Short-Term Missions meets Spiritual Pilgrimage

Abstract: This article exams the phenomenon of Short-term Missions (STM) and why Evangelicals don’t use the word “pilgrimage” as a paradigm for religious travel.  I argue that the use of the “pilgrimage” in place of STM, as it better describes the process of participants going away to be changed, rather than changing those to whom they go.  Specifically, I argue that pilgrimage can be a formative ritual for North American Christians in a globalizing world as it is exposes the participant to de-contextualization, poverty and marginality.  Key Words: Globalization, Short-Term Missions, Pilgrimage, Mission Renewal.

Mission Renewal in a Globalizing world

The Church finds itself in an increasingly connected, increasingly complex, and an increasingly global world.  Today, the local is global and the global is local.  Or, put in another way, ‘over there’ is no longer only ‘over there’ and it affects us ‘right here’ and vice versa.[1]  Paul Borthwick, in Western Christians in Global Mission, noted five characteristics about the globalizing world.  Our world is: (1) young, restless, and uncertain; (2) nonwhite, non-Western, nonearthly; (3) technologized and lonely; (4) conflicted about faith; and (5) migrated, globalized, and urbanized.[2]  The Church has always been tasked with interpreting Holy Scripture and orthodox belief into whatever socio-cultural and geo-political context within which it finds itself.  From particular locations, the Church is responsible for faithful witness in word and deed.  How can the Church, in this increasingly complex and transcultural context, renew its mission? How can globalization serve as a refiner’s fire, or a crucible for the church, particularly as it relates to how Christians engage in cross-cultural and international ministries? 

 Specific views on globalization vary, both in definition and in optimism.  Most would agree that globalization reflects the increasingly interconnected character of the political, economic and social life of people.[3] Notre Dame Professor, Daniel Groody describes the rise in modern globalization as movement from divisiontowards integration.  He says the former are symbolized by the Berlin Wall and the Cold War, and the two competing empires they represented—the United States and the Soviet Union.[4]  In contrast, the post-Cold War era is symbolized by the World Wide Web, and a radically rising connectedness in terms of transportation, communications, and technology.

For some, this rapidly rising interconnectedness has been interpreted with optimism.  For example, the authors of Global Church Plantingsee the age of globalization as a fertile soil for spontaneous, or “diaspora” church planting.[5]  Others connect globalization to their hopes for global capitalism and see a capacity to bring unpreceded prosperity and peace.  Conversely, we cannot ignore the reality that through global capitalism or laissez-fairefree-market economics, many of the poorest nations in the world have actually been made worse off.[6]  Pope John Paul II concluded in 2001, 

“Globalization, a priori, is neither good nor bad. It will be what people make of it. No system is an end in itself, and it is necessary to insist that globalization, like any other system, must be at the service of the human person; it must serve solidarity and the common good.”[7]

Al Tizon attempts to organize this tension under the terms globalization as “process” and globalization as “ideology.”

“As a process, globalization offers exciting possibilities ‘for exchange of knowledge and ideas, for the expression of solidarity among peoples, for the sharing of human and material resources, and for fostering intercultural communication… as ideology, globalization offers nothing less than salvation – a unifying future for humankind—in accordance with a capitalist based consumerist vision.”[8]

            As the world becomes more globalized, the church has become more globalized also.  Along with this comes great challenges and opportunities.  Philip Jenkins describes this in the opening pages to, The Next Christendom, stating that Christianity, “should enjoy a worldwide boom in the coming decades, but the vast majority of believers will be neither white nor European, nor Euro-American.”[9]  Additionally, “If we want to visualize a ‘typical’ contemporary Christian,” says Jenkins, “we should think of a woman living in a village in Nigeria, or in a Brazilian favela.”[10]  Bryant Myers quotes a Pew Research Center study on Global Christianity, 

“Though Christianity began in the Middle East, the region today has the lowest concentration and lowest number of Christians of any of the world’s regions. Indonesia, a majority Muslim country, has more Christians than the twenty countries in the Middle East and North Africa combined.
Nigeria has twice as many Protestant Christians as Germany, the birthplace of the Reformation.
Only two of the ten countries with the largest Protestant populations are in Europe.
More Catholics live in Brazil than in Italy, France, and Spain combined. China is estimated to have more Christians than any European nation.”[11]

            All of this has bearing on the North American Church, which saw itself at the forefront of Christian mission by the end of the 20thcentury.[12]  Much of modern North American missionary efforts, and particularly, the short-term mission phenomenon find themselves in precarious territory.  Many of the assumptions on which they stand, seem to be shifting.  Even within the United States and Canada, immigration is changing the face of North American Christianity.  Immigrant churches are among the fastest growing across all faith traditions contributing to a de-Europeanization of the American Church.[13]

Short-term Missions (STM)

Globalization is influencing missions in many ways.  As the church shifts more toward the Global Majority, missionary initiatives are shifting with it.  Connectivity among immigrating ethnic groups is further distributing the church.  Hanciles notes, “in simple terms, from both a biblical and historical perspective, every Christian migrant is a potential missionary.[14]Nonetheless, Hanciles laments, “while non-Western Christians now represent the face and future of global Christianity, the church in the non-Western world does not yet constitute its main driving force.”[15]

Globalization is also influencing the trajectory of missions as the world focuses on issues of extreme poverty, food and water scarcity, disease, war and security, and family issues.  A 2009 article on global family concerns found that, “of 30 issues related to family well-being, the 5 issues of greatest public concern were drug and alcohol abuse followed by aging, family violence, adolescent health, and unemployment.”[16]  This reflects how the concerns of the Majority World will continue shaping the agenda of the global church.

Arguably, globalization is also proving the inadequacy of previous Western models (built on Western assumptions) to bring about significant witness in the Majority World.  Hanciles concludes that Western missionary action and thinking depend, “less on religious capacity than on structures of global economic dominance,” and reflects an overdependence on, “material resources, embodies structures of power, and confuses quantifiable measures of growth or human development… with missionary success.”[17]


The “short-term mission” movement is perhaps an embodiment of this tension.  A 2013 issue dedicated to STM, the journal Missiology: An International Reviewstates: “In post-War North America, STM grew from a relatively small number of participants barely noticeable among the established missionary community into a massive phenomenon involving upwards of two million people a year.”[18]  Although serious scholarship was initially lacking, more recent study has explored the cultural, historic, economic and political aspects of STM.   Like the related study of the anthropology of tourism, conclusions have varied, perhaps even more critical in the case of STM.  Hanciles equates much of STM to not more than, “Christian tourism with a touch of scheduled humanitarianism.”[19]Similar opinions abound.  STM often distills the worse of the broader challenge of Western missions in a globalizing world.

Recent publications like When Helping Hurts (2009), and Toxic Charity (2011), have helped raise awareness and call attention to the broader imperfections of Christian missions and charities.  Authors like these propose a sort of HippocraticOathof helping without harming, including never doing for the poor what they can (or could) do for themselves, and putting aside self-interest for the sake of those being served.[20]  The challenge of these efforts is that they still carry with them an outside-in, Western paternalistic tone.  This is perhaps unavoidable in the context of charity and humanitarian aide, which reflect radical income inequalities in a globalizing world.  But what about the larger reality of STM as an integral part of spiritual formation for participants?

Perhaps the greatest challenge for STM lies at the level of its embedded theology and world view.  The raison d’êtreof the 20thcentury mission movement was the spiritual task of world evangelism, most often interpreted as the “saving of souls,” and less about improving quality of life or pursuing justice.  This is deeply rooted in theological and cultural context. Formally birthed at the at the 1910 World Missionary Conference at Edinburgh, the idea of ‘world evangelization’ has largely shaped the North American mission narrative.  This has been refreshed many times under the ideals of Unreached Peoples and the 10/40 Window.  The long lasting legacies have been: dividing the world into Christian and non-Christian areas, global North and global South, or Christian West and heathen East.[21]  

Within this and the broader North American context, STM has evolved into an important ritual within American Evangelicalism.  But it hasn’t had enough serious social-scientific or theological reflection. Anthropologist Brian Howell analyzes the way STM participants chose their language, communicate their motive, understand their purpose, and report back about their experience.  He concludes that often a “missionary gaze” serves to homogenize locality and distance the “Other.”  He says that emphasizing “sacrifice” on the part of participants often fails to put emphasis on the educational or cultural benefits of STM. He further critiques the “plight-based” nature of many STM that revolve tasks rather than transformation.  Finally, communication (slide-shows, videos, etc.) often serve to decontextualize “Otherness” and often over emphasize poverty and fail to show indigenous people in leadership or positions of power.[22]

The one unquestionable value of STM is its potential value for participant transformation.  Particularly when preparation and care are taken, STM can harness the value of cross-cultural experiences and produce deep spiritual formation. A 2009 study examined the impact of STM on the religious trajectories of the youth who participate in them. This study found adolescents who participated in STM reported increased religious participation and solidified religious belief.[23]  This demonstrates the important connection between experience and belief and commitment. This should not only be assumed to be the case with STM but also with the broader category of religious travel, including trips to the Holy Land and or other religious sites.  While the debate will continue over whether STM makes a significant impact locally on the areas visited, there is little argument that STM most often impacts the participants positively.

Why Not Evangelical Pilgrimage?

With trends only increasing for STM, religious travel is likely here to stay.  With this in mind, we might ask if STM has become a Protestant or Evangelical form of pilgrimage.  This is precisely the word that Brian Howell and Rachel Dorr chose to use when evaluating the language around STM.[24]  Howell and Dorr note that STM differs from traditional mission movements in that it does not focus on “long-term relationships and social-cultural transformation over decades and even centuries.”[25]Therefore, participants in STM often resist using the appellation, “missionary,” although they also (often vehemently) avoid the word, “tourist,” as well.  This said, STM has indisputable similarities with pilgrimage.  The authors assert, “through their language of relocation and re-entry, sacrifice and reward, distance and immanence, these students draw an unmistakable correlation to that well-studied form of religious travel, pilgrimage.”[26]


Before looking at similarities and differences more closely, it is important to explore briefly why Protestants have historically not used the term ‘pilgrimage’.  Early Christians journeyed to the Holy Land to walk in the footsteps of Jesus.[27]  In his excellent article on the subject, Ted Olson, says that, “leaders of the early church understood the power a place can have on us.”[28]  Although not required, many Church Fathers saw value in pilgrimage, including Jerome. Modern religious trips to the Holy Land are reminiscent of Jerome’s rational, “just as Greek History becomes more intelligible to those who have seen Athens… man will get a clearer grasp of Holy Scripture who has gazed at Judea with his own eyes.”[29]  

In time, pilgrimages grew to visits to shrines and veneration of Christian relics kept there.  The practice did not go without criticism. Gregory of Nyssa wrote condemningly of Jerusalem after a visit as early as the fourth century.  “Nowhere in the world are people so ready to kill each other as there… if the divine grace was more abundant about Jerusalem than elsewhere, sin would not be so much the fashion.”[30]  

By the second council of Nicaea in 787, it was decided that every church altar should contain a relic.  The excess and abuse of pilgrimage reached its zenith in the Middle Ages with thousands travelling for many months across Europe to visit shrines associated with apostles, saints, and martyrs.[31]Pilgrimage was ripe for rebuke by the time of the Reformation.

Notably, Luther and Calvin both argued against pilgrimage, particularly its excessiveness and faulty theological underpinning.  Luther was not entirely against pilgrimage in his early writings. He did not condemn pilgrimages to sites where relics of Christ and the saints were kept.  With time, however, he objected more strongly from a theological basis.  Pilgrimage had become, “inextricably linked with a theology of merit and ‘works’ which was the primary and lifelong target of his theology.”[32]  In addition to this soteriological reason, Luther also objected to the emphasis on location and holy places.  “God is no longer confined to one place, as He was when He chose to dwell in Jerusalem,”[33]Luther reasoned.  He saw pilgrimage ultimately in tension with local worship and ministry and considered pilgrims motivated by escapism.  Finally, Luther objected to the corruption that was apparent at pilgrimage sites themselves, equating it to commodification of religion and extortion.[34]

Calvin was less prolific on the subject, but no less severe.  Pilgrimage belonged with a litany of other medieval practices of which Calvin desired to rid the church.  Most importantly Calvin objected to the church’s fascination with relics, publishing his Treatise on Relics in 1543.  His arguments were theological, ethical and pragmatic. He determined that Christ should be sought in his Word and Sacraments, he concluded, rather than in his garments and clothes.  

Luther and Calvin’s rebukes are not without theological import.  They are however, a response to excesses and theological degradation in a particular time and context.  As Tomlin puts it, their “attack on medieval pilgrimage was strictly speaking on the abuses rather than the thing itself.”[35]  Their arguments are no more or less valid in their context than our modern-day criticism of STM in our western, post-colonial, and capitalist context.  Could pilgrimage be done in a way today that is ethical, promotes local communities, and promotes holiness and transformation?[36]  If we could remove the objects of the Reformers’ concerns, we might find that reimagining pilgrimage could be an excellent vehicle for mission renewal in a globalizing world.

Reimagining Pilgrimage

For the purpose of this paper, theological reflection on pilgrimage must be considered in light of globalization and mission renewal.  Specifically, we need a framework that helps us reimagine pilgrimage in a way that takes into account our globalizing world and offers a practical approach for renewing mission.  This involves both deconstructing pilgrimage and deconstructing STM.

 The fundamental difference between the STM and pilgrimage is the locus of change.  STM’s primary focus has been bringing about change for others, in a foreign context. Pilgrimage focuses on change brought about for the participant via others in a foreign context.  STM has inevitably touched on personal transformation, but that hasn’t been its organizing principle.

In more blunt terms, STM has largely focused on the ‘salvation’ of those visited, or those in their community, rather than the salvation or sanctification of the participants.  In contrast, salvation interrelated to the pilgrim’s journey is more easily integrated within the Catholic or Orthodox framework.  Within those traditions, salvation is viewed more as a process and a journey and where works connected to salvation is not stigmatized.  Protestants and evangelicals however are more comfortable with the notions of conversion and/or repentance. Howell and Dorr note the transformative potential of ‘short-term pilgrimage’:

The pilgrim does not escape to Otherness, like the tourist, or permanently plant herself in a new field, as a missionary, but enters a liminal state where many of the tensions characteristic of U.S. evangelical Christian life—of material plenty, comfort and ease against a gospel of sacrifice, care for the poor and alienation from society—are confronted, challenged, and (re)incorporated into the religious life of the believer.”[37]


Although many Protestant Evangelicals would also be uncomfortable with the notion of penance or asceticism, many would still embrace the theme of cleansing or renewal that comes from (de)location and (re)location. Pilgrimage as a sort of self-imposed exile focuses on renewal that cannot be achieved at home.  “We travel, initially, to lose ourselves; and we travel, next, to find ourselves,”[38]Pico Iyer wrote in his notable essay, “Why We Travel.”  This has also been referred to as liminality, or, an escape from social structure and previous commitments.[39]  STM participants often use the proverbial phrase “get out of my comfort zone” to describe this space.  This is perhaps the ‘holy space’ of pilgrimage for many Protestants—space to identify where their relationship with God, with others, and with creation have been broken. 


Along with this is the journey to poverty, at the least, the being separated from our normal conveniences and anchoring.  Pilgrimage is a embodying a “disruptive journey.”[40]  A pilgrim is detached from her role and recognition, from capital and belongings. Medieval pilgrims were careful to make amends and even have a will in place before setting out on pilgrimage.  They often took little more than a staff, a pouch, and a tunic, symbolizing faith, hope, and charity.[41]  This journey into poverty allows fellowship and identification with the Global Church in meaningful ways.  It turns the participant from the material toward the spiritual.  Often, it makes room for communitas(unstructured but equitable community), either with other pilgrims, or with those offering hospitality and sharing their location. This proximal relationship with poverty can be power factor of personal renewal and lead to a greater solidarity with the Global Church when they return home.[42]


Hospitality has always been another important aspect of pilgrimage.  Pilgrims rely on the openness and care of willing hosts, sometimes at great costs or risks (particularly in the cases of refugees). The whole process of pilgrimage embodies both the Incarnation (a pilgrim God who comes to us to be received), and the Eucharist (a God who receives us at his table).  In the Western notion of missions and STM, the traveler receives hospitality with hands half-closed.  They receive basic hospitality and cultural learning, but they remain largely present to do something for their host, which is to say that they are still inviting them into their values and beliefs.

Asian theologian Amos Yong says that hospitality is the basis of (1) interreligious dialogue, (2) Christian mission, and (3) pursuing reconciliation and peace and justice. He claims, “Christian mission is nothing more or less than our participation in the hospitality of God.”[43]  Pilgrimage draws us into this ministry of hospitality, to be received, which puts us into a place of humility and being served by others.  When we return home, we can recycle the radical hospitality we’ve been shown.  Receiving hospitality as a pilgrim allows us to begin to see ourselves as hosts and our homes and churches as hostels—spaces that don’t belong to us, but belong to pilgrims and those in need as well.


 Finally, pilgrimage broadens our category for Gospel, in a way that STM has not been able to significantly do.  When we travel for religious purposes, fundamentality we must ask: Are we trying to make other people into our own image, or are we aiming to make a more just world?  The 1910 World Mission Conference sought to mobilize the church to evangelize the world, but that gospel (good news) has not often enough addressed radical social and economic disparities that have come into existence in a globalizing world.  Christian Mission today must promote broader justice—putting people in right relationship with God; putting people into right relationship with each other; and putting people in right relation with creation.  We must see that God reconciling the world (in all of three of these areas) touches specific global realities such as: global poverty, political injustice and persecution, food and water scarcity, pollution and global warming, urbanization and slums, interreligious dialogue and peacemaking, and much more.   

A paradigm shift in how we perceive STM and religious travel is key to renewing mission in a globalizing world.  We must begin to see Christian travelers as pilgrims, and conceive our trips as pilgrimages that invite us to be challenged and changed by a broader experience of the world and its various people and cultures.  We must seek to find God in these places, always at work and laboring to reconcile his creation to himself.  And we must desire to know him in new and powerful ways that can be brought home with us.

In more ancient times, stepping out on pilgrimage meant to seek holy places, encountering relics of holy people, seeking miracles and healing, and paying penance for our sins. Today, it means to seek the holy space of God’s redeeming and reconciling work in us, to encounter the shining imago Dei in the people we meet; to come face-to-face with our own idols; and to even find penance (an outward experience of our sins) that leads to true transformation.


Bartholomew, Craig and Fred Huges. Explorations in a Christian Theology of Pilgrimage.  Aldershot, Hants, England: Ashgate, 2004.

Borthwick, Paul.  Western Christians in Global Mission: what’s the role of the North American church.Downers Grove, IL: IVP Books, 2012.

Bradley, Ian. “Pilgrimage.” In The Cambridge dictionary of Christian Theology, ed. Ian A. McFarland, David Fergusson, Karen Kilby, and Iain R. Torrance.  New York, NY, USA: Cambridge University Press, 2014.

Darling, Carol A. and Kaija Turkki. “Global Family Concerns and the Role of Family Life Education: An Ecosystemic Analysis.” Family Relations 58, no. 1 (2009): 14-27.

George, Christian.  Sacred Travels: Recovering the Ancient Practice of Pilgrimage.  Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2006.

Groody, Danile.  Globalization, Spirituality, and Justice.  Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 2008.

Hanciles, Jehu J. Beyond Christendom: globalization, African migration, and the transformation of the West. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 2008.

Howell, Brian M. “Mission to Nowhere: Putting Short-Term Missions into Context.” International Bulletin of Missionary Research. Vol. 33 No. 4 (2009): 206-211.

Howell, Brian and Rachel Door. “Evangelical Pilgrimage: The Language of Short-Term Missions.” Journal of Communication and Religion 30 (2007): 236-265. 

Jenkins, Philip. The Next Christendom: The Coming of Global Christianity.  Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011.

Lupton, Robert.  Toxic Charity: How Churches and Charities Hurt Those the Help (and How to Reverse It).  New York, NY: HarperOne, 2011.

Myers, Bryant L. Engaging Globalization: The Poor, Christian Mission, and our Hyerconnected World.  Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2017.

Olsen, Ted. 2009. “He talked to us on the road: the surprising rewards of Christian travel.” Christianity Today 53, No. 4: 22-29. 

Ott, Craig, and Gene Wilson. Global Church Planting: Biblical Principles and Best Practices for Multiplication. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2011.

Padilla, C. René. “The Globalization of Solidarity.” Latin American Theology, Vol. 9, Issue 2, 69-90.

Phan, Peter C. “The World Missionary Conference, Edinburgh 1910: Challenges for the Church and Theology in the Twenty-first Century.” International Bulletin of Missionary ResearchVol. 34 No. 2 (2010): 105-108.

Priest, Robert and Brian M. Howell. “Introduction: Theme Issue on Short-Term Missions.” Missiology: An International ReviewVol 41, Issue 2 (2013), pp. 124-129.

Ruiz, Carlos. “Embodying a Disruptive Journey.” In Intercultural Ministry: Hope for a Changing World.  Valley Forge, PA: Judson Press, 2017.

Schreiter, Robert J.  The New Catholocity: Theology between the Global and the Local.  Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 1997.

Sumption, Jonathan. The Age of Pilgrimage: The Medieval Journey to God.  Mahwah, NJ: HiddenSpring, 2003.

Tizon, Al. Transformation after Lausanne: Radical Evangelical Mission in Global-local Perspective. Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock Publ, 2008.

Trinitapoli, Jenny and Stephen Vaisey, “The Transformative Role of Religious Experience: The Case of Short-Term Missions,” Social ForcesVol. 88 issue 1 (2009): 121-146

[1]Tizon, Al, “Reimagine That, World Mission: New Realities, Same Conviction,” Covenant Companion.  January 2, 2017.  Accessed on July 19, 2017 at

[2]Paul Borthwick, Western Christians in Global Mission: What’s the role of the North American Church? (Downers Grove, IL: IVP Books, 2012), 24-29.

[3]Robert J. Schreiter, The New Catholicity: Theology between the Global and the Local(Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 1997, 4-5.

[4]Daniel Groody, Globalization, Spirituality, and Justice.  (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 2008), 13.

[5]Ott, Craig, and Gene Wilson. Global Church Planting: Biblical Principles and Best Practices for Multiplication. (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2011), 149-150.

[6]Groody, 15. Groody discusses both interpretations early in his book as well as a treatment of the philosophical roots of Capitalism and Adam Smith’s The Wealth of Nations.

[7]Address of Pope John Paul II to Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences, 2001.  Accessed July 19 at

[8]Al Tizon, Transformation After Lausanne: Radical Evangelical Mission In Global-local Perspective (Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock Publ, 2008), 86.

[9]Philip Jenkins, The Next Christendom: The Coming of Global Christianity (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011), 2.

[10]Jenkins, Ibid.

[11]Bryant L. Myers,Engaging Globalization: The Poor, Christian Mission, and our Hyerconnected World, (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2017), 198.

[12]I use “saw itself” because although America has sent out more missionaries in the 20thcentury, although other countries have sent more ‘per capita’.  Hanciles addresses this in detail in his conclusion of Beyond Christendom.  Nonetheless by dollars and missionary numbers, Americans were a prominent force in Western Missions.

[13]Jehuj Hanciles, Beyonnd Christendom: Globalization, African Migration, and the Transformation of the West (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 2008), 379.

[14]Hanciles, 378.

[15]Ibid, 385.

[16]Darling, Carol A., and Kaija Turkki. “Global Family Concerns and the Role of Family Life Education: An Ecosystemic Analysis.” Family Relations 58, no. 1 (2009): 14-27.

[17]Hanciles, 383.

[18]Robert J. Priest and Brian M. Howell, “Introduction: Theme Issue on Short-Term Missions,” Missiology: An International Review, Vol 41, Issue 2, (2013): 124-126.

[19]Hanciles, 382.

[20]See Lupton’s, “Oath for Compassionate Service,” Robert D. Lupton, Toxic Charity (New York, NY: HarperOne), 2011.

[21]Peter C. Phan, “The World Missionary Conference, Edinburgh 1910: Challenges for the Church and Theology in the Twenty-first Century,” International Bulletin of Missionary ResearchVol. 34 No. 2 (2010): 105-108.  Note that participants of Edinburgh did dialogue specifically about: the indigenization of Christianity, interreligious dialogue, and the emergence of the world church.

[22]Brian M. Howell, “Mission to Nowhere: Putting Short-Term Missions into Context,” International Bulletin of Missionary Research, Vol. 33 No. 4 (2009): 206-211.

[23]Jenny Trinitapoli and Stephen Vaisey, “The Transformative Role of Religious Experience: The Case of Short-Term Missions,” Social ForcesVol. 88 issue 1 (2009): 121-146.

[24]Brian Howell and Rachel Door, “Evangelical Pilgrimage: The Language of Short-Term Missions,” Journal of Communication and Religion 30 (2007): 236-265.

[25]Ibid, 240.

[26]Ibid, 241.

[27]Ian Bradley, “Pilgrimage,” in TheCambridge Dictionary of Theology, ed. I. A. McFarland, D. Fergusson, K. Kilby, and I. R. Torrance (New York, NY: Cambridge University Press, 2014). 390.

[28]Ted Olson, “He Talked to Us on the Road: The Surprising Rewards of Christian Travel,” Christianity Today,April 2009, 26.  

[29]Olson, 26.

[30]Olson, 27.

[31]Bradley, “Pilgrimage.”

[32]Graham Tomlin, “Protestants and Pilgrimage,” in Explorations in a Christian Theology of Pilgrimage, eds. Craig Bartholomew and Fred Hughes (Aldershot, Hants, England: Ashgate, 2004), 112.

[33]Ibid, 114.

[34]Ibid, 115-116.  Tomlin elaborates on all four of these objections in his contribution to Explorations.

[35]Ibid, 120.

[36]Ibid, 120-122.  Tomlin makes these arguments for reforming pilgrimage.

[37]Howell and Door, “Evangelical Pilgrimage,” 242. 

[38]Pico Iyer, “Why We Travel,” Salon,18 March 2000.

[39]See Victor Turner and Edith Turner, Image and Pilgrimage in Christian Culture(New York: Columbia University Press, 1978).  In their classic work, they describe pilgrimage as a ‘Liminoid Phenomenon.’

[40]Carlos Ruiz, “Embodying a Disruptive Journey,” in Intercultural Ministry: Hope for a Changing World (Valley Forge, PA: Judson Press, 2017).  I’m indebted to Carlos Ruiz for this terminology, which he does not use to discuss pilgrimage but rather to describe trauma as it is experienced and addressed in multi-ethnic ministry.

[41]Jonathan Sumption, The Age of Pilgrimage: The Medieval Journey to God(Mahwah, NJ: HiddenSpring: 2003), 247.

[42]See C. René Padilla, “The Globalization of Solidarity,” Latin American Theology, Vol. 9, Issue 2, 69-90.

[43]GlobalChurch, 109. Graham Hill treats Yong’s ‘Spirit-centered theology’ in his own chapter on “Showing Hospitality” in GlobalChurch. 

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