Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Religious Education, PhD

First Advisor

E. Stanley Chace

Second Advisor

Eduardo A. Ocampo

Third Advisor

Garth D. Thompson


Background and Purpose of the Study. The Seventh-day Adventist Church is seeking research data on which to base the planning and development of efficient continuing education for ministry programs geographically and culturally adapted to the territories where the ministers are serving. As a needs assessment, the study sought data regarding the societies in which the program functions, the ministers' attitudes toward their ministerial training, their needs and aspirations on subject matter, learning-situation preferences, motivations, and obstacles for continuing education. The study also surveyed the opinions of administrators, departmental directors, and lay leaders at the Union, Conference, and Mission levels.

Methodology. Societal factors of the countries of the Colombia-Venezuela Union Mission were collected and organized from existing sources. Information concerning the ministers was obtained by a questionnaire with two five-point scales. Data were analyzed and rankings were developed for: level of ministers' preparation, needs, scores indicating the difference between need and preparation, motivators, deterrents, and learning situations.The Chi-square test of independence was selected to determine significance using the .05 alpha level.

Findings. The societal factors considered significant for a continuing education curriculum were: (1) religious freedom and degree of preoccupation with spiritual matters; (2) education as a way of economic development and social change; (3) expansion of educational services and number of professionals; (4) importance of family kinship; (5) growth patterns of the population; (6) health hazards; and (7) growth patterns of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.

The return rate for administrators and departmental directors was 83 percent; for ministers, 81 percent, and lay leaders, 77 percent. The survey revealed that ministers need a wide range of improvement in pastoral skills and theological-biblical-historical subjects. The ranking of general subject-matter areas by groups of respondents was: (1) evangelistic skills, (2) church leadership, (3) pastors' personal/professional development, (4) theology and Biblical studies, (5) preaching/worship skills, (6) pastoral care, and (7) church history.

Recommendations. Based on the findings of the study, the recommendations fell in three categories: (1) curricular recommendations, (2) general recommendations for the planning of continuing education, and (3) recommendations for further study. (Abstract shortened with permission of author.)

Subject Area

Continuing education


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