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

David Penno

Second Advisor

Trevor O'Reggio



The purpose of this study was to determine how healthy relational communities contribute to membership growth and the retention of non-Adventist students at Solusi University. Some of the effects of current public evangelistic approaches and the loss of community spirit were studied. The challenge of nurturing a community of meaning and relationship at Solusi was also explored.


A self-reported questionnaire was completed by both Adventist and non- Adventist students. In order to verify the results of the self-reported questionnaire, interviews were conducted with the church leadership, 10 church members, and 20 second and third year students.


Analysis of the results showed that a relational evangelistic approach had a greater positive influence on students, was considered more attractive, and had better retention factors. It was found that marked differences existed in questionnaire scores between a relational evangelistic approach and a public evangelistic approach. In order to clarify this finding, another issue concerning student response to certain values was examined. Significant differences were found between caring for one another, preaching, diversity, and the remaining values. The analysis of One Anothemess practices also showed that Solusi students tended to value relationships related to small relational groups, relationship leadership style, and small relational worship centers.


Failure to recognize the power of relational evangelistic approach in reaching non-Adventist peers at Solusi has contributed to minimal success in penetrating religious barriers. Evidence supported the conclusion that community and relational communities were effective ways of sharing the gospel, which follows a biblical mode.

Subject Area

Solusi University; Community and college--Zimbabwe; Church work with students--Zimbabwe

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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