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Adult Christian Education for Baby Boomers: a Descriptive Case Study of Three American Churches

Description: American churches seeking to assimilate baby boomers are struggling to meet the adult educational needs of this group. To determine what models of church-based adult education are used to meet the educational needs of this group, three large, growing American churches known for attracting boomers were identified as sites for research. A qualitative case study research design was used and results were compared using cross-case analysis. Initial data collection included a three-day visit at each church. Data were collected in three phases: Phase One consisted of personal interviews with staff and lay leaders; Phase Two focused on observation of adult education events which took place during the visitation period; Phase Three involved gathering materials that described adult education programs. To optimize the reliability and accuracy of the findings data were subjected to examination by peers, collection methods were applied consistently in each research phase, follow-up contacts were made with each church to verify observations and findings, and case records were created for each site. Eleven categories were selected and the data were presented by category. Within each category, data were delineated and organized into three areas: trends among the churches, noteworthy comments about individual programs, and comparison to the literature in the adult education field.
Date: August 1994
Creator: Donahue, William P. (William Paul)