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

Marciana Popescu

Second Advisor

Peter Swanson

Third Advisor

Trevor O'Reggio



Financial challenges in Romania have prompted many Seventh-day Adventist people to leave their spouses and country to seek employment abroad. The impact of this phenomenon upon families has been significant. This situation occurred primarily between 1991 and 2000. Before 1990, generally speaking, the number of Seventh-day Adventist family separations or divorces was very low (around 30-40 families) in Romania. After 1991, this number increased dramatically to estimated 10-12,000 families. Temporary separation of spouses for economic reasons does not necessarily lead to a divorce. However, due to the complex implications of temporary separation on families, children and faith communities, this problem needs immediate attention. This study aimed to identify factors leading to separation, direct implications for the family, as well as existing support systems for couples undergoing temporary separation. The ultimate purpose of the study is to further inform program development to strengthen Seventh - day Adventist families in post-Communist Romania.


The project reviewed current literature, including books and articles about factors that affect the family, and methods and strategies that address negative factors impacting the family. As part of this research, we also created a database of actual circumstances of Adventist Romanian families, through the collection of information from the Romanian Union Conference and from local Romanian Seventh-day Adventist churches most affected by this phenomenon. First, a survey was used to gather information about families affected by partial migration. Second, the focus group method was implemented to debate this problem at the level of the Romania Conference and Union.


The goal of this project was to improve relationships within Romanian Seventh- day Adventist families by strengthening the relationship between spouses and between parents and children. Concurrently, an anticipated effect of the implementation of this project is a decrease in the number of divorces among Romanian Seventh-day Adventist families.


A church is strong if the families that compose that church are strong. We expect that the findings of this study will be used to implement an effective strategy that will contribute to the strengthening of families in the SDA Church in Romania. This project can also be implemented in other countries confronted with similar, limited term emigration problems.

Subject Area

Church work with families--Romania--Seventh-day Adventists; Seventh-day Adventists--Romania; Romania--Emigration and immigration--Economic aspects


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