Project Documents

Date of Award

2006

Document Type

Project Report

Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry

School

Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary

Program

Doctor of Ministry DMin

First Advisor

Ricardo Norton

Second Advisor

Hector L. Diaz

Third Advisor

Atilio R. Dupertuis

Abstract

The Hispanic community is currently the largest minority group in the United States and its annual rate of growth continues to be significant. Hispanic immigrants, in particular, face very unique problems and challenges, Seventh-day Adventist pastors and churches need to develop effective strategies that may help them to fill the needs of this group as well as to obey the divine commission of bringing them to Christ. This dissertation seeks to contribute to the wealth of resources and strategies available to pastors by providing them with a valuable tool that may help them to effectively plan their outreach ministries to immigrant communities. To achieve this objective, this study consisted of developing a profile of the community where the ministry is intended, based on the identification of the actual needs of that population.

The study integrated biblical teachings and principles as part of its basis for ministering to foreigners. It also included examining secular literature that presents the background of Hispanics in the United States. The methodology of this study comprised the design and selection of three instruments, the application of the surveys, and data analysis. The investigation was carried out using a systematic random sample of 100 Hispanics from a community in the suburbs of Atlanta, Georgia. Participants were interviewed in order to identify their demographic profile, stress level, and degree of acculturation. The data was entered into a database and analyzed using a statistical program. The findings enabled the researcher to create a profile of the observed community.

The analysis of the results of this study allows the researcher to recommend the steps pastors may follow to apply the profiling method in the communities where their ministries take place. Furthermore, the investigation also demonstrates the benefits and usefulness of the method. The results and recommendations offer specific strategies for pastors to reach their communities more effectively and they also enable the Atlanta churches to minister more effectively to Hispanic immigrants.

Subject Area

Church work with immigrants--Seventh-day Adventists; Immigrants--Research; Hispanic Americans--United States

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