Project Documents

Date of Award

2012

Document Type

Project Report

Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry

School

Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary

Program

Doctor of Ministry DMin

First Advisor

Ricardo Norton

Second Advisor

Atilio Dupertuis

Third Advisor

Eduard Schmidt

Abstract

Problem. In 1996, the Southern California Conference of Seventh Day Adventists was divided into five regions with the purpose of meeting the particular needs of its multiethnic membership. This organizational structure eliminated the departments that are normally present within the denominational structure, and to account for this gap the region directors became responsible for promoting these ministries and for providing training for laity. In the process of transitioning to this new structure there ceased to be an established lay training program. The Hispanic churches of Southern California need a regular training program that would enable their members to fulfill the mission of the Adventist church – a program that will include new church members. This doctoral project takes into consideration the unique needs of the Hispanic community in the greater Los Angeles area and it includes the involvement of the pastors within the conference.

Methodology. The development of this program required an extensive study of literature regarding this topic within and outside of the Adventist realm. The Bible and the writings of Ellen G. White are used as the principal basis for covering the fundamental theologies regarding lay training in the theoretical part of this dissertation. Presented in the practical application of this project is the implementation and execution of a lay training program, conducted simultaneously in six geographic areas of the city of Los Angeles. The training seminars were conducted every four months by local pastors and in several churches in each area. The program was implemented over the span of two years.

Results. Conducted from 2007 through 2008, the program motivated laypersons as well as pastors to develop more training programs for laity at a local level. The geographic area meetings led to unprecedented levels of attendance to the training seminars and stirred in church members the desire to learn more in order to better serve God and their church. The unity and fellowship that developed between the churches and amongst the pastors created an environment of solidarity in the body of Christ.

Subject Area

Laity--Training of, Hispanic American Seventh-day Adventists--California

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