Date of Award

1-1-1997

Degree Type

Dissertation

University or Center

Interdenominational Theology Center (ITC)

Degree Name

D.Min.

Abstract

According to the report of the Communications Committee of the Presbyterian Church of East Africa (P.C.E.A.) to the 15th General Assembly, the church is aware of the immensity of information, education and revelation that can be shared and disseminated through the print media in the church. 1 However, to effectively disseminate the Gospel through the print media requires some creativity and administrative initiatives in the national office and particularly in the division of Communications and Publishing.

As an initiative proposal, this dissertation examines how the P.C.E.A. has used print media from the missionary period (early 1900) to the mid-1990s, and offers proposals for maximizing print media impact in church development and social transformation. This dissertation is the final stage and result of a Doctor of Ministry project study and research conducted in Kenya and the United States between 1993 and 1997.

Four parts comprised of eight chapters compose the dissertation. Part I is the ministry setting, containing chapters One and Two. Chapter One is a brief description of the nation of Kenya in terms of geography, history and politics. It is the wider context of this project. Chapter Two introduces the Presbyterian Church of East Africa as the central setting of the project. The history, the organizational structure and theological stance of this church are here discussed.

Part II is the main body of the dissertation. It is the ministry issue, and it is divided into Chapters Three and Four. Chapter Three contains the history of print media in the P.C.E.A., with some remarks on the early beginnings of print media in Europe. Chapter Four is a brief examination of biblical and theological basis for print media use.

Part III is the project, containing Chapters Five and Six. Chapter Five includes a review of six key texts which have been helpful in this research. The texts are: Keeping Your Church Informed by Austin Brodie; 2 Let the People Know: A Media Handbook for Churches by Charles Austin;3 Communications Media in the Nigerian Church Today by Boniface Ntomchukwu;4 How to Publicize Church Activities by William J. Barrows, Jr.; 5 Communication for Development by Karl Lundstrom; 6 and Hope for Africa by G. Kinoti.7 This chapter also includes questionnaire responses from a cross section of participants in Kenya and America, including the P.C.E.A. ministers living in Atlanta at the time, and members of the International Class of First Presbyterian Church-Atlanta. Chapter Six includes interviews, briefs from some P.C.E.A. leaders, and workshop proceedings from the P.C.E.A. Nkoroi and Chuka churches and from First Presbyterian Church-Atlanta.

Part IV is the project evaluation. This final part contains Chapters Seven and Eight. Chapter Seven discusses recommendations for possible implementation of the proposals or suggestions made in the dissertation. These primarily relate to finance, training and structural innovations and changes. Chapter Eight is the conclusion, restating the purpose of the project. It emphasizes questions of faith and the sense of urgency in doing whatever it takes to maximize the impact of print media in the P.C.E.A. for God's glory and the blessing of the church.

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