Master of Arts in Higher Education Theses

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

First Advisor

Drew Moser

Second Advisor

Tim Herrmann

Third Advisor

Steve Bedi


One of the many opportunities presented to college students within their college experience is the opportunity to participate in an international service learning trip. The purpose of this study was to explore the impacts of international service learning on life calling. Through phenomenological research, this study examined the individual international service learning experiences of eleven alumni and addressed the following questions:

  1. Does international service learning impact a student’s sense of calling?
  2. How would students define their sense of calling after an international service learning trip?

Major emergent themes included the experiences on a team; the broadening of life calling; impacted faith; and critical thinking about missions. Furthermore, three sub-themes emerged: reflection; community as a life calling; and being called to missions. Recommendations for practice include continued reflection upon a student’s return home, careful selection of team leaders, and post-trip courses to help students in their transition back home.