About Cru Summer Missions

You Want To Go | God Has Sent You | Find The Right Trip
Imagine a summer that could change 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 life.

Cru Knows Students. Cru Knows Missions.

Summer Missions are designed with you, students, in mind.

We know your strengths. We know your schedule. We know you are ready and able to change the world.

Full-time Cru staff missionaries 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 is 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 you can best accelerate your faith this summer. Where can you get input? Authentic community. Evangelism training and experience. God’s heart for the lost. Challenging Bible study. Encouraging discipleship. Worshipful moments.

Let’s go find a spot this summer where we can sprout up, blossom, grow branches and produce fruit.

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. You’ll live with 10-30 (international) or 30-150 students (stateside) in apartments, hotel rooms, dorms or a huge house. It’s all the fun of freshman year dorm-life without having to go to class! Your roommates and fellow students will become some of your closest friends – the community aspect of 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 staff members and volunteers will help you in this, offering accountability and support as you learn about God’s character and His Word. You will also be exploring Scripture through weekly gatherings and small group Bible studies that are thorough, faith-building and applicable to your everyday life. We know you’ll 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 for the common 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’ll get to be hands-on with different aspects of ministry. You’ll leave with a solid Biblical foundation and practical ministry skills. The hope is that you will become an effective Christ-centered leader both on your campus and in whatever field God calls you to after college.

Bring the gospel to people who need Jesus

Throughout the summer, you’ll be reaching out to your ministry focus—the specific community you will be ministering to over the summer. 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 sunbathers on the beach, students on an international campus, fellow hotel housekeepers, national park guests—who knows who you’ll meet!

See the world through God’s eyes

Spiritual mentors and staff will help deepen your walk with the Lord through sharing ministry experiences with you and simply living life alongside you. Also, 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 communicating your faith with non-believers and believers. You’ll gain practical skills to help you apply Jesus’ teachings to your own life and pass them on to others. You’ll spend dedicated time to practice what you learn, and become confident in talking with anyone, anywhere.

Get a job

Yes, you heard right–you can get a job at certain U.S. Summer Mission locations! More details can be found on each locations page.

Travel. Housing. Food. Ministry Supplies. Mission Activities. 

The overall cost varies for each Summer Mission location and length. Check out each individual Summer Mission for 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 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.

Let’s transform the way you think about work this summer. 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, transition to the Gospel, and connect with those who don’t know Jesus. Your workplace is a part of your summer mission.

After all, isn’t this what you’ll be doing for the next forty years?

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 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 missions 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, let’s take a step back. You are not the first person ever to have raised support to go on a Summer Mission with Cru.  Don’t you think we’ve developed some way of coaching you on how to raise your support? We’ve come up with some time-tested principles and helps. No matter whether you have a well-connected network of believers or if you are young in the faith who doesn’t know any believing adults with a job, we can help you! Each Summer Missions with Cru has an “Operations Director” who will guide you on your support-raising trail – and you might also have some local Cru staff who 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. Sure, about 3% of applicants don’t raise their support – and the common denominator in almost all of them is that they didn’t do much of anything to make the support happen.  Going on a Summer Mission is something worthwhile – and you’ll need to put some effort into it.

Faith is trusting God that He 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,

“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.”

MP3s

Ellis Goldstein: Biblical perspective on raising support

Ellis is the Director of Ministry Partnership Development (MPD) for our US Staff serving worldwide. He and his team help train and equip our staff to successfully build partnerships with others who desire to impact eternity by giving and praying. It is important and encouraging to know what God has to say about MPD, so listen in as Ellis shares about this from scripture.

Dave Dickens: Practical tips on how to raise support successfully

Dave oversees MPD for our US Campus Ministry staff. Listen in as Dave shares some things you will want to keep in mind as you begin to raise up partners for your summer.

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. 

COVID Health and Safety:
Each of our summer mission locations will follow local and state guidelines, as well as Cru guidelines and restrictions for gathering. Each mission will comply with all rules and regulations including wearing masks and social distancing.

COVID adjustments to Housing and Facilities:
Shared housing space and facilities can increase risk of exposure to COVID-19. We are committed to offering the safest possible housing and facilities to our participants as we follow CDC guidelines for shared residences. Quarantine housing will be provided for any participant who has been in close contact with a confirmed COVID-19 case or who has COVID-19.

Caring for You in light of COVID:
Because of the complexities of hosting a Summer Mission during the COVID-19 pandemic, we will need you, as a participant, to be especially flexible this summer. With rapidly changing circumstances and policies, we will all need to be adaptable. So, it will be important to have a humble and responsive posture toward your leadership as they work quickly to ensure your safety and compliance with local, state, national, and Cru policies. There will be a commitment you will need to sign stating your agreement with this posture.

Our highest priority is your care and growth. Living in the midst of a pandemic is more mentally and emotionally taxing than normal. Because of that reality, we are designing less intense schedules on our Summer Mission trips than normal, in order to give additional space and time. Your Summer Mission will likely have more Cru staff on it than usual, which will provide more personal care and connection for you during your trip.

COVID and Financial Adjustments:
Though COVID-19 requires additional financial considerations and expenses, we will maintain appropriate prices to make it affordable for your participation. Signing up and raising funds for pending trips will have impacts on both you as the participant and your potential ministry partners who support your trip financially. As such, we seek to care for you and your financial partners by establishing a clear and easy support raising process that enables confidence to engage in the mission. For 2021 Summer Missions only, there will be an option for your ministry partners to make either donations or payments towards your participation in a Summer Mission. Any partners that provide funding as payments will be offered refunds if the trip is cancelled due to COVID-19.

Student Stories

Alexandra's Summer Mission Story

Alexandra attended a Summer Mission with Cru in Costa Rica in 2015. 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 Story

Becca attended Gateway in South Asia in 2015. 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?

Explore the variety of trips Cru offers. Whether you want to stay local or travel overseas, we have something for you.