Project Documents

Date of Award

1978

Document Type

Project Report

Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry

School

Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary

Program

Doctor of Ministry DMin

First Advisor

Gottfried Oosterwal

Second Advisor

Steven P. Vitrano

Third Advisor

Malcolm B. Russell

Abstract

The migration of the trained national Seventh-day Adventist Church workers is one of the most critical problems facing present-day church administrators in the Middle East Union of the Afro-Mideast Division. Because of this migration a serious shortage of trained personnel exists at various levels of the work of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in this union. This shortage results from the brain drain which not only causes losses in educated, experienced, and gifted personnel who are difficult to replace, but is also responsible for the Seventh-day Adventist Church in the Middle East Union losing members.

The purpose of this study is twofold: (1) to develop a body of systematic knowledge relative to the history of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in the Middle East Union, and (2) to explore and identify related factors concerning the migration of the Seventh-day Adventist national workers. This information is based upon interviews with former Seventh-day Adventist national and overseas workers, and also upon a questionnaire which was prepared and sent to fifty former national workers who migrated from the Middle East Union to North America.

Data in tables and graphs, throughout this study, show how the Seventh-day Adventist Church in the Middle East Union is suffering from a brain drain. It also describes the minor and major related factors which have caused this migration. The minor related factors describe the church's failure to reach the majority (Muslims) and the minority (Christians) with the gospel message, and also its failure to offer a training program which meets the needs of the constituency in this area. The major related factors to the migration of the Seventh-day Adventist national workers were described as follows: desire to continue one's education, unfair salaries, autocratic leadership, lack of job satisfaction, lack of security or working with the church, lack of equality between national and overseas workers.

This is the first official contemporary study of how former national workers perceive the reasons for leaving their jobs in their home division and migrating to North America. Considering the information received, it was concluded that in order to reduce the rate of the brain drain, the Seventh-day Adventist Church needs to give in-depth study to how it can assist the national worker to be adequately trained and prepared to meet the needs of his own people, how it can delegate more responsibility to the national workers, how it can improve the communication between national workers and the church leaders, how it can improve the working conditions and make them more challenging, how it can allow more opportunities for promotion in jobs and for further study, how it can make equality possible in pay and position for all workers who have the same qualifications and years of experience, and how it can establish the indigenous church - self-propagating, self-supporting, and self-governing.

Subject Area

Brain drain--Middle East

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