Christian education of adults

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

Author
Graham Hale D.Min.
Abstract
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.

MIND THE GAP: THE DELTA BETWEEN SUNDAY FORMATION AND WEEKDAY WORK FOR LAY BUSINESS PROFESSIONALS IN THE EPISCOPAL CHURCH

Author
Anthony P Clark
Abstract
"This thesis-project examines the gap between the Sunday formation and the weekday experience for lay business professionals in The Episcopal Church (TEC) and argues that lay business professionals are not adequately equipped by the church for the ethical challenges they face in the workplace. The thesis-project proposes a biblical theology of a royal priesthood as the best way to understand the formative community of the people of God. The moral theology section of
the thesis-project argues that this royal priesthood is best shaped and formed in the virtue ethics tradition for most effective engagement with ethical issues in the workplace. In addition, lay business professionals offer their insights on the effectiveness and the improvement of formation in the church through field research that includes qualitative interviews and surveys. Finally, the
thesis-project discusses the implications for congregational ministry based on the biblical theology of a royal priesthood, moral theology focused on virtue ethics, and field work observations. "

Even To Our Graying Years: Faithfulness and Renewal In An Aging Church

Author
Jeffrey Colarossi D.Min.
Abstract
My Project in Ministry has begun a conversation that will, with God’s help, work toward the renewal of an aging congregation, Westwood First Presbyterian Church, offering a pastoral care plan to calm members’ anxiety and fear over the challenges threatening the church, and an action plan necessary for the church to be able to live faithfully, into a hopeful future, trusting in God. Engaging Biblical texts, Reformed Polity, the Spirituality of Aging, and key theologies––Practical, Vocation, Discipleship and Life-Long Learning––the project offers the church a clear vision for the future and a tangible plan to organize, energize and engage the congregation. The implementation of the project, involving the Worship and Christian Education ministries of the church, as well as the qualitative social research methodologies of self-report questionnaires and guided interviews, enabled the project to clearly communicate that vision and plan, and convey the sense of validation needed to establish participants trust, so crucial to the success of the project. The enthusiastic response, participation and support of the church throughout the process––particularly its leadership––offers a sense of confidence that the conversation will continue well into the future.

Intergenerational faith education through death and preparation education

Author
Seongyong Lee
Abstract
Death is a place where everything appears. No one can hide before death or demonstrate oneself. Hence, it may be more fearful. In the present age, we try to forget the word, death. Christianity, however, has constantly been speaking of beating death, and even more so than victory, it has been talking about the work bearing new fruit through death. The modern church has told such words of salvation but has not accepted into its heart – where a place to accept faith. The author tries to find the following in his ministry setting: the reason why we must think of death, a new perspective of seeing death, experiences facing death, a life of self-denying and carrying one’s cross through participation in death, and the biblical teachings of productive death as a grain of wheat falls into the earth, dies, and bears much fruit.

[Note about entry: Abstract submitted to the Atla RIM database on behalf of the author. The text appears in its entirety as it does in the original abstract page of the author’s project paper. Neither words nor content have been edited.]

A CONTEXTUAL AND CULTURAL ADULT EDUCATION MODEL FOR LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT IN THE ARAB MIDDLE EAST

Author
Joseph Nehemiah D.Min.
Abstract
With the growth of the church in North Africa comes the need to train pastors and leaders. This project defines a biblically-rooted, contextually- and culturally-appropriate framework for training believers from Muslim background (BMB) leaders in an Arab context. The framework uses adult education (andragogy) principles from Bloom, Knowles, and Kolb that contribute to deep learning. Principles are evaluated using Hofstede's Arabic cluster cultural dimensions (Power Distance Index, Uncertainty Avoidance Index, Collectivism) and GLOBE leadership traits. This project defines cultural and contextual educational principles that put the design and implementation of developing and training leaders into the hands of BMB leaders.

The author believes it is important to hear from local leaders. The coalescence of cultural educational principles with the practical experience of local leaders allows for a practical educational framework. North African leaders were interviewed to discover how God developed them as leaders. The results reveal the importance of character, teaching, practical experience, and community with a mentor playing a significant role. The author suggests cultural and contextual principles and models to deliver training in non-traditional and non-formal ways.

Authority of Scripture in Today's PC(USA)

Author
Peter David Jones D.Min.
Abstract
For this project, a small group of dedicated adults studied the Authority of Scripture using historical, theological, confessional, and experiential methods seeking to better understand scriptural interpretation and application to daily life. Of specific interest, the group ended with a case study of scriptural approaches to the topic of homosexuality, seeking to understand how biblical interpretation affects daily life.

Below is an excerpt from the project report:
"Too often, clergy treat some information gathered in seminary as secret knowledge reserved for those deemed worthy enough to obtain it. This must emerge from either too high an opinion of oneself, too low an opinion of congregants, or an addiction to the power of knowledge, but the end result has been a highly educated clergy speaking to relatively ignorant congregants. This, of course, is no indictment of congregants, but rather a commentary on the ineffectiveness of clergy in appropriately and clearly providing people with the tools necessary to grow in their faith; to grow beyond the children’s sermon understanding of the Bible itself. This project is one example of ways in which the clergy can engage with congregants on a more level playing field, trusting in their abilities and Spiritual maturity to guide the process of learning. I have often heard it said that people enter seminary with strong faith, have their faith shaken, then emerge even stronger than when they entered. Why do we not believe that congregants can and should follow that same pattern in their faith journeys?"

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE IN VIETNAM:
A PASTORAL PROGRAM TO EQUIP CHURCH MINISTERS FOR ACCOMPANIMENT

Author
Sr. ANN DIEP NGUYEN, OP D.Min.
Abstract
Domestic violence is a real issue in Vietnam. This thesis-project is an effort to propose a pastoral program to equip Church ministers for accompaniment. The author, mainly, uses the methodology of Richard Osmer’s as primary framework and, simultaneously, integrates a number of components from Poling and Miller to strengthen the performance of this thesis-project. In the process, this study, by conducting qualitative interviews of Church ministers, examines first, if the Church ministers are aware of the domestic violence situation, and then, what skills they may need in responding to this issue. As a result, this study acknowledges some insights from practical, socio-cultural, theological, and pastoral perspectives. Under this understanding, this thesis-project suggests some recommendations for a pastoral response to domestic violence, and provides a possible pastoral program as a way to equip Church ministers in assisting women who experience domestic violence in the context of Vietnam.

Andragogy and the Most Effective Means of Forming Permanent Deacons in the Latin Rite of the Roman Catholic Church in the Twenty-First Century in the United States

Author
Victor E Puscas Jr. M.A.
Abstract
This thesis-project explores the most effective means of forming men for the permanent diaconate in the Latin Rite of the Roman Catholic Church in the United States for the twenty-first century. It specifically addresses adult learning paradigms known as “andragogy” as opposed to the more familiar pediatric learning paradigms known as “pedagogy.” The principles of andragogy are then applied to permanent diaconate formation models in an effort to develop the most effective means. Factored in to the development of these means are the qualitative and quantitative data collected from deacons around the country and in particular, the deacons and their wives from the Diocese of Joliet (Illinois).

Developing a Spiritual Formation Strategy for the Adult Ministry Team of Prestonwood Baptist Church, Plano, Texas

Author
Jason W Snyder
Abstract
The purpose of this project was to develop a spiritual formation strategy for the Adult Ministry team of Prestonwood Baptist Church, Plano, Texas. The project director assessed the characteristics of the Adult Ministry team to determine spiritual formation needs. Subsequently, the project director researched the field of spiritual formation to determine best practices, identifying five domains: corporate, relationship, discipline, gap, and rest domains. To prepare for the strategy development sessions further, the author revisited fifteen spiritual formation strategies and presented this information to the strategy team.

A course designed for Christian women unpacking the spiritual gifts for service

Author
Leonette Y Lewis
Abstract
This research project designed a spiritual gifts curriculum for Christian women. The project evaluated the effectiveness of a four-week seminar in educating Christian women on the topic of spiritual gifts. This course assisted the women in the discovery of their spiritual gifts and aided in identifying ministries in which they were gifted to serve. This course of study focused on spiritual gifts and their functions for women who may or may not have known of their spiritual gifts and may or may not have served in ministries or were serving in ministries outside of their spiritual giftedness in the church. By taking thirty Christian women, ages nineteen and older of various church denominations through this course of study, the women gained knowledge of spiritual gifts. A pre-test/post-test was administered to the students to gauge their knowledge of spiritual gifts before and following instruction. This data revealed an increase in knowledge of spiritual gifts. Also, a spiritual gifts assessment was administered to assist in the discovery of their spiritual gifts, and the one-on-one ministry interviews aided in identifying other ministries in which the women were able to serve.
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