Christian education of adults

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.

The older shall teach the younger, and a little child shall lead them: intergenerational Christian education in an age-segregated world

Author
Joshua R Kingcade
Abstract
The thesis of this project is that intergenerational learning can be meaningful for its participants in five particular ways: increasing biblical knowledge, forming meaningful relationships, growing closer to God, encouraging daily discipleship, and loving others better. The author used basic qualitative research tools to plan and execute a four-week class with participants ranging from fourth grade to senior adulthood. Each class addressed one or more of the desired outcomes listed above. Participants answered surveys and interviews before and after the class, and based on this data, the author found that intergenerational leaning can essentially achieve the same outcomes as age-segregated education.

The church in transition: equipping congregational leaders for missional discernment

Author
Kevin M Starcher
Abstract
This project explores the hypothesis that a meaningful grounding in theological thought will yield richer and nuanced understanding of congregational growth in a transitioning Christian society. The project consisted of intentional education, research and analysis of the intersections of evangelism, Family Systems Theory, Reformed theology, cultural exegesis, and Christian missiology, and used these understandings to explore and analyze growing Presbyterian (PCUSA) congregations in the American West. The results of this qualitative research indicated that project participants valued the process and felt the project was helpful for a congregation experiencing numeric/cultural transition.

The development and evaluation of a theological class for understanding and communicating the essential doctrines of the Christian faith within the local church

Author
Christopher J Hopf
Abstract
The aim of this research is to identify the problem, but to also offer a solution (an eight-week theology class) that will aid the church in teaching her members key theological information to help them know why they believe what they believe. This research and development of an eight-week theology class for the church is framed in three hypotheses: (1) After this class, church members will have an increased knowledge and understanding of essential doctrines of the Christian faith, (2) After this class, church members will be able to communicate the essential doctrines of the Christian faith, and (3) After this class, church members will value theological understanding more than they did before the class. These hypotheses were studied quantitatively using the pre/posttest model and qualitatively using pre/posttest interviews.

Equipping selected adults from LifePoint Church, Smyrna, Tennessee, with gender-based group disciple-making skills

Author
Eddie Mosley
Abstract
The purpose of this project was to equip selected adults from LifePoint Church, Smyrna, Tennessee, with disciple-making skills for gendered-based groups. Equipping selected adults with disciple-making skills for gender-based groups will potentially address the need for multiplication of disciple groups. Making disciples through gender-based groups to know and understand scripture will strengthen the individuals in their pursuit to be more like Christl. Disciple-making will become a key practice to help LifePoint attendees grow spiritually and multiply disciples. The project director used an equipping model with three phases to accomplish this project. Phase one of the equipping model was to research several different models of disciple-making, including small groups, Sunday School, gender-based groups, and mentoring, in order to discover common skills used to produce disciples. Phase two consisted of the project director synthesizing the skills discovered in the research into a training course. Phase three was the training workshop with selected adults. The project evaluation confirmed the project equipped the selected adults with disciple-making skills needed for gender-based groups.
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