Document Type


Peer Reviewed


Publication Date


Scholarship Domain(s)

Scholarship of Discovery, Scholarship of Interdisciplinary Integration, Scholarship of Community Application, Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, Scholarship of Faith Integration


The purpose of this study was to determine the relationship between the children‘s ministry praxis in Nazarene churches and four significant spiritual milestones in the lives of Nazarene children. A mixed method study was used to obtain statistical, quantitative results from the population and then followed up with two small groups to explore those results in more depth through personal interviews. This study compares four quadrants of children’s spirituality, the Pragmatic-Participatory Model, Media-Driven Active-Engagement Model, Instructional-Analytic Model, and the Contemplative-Reflective Model. A quadrant is one of four categories that best describes a children‘s pastor‘s ministry praxis. These quadrants are sometimes referred to as models and can be found in Anthony‘s typology for children‘s spiritual formation. Amounts of agreement and disagreement among surveyed Nazarene children’s pastors was measured concerning whether the following would be beneficial to their spiritual growth: including periods of quiet reflection, fun activities, active engagement with the lesson, moments of quiet contemplation guided by adults, liturgy (order that is brought to the worship service) that is both individual and communal, spiritual conversion at any age, curriculum that is media driven, allowing the Holy Spirit to bring meaning to the story, application-oriented games or activities, healthy competition that focuses on improvement or task accomplishments, and a focus on small groups to reinforce large group lessons. Parents want to be a part of a church that loves their children, so if a church loves children it will continue to grow. A recurrent theme throughout this study was the importance of intentional ministry – everything done must have purpose.


In partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Education from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.

Author's note: An addendum to this dissertation was written in Fall 2016. The addendum reconsidered the four models presented in the dissertation and, with further statistical analysis, discovered that only three models exist. The Measurement and Evaluation of Children's Ministry Praxis can be found at