A normative description of the role of the certified director of Christian education in the Methodist Church
Lindecker, Wayne Moore
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(1) The library research traced the historical developments of the vocation of the employed local church director of Christian education in the Protestant churches and in The Methodist Church from its beginning in 1908, to the present time. This research supported the assumption that a description of the position of the director of Christian education is needed. 2) The questionnaire was sent to the pastor, the director, the chairman of the commission on education, and the church school superintendent in the 355 local churches where Methodist directors are employed. Fourteen hundred nine questionnaires were mailed. Seven hundred thirteen usable questionnaires were returned for a response of 50.6%. Seventy-five and seven-tenths per cent of the directors returned questionnaires. Significant areas of agreement and of disagreement were revealed among the four leaders concerning the work of the director. 3) Interviews were held with twelve individual respondents and with two groups with all four respondents, and one group in which three of the four respondents were included. Findings from the interviews were compared with those from the questionnaire and, although not an adequate sample, supported the findings from the questionnaires. 4) A normative description of the certified director of Christian education in The Methodist Church was formulated upon the basis of the research data. Normative description is used in this case to mean a statement of what ought to be the nature and work of the director. The following paragraphs are a summary of the normative description. A director in The Methodist Church is employed by the Quarterly Conference. The director is responsible to the pastor. He shares the ministerial function in a church large enough to need more than one minister on the employed staff. The specific assignment of the director is to guide the educational program of the church. He participates with other members of the employed staff in total church program development. The scope of the work of the director includes all that the church does that teaches. The director guides the commission on education, and works with teachers and officers of the educational program. He helps organize the work of Christian education. He helps persons know their jobs and helps them develop skills to do their work effectively. The director provides needed leadership functions in the educational program until indigenous leadership can be enlisted and trained. The director does not replace lay workers in responsibilities, but helps to see that persons are enlisted and trained for positions of service in the educational work of the church. The director works with teachers and officers as they need his guidance when they carry out their responsibilities. Educational projects of the district1 the annual conference, and the council of churches are an extension of the educational program of the local church, and as such should be a part of the director's responsibility. The work of the director should be defined in each church so he knows what to expect and so others in the church know what to expect of the director. The local church job analysis should be flexible so as to allow for the varied nature of the director's job. The specifics of the job of the director vary from church to church. It is important that each church where a director is employed create a specific job analysis for the work of the director in that church.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--Boston University.