Professional Dissertations DMin

Date of Award


Document Type

Project Report

Degree Name



Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary


Doctor of Ministry DMin

First Advisor

Bruce L. Bauer

Second Advisor

Wagner Kuhn

Third Advisor

Boubakar Sanou


Problem. The headship of a husband over a wife is one of the concepts that creates a lot of misunderstanding in some Seventh-day Adventist homes in the North Burundi Mission. This situation has impacted both families and the church. On one hand, a husband believes he is to be strong, that he is the only one who can think logically, and that he should make all the decisions for the household. On other hand, a woman is considered to be weak, and therefore must respect her husband, have babies, and keep quiet. Unfortunately many women show respect out of fear rather than from love. In spite of the recent changes in male/female roles in society, most women still do not talk at home or at church. Because of this misunderstanding of roles in society, many males continue to feel superior to females and females feel oppressed by males. This creates frustration, tension, and even violence in society.

Method. A theology of headship in marriage was established from the Bible and the writings of Ellen White and focused on how the word is used in the OT and NT. Literature was reviewed including books, articles, and Andrews University dissertations focus on the topic. An initial survey was taken to know how church members understand and apply the concept. Material was developed on the subject for a training series in two districts, one in an urban area and the other in a rural area. The training session included Family Life Directors, two district pastors, and the elders from the selected churches. The training was held in two sessions over a period of two years. The people trained were encouraged to train and teach other members. An assessment was conducted to ascertain what changes have occurred in attitudes among husbands and wives. A final report on the project was written up that analyzed, discussed, and reviewed the outcomes of the project.

Results. The project reduced tension, frustration, and violence in church families. Confidence, trust, and love in the relationships between males and females were strengthened and 40 couples went to the local registry to regularize their marital situation. Both husband and wives had a better understanding of the recent changes in male/female roles in society.

Conclusion. This project showed that education of husbands and wives can change cultural attitudes and customs, and can help families better model the biblical concept of headship.

Subject Area

Heads of households--Religious aspects--Christianity, Headship (Theology), Husband and wife, North Burundi Mission of Seventh-day Adventists, General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. East-Central Africa Division. Burundi Union Mission. North Burundi Mission.

Creative Commons License

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

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