In 2001 a group of STM leaders from U.S. based mission agencies, churches, and Christian universities sensed that God was leading them to facilitate the formation of a set of standards similar to codes that had been developed in the U.K. and Canada. They went to work gathering input and feedback from five mission networks and more than 400 mission leaders. Through a two-year process, these missions leaders and the Standards committee developed a set of best practices, put them through a series of reviews, synthesized and incorporated feedback, and launched the Seven Standards in 2003. The resulting Seven Standards of Excellence are a product of thousands of hours of work, discussion, and prayer.

Read more about the SOE’s historical development here[PDF format]