Demographic Factors Influencing Adult Participation In Christian Education Programs Among Episcopal Churches In Southern California (Published)
The capability of a free, mature faith response to the Gospel is more in Adult Christians than in the young Christians. It is thus imperative that the opportunities of Christian education are by extension made available to adults. This paper is an investigation into the reasons why adults participate in congregationally sponsored Christian education learning events in the church. Adult participation in Christian education is examined in relation to selected demographic variables and the religious motivation of adults. Understanding the motivational orientations of adults serves as a beginning point for church leaders and directors of Christian education to develop and organize educational programs that meet the needs of adult learners. Motivation to participate was measured using an adaptation of the Education Participation Scale (EPS) (Boshier, 1991). The factors include; Spiritual Growth, Cognitive Interest, Church and Community Service, Education Preparation, Social Contact, Family Togetherness and Social Stimulation. A sample size of 454 Episcopalian adults that constituted 63% females and 37% males, averaging 50 years participated in the study undertaken in Southern California. Statistical procedures used to analyze data in this study included Pearson Product-Moment Correlation and Analysis of Variance (ANOVA). All hypotheses were tested at an alpha level of .05. In relation to demographic variables, intrinsically motivated respondents who had a higher level of education attended more programs. Singles tended to be extrinsically motivated in their participation of educational activities. Nonetheless, no correlations were found between age and the Religious Orientation
The Christian philosophy of education is directly opposed to the public philosophy of education. Due to this philosophical difference, the goals, objectives and purposes of Christian schools (Education) are different from those of the public schools. It is important that pastors, teachers, parents and stakeholders in education fully understand the basis for the Christian philosophy of education and its implications. The Christian philosophy of education calls for an educational process that puts the Bible at the centre and asks the student and the teacher to evaluate all they see in the world through the eyes of God. It is purposed to return both learners and instructors to God’s honour in their lives, for the purpose of education is to build character; it is to mould a life that honours the Lord (‘a vessel unto honour, meet for the master’s use and prepared for every good work’ -II Tim. 2:21). In this sense realizing Christian Education in modern pedagogy primarily brings instructors and learners to the knowledge of God. The teaching of good character, qualities and moral principles provides a framework for successful life, skills, social well-being and protection from certain behavioural consequences. True education, most simply stated, is teaching about God’s creation and His providence.