Date of Award

5-1-2016

Degree Type

Dissertation

University or Center

Interdenominational Theology Center (ITC)

Degree Name

D.Min.

Abstract

The purpose of this project was to address the lack of Christian Education for less literate seniors at the Mount Ephraim Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia. The objective was to empower seniors to have a greater sense of self-worth by highlighting their abilities and acknowledging the insight that seniors bring to the conversation within the Christian community.

The project took place at the Mount Ephraim Baptist Church. Less literate seniors in the congregation were invited to be involved in a Christian Education class that was designed to help seniors envision their goals, identify the barriers that precluded them from reaching their goals, and help them hear the voices of other seniors to give them encouragement as future leaders, despite their lack of formal schooling. The methodology is ethnographic and narrative approach.

Working with thirty senior citizens at the church, this project addressed the importance of teaching Christian Education to senior citizens who are less literate and have a desire to know more about the Word of God in a way that will help them know that they are really a part of the faith community. Story-linking and ethnographic methods will be employed. The thirty seniors that the author worked with, 75% of them have a fifth grade education; 10% made it to the 7th or 8th grade; and 15% were unable to attend School every day regularly following the death of a parent and consequently they had to quit school to enter the work force to help support the family.

The project included the development of a five-lesson series that addressed how biblical narrative relates to their narrative. The effectiveness of the lesson plan series was evaluated based on increased unity, behavioral attitudes toward each other, and their willingness to share their own stories.

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