term missions in youth ministry. Commissioned by the National Network of Youth Ministry (, the study focused on best practices that increase short-term mission effectiveness. Linhart has been one of four researchers in the country that have focused their post-doctoral research on short-term missions.

Rev. Terry Bley and Rev. Derry Prenkert, both Bethel College graduates, are among the 25 national leaders that participated in the project. The study used a series of online surveys and some intensive qualitative research methods to gather that data. The research culminated in a weekend gathering at the Youth Specialties convention in Anaheim, Calif. in November. "It's an exciting opportunity for Bethel College to team with these organizations and for our office in the School of Religion and Philosophy to serve as the home for this study," said Linhart.

A series of articles from the study is scheduled for 2007. Linhart and Livermore are also scheduled to begin a two-year major research project on short-term missions beginning in 2007.

Bethel College is an accredited Christian college of the arts and sciences offering associates, bachelor's and master's degrees in more than 50 areas of study. The current enrollment of more than 2,081 includes students from 29 states and Puerto Rico, 21 countries, more than 25 denominational affiliations and 16 percent from culturally diverse backgrounds. Scholarships are available based upon a variety of factors including academic achievement, talent in the arts or athletics, ethnicity and church affiliation. Bethel offers classes at four locations: the Mishawaka campus, the Elkhart Campus and two satellite locations (in Nappanee and in Dowagiac, Mich.). The main Bethel campus is situated on 75 wooded acres in Mishawaka, Ind.