Psychological type of American Evangelical missionary candidates

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Sending missionaries into the field requires an enormous up-front investment on the part of the candidate as well as the sending organisation. An effective candidate selection process can limit the significant financial and emotional effects of a bad fit for a field placement. The present study seeks to analyse the typology of missionary candidates, using the Myers–Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). A sample of 475 American Evangelical missionary candidates took the MBTI as part of their candidacy process. Results indicate that there were significant differences on 12 of the 16 MBTI typologies of the missionary candidates compared to the national representative sample. The ENFJ (14.1%) and ENFP (14.1%) typologies were significantly overrepresented in the sample. The personality types most underrepresented were ISTP (1.1%) and ISFP (1.7%). Comparisons with similar religious populations are discussed. Implications for how missionary candidates may adjust to field work based on type are considered.

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