Project Documents

Date of Award

2015

Document Type

Project Report

Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry

School

Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary

Program

Doctor of Ministry DMin

First Advisor

Roberto Badenas

Second Advisor

Richard M. Davidson

Third Advisor

Manuel Moral

Abstract

Problem

Despite the high biblical ideals for marriage and the divine power that is available to enable marital commitments to endure, the Seventh-day Adventist church recognizes the possibility that some individuals will not survive in marriage. Over the past 35 years (1974-2009) there has been a decline in the percentage of couples still in their first marriage (from 81% in 1974 to 58% in 2009) among Adventists in North America, which is very similar to the decline in percentage of married couples (from 82% in 1970 to 48% in 2010) in the United States (U.S. Census Bureau, 2010). As a result, it cannot be denied Adventists in North America are experiencing a very similar marital decline.

Purpose

The task of this project was to implement the Prepare-Enrich Program, which is designed to build strong marriages and healthy relationships, in South Bend Hispanic Seventh-day Adventist Church (South Bend Hispanic SDA).

Method

This project used the Prepare-Enrich Three Couple Scales, which contain the Satisfaction, Communication, and Conflict Resolution scales, to evaluate the current marital situation of the participating couples. Participants were married members of the South Bend Hispanic SDA. The project was implemented in one weekend. The seminar covered the content of the Prepare-Enrich couple’s workbook. Each session in the group program was covered in gatherings lasting 50 minutes. The recommendations of the Prepare-Enrich program on leading the meeting were precisely followed.

Results

The Prepare-Enrich inventory revealed very precisely the level of satisfaction, communication, and conflict resolution of the participating couples. This was very helpful to determine what topics need to be covered during the seminar. According to the test, most couples belong to the traditional marriage relationship type. These kinds of couples need to work on their communication skills and conflict resolution. Therefore, the seminar was focused mainly on helping participating couples in these two areas. The seminar proved to be helpful to them.

Conclusion

The implementation of this project provided participants information to improve their communication skills and conflict management. By doing some couple activities during the seminar, participants were able to recognize some of their problems as well as to envision ways to resolve them both as a group and as an individuals. The impact of the seminar upon them was very positive. Couples were fully engaged in all activities, group discussions, and lectures. The fact that some shared their experience helped to create a positive atmosphere. Thus, this study shows that the implementation of the Prepare-Enrich Group Program is very effective for church contexts where married people are enriched as a group rather than as a couple.

Subject Area

Marriage--Religious aspects, Family life education, South Bend Hispanic Seventh-day Adventists (South Bend, Ind.)

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