Dissertation Projects DMin

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry


Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary


Doctor of Ministry DMin

First Advisor

David Sedlacek

Second Advisor

Romulus Chelbegean

Third Advisor

Jaspine Bilima



The Mizpah and Brunswick Heights Seventh-day Adventist Churches are located in a predominately low-income community in the South side of Chicago. The church has many single mothers who face the challenges of raising their children without the presence of a father or male figure. This has had a devastating impact on the family and the children. Single-mother families are more likely to suffer from economic insecurity than two-parent families (McLanahan, 2004). Father-loss causes object hunger in males (Herring, 2005) and 75 % of all drug users and 65 % of all suicides (Sowers, 2010) come from fatherless homes.


Training programs on finances, relationships, self-esteem, and raising boys were conducted for single-mothers. Surveys were administered among the participants to determine their level of satisfaction and self-esteem. Literature was reviewed on the challenges of single mothers who raise at-risk adolescent males and lessons were learned about a variety of skills and techniques that can be used to establish improved selfesteem, life satisfaction, and improved parenting skills.


This project revealed the challenges that single-mothers have in raising adolescent males alone. It also raised the awareness of the specific needs for both single mothers and their children who are growing up without fathers. This project also revealed the challenges that single mothers have with self-esteem and gives hope that self-esteem can improve with training projects such as this. The focus groups with single mothers detailed their struggles and gave rich insight into their needs and how best to minister to them. This study further identified some of the possible programs that the church and community leaders could implement to support a growing need.


On the basis of this project’s findings, the church should be instrumental in the development of programs that implement training for not only single-mothers, but also for their sons.

Subject Area

Single mothers--Chicago (Ill.); Parenting--Religious aspects--Seventh-day Adventists; Parent and child; Mizpah Seventh-day Adventist Church (Chicago, Ill.); Brunswick Seventh-day Adventist Church (Chicago, Ill.); Church work with single parents--Seventh-day Adventists

Creative Commons License

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