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

Boubakar Sanou

Second Advisor

Stan Patterson

Third Advisor

Joseph Kidder

Abstract

Problem

Misunderstanding and conflict have severely affected three Haitian churches: Dedham Temple Church, Peniel Haitian Seventh-day Adventist Church, and Framingham Temple Seventh-day Adventist Church. The conflict persists between two groups of church members—young adult Haitians born in the United States and newcomer immigrants who were born and raised in Haiti. The division occurred due to misconceptions, language barriers, and preferences for different styles of worship. They were also divided by cultural obstacles, such as knowing the proper etiquette for social media and respecting others’ space. This conflict permeated all the congregations and affected all members.

Method

In efforts to bridge the divide, the researcher designed, implemented, evaluated, and reported on a self-designed conflict intervention process. This research was done by providing a questionnaire, developed through SurveyMonkey, to church members from Dedham Temple, Peniel, and Framingham Temple Seventh-day Adventist Churches. The survey was conducted of both first-generation and second-generation young adults aged 18 to 35 in order to understand their points of view. Also, a symposium was conducted to provide church members with tools for dealing with conflict and to teach them how to embrace forgiveness as modeled by Jesus. After completing the symposium, an evaluation was conducted to collect data in order to assess the members’ progress and attitudes.

Results

The study indicated that the young adults came to perceive the necessity for better agreement on conflict management and intergenerational cultural differences as the main piece of a healthy congregation. They requested additional seminars on conflict management to be conducted regularly.

Conclusion

This investigation uncovered that young adults could be thoughtfully prepared to manage conflict by using specific tools and abilities. The participants concurred that they need more opportunities where youth can be transparently expressive without the concern of being rebuked or criticized. Also, they need to have methods for encouraging all groups to somehow integrate traditional practices with contemporary ones. The data showed that the intervention process did assist in helping the youth to identify and address significant needs.

Subject Area

Conflict management--Religious aspects--Seventh-day Adventists; Immigrants--Haiti; Haitian American youth; Intergenerational communication--Religious aspects--Seventh-day Adventists

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