The relationship between discipleship training and transformative learning in Korean Presbyterian congregations
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This study was designed to investigate and analyze the relationship between learning in the process of discipleship training and transformative learning in selected Korean Presbyterian congregations. Three Presbyterian churches that had a good reputation for discipleship training were selected. Personal interviews and analysis of disciple training material and curriculum were conducted. Nine discipleship training participants from three training levels in each church, totaling twenty-seven persons, were recommended by three churches and interviewed in relation to four themes of transformative learning theory by Mezirow. The total discipleship training material and curriculum in each church was analyzed for investigating what kind of perspective they try to change, such as the priesthood of all believers, the relationship between church and world, whole person maturity, evangelism, calling as a disciple, Jesus' Lordship and so on. Using the Discipleship Inventory developed and revised by Brad Waggoner, 90 surveys randomly selected in each church, totaling 270 surveys, were distributed and 254 surveys were completed. This data was primarily used to compare the maturity of participants in the three discipleship training levels in the three churches. Subsequently, this data was gathered to find out what factor among demographic factors was the strongest factor for determining a spiritual maturity score. This research revealed the nature of personal changes that occurred in the process of discipleship training corresponded to perspective transformation. All experienced personal changes were related to changes in participants' perspectives, such as the Lordship of Jesus, God's forgiveness, calling as a disciple, evangelism, the priesthood of all believers and so on. Transformation took place incrementally and occurred differently for each participant. The transformative learning experiences did not appear to rely upon rational discourse for critical reflection of assumptions, as Mezirow has defined it. Instead, participants experienced transformative learning through relational dialogue based on the relationships among group members and the relationship with God. More fully exploring the important role of others as a strong facilitator of change in personal life and the importance of community for promoting transformation would be necessary.