Date of Award

2010

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

School

School of Education

Program

Curriculum and Instruction PhD

First Advisor

Larry D. Burton

Second Advisor

Raymond J. Ostrander

Third Advisor

Lester P. Merklin, Jr.

Abstract

Purpose. The purpose of this study was to conduct a formal program evaluation of the North American Division Evangelism Institute (NADEI). The goal of NADEI is to equip pastors and laity for ministry. It developed over 30 years, and has presented formal and informal educational programs during that time. This helped it emerge as an indispensable unit in the North American Division (NAD), Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary (SDATS), and Andrews University (AU). However, the programs of NADEI had not been evaluated.

Method. This study followed an Evaluative Case Study Design to evaluate the formal and informal programs of NADEI. Formal programs dealt with the courses that NADEI offered through the Seminary at Andrews University. Informal programs dealt with programs offered to church members and pastors of the NAD. The research design allowed the study of treatments, subjects, and programs in their naturalistic state. The design enabled the evaluator to complete a holistic, in-depth assessment of the program, with its complexities and human interplay to show the different perspectives of NADEI. Data were collected via structured interviews, focus-group interviews, surveys, document analysis, and observation. Church members, church leaders, pastors, students, administrators, and NADEI personnel were included in the study. Interviews and conversations were recorded and transcribed verbatim. The data were analyzed using SPSS 17 and NVivo 8 software.

Results. Results revealed that NADEI had one established and seven emerging informal programs. The established program, SEEDS Conference, started in 1996, has served to spearhead the church-planting movement in the NAD. There was total agreement among informants that the SEEDS Conference provided a spiritual atmosphere to nurture faith, practical church-planting techniques, and cutting-edge techniques for church planting. Three themes emerged related to the SEEDS Conferences: (a) learning: SEEDS Conferences provide opportunity to learn church-planting concepts and church-growth principles for laity of the Seventh-day Adventist Church; (b) inspiration: SEEDS Conferences provide inspiration to increase personal faith in God and His work on earth, and (c) action: SEEDS Conferences provide opportunity to develop lay leadership for action. The formal curriculum centers on specific Seminary courses to provide classroom as well as field practicum in the ministerial education. The NADEI courses have an overall higher mean than University and Seminary courses. Five themes emerged related to formal curriculum: perception, excellence in teaching, organization, ministerial experience, and assessment. The perception among the seminarians was that NADEI teachers have the expertise and excellence to show the practical dimension of theological education. Students viewed NADEI courses as more practical providing real-life situations. Seminarians emphasized that they received specialized ministerial training and gained deeper ministerial experience by taking NADEI courses.

Conclusion. The existing structure of NADEI enables it to impart formal and informal ministerial education. NADEI courses are distinctly different from other seminary courses. NADEI professors provided excellent teaching in the classrooms as well as in the field. While the students of the Seminary evaluated the instruction of NADEI professors highly, they also indicated that the curriculum of NADEI courses requires development and redesign. NADEI would benefit by inviting a curriculum specialist to help revise the curriculum to meet the requirements of formal as well as informal ministerial education. A general lack of awareness exists regarding NADEI’s informal programs in NAD. There is a need for training in conducting informal ministerial programs with strategic planning to marketing them in NAD.

Subject Area

Laity--Training of, Clergy--In-service training, Evangelistic work--Seventh-day Adventists, North American Division Evangelism Institute--Evaluation, North American Division Evangelism Institute--Curricula

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