Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The training of semiliterate rural pastors in the northwest region Ethiopian Kale Heywet Church
by Fellows, Timothy Steven, Ph.D., Biola University, 2014, 451; 3618958
Abstract (Summary)

A common plea in missions is the need to train pastors and church leaders for the rapidly multiplying churches in the Majority World, resulting in numerous formal and nonformal theological education training programs. In spite of these efforts, many rural churches remain without pastors.

Using appreciative inquiry and participatory action-reflection research methods, together with 49 participants consisting of church elders and representatives of women, youth, illiterate members, and church ministers from 6 churches in the Northwest Region of the Ethiopian Kale Heywet Church, this study examines the factors limiting rural churches from having their desired pastor, describes the ideal minister desired by rural churches, and initiates a training program to train the type of pastors the stakeholders desire.

The study reveals that rural churches struggle to have pastors because their most desired individuals migrate to urban centers, high numbers of non-wage-earning youth as members limit the economic capabilities of rural churches, and inflexible theological education programs do not take into account or seek to address economic constraints, community education standards, or the size of rural churches.

The study reveals that rural churches situated in communities that place a high value upon Western-styled education and high levels of certification desire an educated pastor trained through formal theological education using literate communication techniques. This emphasis upon certification frequently results in rural churches selecting individuals to become pastors who do not embody the rural churches' ideal personality or spirituality character traits, commitment to ministry, or age. After receiving theological training, these educated young ministers frequently seek salaries considered inappropriate or not available in rural communities, resulting in their migration out of the rural community to seek higher wages or better educational opportunities, leaving rural churches without trained pastors.

To fulfill their desire for pastors who embody the characteristics honored in rural communities and who will remain in the rural communities, rural churches must train bivocational semiliterate pastors using nonformal theological education training approaches that combine oral and literate communication techniques.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Starcher, Richard L.
Commitee: McEwen, Rhonda M., Steffen, Tom
School: Biola University
Department: Cook School of Intercultural Studies
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-A 75/08(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Clerical studies, Adult education, Religious education
Keywords: Ethiopia, Pastors, Rural, Semiliterate, Training
Publication Number: 3618958
ISBN: 978-1-303-87520-5
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