STEM’s Legal Structure & History

STEM Ministries was incorporated as a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) nonprofit ministry corporation in the State of Minnesota in December 1984. STEM Ministries officially changed its legal name to STEM Int’l in 2001.

  • State of Minnesota Exempt Number: ES 30188
  • U.S. Federal Employer Identification Number: 36-3367669
  • Registered Address: 5637 Brooklyn Blvd Ste 104, Brooklyn Center MN 55429
  • Delivery Address: 5637 Brooklyn Blvd #104, Minneapolis (Brooklyn Center), MN 55429
  • Business Office Mailing Address: P.O. Box 29917, Minneapolis MN 55429-0917

Article of Incorporation & Bylaws

The following "purpose" paragraphs have been extracted from STEM's Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws:

STEM Articles of Incorporation


The purpose of this corporation shall be as follows:

  1. This Corporation is organized and shall be operated exclusively for religious, educational, and charitable purposes within the meaning of Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 or a related section of a successor statute (hereinafter “Code”).
  2. This Corporation shall operate to glorify God by serving throughout the world in accordance with the Holy Bible and its Great Commission, including, but not limited to: mobilizing servant workers to go to developing and disaster-stricken nations on both short- and long-term bases, in order to provide wholistic, integrated care, instruction, and assistance to needy men, women, and children of other cultures and beliefs; and by publishing educational materials related to this purpose.

STEM Bylaws


This corporation intends to work in an integrated, non-competitive manner in conjunction with and in the service of local churches, fellowships, other ministries or other care/instruction/assistance organizations throughout the world in seeking to accomplish and fulfill its afore-stated purposes. As part of this mutual cooperation and service, this corporation purposes and intends to encourage, to educate via related publications, to assist, to organize and mobilize persons from churches, fellowships, schools and other groups throughout the “developed” world in going to other parts of the “underdeveloped” world as servant workers, to wholistically improve the lives of hurting and impoverished people of other cultures and beliefs. While this organization is autonomous and self-governing as a corporate structure, it serves spiritually as vital part of the church universal in accordance with the Holy Bible.

I.R.S. Form 990

STEM’s Annual Financial Report to the Federal Government

As a registered and duly-operating 501(c)(3) nonpprofit corporation, STEM Int’l is required to file specific information concerning our tax-exempt operations and revenue and expenses incurred every year. Go to to view or download a PDF copy of the most recent STEM I.R.S. Form 990.

Organizational Structure

One Corporation, Three Programs

The STEM “parent” corporation is STEM Int’l. STEM Int’l has three primary program divisions:

  1. Short-Term Mission Outreaches (Trips) — organized and delivered through these two organizational divisions from 1985–2012: STEM Ministries and STEM Share; and in 2013 forward in partnership with Orphanos
  2. Short-Term Mission Training — organized and delivered through STEM STM Training
  3. Short-Term Mission Publications — organized and delivered STEM Press

History of STEM

Organized in 1984

After being involved in several years’ worth and dozens of early short-term mission outreaches through YWAM (Youth With A Mission), GCM (Global Christian Ministries), LCM (Lutheran Church of the Master), and other churches, Roger Peterson, Toni Freer, Mike Whitchurch, Janeen Whitchurch, and Dave Shepherd would gather regularly in 1984 to asses their current short-term efforts in Haiti, and to pray. One of the fast-growing issues they faced was doing short-term mission outreaches within in a structure of financial accountability and overall integrity.

Through that womb of prayer, coupled with several years of short-term mission experience in Haiti and elsewhere, and regular discussion and assessment, God led this small group of 5 people to start a brand new Christian mission organization that would specialize in short-term missions, and do so with accountability and integrity. Toni Freer came up with the acronym STEM for “Short-Term Evangelical Missions.” Roger Peterson was the leader of this group, and located a Christian attorney to help incorporate this radical new concept (it was radical back in 1984!). God also provided aoriginal STEM logo gifted artist who designed the original STEM logo used for nearly 20 years, photographers, and others who helped provide some initial marketing and promotional material at no cost.

Working & Ministering in 1985

Lutheran Church of the Master (Brooklyn Center, Minnesota) provided a complimentary Sunday School classroom for STEM’s first offices from 1985–1988. The first full-time staff in 1985 were Roger Peterson and Toni Freer, assisted by volunteer efforts from Mike Whitchurch, Dave Shepherd, Jean Brueninger, and several others too numerous to name.

STEM Team #1 (Crystal Evangelical Free Church Single Adults, New Hope MN) went to Haiti March 16, 1985, three months after STEM incorporated. STEM Team #2 (North Heights Lutheran Church, Roseville MN) also went to Haiti March 25, 1985. In that first year, 1985, STEM sent 8 mission teams to Haiti, one to Jamaica, and did three field familiarization trips (Haiti, Jamaica, and Mexico).

TEAMS: 1985–2007

Between 1985 and 2007, God has sent 425 STEM Teams, or 7,210 people (our 2007 year = 50 Teams, or 832 people).

TEAMS: 2008–2012

[Being written … .]

TEAMS: 2013 and Forward

[Being written … .]


STEM began expanding somewhat “accidentally” in 1991, when STEM Founder Roger Peterson co-authored and published a solid, empirical 40-page research study on the post-field outcomes of 366 previous STEM short-term missionaries. This study (still in print) has sold several thousand copies, and reports statistically significant changes in prayer, financial giving, commitment to world mission, mission-related activities and education, and in feelings about returning to the mission field. STEM Press now has several titles under ISBN registration, more than 80 other short-term mission-related “helps” books or tools, plus another 80 general mission-related books. In April 2004, STEM Press launched a national mission magazine, Mission Maker Magazine.


STEM Int’l still consists of 3 program services, each focused on short-term mission:

  1. Outreaches (mission trips) (now done via partner organizations)
  2. Training
  3. Publications (currently, this our primary staff focus) Top Site Award!