Date of Award

2007

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education

School

School of Education

Program

Religious Education, PhD

First Advisor

O. Jane Thayer

Second Advisor

Shirley A. Freed

Third Advisor

Richard O. Stenbakken

Abstract

Problem. Despite the Adult Bible Study Guide's potential for promoting Christian spirituality among Seventh-day Adventist Church members, no studies have investigated its impact on the spirituality of its users. Beginning as a way to disseminate the unique biblical doctrines of thefledgling Church, the Guide remains largely expository and apologetic in nature, often neglecting the use of methods and spiritual disciplines which promote spirituality.

Method. Based on the same topic as the regular Guide for second quarter, 2005, an Adult Bible Study Guide using Kolb's learning cycle and learning styles was developed to promote Christian spiritual growth. The effect both Guides had on general learning objectives; knowledge and beliefs; attitudes, values, and commitments; and behaviors and skills was measured by pre/post-testing using the Growth in Christ Questionnaire. The two-way ANOVA was used to analyze theinfluence of gender, age, and educational levels. One hundred subjects completed pre/post-tests for the prototype. Eighty-six subjects completed pre/post-tests for the regular Guide.

Results. The prototype had a greater effect on knowledge and beliefs for women. The regular Guide had a greater effect on knowledge and beliefs for men. Learners in all age groups except 65+ who studied the prototype spent more time in prayer. This is in contrast to the regular Guide, which showed no real improvement in the same area. Learners in all educational levels except high school or less who studied the prototype spent more time in prayer. The regular Guide showed no real improvement in the same area. Learners in all age groups except 65+ who studied the prototype spent more time meditating on God's Word. The regular Guide showed no real improvement in the same area. Open-ended questions showed that many who studied the prototype considered it to be close to ideal, because it drew them closer to Christ.

Conclusions. The prototype showed the greatest amount of growth in the final step of the learning cycle, suggesting that it did what it was designed to do--shepherd the learners through knowledge and beliefs, on to attitudes, values, and commitments, and finally ending with behavior and skills.

Subject Area

Spiritual life--Seventh-day Adventists, Guide, Adult Bible study guide, Seventh-day Adventists--Periodicals--Comparative studies, Seventh-day Adventists--Periodicals--Evaluation

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