Christian education--Methods

Confirmation, Community, and Commitment: Evaluating Church Attendance at the Episcopal Church of St. Mary, Albuquerque, New Mexico

Author
James W. Hunter D.Min.
Abstract
his work studies the phenomenon of individuals dropping out of active church membership after confirmation. The positive approach adopted to examine this issue is through Appreciative Inquiry. Rather than trying to "fix" a problem, this paper studies what is good in the current confirmation preparation program, discovering how those good elements can be improved, and the importance of community in retaining members. The problem is analyzed through Holy Scripture, the Great Tradition of Christianity, and the experiences of eleven parishioners who have matriculated through the confirmation process and remained active in the life of the Episcopal Church of St. Mary, Albuquerque, New Mexico.

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?"

Teaching church history in the local congregation

Author
Brent Klein D.Min.
Abstract
Using Church History: An Essential Guide, by Justo Gonzalez1 as the primary text and by means of a Bible study, study guides, and presentations on various historical events, over a ten-week period, the participants were led through a brief study of the twothousand-year history of the New Testament Church.

The purposes of the project are to 1) teach the participants significant events of the Church’s past beyond what they have learned from Acts, certain events of the Reformation era, and the events that have occurred in their lifetimes; 2) help them see that God has guided the events of history for the benefit of the Gospel and His Church; and 3) help them find assurance and guidance from how the Church has dealt with issues in the past as they deal with current issues in the Church.

On the parish level, the teaching of God’s Word and the Catechism is first and foremost. In addition to that, it is also worth considering teaching some church history to the laity. God’s people can derive guidance (and along with that, assurance) from the events of the Church’s past and the lives of Christians who came before.

A Study of the Exegetical Conversational Bible Study for Spiritual Growth and Formation in Korean Immigration Church Small Groups

Author
Hyunkee Bae
Abstract
The purposes for this dissertation are to investigate the small group for the efficient Bible study to impact on spiritual growth and formation and to suggest a practical and efficient teaching method for organizing and operating small group Bible studies that can help the churches implement effective Bible studies. To accomplish these two goals, the exegetical conversational Bible study, which is a small group and interactive Bible study, was conducted at two Korean immigrant churches in the United States. Two surveys and group interviews and individuals were implemented. As a result, this project concludes that the exegetical conversational Bible study positively influenced the spiritual growth and formation of the participants in the small group.

A STRATEGIC PLAN TO ENCOURAGE THE PURSUIT OF AN ACCREDITATION MODEL AMONG INDEPENDENT BAPTIST PASTORAL TRAINING INSTITUTIONS IN SPANISH-SPEAKING LATIN AMERICA

Author
Bruce Burkholder D.Min.
Abstract
Although independent Baptist pastoral training institutions have served the
Spanish-speaking church in Latin America for decades, most have become stagnated in academic development and institutional advancement. The purpose of this study was to develop a strategic plan that will encourage these institutions to pursue an accreditation model. This study identified five impediments to this pursuit.

1. Insufficient academic preparation of professors

2. Excessive government restrictions

3. Poor economic situation in country

4. Lack of interest/Lack of knowledge of benefits

5. Low academic level of students

This quantitative data was obtained through a Delphi survey of twenty-two individuals from three distinct subgroups: (1) Independent Baptist missionaries actively involved in pastoral training in Spanish-speaking Latin America, (2) Independent Baptist Hispanic pastors or professors who were trained in Latin America and who retain involvement in this ministry, and (3) Independent Baptist theological educators who have experience with the accreditation process. Through the Delphi survey the participants suggested the above-mentioned impediments to the pursuit of an accreditation model. The Delphi expert panel also provided qualitative data by sharing additional insight into the nature of the impediments through comments made within the survey and personal conversations with the author.

Once the five impediments had been identified a Delphi support team worked with the author to develop a strategic plan to address each impediment. Specific goals were set, and action steps were identified. Most importantly, the strategic plan encourages independent Baptist pastoral training institutions in Spanish-speaking Latin America to promptly initiate and to passionately pursue the core concepts of the accreditation model, specifically, the standardization of curriculum, external peer review and internal quality assessment.

The project concludes with recommendations to independent Baptist churches, ministries, and pastoral training institutions in both the United States and Spanish-speaking Latin America.

THE EDUCATIONAL CHALLENGES OF SCHOOL PRINCIPALS: A STUDY OF CAPUCHIN FRIARS WORKING AS SCHOOL PRINCIPALS IN ETHIOPIA.

Author
Worku Yohannes Gebre D.Min.
Abstract
Abstract
This thesis-project discovers educational leadership values, knowledge, and skills that can contribute to the increased effectiveness of Capuchin friar school principals at Capuchin Schools in Ethiopia. Furthermore, the study attempted to suggest some sound and effective methods of communicating those discovered values, knowledge, skills, and educational leadership training to Capuchin friar school principals. Though Capuchin friars school principals succeeded in some aspects of school administration, they faced several challenges due to lack of educational leadership knowledge. Therefore, in the global culture where values, knowledge, and skills are rapidly changing it’s important for friars to attain an in-depth educational leadership knowledge. Additionally, they should understand education from Christian and human values perspectives within Ethiopian context.

A teaching program on the doctrine of the spirit for use in religious education

Author
Jeffrey A Bryan
Abstract
This project was developed on the assumption that many pastors and teachers in conservative evangelical churches largely ignore the doctrine of the Spirit in their weekly preaching and teaching ministries. While not all churches fall under this generalization, the evidence presented in this project suggests many fail to celebrate or acknowledge the Spirit's presence in their worship services, sermons, and classes. However, the research conducted in this project shows a positive relationship between a biblical course on the doctrine of the Spirit and an increased knowledge of the doctrine, positive attitudes toward the Spirit, and an increased personal reliance upon the Spirit. Thus, this project lends credibility to the assumption that most believers would gladly embrace biblical teachings concerning the doctrine of the Spirit if offered from church pulpits and lecterns.

Can You Hear My Voice?

Author
Hall Erin R
Abstract
The thesis of this project argues that testimony is a meaningful experience to evoke transformation in Christian education. The podcast created for this project offered a model of how engaging story can lead to transformation. This project also invited a congregation to experience the practice and interpretation of testimony as a way to encounter incarnation as a means of Christian formation. The thesis was proven through the use of a podcast series that invited a congregation to experience transformation.

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 effect of a cognitive behavioral intervention on Seventh-day Adventist church members to help them discern communication from God

Author
Richard Lee Johns
Abstract
The author studied the subject of receiving communication from God (hearing God's voice) from a biblical, physiological, and historical perspective. The author conducted a project on the effect of a 12-week cognitive behavioral intervention on Seventh-day Adventist Church members that helps them properly and biblically discern God's communication with them in a way that increases their intimacy with God and avoids the extremes of hearing God's voice in other voices or not hearing from God at all. A mixed methods approach was used and the results showed a greater level of attachment to God was achieved. Qualitative feedback suggested participants believed they were better able to discern communication from God after completing the intervention.
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