Dissertation Projects DMin

Date of Award

2001

Document Type

Project Report

Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry

College

Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary

Program

Doctor of Ministry DMin

First Advisor

Gottfried Oosterwal

Second Advisor

Jon Paulien

Third Advisor

S. Joseph Kidder

Abstract

Topic

Today in many ways our world has been unified, not by a political empire but by a way of thinking. People today find common ground in a shared experience of living guided by a set of values that spans the divide of culture, language, and history. The process of this transformation is best described by the term “secularization.” Secularization best describes the far-reaching changes we find in our communities and in our personal lives, and is one of the greatest challenges the Seventh-day Adventist Church faces as we begin the twenty-first century.

Purpose

The purpose of this project was to design, field test, and evaluate a seminar that will enable the East Lansing Seventh-day Adventist Church to understand the process of secularization and allow it to begin to design an evangelistic approach that will appeal to the secular community surrounding the church.

Sources

Sources used to understand the factors and effects of secularization came from sociologists who have written about the phenomena of secularization. Sources used to build an appropriate response to the challenge of secularization are the Bible, the writings of Ellen G. White, and Christian writers who have reflected on the challenge of secularization.

Conclusions

Each aspect of secularization, in addition to posing a threat to the continued existence of organized religion, also presents new and exciting opportunities for Christian mission. Bridges need to be built to cross the divide left by the sea change that has transformed our world through the process called secularization. We cannot depend on institutions, leaders, programs, or even doctrinal truth to be the primary bridge in reaching the secular world. The life and witness of the body of Christ are the bridge by which our mission to secularized people can be accomplished.

Subject Area

Seventh-day Adventists--Michigan--East Lansing; Secularism; Religion and sociology

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.

DOI

https://dx.doi.org/10.32597/dmin/561

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