Terry worked for the Ecumenical Institute of Chicago and the Institute of Cultural Affairs from 1970 to 1989. His base operations during those years were Oklahoma, Nebraska, Japan, Chicago (Fifth City) and Kenya. While in Nairobi, he initiated and guided a delicate process of ICA restructuring and "indigenization" by creating a long-term strategic plan, intensifying staff development, revamping internal operations, and facilitating the transition of expatriate responsibilities to Kenyan nationals. In 1989, Terry joined the Swedish Cooperative Centre and became project coordinator of the "Methods for Active Participation Research and Development Project" (MAP) in Zambia, Kenya, and Tanzania. The MAP project worked with hundreds of villages to enhance asset-based development within rural cooperatives.
Between 1992 and June 2009 Terry worked as a consultant both internationally and in the United States. For three years in Ethiopia, he was Team Leader of the "Community Empowerment Program" funded by the Swedish government's agency for international assistance. He has worked with a large number of humanitarian organizations, like CARE and Habitat for Humanity, in 17 African nations. Civil society assignments have taken him to the Balkans, the Caucasus, and the Middle East. He facilitated the creation of a large strategic plan for the Institute of Social Policy in Kosovo shortly after the NATO intervention. Funded by the World Bank and the US Agency for International Development (USAID), he facilitated strategic planning processes for five large municipal governments in Swaziland and Zambia. He completed major program evaluations in Bosnia-Herzegovina, the Republic of Georgia, Azerbaijan, and the Philippines. In North America, he has conducted educational programs on asset-based development with AmeriCorps host-organizations in several states.
Terry earned his PhD in International Development at the University of Wales for research on participatory evaluation. He became a Faculty Member of the Asset Based Community Development (ABCD) Institute at Northwestern University in 2005 and remains active in an adjunct role.