MISSION HANDBOOK 2004-2006 (19th ed.)

U.S. and Canadian Protestant Ministries Overseas


Dotsey Welliver and Minnette Northcutt, eds.

EMIS, 2004, 551 pp.

ISBN 0-9617751-9-X


The new Mission Handbook is out. Surprisingly few people know there is an encyclopedia of mission organizations. This is it. Frequently I receive questions about what organizations work in a particular country or do certain kinds of ministry or what I know about an agency or how to get in touch with a particular mission organization. This is where I go for the answers. Order online at www.emisdirect.com $49.95


The first 50-page analysis of the information by Scott Moreau is worth having the book. The bulk of the information is for the year 2001.


810 agencies were surveyed, 690 based in the U.S. and 120 in Canada


These agencies reported:

45,617 North Americans serving in other countries (for 1 year or longer),

5,902 non-North Americans serving outside their own country, and

60,971 national workers, serving in 211 countries and territories.


Trends: (11-13)

  • There are increases in both long-term (> 4 years) and shorter-term (1 - 4 years) missionaries. Longer-term missionaries rose 5.5% since the last edition, (which showed a drop of less than 1% from the previous three-year span.)
  • Short-termers (2 weeks to 1 year) are still growing significantly.
  • Financial health of mission agencies looks good but remember, the data is for 2001.
  • Denominational agencies have more total income than non-denomination agencies, but the ratio is declining.
  • A slight shift is occurring away from evangelism/discipleship activities toward education and relief/development activities.


The United Methodist General Board of Global Ministries and YWAM both reported sending 100,000 or more short-term workers! (15)


Agencies reporting the largest number of national workers (from 13,628 to 1661) were (from first to fifth) Campus Crusade for Christ, Gospel for Asia, Partners International, Christian Aid Mission, and World Missions Far Corners, Inc. (16)


U.S. based agencies include 115 affiliated with denominations and 575 not. (18)


Primary Ministry Activity Categories: (22-23)

  • Evangelism/Discipleship 424 agencies (20%)
  • Mission agency support 102 agencies (14.8%)
  • Relief and Development 81 agencies (11.8%)
  • Education/training activities 57 agencies (8.3%)


Total reported income for overseas mission was $3,752,000,000. (28)

Seven organizations reported receiving annual income of more that $100 million. Seventy organizations received more than $10 million. (29)


Countries where the most agencies (70 or more) have ministry: Mexico, India, Philippines, Brazil, Kenya, Russia, United Kingdom, Japan, Ukraine, Germany, Spain, South Africa, France, Thailand, Haiti, Indonesia, Guatemala. (33)


Agencies reported sending 346,225 short-term workers in 2001. This is likely a small fraction of the total since it does not include those who were sent directly from local churches or who went on their own. (33)


Agencies with the greatest number of total workers (all >3000): Campus Crusade, Gospel for Asia, Southern Baptist International Mission Board, Partners International, Christian Aid Mission. (34)


Agencies with the greatest number of U.S. Workers (all >1000): Southern Baptist International Mission Board, Assemblies of God, New Tribes Mission, Campus Crusade for Christ, Baptist International Missions, Christian Churches/Churches of Christ. (35)


The bulk of the book is given to the listing of mission agencies. Included are agency name, contact information, brief description, purpose statement, year founded, income for overseas ministries, personnel, and countries where the organization ministers.


Other major chapters include indices to U.S. agencies, agencies listed by country where they work, and the same information for Canadian agencies.


There is a selective bibliography for the study of contemporary mission activities, an appendix of members of mission associations and an appendix of the survey form used to obtain the information in the book.