Project Documents

Date of Award

1990

Document Type

Project Report

Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry

School

Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary

Program

Doctor of Ministry DMin

First Advisor

Walter B. T. Douglas

Second Advisor

Sara M. K. Terian

Third Advisor

Benjamin D. Schoun

Abstract

The rapid increase of Caribbean immigrants into Canada, especially to the large Metropolitan centers, coupled with the separation-reunion syndrome which results from their "shift" pattern of migration have contributed significantly to the alarming decadence of the Caribbean immigrant family. This project seeks to design and implement a seminar series that will help spouses and parents of these families to understand and identify with the nature of the challenges brought about or accentuated by migration, and also to help them develop strategies and skills for effectively coping with these challenges.

The project explores the historical and sociological context in which West Indian culture developed, the pattern of Caribbean migration to Canada, and the nature of their adaptation to the Canadian context. To determine what specific church involvement is indicated, the project undertakes a brief Biblical review of the origin, nature, purpose, and role of marriage and the family, and shows that the church has a theological mandate for involvement in social dysfunction, especially as it relates to society’s basic unit— the family. The research suggests that the answer may lie in such ministries as a seminar series informed by insights from the social sciences as well as from the Bible, designed to help strengthen family ties in a new cultural environment, to rebuild damaged self-concept— especially in children and youth, to provide motivation for family planning and achievement— especially in areas that focus on their reasons for migration, and generally to help move them forward in their adaptation process as new Canadians. The package that has evolved can easily be used by clergy or laity alike. The reaction of the participants in the initial implementation of the seminar series confirmed the magnitude of the task and the reality that seminars such as these may be a major contribution in resolving the presenting problem. The responses of the participants suggest the need for a similar program targeted at single parents and an appropriate program that responds to the needs of youth.

Subject Area

Seventh-day Adventists--Ontario--Malton, Immigrants--Ontario, West Indians--Ontario, Church work with immigrants--Ontario

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