Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Religious Education, PhD

First Advisor

Norman K. Miles

Second Advisor

Roy Maden

Third Advisor

Reger C. Smith


Problem. This study attempts to determine the extent to which the needs-assessment-based approach to educational planning can be validated and used in planning continuing-education programs for the Seventh-day Adventist (SDA) ministers serving in the Eastern Africa Division (EAD).

Method. The sample of the population for this study was drawn from the SDA clergy and a selected group of laity in the EAD. The data were gathered through a two-part questionnaire. The first part sought the demographic profiles of respondents. The second part was designed to enable the respondents to rank each one of the thirty items for preparation and importance. Two questionnaires, one for clergy and one for laity were administered to the respondents by the researcher using a purposive sample. Chi square and medians were computed to determine any significant relationship between groups and cutoffs for preparation and importance of items.

Results. The highly significant correlation within and between groups in the way they perceived the importance and preparation of the items support the assumption that a list of needed specific competencies can be found through needs-assessment approach to educational planning and used in the development of continuing-education programs in the EAD. The openness and intelligent participation of all groups in discussing their needs through interviews was a great factor in the support of the assumption.

Conclusions. Needs-assessment can be used to determine the role and objectives for continuing-education programs as well as each course taught to meet the needs and interests of learners. The cost of needs-assessment may be justified by its value as a guide in both the development and evaluation of continuing-education programs. From the data it was concluded that respondents in the study felt they were not well prepared in all the skill and knowledge areas in the instrument. The study also revealed that respondents considered twenty-five of the thirty questionnaire items as "very important" to be included in continuing-education programs. Five other items were considered "important." There were none considered "optional" or "not important" enough for inclusion in a continuing-education planning program model.

Recommendations. Based on the needs revealed by this study, it was recommended that (1) the University College of eastern Africa in Kenya serve as the main center of continuing-education program planning for the EAD, while junior colleges in each union serve as subcampuses; (2) East Africa Division executive committee appoint a division director for the continuing-education program; (3) the whole program of continuing-education should be planned with the consideration of the needs of the youthful laity in the EAD.

Subject Area

Clergy--Training of, Clergy--Africa, Eastern--Post-ordination training.


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