The MMPI as a Predictive Tool for Missionary Candidates

Volume 24
Summer 1996
The MMPI as a Predictive Tool for Missionary Candidates

The missionary community has needed a method for inexpensive effective candidate screening. Previous experience (Schubert, 1992, 1993) has suggested certain Minnesota Multi-phasic Personality Inventory (MMPI) scales and background information of the candidate to be helpful in this regard. The MMPI has been used as a tool in selection with missionary and tentmaker candidates with varying levels of success. This double-blind study matches predictive MMPI interpretations with long-term missionary performance in 129 missionary units (one single missionary or one married couple per unit). MMPI test interpretations were 69% accurate in prediction of performance. Other effects were significant with regard to the age of the individuals. Gender and general location (home mission versus overseas mission) were not statistically significant. "€œYes"€ predictions were accurate 77% of the time; "€œno"€ 71%; and the "€œmaybe"€ prediction divided into 58% successes and 42% failures. This preliminary research indicates that the MMPI is inadequate as a sole evaluation of missionary candidates yet has a high potential for use with some other basic tools. A prospective study is in progress utilizing the MMPI, a Life History Questionnaire, and an autobiography.

Dr. E. Schubert and K. Gantner
124 - 132
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