Master of Arts in Higher Education Theses

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

First Advisor

Skip Trudeau

Second Advisor

Scott Moeschberger

Third Advisor

Tim Herrmann


Missionary kids are individuals with a great variety of life experiences, often growing up in many different countries with the influence of other cultures. These individuals most often enroll in Christian colleges which place some priority on their transition and involvement in the community. Mu Kappa, an organization for missionary kids, exists on over 50 Christian colleges campuses and seeks to be a support structure while also providing community and involvement opportunities. This study examined missionary kids’ involvement in an effort to understand the factors influencing their involvement in Mu Kappa and other organizations. The goal was to examine these motivating factors in an effort to better understand what influences a missionary kid’s involvement and how these factors impact Mu Kappa and other organizations. Nine missionary kids were interviewed at a small, Christian, liberal arts college in the Midwest. The results of this study identified key influencing factors that helped to shape involvement and lack of involvement within Mu Kappa while also providing insight into involvement in other organizations. The results of this study showed that the wide variety of experiences of missionary kids influences opinions of the organization, motivation to become involved, and indicated different needs among individuals. Mu Kappa helps to support like-minded individuals with difficult transitions, while those who are more independent seek out their own supporting communities. Involvement in the larger community was not linked to involvement within Mu Kappa, showing that missionary kids were not always in need of a support structure consisting of their peers. Instead, they often sought out their own involvement and support among the larger campus community.