A Cross-Cultural Study of Factors Motivating Church of Christ Ministry Students to Enter Ministry
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This dissertation is a cross-cultural study of ministry students at select Church of Christ schools in the United States, Panama, India, and Nigeria who are preparing for ministries related to the teaching of the Word of God (the Bible). The researcher developed a two page survey to be administered to participants. The instrument was reviewed by an expert panel and pilot tested in three countries: United States, Ukraine, and India. The final survey consisted of eight demographic questions and a listing of twenty-nine factors for participants to choose. Participants were then asked to rank the top five factors, in order of influence on their decision to enter ministries related to teaching Scripture. The survey was sent via email to a total of 31 schools in the four countries (15 in the U.S., 2 in Panama, 7 in India, 7 in Nigeria). Twenty schools participated in the study by the researcher's deadline (11 in the U.S., 2 in Panama, 2 in India, 5 in Nigeria). A total of 523 students filled out the survey (304 in U.S., 19 in Panama, 101 in India, 99 in Nigeria). Student responses were recorded on an Excel spreadsheet and then analyzed using SPSS. The researcher analyzed the findings in terms of three research questions. The focus of the research and the questions was on the frequency at which factors were identified by students, the ranking of the top factors by the students, and analysis of the difference between those rankings. Factors were ranked by frequency for the group and for each individual country to answer the first research question. In regards to the second research question, factors were ranked on an additive scale based on how they were ranked among the top 5 by participants. The third question focused on differences in mean ranks. Kruskal-Wallis H testing was applied to the mean ranks of each factor ranked by the students. Factors with a significance below .05 were declared to be significantly different among the groups. Eight of the twenty-nine factors were found to be significantly different, providing evidence that culture can impact one's motivation to enter ministries related to teaching Scripture. These eight factors were as follows: concern for the lost, desire to start a congregation, parent/family member, elder in local congregation, youth minister in local congregation, preacher in local congregation, ministry training outside local congregation, and previous experience in ministry. Key Words: Calling, Motivation, Motivational Factors, Ministry, Influence, Church of Christ, Ministry Students.