VG1 Attitudes and Support of Adventist Ministers Towards Denominational K-12 Schools
Purpose: This study examines the attitudes of Seventh-day Adventist ministers regarding the importance of denominational elementary and secondary schools and self-perceived levels of support. The study also compares identified demographic variables in order to determine if a correlation exists between these variables and self-perceived attitudes and tangible support of denominational schools.
Procedure: Survey instruments were mailed to 344 church ministers in the Southern and Southeastern California Conferences of Seventh-day Adventists. A return rate of 70.3 percent was achieved with 242 of the 344 ministers contacted returning their completed surveys. Appropriate inferential statistical tests were utilized and factor analysis was conducted on each major section of the survey instrument.
Findings: The major findings were: (1) Philosophical attitudinal support for denominational schools is strong amongst Adventist ministers; (2) The tangible effort and action put forth by ministers in support of church schools is at a lower level than their verbal statements affirming intellectual belief in the importance and value of church schools; (3) Most ministers hold a strong belief that the denominational educational system is critical to the future health and survival of the church; (4) There are a number of identifiable concerns ministers have regarding the denominational school system; and (5) Ministerial responses were strikingly similar to data collected in the 1988 Valuegenesis study.
Conclusions The following are study conclusions: (1) Philosophical and attitudinal support of Adventist ministers for denominational schools is generally strong although tangible effortful support is at a lower level; (2) Ministers are generally satisfied with their local church school; (3) There was no correlation between a minister's age, the number of Adventist parents he had, the number of years attending denominational schools, and self-perceived levels of value and support: and (4) Issues related to financial support of the denominational school system is an area of dissatisfaction for many ministers.
Recommendations: The recommendations included: (1) That the Seventh-day Adventist Church give serious study to: (a) providing a Christian education component to ministerial training courses, (b) alternative methods of funding Christian education, (c) determining ministerial attitudes and support for Adventist colleges and universities, and (d) determining why there is a lower level of ministerial support for denominational secondary schools than elementary schools; (2) That local church school administrators: (a) seek to improve communication with local church pastors, (b) encourage active involvement of school teachers in local churches, (c) seek to maintain and promote a distinctive Adventist atmosphere and lifestyle on school campuses; and (3) Local pastors should become more actively supportive of local church schools.
Glen M Baker
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Full text available online through ProQuest Digital Dissertations. Completed through La Sierra University.
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