Professional Dissertations DMin

Date of Award


Document Type

Project Report

Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry


Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary


Doctor of Ministry DMin

First Advisor

Jeffery Brown

Second Advisor

Michael Hall

Third Advisor

Kevin Kuehmichael



Research has established that healthy communication skills contribute to marital and family satisfaction among African-Americans. African-American families, in particular, are in need of communication skills and enhancement resources that address their specific ethnic and cultural dynamics. The Berean Seventh-day Adventist Church is a predominately African-American church located in the Belfair community of Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Currently the Seventh-day Adventist Church does not provide any researched family enrichment resources that address the specific dynamics of African-American Seventh-day Adventist families, which makes it necessary for research, resources, and programs to be developed that assist Seventh-day Adventist African-American families with healthy communication skills to produce greater family satisfaction.


The African-American families of the Berean Seventh-day Adventist Church were selected for investigation of improvement of healthy communication skills. Research was conducted and a family communication enrichment seminar was tested as a means of providing the African-American families of the Berean Seventh-day Adventist Church with resources to improve family communication skills. The program was comprised of the following: 1. A review of the extant literature was conducted to identify the relevant components to be addressed in the program. 2. A six-week pre-seminar sermon series was presented that taught the biblical principles of healthy family communication. 3. A survey evaluating the effectiveness of the six-week pre-seminar sermon series was administered. 4. A baseline family communication assessment inventory was administered to establish a benchmark of participants’ current use of positive communication skills. 5. A one-day, three-part family communication seminar designed to teach healthy family communication techniques was presented. 6. A survey evaluating the effectiveness of the family communication enrichment seminar was administered. 7. An exit family communication assessment inventory was administered to collect data for comparison to the baseline. 8. The data was evaluated, conclusions were made, and recommendations were suggested.


Survey results indicated that participants benefited from the six-week sermon series and also viewed the seminar as beneficial to their understanding of positive family communication. Analysis of the pre- and post-family communication seminar intervention indicated a slight increase of respondents reporting positive family communication between pre and post-seminar assessment inventories. Of the 39 results 20 showed an increase, with seven being statistically significant. Of the 39 results 19 showed a decrease, with six being statistically significant. Statistically significant improvements were made in the areas assessing communication frequency, communication avoidance, and the quality of family of communication.


Five recommendations emerged as a result of this project: a) Replicate research using a larger sample size (100 or more samples) and multiple interventions; b) In the future, allow a longer period of time between assessments to allow participants a greater opportunity to internalize the information presented during pre-sermon series and seminar; c) In the future, have trained surveyors administer inventories; d) In the future, design an inventory to assess family communication that is culturally sensitive to African-American families; e) In the future, include in each component of the program all family members (i.e., children, other adults) of the household, and have them complete pre and post-intervention assessments.

Subject Area

Family life education; Church work with African American families; Communication in families--Religious aspects--Seventh-day Adventists; Berean Seventh-day Adventist Church (Baton Rouge, La.)

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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