Date Thesis Awarded


Access Type

Honors Thesis -- Access Restricted On-Campus Only

Degree Name

Bachelors of Arts (BA)


Global Studies


Abdul-Karim Rafeq

Committee Members

Tamara Sonn

David McCarthy


From 1820 to 1959 the United States spent almost $400 million dollars to support missionary endeavors in Greater Syria, Turkey, Iraq, and Iran -- an amount second only to its investment in Middle East oil. The majority of this work was performed by the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions, the primary American missionary agency in the Middle East. For the most part, however, the story of the American Board and its influence in the region is largely unknown or influenced by political biases. This thesis argues that as American Board representatives faced the pressing realities of the mission field, they gradually began to reinterpret original conceptions of evangelism from a personal conversion level to a new notion of social change and regeneration in society as a whole. The primary method for enacting this system-oriented strategy was the establishment of permanent educational and medicinal institutions. Working in individualized environments these institutions would develop complex and unique strategies to deal with conflicting outlooks on mission goals. Tracing these developments, the thesis attempts to 1) Contribute a fresh perspective to the understanding of the methodology and administration of missionary educational institutions in general, and 2) articulate a concise history of one missionary institution, the Central Turkey College in Aintab, Turkey and its successor, Aleppo College in Aleppo, Syria.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.


Thesis is part of Honors ETD pilot project, 2008-2013. Migrated from Dspace in 2016.

On-Campus Access Only