Date of Award
Doctor of Ministry
Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary
Doctor of Ministry DMin
C. Raymond Holmes
Steven P. Vitrano
One of the most important responsibilities a pastor faces is to teach the parishioners in his charge how to maintain a deep personal relationship with God. The Seventh-day Adventist church has not developed tools that will enable the pastor to demonstrate to the parishioners how they may grow in their relationship to God.
The Deeper Life Conference is designed to help meet this need within the Seventh-day Adventist church through the adaptation of the spiritual retreat concept. This retreat concept is to be found in both the classical church background and was adapted by the Protestants during and after the reformation to enhance the piety of the church.
The Deeper Life Conference was designed as an open retreat running from Friday evening through Sunday noon. During the Conference, the participants not only received instruction in the four selected disciplines of meditation, prayer, healthfulness, and fasting, but also were given time in which to practice the disciplines of meditation and prayer.
Through the use of three similar surveys evidence was gathered which points to the viability ofusing the Deeper Life Conference as means of teaching the participants how to develop a deeper relationship with God. The surveys were taken before the conference, at the close of the Conference and then six months afterward to determine the growth which occurred in theparticipants spiritual life. The growth in the relationship with God seems to have taken place across all age groups and lengths of church membership. The Muskegon Deeper Life Conference showed the most dramatic results probably due to the intense desire of the participants to know God better.
Spiritual retreats--Seventh-day Adventists
Yeager, Norman A., "The Deeper Life Conference: an Adventist Adaptation of the Spiritual Retreat Concept" (1988). Project Documents. 250.
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