Imagine a summer that could impact cities, countries and continents around the globe while also forever transforming your life – a summer that propels you into a deeper walk with God and gives you greater confidence in making Him known, a summer that develops your leadership skills and begins friendships you’ll take with you throughout your entire life.

Cru Knows Students. Cru Knows Missions.

Summer Mission Trips are designed with you, the student, in mind.

With many years of experience in mission trips, we know your strengths, we know your busy schedule, and we know you are ready and able to impact the world.

Cru leaders don’t just lead the trip but are focused on pouring into you as you pour into others – guiding you, training you, and encouraging you. Our experience on campus and our dedicated global partnerships with local ministries translate to an experience that will be significant to both you and the mission.

God urges us to pursue a relationship with Him and have faith that produces action.

Maybe that’s already a reality in your life or perhaps it’s something you want to be true of yourself. God wants you to grow this summer.

Why not put yourself in an environment that will accelerate your growth?

Pray. Ask God to show you how He wants you to accelerate your faith this summer. Where can you get invested in an authentic community, evangelism training and experience, hear about God’s heart for the lost, a Bible study that will challenge you, Encouraging discipleship, and worshipful moments?

Come be part of something extraordinary this summer!

Go with a team of other students

Depending on your location, you could wake up to the sound of crashing waves, or the sight of sunbeams reflected by frost-laden mountains or glass and steel skyscrapers all summer long. Depending on which trip you pick, you’ll live with 10-30 (international) or 30-150 students (stateside) in apartments, hotel rooms, dorms or a huge house. Your roommates and fellow students will become some of your closest friends – the community developed on a summer mission is truly unmatched.

Grow closer to God

Summer Missions are known for challenging students to pursue a deep, life-long personal walk with God. You’ll be encouraged to make your personal time with God a top priority. An eager team of Cru Leaders will help you achieve this by offering accountability and support as you learn about God’s character and His Word. You will also be exploring Scripture in weekly gatherings and small group Bible studies that dive deep, and are faith-building and applicable to your everyday life. You will leave amazed at how much God has taught you in a few short weeks!

Experience the meaning of community

Deep, life-long friendships are often the result of the grace and truth-filled community environments of a Summer Mission. You’ll live with anywhere from 10-150 of your peers from schools across the nation. All of you will have come together in the pursuit of growing in your walks with God and making Him known. This is community at its best.

Learn how to lead

Summer Missions are designed to develop you as a leader. You get to be hands-on with all sorts of different ministry opportunities. You’ll leave with a solid Biblical foundation and practical ministry skills. The hope is that you will leave your summer mission an effective Christ-centered leader both on your campus and in your work field that God calls you to after school.

Bring the gospel to people who need Jesus

During the summer, you will be involved in connecting with your summer missions’ unique ministry focus, the communities you will be serving during this summer have been strategically chosen for each location.

At many stateside summer mission locations your ministry focus includes serving coworkers and the local community on the job. For other locations, the ministry focus could be people who live in the surrounding community, classmates, students attending a nearby university or with visiting tourists. Whatever your ministry focus, you will be trained to love those people well, serve them and share your faith with them. Imagine sharing the love of Christ with beachgoers, students on an international campus, fellow hotel housekeepers, to national park guests—who knows who you’ll meet this summer!

See the world through God’s eyes

Cru Leaders will be spiritual mentors who will help deepen your walk with the Lord through sharing ministry experiences with you and simply doing life alongside you. You can look forward to spending time with other students in small groups, studying God’s Word and exploring His longing for the nations to know Him.

Learn to articulate the gospel to anyone, anywhere

Over the course of the summer, you’ll be trained in sharing your faith with non-believers and believers. You’ll gain practical skills to help you apply Jesus’ teachings to your own life and learn how to pass them on to others. You’ll spend dedicated time to practice what you learn, and become confident in talking with anyone, anywhere, anytime.

Get a job

Yes, you heard right–you can get a job at certain U.S. Summer Mission locations! Check out each location’s page for more details..

Travel, housing, food, ministry supplies, and mission activities are all factored into the cost of each trip.

The overall cost varies for each Summer Mission location and length. Check out each location’s page for more details.

Here is the big thing we want you to know: God faithfully provides for what He calls us to do!

Funding a Mission Trip is different. Unlike a high school band trip or personal educational experience, this is God’s mission and God’s people will be sending you through their prayers and financial contributions. Don’t plan to pay for this trip all out of your own pocket – create space for God to provide for you in this faith-growing way.

I know it sounds hard to believe—but fellow believers are called and want to give to missionaries (like yourself) who are going to reach others with the gospel.

Think of it this way: If you don’t ask people to support you with prayer and finances, you are denying them the opportunity to invest in God’s kingdom. By seeking support, you are no longer representing yourself—but the whole body of Christ. His Church is behind you as you go to the world with His good news.

This summer will transform the way you think about work. It’s no longer punching in, getting things done, and then clocking out so you can do what you want. On various Summer Missions with Cru across the United States you can get a job – not only to make money – but also to make an impact at your workplace.

Beyond the spiritual growth, outreaches, and community that go with Summer Missions, you will be trained in how to effectively develop relationships at your workplace, have spiritual conversations, and connect with those who don’t know Jesus. Your workplace is a part of your mission field.

This will equip you well to reach your workspaces after summer mission!

Whether you are called to be an engineer, nurse, business executive, or teacher, you are called as God’s ambassador wherever you work and live. Learn the skills necessary to fulfill both callings.

Internships for college credit are also an option while on a summer mission or you can even intern with Cru.

Raising Support for Your Summer Mission

Going on a Summer Mission sounds exciting – until we start talking about costs. But you will be on a mission trip—which means that we need to have a different (God-based) perspective about the ‘money thing’.  First, let’s look at three important TRUTHS, and then we’ll explore some MYTHS and then get PRACTICAL.

TRUTH #1: God sends you and God provides for You.

“Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will bring it to pass,” says I Thessalonians 5:24.  God sends people into the world (Matthew 9:37-38, Romans 10:14-15) to make a significant change in the world (Matthew 9: 36; Romans 3:23, 6:23, Matthew 11:28-30, John 3:19b , John 11:25-26).  Not only does God call you to go, but He provides for you because His resources are infinite (Psalm 50:10-12) and He can abundantly provide (Ephesians 3:20).  It’s part of God’s character to provide for your needs – especially financial and especially when on his mission (Philippians 4:19, Genesis 22:14).

TRUTH #2: On God’s Mission, you are God’s ambassador.

2 Corinthians 5:20 says, “Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, ‘Be reconciled to God.’”  You don’t just represent yourself, but rather God, His Gospel and all of God’s people to whomever you reach.

TRUTH #3: God provides for His ambassadors through His people.

God’s People want to invest in Missions. Seriously! People work hard for 40-60 hours per week. They use a lot of that money to provide for their family, but they want their money to affect the world too! So God’s people are looking for ways to support God’s work in this world. In fact, He commands that His people give to His mission like the church, ministers and missionaries—to help spread the Gospel and help those in need. God loves working through His people to provide for His causes.

Now, let’s look at some common myths of raising support for a summer mission.

MYTH #1: You are on a school extracurricular trip or personal educational experience or vacation.

Yes, you will be doing something amazing and cool. But it’s not a vacation. The person mostly benefiting from this trip won’t be yourself—but those who receive the Gospel. In that sense, going on a Summer Mission trip is completely unlike the car washes, fund-raisers, and parents-paying trip that you might have done when you were younger. Instead, this is God sending a missionary—you!

MYTH #2: You are begging for money.

Driving to campus last week, I saw a new billboard next to the McDonald’s billboard. Instead of saying “Invest in a Big Mac and you’ll be happy”, it said “Invest in a Missionary and you’ll change the world”. Is McDonald’s begging for money when they offer to give you food in return? Yet when we give God’s people a chance to put their hard-earned finances into something more amazing than French Fries (i.e. the Gospel), some call it “begging for money”? No! You are inviting others to participate in the greatest cause of all time!  And if they don’t want to give, someone else will jump at that opportunity.

MYTH #3: God doesn’t know who is going to support you.

Okay, admittedly, this sounds ridiculous. But let’s talk about the reality: God already has your team of prayer and financial supporters lined up for you! Yes, now… at this point, months before you even pack your suitcase… God already knows who is going to give! It’s your job to then pray and go find those people and be amazed at His provision when you do find them.

MYTH #4: I can raise the support from my own pocket.

If we’re talking just about financial support, then yes—you probably could find the finances yourself. But who’s going to pray for you? Who’s going to be rooting for you? Who’s going to be excited to hear about what you did when you return—knowing they invested in something great? Your bank account (or your parent’s bank account) cannot pray for you when you’re in the middle of the Gospel conversation. Only people can do that—people who are on your “prayer and financial support team”.

MYTH #5: Cru Staff call it “Support Raising.”

Actually, Cru Staff don’t often using the phrase “support raising”. We actually call it “Ministry Partner Development” (or “MPD”, for short). Why? Because we want them to truly partner with us, like Paul said in Philippians 1:3-5, “I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy,  because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now.” In addition to partnering with our ministry, we want to develop our relationship with them as well and experience mutual encouragement through ministry updates and prayer requests.

Biblical Truths about You in Support Raising

  • I serve the Lord God whose resources are infinite (Psalm 50:10-12) and who can abundantly provide. (Ephesians 3:20)
  • God has promised to meet all my needs, especially financial. It is a part of His character to provide for me. (Philippians 4:19, Genesis 22:14)
  • My team of ministry partners is laying up treasures in heaven and is greater involved in the fulfillment of the Great Commission because of their participation. (Matthew 6:20)
  • I am inviting people to be partners in ministry with me by committing their time, prayers, resources and finances to what God is doing in our world. I am not begging for money or asking for a contribution. (1 Thessalonians 1:8)
  • My ministry is very significant since people have a need for God. (Matthew 9: 36; Romans 3:23, 6:23)
  • My ministry is very significant since I am providing solutions to life’s day-to-day problems. (Matthew 11:28-30)
  • My ministry is very significant since it addresses the root problem of our society and world. (John 3:19b)
  • My ministry is very significant since I am calling others to consider decisions that will affect their eternal destiny. (John 11:25-26)
  • God promises that those who give to my ministry will be more blessed by the giving than I am by the receiving. (Acts 20:35)
  • I am an encouragement to my support team in their own walks with God as they see what He is doing through me. (1 Thessalonians 1:8)
  • God is using me as an opportunity for obedience when others give to my ministry since He has called everyone to give financially to His work regardless of the amount of their personal income. (Malachi 3:8,10; 2 Corinthians 8:1-5)
  • I am freed to do all He has called me to do when I am fully funded. (1 Timothy 6:6)
  • As a laborer in the harvest, I am an answer to prayer. (Matthew 9:37-38)

And finally, some practicals…

You will need Communication Skills, Hard Work and Faith to Raise Support

Okay, that can be a lot, so let’s take a step back. Individuals from every walk of life and background have raised support before you, you are not alone!  We’ve developed  time-tested, detailed principles, advice, and tips to coach you through this process. We can and will help you, regardless of if you have a well-developed network of believers behind you or not. Each summer mission with Cru has a coach who will guide you on your support-raising journey – and your local Cru Leader can help too… ask them for guidance. Once you’re accepted, you’ll get access to an online tool specially created for you to raise support and teach you how to communicate what you will be doing.

But the support doesn’t raise itself. It will take some time and energy. Going on a summer mission is something worthwhile – and you’ll need to put some effort into it.

Faith is trusting God will provide.  This is commonly expressed through prayer.  Perhaps you’d like to even pray right now as you think about going on a Summer Mission with Cru,

Suggested prayer:

“Lord, I thank you that You are a God who sends and a God who provides.  As I consider being an Ambassador for you this summer, I pray that I would have a right and Biblical attitude about raising support – that it’s You providing through Your people for Your mission.  Help me overcome any fears in raising my prayer and financial support team so that I can fulfill your calling in my life to follow You wherever you want me to go with Your Gospel.  Amen.”

One of the greatest steps of faith that staff and students take with regard to summer missions is developing a team of ministry partners who will give financially to help make your participation possible. 

You may have questions—theological and practical—so we created tools that should help you a great deal through the entire MPD process of name storming, writing and mailing your letter, tracking donations and more.

Once you have been accepted to a summer mission, we will give you access to those tools. Please email summer.missions@cru.org if you have any questions.

Have other questions? Click below to connect with a Cru Leader near you.

Student Stories

Alexandra's Summer Mission Trip Story​
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"I was almost scared of it. I've never shared the gospel in Spanish before, so I feared not doing it justice."

Alexandra attended a Summer Mission with Cru in Costa Rica. Read how the Lord used her skills to share the gospel to people in a different part of the world.

I did not ask God where He wanted me to go, this was my first mistake. I wasn’t letting Him guide me to the possibility of exploring a location completely outside of my comfort zone. I was stumped because I felt that if God was calling me to an overseas mission, then He would remove the obstacles.

I thought it couldn’t work because the dates for the missions I was considering conflicted with the classes I needed to take. I decided my upcoming summer was going to be for me; I would stay local, work and go to school.

But my plan wasn’t His plan.

The Lord convicted me of that almost instantly at winter conference. I knew God was speaking to me directly, to make that leap of faith and trust Him to take me out of my comfort zone into a different country. Because soon after I found Costa Rica.

I am trilingual (Spanish, English and French), so I wanted to go somewhere where I may be able to use my gifts to share the gospel for His glory.

I was almost scared of it. I’ve never shared the gospel in Spanish before, so I feared not doing it justice. I am constantly needing to remind myself that God does all the speaking and I am the instrument He uses, therefore I cannot mess it up.

Once I let go of my tight grip on my summer plans, my choice of mission and my educational plans (which I often idolize) the Lord strategically and divinely aligned it all in His time.

I’m excited that He wants me to be a small part of what He has planned this summer for Costa Rica.

Becca's Summer Mission Trip Story​
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"I decided I needed to give up my plans and instead follow God's leading. It was a scary but exciting decision."

Becca attended Gateway in South Asia. Read how the Lord gave her peace in spite of her worries and provided for her to participate in the Great Commission that summer. 

“The work God is doing in one of the darkest places of the world has been so encouraging to see.”

My plan this summer was to save money, get an internship, complete my observation hours, hang out with my friends and get started with grad school preparation.

The turning point was one morning when I was spending time with God reading James 4. It talks about how we don’t know what tomorrow brings. If I’m not even promised tomorrow, why would I wait to follow God? Who knows if I will even have another opportunity.

I had a tugging on my heart to go on a missions trip but I said I’d wait until I graduated and then go once I didn’t have to worry about college stuff. If God has called me to spend my summer for Him, then He will provide for me in numerous ways.

I decided I needed to give up my plans and instead follow God’s leading. It was a scary but exciting decision.

I was overwhelmed with the amount of money I needed to raise, but through it all I was able to watch God be faithful to provide for me. From this, God was showing me more of his character and teaching me to trust him.

The hardest part of giving up my summer plans was worrying about the practical things. My summers in college are usually spent earning and saving up money that I will need for the school year. I knew that I might not be able to go shopping or eat out as much without having a summer job to pay for it. I wasn’t even sure how I was going to pay for my textbooks in the fall.

Trusting in God, I was also able to see Him provide for me by allowing me to keep my job at school for the month of May. Through this, I was able to save a little money to survive the upcoming year.

When examining the Gateway Summer Mission to South Asia, I couldn’t help but think about how I could help others and how God was going to work through me. What I didn’t realize was the amazing ways that God was going to work in me and change my heart this summer.

Through Gateway, we built relationships and movements with not only college students but also with children whose mothers are involved with human trafficking. Instead of working a regular summer job, I had the opportunity to teach children the alphabet and teach women English while showing them all that God loves and cares about them.

It was a privilege and a blessing to see and be a small part of the work God is doing in one of the darkest places of the world.

He never said following Him would be easy, but after everything God has done for me, following Him is so worth it.

Ready to go?

Find the summer mission your passions align with!