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

Raymond Andrew McDonald

Second Advisor

Zdravko Stefanovic

Third Advisor

Scott Ward



Baptism, one of the few spiritual milestones in the life of a young person, is not experienced at Florida Hospital Church with the intentional inclusion of parents, a group that has a greater spiritual influence for their children than any other person.


To help engage parents in the process, a baptismal preparation program was developed that provided training and resources for parents who then prepared their children for baptism. The program consisted of a session with parents, children, and the pastor; two sessions with parents and the pastor; and four sessions done by parents in the home with their children. The program was intended to be done over a period of three weeks.


Over a period of a year, three different groups met. They were comprised of 12 family units totaling 16 children. Based on the results of initial and final assessments, parents were more engaged in the spiritual development of their children and felt more positive about their own faith walk as a result of going through the program. Additionally, families reported a stronger faith walk, higher satisfaction with family worship, increased dialogue in spiritual topics outside of family worship, and a perceived increase in Bible knowledge, doctrinal knowledge, and prayer.


Parental engagement in the baptismal process grows the spiritual life of both parents and children. In a culture where young people are walking away from their faith due to a lack of familial engagement, this program could be used to continue the faith dialogue with parents, which studies indicate is a key factor in faith retention for young people. It is recommended that Florida Hospital Church use this program as the primary means for baptismal preparation for young people.

Subject Area

Baptism--Seventh-day Adventists; Parental influences; Florida Hospital Seventh-day Adventist Church (Orlando, Fla.)