Toward a Strategy to Strengthen Member Engagement Among Adventists in the Washington, DC, Metropolitan Area

Publication Date



This dissertation presents a strategy to strengthen member engagement by promoting inclusive practices among Adventist churches in the Washington, DC, metropolitan area. The Seventh-day Adventist Church historically has placed a major emphasis on sociological and cultural engagement and inclusivity, making it one of the most diverse denominations in the world. Even so, disengagement from the church occurs all too frequently. To address this issue, I demonstrate from the literature that inclusivity is a human expectation, highlight key organizational inclusion models, and discuss member engagement practices in churches in general as well as sociocultural dynamics and practices of Adventists in particular. I conducted surveys, semi-structured interviews, and a focus group to study the sociological, cultural, and religious dynamics that affect member engagement in Adventist churches. Major findings highlight the need for more acceptance, prioritization, and ministry and missional involvement.

I draw conclusions from the findings regarding the importance of acceptance, adaptation, and association, and I propose recommendations for applications in Washington, DC, Adventist churches. As part of the recommendation, I present an “each-church-as-a-village” strategy in which members seek to foster more inclusive engagement by practicing acceptance, adaptation, and association. Though immediate application is for Adventist churches in the Washington, DC, metropolitan area, the strategy of “each-church-as-a-village” may also be useful for other churches in similar contexts.

Degree Name

Doctor of Missiology (DMiss)

First Advisor

Myers, Andrew S.

Document Type





Adventists, Seventh-Day Adventists, Church management, Mission of the church, Church membership, Washington, D.C., Metropolitan Area


Christian Denominations and Sects | Christianity | Missions and World Christianity


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