The Relationship Between Internal-External Locus of Control and Evangelistic Success as Evidenced by a Selected Group of Ministers in the Caribbean Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists
Date of Award
Doctor of Education
School of Education
Religious Education, PhD
Eldon M. Chalmers
George H. Akers
Problem. There was a need to know whether or not there is a relationship between locus of control and success in Seventh-day Adventist evangelism. It was expected that empirical data about the relationship would assist in the planning of a more effective curriculum for the training of ministers at Caribbean Union College, Trinidad, West Indies. The purpose was to investigate interrelations among the following: (a) evangelistic results, (b) locus of control, (c) years in the ministry, (d) attendance/non-attendance at a field-school of evangelism, (e) years of post-high-school ministerial education, and (f) field experience with a successful evangelist. The researcher also tested the relationship between evangelist/pastor groups and scores on factor in the Rotter I-E Scale.
Method. Eighty-seven ministers in the Caribbean Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists participated in the study. The instrument used was the Rotter Social Reaction Inventory (I-E Scale) to which were added questions to elicit biographical data thought to be relevant to the study. The statistical methods used were the t test for independent means to test whether or not there was a significant difference in scores between evangelists and pastors as different groups, the coefficient of multiple correlation with stepwise multiple regression to discover any linear relationships among the variables and which ones would significantly improve the prediction of evangelistic success, discriminant analysis to discover whether or not scores on the Rotter I-E Scale could help in discriminating between evangelists and pastors, and canonical correlation analyses to determine if certain biographical data show variances in the locus of control factors. Twelve hypotheses were formulated in the non-directional form and subjected to two-tailed tests.
Results. The following three variables listed in the order of strength of the relationship were significantly related to evangelistic success: more external scores on the Felt Mastery Factor of the I-E Scale, attendance at a field-school of evangelism, and more internal scores on the Personal Control Factor of the I-E Scale. These accounted for 13.69 percent of the variance, and all the variables combined accounted for 16.8 percent.
1. As a group, the ministers taking part in the study have an internal locus of control. That is, they perceive their outcomes to be less determined by the fortuities of the external environment or fate than by their own skill and effort.
2. Those who were less internal on the perception of control over the reinforcements of life tend to win more converts to the church. This might mean that they are more responsive to their environment and control it for success.
3. Those who are more internal on the Personal Control factor tend to win more converts to the church. This might mean that a perception of having a personal responsibility to achieve is important to evangelistic success.
4. Attendance at a field-school of evangelism was responsible for the greatest single amount of variance in evangelistic success.
5. The locus of control construct, as used in this study, was not a very significant means of explaining why some ministers win significantly more converts than others.
It was recommended that an instrument designed to measure locus of control as it applies specifically to evangelism be constructed and tested. A series of implications of the study for the ministry in the Caribbean Union Conference were outlined, and some recommendations made for further study. Recommendations were also made concerning a more cautious use of the Rotter I-E Scale.
Wiggins, Kembleton S., "The Relationship Between Internal-External Locus of Control and Evangelistic Success as Evidenced by a Selected Group of Ministers in the Caribbean Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists" (1979). Dissertations. 1544.
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