A Comparative Study Between the Black and White Seventh-day Adventist Seminarians Concerning Their Attitudes and Perceptions of Their Ministry Relative to Selected Social and Theological Issues

Problem: The integration of theological studies with the practical aspects of the ministry is a desirable goal which the Seventh-day Adventist Church seeks to nurture within its seminary. The problem this study addresses is the lack of available data which answer questions related to how the Black and White Adventist seminarians approach their ministry in areas of selected social and theological issues. Empirical data were not found to assess the relationship between one's face, age, community, church location, religion and one's response or attitude concerning his social involvement.

Method: From a list provided by the Adventist Theological Seminary, 244 questionnaires were placed in the on-campus mailboxes of the Master of Divinity students as of Fall, 1981. Ninety-two percent (224) respondents completed the instruments. From the 224 completed instruments, a total of 165 were usable and met the criteria for the study. The criteria selected those seminarians who were born in America and who are U.S. citizens. The statistical method used to assess the data included factor analysis and the Likelihood Ratio Chi-square. Data were processed and analyzed with the use of the Computing Center at Andrews University, Berrien Springs, Michigan.

Results: There was significant interaction between the races of the Adventist seminarians and their response to certain social and theological issues. In addition, there was significant interaction between the length of time the Black and White seminarians have been Adventists, their race, and their responses towards the given social and theological issues.

There was partial support for the hypothesis that the community in which the Black and White Adventist seminarians live, in relationship to their race, significantly interacted with their social and theological responses.

There was no support to indicate that there was a significant interaction between the age group of the Black and White Adventist seminarians, their race, and their response to the social and theological issues. In addition, there was little difference between the present location of the respective Black and White churches, the race of the seminarians, and their response to the social and theological issues.

Conclusions: It is clear that the Black and White Adventist seminarians view their ministry differently. Some significant differences according to race and length of time the seminarians have been Adventists, in relationship to their race and their responses to the social and theological issues, are evident.

The Black and White differences were consistent according to age group, the community of residence, and the location of the church in relation to the race of the seminarians and their response to the social and theological issues. 
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Byron P Napper
Andrews University Press
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Berrien Springs, MI  49104-1700

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Full text available online through ProQuest Digital Dissertations. Completed through Andrews University.
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Resource Type:
Papers & Plans; Internet Resources
Resource Objective:
Administrator / Leader, Researcher
Religious Origin:
Seventh-day Adventist