Christian education--Methods

Equipping Members of the First Assembly of God Church in the Cayman Islands to Minister to Unbelievers

Michael Christopher Gayle Dr. D.Ed.Min.
Matthew 28:18-20 records Jesus’s command to His disciples to “go and make disciples of all nations,” a passage of Scripture referred to as the Great Commission. This command is at the heart of what should be the life mission of Christians today. Christians have found it increasingly difficult to execute this mission successfully for a variety of reasons. In today’s cultural environment, a level of resistance to the Word of God often renders conventional methods of sharing the gospel ineffective. In the face of this resistance, it is necessary for approaches to be developed by which unbelievers can be reached. This project sought to identify some of the issues that create obstacles to having meaningful discussions with unbelievers, and develop a method to help Christians bridge the gap between misperceptions and scriptural reality.

Teacher care : a basic handbook for church educators

William R Boersma
Educational leaders have many responsibilities, but what distinguishes those who read this handbook is their desire to care for the congregation's teachers , helping them to grow
and develop their teaching potent i al . This they do by supporting, recruiting, training , and supervising teachers.

There are two paths which the readers could choose to follow through this handbook. They could systematically start at the beginning and proceed to end . Or they could randomly select chapters based on immediate interest and need. Fol l owing this random path, readers may or may not end up reading the entire handbook.

Either approach to reading this handbook is acceptable because of the handbook structure . Each chapter is independent . Even though they are coordinated, each chapter can stand alone. The framework of each chapter is similar. It moves from a general understanding of the topic (Perspectives) to specific suggestions for implementing the topic (Guiding Principles) to three examples of how it might be used in different churches { Models). This is then followed by two concluding sections, Resources and Annotated Bibliography.

Using Springshare LibWizard as an Information Literacy Module to Improve the Research Skills of Students at Mississippi College

Robert Lee Burgess D.Ed.Min.
This project will measure the effectiveness of using LibWizard tutorials to teach library instruction over in-person instruction sessions. Chapter two will focus on the biblical rationale of the importance for students at Christian schools to become effective researchers so that they may live out their Christian calling to better the world. Chapter three will focus on the need of students to learn how to do research, the effectiveness of in-person instruction sessions, and benefits of online instructional tutorials. Chapter four will focus on the creation of the tutorials. Chapter five will present the evaluation of student learning from library instruction.


Matthew Bassett Ford D.Min.
A certain kind of habitual interaction the author calls “hermeneutical mediation” is both biblically warranted and effective for cultivating growth in life transformation for the Christian. The author asserts that properly interpreting the Scriptures as well as properly interpreting oneself in light of the Scriptures is paramount for life change. The study especially focused on cultivating this habit among Millennials.

After submitting a questionnaire to the congregation at large and facilitating pre-seminar interviews with a volunteer group of Millennials from the congregation, the author implemented a six-session seminar designed to cultivate “hermeneutical meditation” among the Millennials who volunteered. Post-seminar interviews were then facilitated in order to discern the results of the effort.

The seminar could be improved, but after the implementation and interviews, it is clear that fostering hermeneutical meditation through a seminar format was effective for helping Christians (especially in this case, Millennials) grow in life transformation through their habitual interaction with Scripture.

The Role of the Family-Equipping Model in Church Planting and Replanting Training for the Calvary Family of Churches in Englewood, CO

Franklin Samuel Trimble D.Ed.Min.
This project focuses on the combined efforts of the family ministry movement and the replanting movement in equipping current and future planters and replanters in family ministry. In the project, the reader will be given biblical, theological, historical, and ecclesiological examples of what a healthy family ministry can look like. This project is meant to encourage and equip future and current ministers, especially those with few resources, as they seek to develop a healthy family ministry culture in their contexts. Churches can see healthy family ministry established in their midst regardless of the number of resources at their disposal.
Throughout the project, the reader is given biblical instruction regarding the primacy of parental discipleship in relation to the biblical instruction of children. This primacy is made even more specific when the project addresses the role of the husband and father in the home-discipleship process. The project then looks to Hebrews 3 & 10 to address the need for all ages of the church to meet regularly. Once the biblical and theological groundwork has been laid, the project then moves into a section in which the history of modern youth ministry is examined in contrast with the historical precedent of family worship. Ecclesiological matters are then discussed in detail such as the importance of intentionally limiting church calendars and the need for a plurality of elders that can lead a congregation in meaningful membership which then leads to accountable shepherding.

A Participatory Strength-Based Review of the Flexible Model of Training for Salvation Army Officers in the Finland and Estonia Territory

Geraldine Leah Lindholm D.Min.
In 2002, The Salvation Army in the Finland and Estonia Territory moved from a standard residential officer training model to a flexible, non-residential training model. The passing years brought changes within The Salvation Army and in the surrounding culture that impacted the new training program. Surface cracks began to show as challenges arose in a number of areas: balance, supervision, curriculum and fellowship. The need to perform a comprehensive review of the flexible training model was evident.
A participatory, strength-based review was conducted using, firstly, a focus group of five officers who shared their diverse experience of officer training. Secondly, an anonymous participant survey was sent out to all officers who had been trained in the flexible training model. Fifteen of the possible twenty-two responded, sharing their perception of the strengths and challenges of the flexible training model, and shared potential ways to make improvements. Eight important components related to a strong flexible training model were identified. These became the building blocks for a renewed flexible model of officer training through a three-year implementation plan.
This portfolio was written as a journey, weaving my personal leadership development, biblical leadership models, contemporary leadership theory, and participant action research into a celebration of leadership development within The Salvation Army in the Finland and Estonia Territory.


Deborah Ruth Zeni MD D.Min.
This thesis research work on best practices of preaching arose out of the researcher’s passion for providing catechists with the means of nurturing a ‘falling-in-love’ with God experience for young children through proclaiming gospel as encounter.
Based on evidence that catechists lack formation in best practices of preaching, the researcher designed and implemented an educational initiative in a multi-site, multi-participant intensive formation program. The researcher used a homiletic grounded in the Paschal Mystery, which located God’s gratuitous and gracious actions on humanity’s behalf as the focus of preaching—giving gospel-power—to any form of preaching carried out during the study.
Within a unique form of pastoral ministry called the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd (CGS), employing a qualitative methodology, a constructivist epistemology, and a field-based action research design, the researcher effectively utilized various educational approaches to develop and assess participant competence in preaching using a comprehensive assessment program, and iteratively improving their learning and teaching preaching praxis using program evaluation tools.
The research shows that the curriculum successfully demonstrated that the comprehensive preaching model, which integrated five best practices of preaching for proclaiming the Word with children into the study’s conceptual framework, worked to develop the competence of catechists as preachers of the Good News. Additionally, the research showed that the intervention enabled and empowered the participants to find their preaching voice to speak of God acting mercifully, giving everything, loving unconditionally in the here and now as they experienced God doing in the scriptures.
As such, five best practices of preaching can be used as an effective framework for formation of catechists and educators for teaching preaching as encounter with children and sharing in a happening of grace through the proclamation of the Word.

Measuring the Effectiveness of Equipping Families Using a Sermon-Based Curriculum at Fellowship Bible Church in Jacksonville, Texas

Graham Hale D.Min.
The aim of this project was to measure the effectiveness of using a sermon-based curriculum to combat biblical illiteracy and equip family shepherds for the work of home ministry. The two focus groups for this project at Fellowship Bible Church of Jacksonville, Texas, were the Sermon-Only Group and the Sermon and Sermon-Based Home-Discipleship Group. The Sermon-Only Group listened to four sermons through the book of Zephaniah (selected because of its length, unfamiliarity, and gospel themes). The Sermon and Sermon-Based Home-Discipleship Group listened to the sermons and also participated in a four-week, twenty-lesson study on Zephaniah in the home. The two groups were tested on their retention and application of what was taught from the book.

The thesis of this project was that parents and children in the Sermon and Sermon-Based Home-Discipleship Group would retain more of the Word of God and more faithfully apply the Word when compared to the Sermon-Only Group.

Chapter 1 addresses the problem of biblical illiteracy while also introducing the thesis. Chapter 2 makes an argument in favor of home discipleship both biblically and historically. Chapter 3 makes an argument biblically and practically for sermon-based instruction, introducing and explaining the effectiveness of using sermon-based curriculum in the home. Chapter 4 explains the preparation for and execution of the ministry project at FBC of Jacksonville. Chapter 5 includes a report on the findings from the project. In this chapter, the project director evaluates the strengths and weaknesses of the project and what he would do differently in hindsight.

A Sunday School Revitalization Strategy for Hispanic Churches in the Baptist Convention of New Mexico

Ricardo Rivera
This project sought to develop a Sunday school revitalization strategy for Hispanic churches in the Baptist Convention of New Mexico. The project had four goals. The first goal was to discover the critical issues for revitalizing the Sunday school by surveying selected Hispanic churches and interpreting the results. The second goal was to determine the best practices for revitalizing Sunday school by review of Sunday school growth principles. The third goal was the development of a Sunday school revitalization strategy for Hispanic churches in the Baptist Convention of New Mexico with the assistance of a selected strategy development team. The final goal was the validation of the strategy by three small groups of selected pastors and leaders of Hispanic Baptist churches in the state. The outcome of the four goals was a three-year Sunday school revitalization strategy with four objectives that addressed the main critical issues affecting the Hispanic Sunday schools.

Witness to the Presence of God Moments in the Action and Voice of Children

Jane Janine Pekar D.Min.

This portfolio begins with a reflection of my personal journey in spiritual formation. In response to the contemporary shift in society’s affirmation of the rights an voice of children as world citizens and my experiences as a teacher, parent and ordained minister, I created a model of ministry for families with young children combining components of Young Child & Worship and Messy Church. Using Action Research, I introduced principles of the Reggio-Inspired Approach to enhance the children’s personalization of the experience. The observations of the children’s creative responses and intuitive initiatives were recorded and shared in four Documentations.
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