Project Documents

Date of Award

2011

Document Type

Project Report

Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry

School

Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary

Program

Doctor of Ministry DMin

First Advisor

Hyveth Williams

Second Advisor

F. Estella Greig

Third Advisor

Stanley E. Patterson

Abstract

Purpose. As a young man growing up in the Korean Seventh-day Adventist Church, there were several women in the church who influenced my life. Later on, at Sahm Yook University, I was in theology courses with both young men and women. I was impressed with the passion and talents that the women brought to their studies and witnessing activities. However, once out of university not many of them became pastors or leaders in their churches. And those that did left their positions soon after marrying. For me this seems a loss of leadership potential, especially for a church in Korea whose membership is 70% female. I have two young daughters, and I would hope that someday the doors of leadership would be open to them if they are capable and willing to serve. Thus, this project paper has a three-fold purpose. The first is to investigate the factors that would 3 possibly influence the acceptance of women in leadership roles in the Korean Seventh-day Adventist Church. The second is to examine the level of awareness of Seventh-day Adventist church leaders and members in Korea in order to predict their influence on implementation effectiveness of women’s ministry in Korea. The third is to develop theoretical and practical strategies for implementing a ministry of women’s leadership for Seventh-day Adventist churches in Korea and, ultimately, to cultivate a better environment for women so that they can maximize their potential and free them from social prejudice among Adventists.

Method. This study used a questionnaire survey instrument to identify the factors that might influence women’s participation in ministry. It was divided into six sub-sections according to the question themes: Bible Interpretation, Cultural Understanding, Current Situation Interpretation, Diagnosis of the Problems, Possible Solutions, and Expectations from Women’s Ministry. The Adventist church structure in Korea is made up of the Korean Union Conference. The Union has 5 Local conferences. The surveys were sent to a church leaders in 10 churches in each of the local conferences. After a public announcement between church services, individuals self-selected to participate in the study by filling out the survey. The population group for this survey is made up of local church pastors and adult church members in the Seventh-day Adventist churches in the Korean Union Conference who are older than eighteen years.

Results. The survey data showed that Korean Adventists are not gender biased because they believe that leaders should be determined not by gender but by abilities and qualifications. The lack of equal opportunity is the main obstacle for women. The survey data showed that Korean Adventists believe that women’s participation in mission work is closely related to church growth. The Korean Adventist Congregation is positive toward women’s participation in church work, including leadership roles, and members do have more hope and expectation than concerns regarding this issue.

Conclusion. The findings of this study show that women’s devotion is directly related to the status of healthy churches. An atmosphere welcoming women leaders in local churches and church administration would be essential to maximize the potential of women in the church. Korean Adventist women need more opportunities to take part in the actual leadership positions. The survey findings suggest that constitutional and institutional reforms are needed to increase the number of women delegates and pastors to develop women’s participation in church leadership roles.

Subject Area

Leadership in women--Korea (South), Christian leadership--Korea (South), Women in church work--Korea (South), Women in church work--Seventh-day Adventists, Seventh-day Adventist women--Korea (South)

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