Professional Dissertations DMin

Date of Award

2021

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry

College

Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary

Program

Doctor of Ministry DMin

First Advisor

Alfonso Valenzuela

Second Advisor

Ricardo Norton

Third Advisor

Ronaldo Rojas

Abstract

Problem

Although marriages and families have experienced threats and obstacles in every age, they suffer today from a plethora of pernicious onslaughts of growing intensity. The seeds of familial unhappiness and disintegration are often sown long before arriving to the nuptial altar. These realities highlight the importance of seeking a solid marital orientation before, during and after the wedding ceremony. The condition of the family, starting with its foundational marital entity, inevitably affects the destiny of the individual, the church and society. As it is evident in the area of North Dallas in Texas, multiple challenges and problems endanger the family circle. In seeking to confront them, priority is often given to solutions that subordinate to a lower level the timely instruction of the Holy Scriptures, in particular the book of Song of Solomon.

Methodology

This is a practical theological undertaking, with direct contextual application. Therefore, the present research project leads to the development of a 10-part marriage orientation seminar based on the book Song of Songs, to be presented in the Plano Spanish Seventh-day Adventist Church of Texas in mid-2019. The title of the series is “Return to Eden.” Its goal is to enhance the level of biblical and practical knowledge of the participants tending towards improving their family life. It seeks to increase the kind of learning conducive to marital formation and orientation, strengthening of marital bonds, betterment of family ties and relational and spiritual growth of the attendees. The researcher follows an intentional process. To begin with, he carries out an analysis of biblical and theological literature, especially the concepts from the book of Songs, which encourage the revitalization of the family core. Then, he examines in the current literature the main factors that impact the family today. In addition, he provides a congregational profile of Plano which includes a concise history, family statistics and demographic information of the metropolitan area of Dallas, Texas. From this research and observation data, he creates and hosts the marriage orientation seminar based on the book Song of Songs. In the chosen site for implementation, he evaluates the seminar using written and anonymous questionnaires that measure the level of benefit obtained from the seminar tending towards relational improvement among participants.

Results

The 75 survey respondents provide six assessment answers each, for a total of 450 responses. In a meager 0.7 % of cases there is no stated benefit from the seminar. Another 1.6 % obtains just a little benefit out of it. A 9.3 % of participants receives some benefit. In addition, 38.7 % reaches significantly positive results. Likewise, 46.4 % gets a lot of benefit from the course. Finally, 3.3 % omits the answers. In summary, 96.0 % of survey respondents acknowledges at the very least a little benefit; 94.4 % of them, some or more benefit and 85.1 % quite enough or much benefit from the “Return to Eden” seminar. In contrast, 91.9 % of participants admits having studied nothing or very little of the Song of Songs before the seminar. When taking into account this starting point of lack of knowledge, the resulting final evaluation percentages are significantly encouraging.

Conclusion

The results of the survey of the 75 participants reflect a high level of learning and benefit obtained from the “Return to Eden” seminar. Consequently, the marital seminar based on the book of Songs becomes an additional valuable tool in the arsenal of beneficial resources for today’s homes. As part of a broad and balanced family ministry, it is an instrument worthy of being taken into account and utilized to its highest potential. Its missional projection is considerable when recognizing the current needs present not only in the church but also in society at large. Therefore, it sheds a further light of hope on distressed contemporary families.

Subject Area

Marriage; Marriage counseling; Families; Plano Spanish Seventh-day Adventist Church (Plano, Texas); Bible. Song of Songs

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