Project Documents

Date of Award

1974

Document Type

Project Report

Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry

School

Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary

Program

Doctor of Ministry DMin

First Advisor

Arnold Kurtz

Abstract

There has been much concern in recent years about the fate of the American family. This writer is focusing on the one-parent nuclear family. A further specification in the family under study is female-headed Seventh-day Adventist. This project then, is a multiple case study of maternal one- parent families. The small sample was chosen on a non-random basis with the object of typifying what might be found in a Seventh-day Adventist pastorate. The writer was successful in cooperation with the local pastor in obtaining a sample of thirteen Seventh-day Adventist maternal one- parent families where the parent has been widowed or divorced with at least one child living in the home.

The survey procedure will be to conduct in-depth structured interviews. (The instrument is found in the Appendix.) The writer is not basing this explorative project on statistical means and averages or with a sufficient number of subjects to merit calling it a scientific study. Because of these above reasons, the results should not be generalized to a larger population. This project therefore, is not designed to be a technically scientific study but a tool for ministry. From these Seventh-day Adventist one-parent families the writer hoped to discover by means of these interviews their unique problems socially, emotionally, and physically; it was also the plan to have group sessions following the completion of the interviews. The duration of the sessions and how successful they were would depend on the writer's expertise and the willingness of the participants in this project to cooperate. It was hoped that the women would be encouraged to form groups which in turn would bring support, help, and information. It was hoped that their bond with the church would be strengthened through the special interest shown in them, not only by the writer and the group but by the local pastor.

Specifically then, procedures in this project will be to research current literature on the subject of the one-parent family, to research what community services both on a local and national level might provide as resource assistance to this group, to discover what local pastors and/or their denominations are doing to meet their need, and finally, to explore pastoral possibilities in group sessions for these single parents. It was believed that there would be certain values in carrying out this project apart from the local parish. Those interviewed would be less likely to see it as prying and meddling when carried out as a seminary research project. Delicate subjects such as sex could be discussed more freely apart from local church connections. Prior experience of this nature would appear to offer some advantages to the writer and his future congregation.

Specific personal objectives include: A greater knowledge of and competence in working for the Seventh-day Adventist one-parent family including the possibility of the development of a local church project and putting the findings into operation on a continuous basis.

Subject Area

Church work with single parents; Single-parent families

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