Date of Award

1983

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

School

School of Education

Program

Curriculum and Instruction PhD

First Advisor

Samuel T. Harris

Second Advisor

Walter B. T. Douglas

Third Advisor

Norman K. Miles

Abstract

Problem

The integration of theological studies with the practical aspects of the ministry is a desirable goal which the Seventh-day Adventist (SDA) Church seeks to nurture within its seminary. The problem this study addresses is the lack of available data which answer questions related to how the Black and White SDA seminarians approach their ministry in areas of selected social and theological issues. Empirical data were not found to assess the relationship between one's race, age, community, church location, religion and one's response or attitude concerning his social involvement.

Method

From a list provided by the SDA Theological Seminary, 244 questionnaires were placed in the on-campus mailboxes of the Master of Divinity students as of Fall, 1981. Ninety-two percent (224) respondents completed the instruments. From the 224 completed instruments, a total of 165 were usable and met the criteria for the study. The criteria selected those seminarians who were born in America and who are U.S. citizens. The statistical method used to assess the data included factor analysis and the Likelihood Ration Chi-square. Data were processed and analyzed with the use of the Computing Center at Andrews University, Berrien Springs, Michigan.

Results

There was significant interaction between the races of the SDA seminarians and their response to certain social and theological issues. In addition, there was significant interaction between the length of time the Black and White seminarians have been SDAs, their race, and their responses towards the given social and theological issues. There was partial support for the hypothesis that the community in which the Black and White SDA seminarians live, in relationship to their race, significantly interacted with their social and theological responses. There was no support to indicate that there was a significant interaction between the age group of Black and White SDA seminarians, their race, and their response to the social and theological issues. In addition, there was little difference between the present location of the respective Black and White churches, the race of the seminarians, and their response to the social and theological issues.

Conclusions

It is clear that the Black and White SDA seminarians view their ministry differently. Some significant differences according to race and length of time the seminarians have been SDAs, in relationship to their race and their responses to the social and theological issues, are evident. The Black and White differences were consistent according to age group, the community of residence, and the location of the church in relation to the race of the seminarians and their response to the social and theological issues.

Subject Area

Race relations--Religious aspects--Christianity--Seventh-day Adventists, Seminarians--United States.

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