Costa Rica


Steven Charles Lucas D.Ed.Min.
The purpose of this study was to document the formal and non-formal education experiences and perceived educational needs of the pastors of the Asociación de Iglesias Bíblicas Costarricenses (AIBC). The AIBC is an association of 170 Bible churches led by 131 pastors throughout Costa Rica that arose out of the Latin American Mission in 1945.
A descriptive survey was used to collect the data relevant to the research questions. It was hypothesized that the results would show little to no improvement compared to data culled from a 1999 study which revealed that among AIBC pastors 13% reported completing high school, 32% were in or had been to a Bible Institute, and 20% were in or had been to seminary.
The findings indicated that there had been significant improvement among the member pastors in both formal secular education and formal ministry education. Participation in non-formal ministry education was high as expected. However, satisfaction in the quality of ministry education varied widely among areas of ministry training and from institution to institution. There remains ample room for improvement in both the formal and non-formal education sectors, especially in the areas of church administration/finance, counseling, and evangelism.
The study concludes with specific recommendations for the AIBC.

Protestant growth and desertion in Costa Rica . . . as affected by evangelism . . . and discipleship practices

Jorge I Gomez
This project begins with a study of the origins of AIINDEF's ministerial philosophy with EVAF and Kenneth Strachan, and then discusses Protestant membership growth in Costa Rica between 1862-1994. In the context of religious adherence among Costa Rica's 1994 adult population, the project analyzes Protestant desertion rates for 1989, 1991, and 1994. The projects offers reasons why former Protesants have deserted Protestant churches in Costa Rica. These reasons are related to differences observed in the three church categories used for this study (that is, churches distinguished by higher and lower attrition rates and by more mobility); in the areas of evangelism (message and method) and discipleship (including church discipline and congregational life). Groups most likely to desert were people born Protestant, new believers, young adults, and men.
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