Professional Dissertations DMin

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry


Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary


Doctor of Ministry DMin

First Advisor

David Penno

Second Advisor

Ricardo Norton



The Seventh-day Adventist Church believes in the ministry of all believers, and at its base, the local church is not only led by pastors but also by members who take on leadership roles. In order for these members to excel in their ministries, their training and education must be intentional. The Central Cojutepeque Seventh-day Adventist Church of the Paracentral El Salvador Conference did not have an intentional leadership instruction program that can help said leaders assist in the leading of the church.


This project is a research initiative in the field of practical theology. It was applied within a congregation. The research entailed the development of a leadership seminar of four modules based on (1) Christian leadership, (2) Christian leadership characteristics, (3) leadership as demonstrated by Jesus's life, and (4) leadership according to the apostle Paul. These teachings were presented to the leaders of the Central Cojutepeque Seventh-day Adventist Church, in El Salvador, in June 2023. The activity was titled "Leadership Seminar," and its objective was to strengthen leaders' understanding of the concepts of Christian leadership and that leaders have been called to work within the family, the church, and the community. The seminar also aimed to inspire leaders to emulate Jesus's leadership methods and to learn from the apostle Paul's views on leadership. The researcher created a purposeful course in the research and implementation process. He began with a theological reflection on leadership in the Old and New Testaments, as well as in Ellen G. White's writings. He then analyzed contemporary literature, examining the nature and meaning of leadership, the characteristics of Christian leadership, servant leadership, and leadership theories and styles. As part of the research, the profiles of the city, the church, the members, and the leadership roles they carried out in the congregation were also provided. Taking this information into account, the leadership seminar was developed and implemented. Several written questionnaires and different feedback exchanges served as an evaluation method before and after the modules.


The leaders of the Central Cojutepeque Seventh-day Adventist church expressed their initial poor understanding of the subject of leadership. They stated that they developed and carried out their functions on impulse without taking into account theoretical knowledge nor by reflecting on how Bible characters carried out their task of leading the people. Following the implementation of the seminar, those same leaders expressed their wish to improve their outlook as heads of the congregation, and they made the commitment to develop an ecclesiastical training model based on Christian leadership and the teachings of Jesus and the apostle Paul. They confirmed that the seminar had been both impactful and relevant to their families, their church, and the community around them.


The implementation, development and evaluation of the Leadership Seminar, directed by the Adventist Lay Seminary of Andrews University, was the first experience of formal leadership instruction carried out in the territory of the Paracentral Conference of El Salvador for leaders of a congregation. The execution of this project made it possible to help with the development deficiencies of these leaders. In addition, the foundation for future training programs was laid and other similar training ideas were facilitated. The results obtained and the assessment of the work strategy will help in the design of effective training programs. It is concluded that the adaptation of the program and its development were positive. Thanks to the learning obtained in the instruction, the results in the leadership of the leaders of the Central Cojutepeque Seventh-day Adventist Church, El Salvador, were of direct benefit to the brotherhood of said congregation, and in the support of pastoral work. Consequently, the Leadership Seminar is added to the set of resources for the training and formation of church members in the territory of the Paracentral Association of El Salvador.

Subject Area

Christian leadership--Seventh-day Adventists; Leadership in the Bible; Laity--El Salvador--Training of; Central Cojutepeque Seventh-day Adventist Church (El Salvador)