Professional Dissertations DMin

Date of Award

2022

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry

College

Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary

Program

Doctor of Ministry DMin

First Advisor

Ronald Flowers

Second Advisor

Merlin Knowles

Third Advisor

Ronald Du Preez

Abstract

Problem

Despite the U.S. Government viewing the marital union as the foundation of the family and of society, statistical data indicates that marriage is on decline with divorce and separation remaining a primary solution to marital ills and fewer young people choosing to marry. To complicate matters, studies reveal that Christian marriages, including Seventh-day Adventists, do not fare any better than those of the general population. However, research also shows that marital education efforts can and do make a difference in increasing spousal satisfaction and offsetting desires to separate or divorce.

Method

In the scope of this project I set out to provide a marital education intervention which consisted of two phases. The first phase was in the form of a weekend intensive. The second was a series of biweekly meetings conducted over a period of three months. The intervention sought to improve levels of communication, conflict resolution and matrimonial satisfaction for volunteer couples within the Susanville and Quincy churches of the Nevada Utah Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. The 30-item ENRICH Three Couple Scales (2010) was administered pre and post intervention and the results were comparatively analyzed to see if improvements in these areas were made.

Results

When examining the mean data alone, an apparent increase in post-event test scores seems to reveal that the intervention made a positive impact on participants as a whole. This hypothesis is supported statistically in the paired t-test results of the entire test group, but only partially when considering male and female data independently. An increase in the area of communication alone was shown to have a statistically significant difference in all t-test results.

Conclusions

The data shows that ministerial efforts of this type in marital education can have positive effects on marital satisfaction and be particularly effective in strengthening spousal communication. The primary recommendation would be that this study be done at a larger scale and that further endeavors might look at long-term retention and behavior change for participant couples.

Subject Area

Marriage--Religious aspects--Seventh-day Adventists; Communication in marriage; Susanville Seventh-day Adventist Church (Susanville, Calif.); Quincy Seventh-day Adventist Church (Quincy, Calif.); General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. North American Division. Pacific Union Conference. Nevada Utah Conference; Nevada Utah Conference of Seventh-day Adventists

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