Professional Dissertations DMin

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry


Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary


Doctor of Ministry DMin

First Advisor

Antonio M. Rosario

Second Advisor

Ricardo Norton

Third Advisor

Manuel Moral



The Great Commission (Mt. 28:18-20) charges each believer with the duty of forming disciples among people inside and outside the church and could be applied to members within the nuclear family. The Hanford Bilingual Adventist Church (IABH) does not have a program that trains parents in making disciples within their homes. Such a program has the potential to strengthen the nuclear families of the IABH and to form disciples within other families in the community.


This research was carried out in the field of practical theology and its main objective was to develop a discipleship program oriented towards the nuclear family. This program was designed to be presented to IABH families, by training parents as disciplers. Both qualitative and quantitative methods were used to address the nuclear family discipleship program. The topic under analysis was explored through semi-structured interviews. The research process included an exhaustive review of biblical and theological literature related to discipleship in the nuclear family, as well as consultation with the writings of Ellen G. White on these topics. Additionally, relevant contemporary literature was explored. A preliminary survey was conducted by the researcher, which was anonymous to maintain participant confidentiality and to gather statistical data that allowed understanding the participants' level of knowledge about the essential elements of family discipleship. Based on the obtained results, which were useful in collecting substantial information from the interviewed families' members, a family discipleship program for the nuclear family was designed and developed. Which included educational presentations through seminars, as well as interviews before and after them, aimed at the nuclear families of the church. All of this was implemented with the active collaboration of IABH. Finally, the effectiveness of the program was evaluated through a survey that collected the opinions of the participants for the purpose of assessing its impact on them and gathering feedback to enhance its development in future interactions.


After families participated in the program, a significant increase in the understanding of the fundamental elements of discipleship in the nuclear family was immediately observed. For example, the perception of the fundamental institution that God created to bless the earth changed dramatically, going from 30% who mentioned “the church” to 90% who now identified “marriage.” Similarly, understanding of the parental unit improved by 60%, now perceiving parents as a united front, compared to 40% previously. Subsequently, around five months later, positive results were observed in several key indicators. These included the formation of six small groups led by families participating in the program, the creation of the first children's baptismal class in the history of the church, the holding of the first children's baptismal campaign with 4 baptisms. Out of 15% of the church is composed of youths aged 16 to 25, out of 13% of them began to get involved in missionary and fraternal activities. The return of 5 young people who had drifted away from the Church (2 of them were rebaptized) and the organization of the Youth Life Group project. In addition, an increase in marital cooperation was observed regarding the comprehensive education of children. These changes indicate a notable improvement in participants' understanding of the essential elements of discipleship in the nuclear family.


The survey conducted of the ten participating families confirmed the high satisfaction with the program and highlighted the prevailing need at IAHB to address the issue of discipleship in the nuclear family. The practical approach of the family seminars, with an emphasis on discipleship, was very well received by attendees. This was evidenced by the open and frank participation of the participants. Additionally, the importance of supporting the nuclear families of the church with this program was highlighted, addressing their needs in the areas of spiritual growth and interpersonal relationships. The purpose was to train these families to disciple their own members and extend that to other families who joined the church community. Periodic repetition of this program was strongly recommended. Importantly, the program has significant missional potential, as it involves families in the global mission of the church and can benefit, not only the nuclear families of the church, but also families in the community at large.

Subject Area

Discipling (Christianity); Seventh-day Adventist families--California--Hanford; Hanford Bilingual Seventh-day Adventist Church (Handford, Calif.)

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