Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


School of Education


Religious Education, PhD

First Advisor

George R. Knight

Second Advisor

Jerome D. Thayer

Third Advisor

Constance H. Tiffany


Background and Purpose of the Study. The study grew out of an increased Seventh-day Adventist interest in continuing education for ministry in the church's North American Division. This interest had generally been accompanied by a lack of current data for careful planning and development of resources. As a needs assessment, the study sought opinions on continuing education for ministry from the pastors, the local conference presidents, and the local conference ministerial directors in the North American division. The four specific areas covered by the study were (1) subject-matter preferences, (2) learning-situation preferences, (3) motivations, and (4) obstacles. Also covered were the special views of (1) ethnic-minority pastors (Asian, black, and Hispanic); (2) nine geographically defined ministerial groups (according to church union conferences in North America); four ministerial age-level groups (up to 34, 35-44, 45-54, and 55 and over); and (4) the church judicatory contacted.

Methodology. A five-page questionnaire was mailed to a random sample of 557 Seventh-day Adventist North-American Division pastors, out of a population of 2,794, and to the entire population of 100 judicatory involved. Chi square tests of independence were selected to determine significance using the .01 alpha level.

Results. Judicatory return rate was 74 percent and ministerial return rate was 77 percent. Pastors ranked general subject-matter areas as follows: (1) Evangelism, (2) Preaching/Worship Skills, (3) SDA Heritage (theology, Bible study, and church history), (4) Personal/Professional Development, (5) Church Leadership, and (6) Pastoral Care. The top five motivations ranked according to strength of motivation were (1) Increased skill for ministry, (2) Increased knowledge for ministry, (3) Meeting self-expectations, (4) Spiritual refreshing, and (5) Renewal in ministry. The top five deterrents ranked according to strength were (1) Programs not conveniently located, (2) No budget provision, (3) Programs not conveniently scheduled, (4) Too little information, and (5) No time beside vacation allotted. Based on respondents preferences, an ideal learning situation would be three to five day seminars at workers' meetings during January or February. Of 190 significant differences discovered, 98 were ethnic-minority related differences, 48 were geographically related differences, 35 were judicatory differences, and 9 were age-level differences. Based on the literature review and the study results, three sets of recommendations were made: (1) recommendations for improving continuing education for ministry in the North American Division, (2) recommendations for meeting specific needs, and (3) recommendations for further study.

Subject Area

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

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

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