Project Documents

Date of Award

1998

Document Type

Project Report

Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry

School

Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary

Program

Doctor of Ministry DMin

First Advisor

Nancy Jean Vylaneister

Second Advisor

Atilio Dupertuis

Abstract

Problem. The complexity of today’s life—with divorce, parenting inadequacy, juvenile delinquency, one-parent households, financial pressures, and the sexual revolution— creates significant distress to the families. Within the general population of the United States, Hispanics find additional stressors in acculturation and machismo. The families in Hispanic congregations of the Michigan Conference of Seventh-day Adventists did not have a meaningful ministry to assist them in coping with these challenges.

Method. This project examined the biblical principles on the origin, composition, and mission of the family, the socio-theoretical approaches to understand the family as an institution, and the Hispanic family in the United States. A selection process for the nomination of Church Family Life Directors (CFLDs) among the Hispanic churches in the Michigan Conference was developed. Two training-session weekends were designed to teach CFLDs concepts and skills that are related to the family in general, and more specifically to the Hispanic family, and congruent with biblical principles and the most appropriate theory about the family.

Results. The Family Life Department was organized in all seven Hispanic churches of the Michigan Conference. CFLDs equipped themselves for the new task by attending the training sessions and participating in the organization o f specials events that gave visibility to the department.

Conclusions. The Family Life Department can effectively serve today’s families, not only within the church but outside of it. The appropriate selection and training of CFLDs is a practical and effective avenue to minister to the needs of marriages and families.

Subject Area

Family life education--Religious aspects--Christianity., Hispanic American Seventh-day Adventists--Michigan

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