A Needs Assessment Of A Continuing Education Program For Korean Pastors In The North American Division Of Seventh-day Adventists
Author(s)Shin, Kei Hoon
Seventh-day Adventists--North America--Clergy--Post-ordination training; General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. North American Division.; Continuing educatoin
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AbstractProblem Continuing education for NAD Korean SDA pastors' ministry has been conducted since 1981. To make this continuing education program relevant a needs assessment was necessary. This study attempted to assess the specific needs of Korean pastors in knowledge and professional skills. Method All Korean SDA pastors in the NAD were included. Data were gathered through a written questionnaire. A graphic comparison method and other complementary instruments were adopted in terms of a discrepancy model. Results Among ten general subject-matter areas, the results from the survey show the area of biblical knowledge as most in need of continuing education. This is followed by evangelism/church growth and biblical/- historical/systematic theology. Though biblical backgrounds is strongly discrepancy-oriented, preaching/- worship/ceremonies seems to rank more highly in needs. SDA heritage and pastoral care place adequately in the middle range. Church administration placed higher than church history/comparative religion and biblical languages. An interpretation of discrepancy-oriented or importance-oriented must be accounted for. The pastors assigned as their highest priority of need to their spouses and children—except for personal spiritual growth and professional development. Pastors with graduate education gave evidence of greater doctrinal-biblical knowledge and a small advantage in ministerial skills. The top five motivations for continuing education were: (1) increased knowledge and skills for ministry, (2) meeting self-expectation, (3) spiritual refreshing, (4) fellowship and mutual support, and (5) meeting church members' expectation. The top four deterrents were: (1) contentment with previous education, (2) a lack of encouragement and financial support from conference officers, (3) a lack of time, (4) inconvenient schedule. Respondents show a preference for 4- to 7-day seminars or workshops at the SDA Theological Seminary in Michigan during September or June. Most preferred the present program with some changes and improvement. Almost 90 percent evaluate the present program as effective. Conclusions and Recommendations Nineteen specific recommendations were drawn from the conclusions. These fell into six categories: (1) the need of continuing education, (2) the subject- matter for continuing education, (3) learning situations, (4) changes and improvement, (5) pastors with and without graduate education, and (6) developing support systems for pastors. Eight recommendations were presented for further study.