State of the holistic christian education curriculum for character formation in the seventh-day adventist church: a case of Rusangu university in Lusaka

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Date
2020
Authors
Muulu, Maimbo D.
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Publisher
The University of Zambia
Abstract
The Seventh-day Adventist Church has a well-organized education system with a policy that advocates for “Holistic Christian Education for Character Formation”. The physical, social, spiritual, intellectual, moral and emotional competencies form core values in the church’s education system. Despite Rusangu University offering a holistic curriculum, ills such as drug abuse, interpersonal conflicts and others persist. Based on the aforementioned, the study sort to investigate the state of the SDA holistic Christian education curriculum for character formation at Rusangu University in Lusaka district. The study objectives were to; describe the SDA holistic Christian education curriculum for character formation as understood by Adventists at Rusangu University, describe how Rusangu University implements the holistic Christian education curriculum for character formation, understand challenges facing Rusangu University in implementing the holistic Christian education curriculum for character formation and identify strategies of how Rusangu University can effectively offer the holistic Christian education curriculum for character formation. The research design adopted for this study was the descriptive design. The sample size necessary to achieve the objectives of the study consisted of ten participants. The sampling designs utilized in the study was purposive sampling, specifically homogenous sampling and expert sampling. Primary data was collected via semi-structured interviews before it was categorized into themes and sub-themes. The research findings revealed that Rusangu University offered the holistic Christian education curriculum, which sought to produce holistically developed students. The University implemented its educational curriculum through six main approaches. The first approach was the spiritual character formation. To form the students’ spiritual character, Bible Study and Week of Prayer programs took precedence. Second, was the physical character formation. Activities such as General Work Experience, Physical Activities and Games were offered to enhance physical competencies. Third, emotional character formation. Adventist Youth Society and Community Service programs developed students emotionally. Fourth, intellectual character formation. Programs which augmented intellectual competencies included Student Choir, Creative Writing and Debating. Fifth is the social competency which was achieved via an interactive program known as Student Camporee. Lastly, moral competency. The University offered Human Reproductive Health and Safety Education, Gender Awareness and Equality programs. Despite the University offering the holistic curriculum, ills were discovered which indicated that the objectives of the holistic Christian education curriculum were not fully accomplished. The study established that challenges accompanied the implementation of this holistic curriculum, such as; lack of proper understanding of the holistic Christian education curriculum for character formation by some Adventists, non-qualifications of some Adventists, poor financial capacity and inadequate materials. Among the strategies emerging from the findings of the study meant to foster an effective implementation of the holistic curriculum at Rusangu University was; the need for Adventists to be educated and qualified to spearhead every program, the need to devise other means as a source of funds and the need to buy missing equipment. One of the key recommendations of the study given in order to enhance an effective implementation of the SDA holistic Christian education curriculum at Rusangu University was that precedence be granted to the programs offered at the institution. Keywords: Holistic Christian education, Curriculum, Character formation
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Keywords
Holistic christian education--Zambia , Holistic christian education--Seventh-day Adventist Church
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