Date of Award

1992

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

School

School of Education

Program

Religious Education, PhD

First Advisor

Roy C. Naden

Second Advisor

George R. Knight

Third Advisor

Steve Vitrano

Comments

Problem. Since about the year 1930 the vitality of the Sabbath school, as measured by membership and offerings, has been in decline. Does the adult Sabbath school still have a role to fill in the Seventh-day Adventist church? If so, what is it? The purpose of this study was to determine the objectives of the adult Sabbath school and their perceived relative importance.

Method. A study was made of the literature for the Sabbath and Sunday schools, along with input from the Sabbath school's professional administrators, to determine the adult Sabbath school's objectives. An instrument was created and administered to determine each objective's perceived relative value. Appropriate statistical analysis of the collected data, the determination of the significance of the statistical analysis, the drawing of conclusions, and the making of recommendations completed the research.

Results. Six objectives for the adult Sabbath school were identified and ranked. In order of perceived importance they were: Bible study, Fellowship and support, Nurture and character development, Training for Christian service, Community evangelism and soul-winning, and World-mission promotion and funding.

A model for the adult Sabbath school, based on the findings, was suggested.

Conclusions. In both independent ratings and forced choices, respondents consistently identified Bible study as the most important objective for the adult Sabbath school. Equally significant is the fact that World-mission promotion and funding was consistently identified as the least important of the objectives for the adult Sabbath school.

The three objectives having to do with the spiritual growth of the Sabbath school attendees (i.e., Bible study, Fellowship and support, and Nurture and character development) were consistently rated more important than those having to do with service to or evangelism of those not attending the Sabbath school (i.e., Training for Christian service, Community evangelism and soul-winning, and World-mission promotion and funding).

Subject Area

Sabbath schools, Sabbath schools--Study and teaching, Bible.--Study and teaching.--Seventh-day Adventists

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