BU Missions is a part of Baylor's Office of Spiritual Life. Our mission at Spiritual Life is to nurture theological depth, spiritual wholeness, & missional living in the students, staff, & faculty of Baylor University. We do this by offering integrated formational programming, transformative missional experiences, competent pastoral care, & worship that is responsive to the Christian tradition & sensitive to the culture.
As part of Spiritual Life, the purpose of BU Missions is to create tangible opportunities for students to serve others through their academic discipline. These experiences allow our students to reflect on how God might use the knowledge & skills they gain here at Baylor to make a difference in the world. It also provides incredible venues to experience & learn from a different culture & to be a part of what God is doing in & around the world.For more information on our Guiding Principles & Learning Outcomes, check out the Explore>About Us section of our website or contact us at Baylor Missions
2. What type of Service/Projects will my Student be Participating in During the Trip?
BU Missions takes a discipline-specific approach to missions, thus each team will have a different focus. If your student has signed up for an engineering team, she may be working on a solar energy or water purification project. On the other hand, if your student has signed up for a Domestic urban missions team, he may be working alongside kids to help with literacy programs. Wherever they may be traveling to, they will be under the leadership of trained Baylor faculty & staff missions leaders, and partnering with local churches & non-profit organizations in order to help meet some of the most pressing needs in that community.
Each team will work specifically within their field of expertise. Project details will be communicated to individual teams once they are confirmed by local partners. Teams will meet throughout the semester to prepare for the trip projects & learn more about the communities they'll be visiting.
If your student is interested in participating on a BU Missions Trip, please refer them to the Student page for information on trip costs, applications, fundraising, important dates, passports, etc.
4. Who are the Baylor Team Leaders?
Each team is led by a full-time Baylor faculty or professional staff member. In addition to expertise in their particular fields, leaders are very capable of leading mission teams internationally/domestically and have been trained by Baylor Missions in risk management, community development, spiritual formation, and more.
YES! Baylor STUDENTS (only) can use a credit card to pay through our U-Pay system.
Click on the Make a Payment Or Pay for a Trip link located on the Missions website! All payments must be made by 5pm on the day of the deadline!
*If a parent wants to make a credit card payment on behalf of their student, they must arrange this with the student since it goes through their BaylorID & password. BUMissions does not accept credit card payments over the phone.
8. Are Friends & Family Able to Give Donations Online?
ABSOLUTELY!! Direct your donors to our Baylor Missions Give Site
*make sure they know the name of your student's team!
This site also has information about sending donation checks to Baylor
9. Are There Opportunities for Matching Gifts from My Employer?
Absolutely! Visit Baylor's Development Gift Matching site for more info
10. What Safety Precautions Have Been Taken?
The BU Missions staff & team leaders spend months researching each area and working with the local contacts to prepare for each trip. We also work with Risk Management, the Center for International Education and the Office of General Counsel at Baylor to insure that proper precautions are taken. Each trip proposal goes through a rigorous risk management process before students apply for trips.
As is the case for many mission trips, participants will be cautious about their food and drink. However, safe food and clean water is readily available.
All cities and villages have their share of crime, much like here in the USA. Students will be advised to follow a few basic rules to avoid any problems. No one will be allowed to travel by themselves and areas visited will be secure. Much care is also being taken to provide safe transportation and housing for the mission teams.
Baylor University subscribes to a security agency, International SOS, who offers travel advisement as well as assistance in country should an emergency arise. You can access their online service at http://www.internationalsos.com
Baylor pass code is 11ASGC000003.
we also reference resources from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and US State Department for specific recommendations for each country we are traveling to.
If you have any specific questions, please feel free to email us or 254-710-7424
No need to worry! Baylor Missions does not take any teams to locations with active cases of Ebola. To learn more about Ebola and the proactive approach that Baylor is taking to protect the health and well-being of our teams, Learn more here!
12. What if Someone Gets Hurt? Is There Any Insurance?
In the unlikely event that someone has an injury while abroad, Baylor University carries international travel insurance on each participant. Insurance covers medical care and emergency evacuation. Students may use their domestic insurance policies as secondary insurance during their time aboard if needed.
The cost of AHP insurance is included in the trip cost for each student traveling internationally. Baylor Missions will enroll them & provide them with their policy numbers in their departure travel packets.
if a student is traveling domestically, there is no additional insurance provided. Students will need to carry their insurance card from their usual domestic provider (ie. BCBS, etc.)
For more information on coverage of Baylor's AHP insurance click here
13. Can My Student Travel with Medication?
YES; It is vital that medications be kept in original packaging. This includes over the counter medicine such as aspirin or anti-acids. A doctor's note must accompany prescription drugs. This letter must state that the student is under his/her medical care and required to take medication. The physician's letter should be on professional letter head with a raised seal or stamp, if available. Students are responsible for carrying and taking their own medication.
Medication and physician's letter should be packed in carry-on luggage, NOT checked luggage.
It is also recommended that students who wear contacts or prescription eye glasses should pack an extra pair for the trip.
If a student needs to purchase medication while abroad, that is a student's personal expense not covered by Baylor or AHP insurance.
14. How Far is the Group from a Hospital or Medical Care?
Most of the teams will be working and staying in larger cities where adequate medical services are available. Those traveling to rural areas will have a local guide knowledgeable of available medical services.
Before arrival, the team leaders have researched the nearest medical facilities and reported these locations to Baylor.
In the case of an emergency, Baylor Missions will contact a student's emergency contacts to update them and discuss further actions needed.
15. How can I Contact my Student During the Trip?
All Baylor students are required to have a working cell phone with them while traveling. However, we also encourage our participants to "unplug" and fully participate in the projects. Additionally, students may have limited access to Wifi at various points in the trip, so a quick Facebook message or email is an option.
Direct contact with the teams from family and friends should be limited to emergencies only.
Baylor Missions will handle all communication with teams while in country. You can reach Baylor Missions at 254-710-7424.
16. Can My Student Contact Us During the Trip?
All Baylor participants are required to have a cell phone + international calling plan while abroad for emergency situations. However cell & wifi coverage is limited in many locations.
Students are encouraged to "unplug" during the trip and to limit social communication with friends & family at home, as to fully participate in nightly group reflections and team building activities.
In case of emergency, team leaders will contact Baylor Missions to get ahold of you and give you updates.
17. Where Will the Teams Stay? What Will They Eat?
With few exceptions, teams will stay in hotel-type accommodations similar to western culture (minus the A/C sometimes ;) Accommodations have been recommended by our global partners for the safety and reputation of the sites. Students do not leave the hotel without the group. Night activities at the hotel include spiritual reflection, team planning, games, blogging/journaling, and of course...sleeping.
Food & Clean BOTTLED Water is abundant for all students. Most hotels have a western-style continental breakfast; lunches are usually sack lunches prepared by the teams the night before or from a local fast food style restaurant. Dinners are usually at the hotel or a local restaurant that has been recommended by a global partner that has a good reputation and variety.
Students are highly encouraged to eat the food that is prepared for them, as a sign of respect for the hospitality of the culture we are visiting. If they are still hungry, students are encouraged to bring protein bars and other healthy snacks to supplement the meals.
If a student has allergies/dietary restrictions, please alert team leader prior to applying to the trip to gain a better understanding of the cuisine options available in country...as some cultures are less varied than our diets in US.
18. How Much Cash will my student need to take with them?
The cost of the trip covers all travel, lodging, and meals, plenty of clean bottled water daily. Although everything a student needs will be provided, there may be times when students will want to purchase a snack or extra bottle of water. Shopping is always a big event. Teams will have the opportunity to visit local markets to purchase a variety of custom made crafts.
Our recommendation is LESS than $200USD.
It is recommended that ATM cards be used to withdraw local currency. Make sure your local bank has been notified prior to your travel abroad so your card will be active.
19. What is Baylor Missions doing to prevent the Zika Virus?
The health, safety, and well-being of our Baylor students, faculty, and staff is of utmost concern to Baylor Missions as we plan our mission trips around the globe. Each trip goes through a rigorous proposal process assessing medical and travel risks alike. In light of the 2016 Zika outbreak affecting our brothers & sisters in Central & South America, Baylor continues to keep a close eye on the outbreak and is proactive in keeping our teams safe by providing our teams with practical ways to prevent the spread of the virus while abroad.
More Information: http://www.baylor.edu/missions/index.php?id=930185