Date of Award
Doctor of Ministry
Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary
Doctor of Ministry DMin
H. Peter Swanson
According to the 1984 Annual Council policy, Seventh-day Adventist ministers are to provide premarital guidance to couples requesting marriage. Where possible, this preparation of the couple should consist of several counseling sessions conducted by the minister who is to perform the service or by another qualified individual. Despite its obvious importance, this policy has not been seriously considered or implemented in Russia.
The process of designing a Premarital Counseling Seminar for pastors and other church workers in the Euro-Asia Division of Seventh-day Adventists is presented. The seminar content is intended to introduce pastors to their responsibilities as premarital counselors and to train them to function properly in this new role. The seminar is not intended to produce professional counselors, but to prepare pastors to minister more effectively to those who are contemplating marriage. The selection and arrangement of the seminar topics and the teaching methods reflect the needs of contemporary Russian society and are adapted to the educational level and general experience of the ministers of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Russia.
Theological reflections about marriage and the biblical principles that apply to marital harmony are included in the seminar. The examination of available resources and the literature on premarital counseling enabled the author to select and adapt materials to the particular needs of pastors and people in the Russian context. The experience of developing the Premarital Counseling Seminar confirmed to the author the importance and potential benefits of premarital preparation and strengthened her resolve to make the seminar readily available to pastors in the Euro-Asia Division of Seventh-day Adventists.
Marriage counseling; Couples--Pastoral counseling of; Euro-Asia Division of Seventh-day Adventists
Zhigankova, Elena, "Development of a Premarital Counseling Seminar for Pastors and Church Workers in the Euro-Asia Division" (2008). Dissertation Projects. 645.
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