Project Documents

Date of Award

1992

Document Type

Project Report

Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry

School

Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary

Program

Doctor of Ministry DMin

First Advisor

C. Mervyn Maxwell

Second Advisor

Miroslav Kis

Third Advisor

Benjaimin Schoun

Abstract

Problem

North American Seventh-day Adventists who spend considerable time viewing television appear to be increasingly patterning their lives after those lifestyles portrayed on commercial programs, consequently experiencing some of the problems (e.g., divorce) that secular individuals experience, yet tend to reject those who question television, nor seek to understand the impact television viewing has on character development, spirituality, and lifestyle values.

Method

Using recent scientific research as a basis, a seminar was developed that was designed to inform church members of the impact that indiscriminate viewing of commercial television programs has on character development and personal lifestyle values.

Results

The seminar was presented three different times with an attendance of 83, which represents 22 percent of the published membership of the participating churches. Prior to attending the seminar, participants (1) viewed varied amounts of television, (2) did not necessarily exercise discrimination in program selection, and (3) were not completely aware of the principles and standards that can guide in program selection. Participants were unaware of much of the findings of recent research regarding the impact of television on the human psyche. Participants responded favorably, and responses on the final questionnaire indicated that participants (1) had either reduced or eliminated their viewing, (2) had begun exercising discrimination in selecting programs, (3) were following specific principles in their selection of programs, and (4) evidenced a greatly increased familiarity with the findings of recent research.

Conclusions

Television has been characterized as one of the most difficult subjects to address in the present-day church. It is also one of the most needed subjects. This project demonstrated that it is possible to successfully address television in a positive manner provided (1) there is a solid basis to what is being presented, and (2) presentations are made in a non-dogmatic way.

Subject Area

Mass Media--Religious aspects--Seventh-day Adventists; Television broadcasting--Religious aspects--Seventh-day Adventists

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