Gregg Keen



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Children as Agents of Community Transformation: A Church-Based and Child-Focused Model

The ministry issue discussed in this dissertation is the role that children can and should have in the community transformation process. This issue is discussed in the context of the ministry of Compassion International. The project that was implemented in order to inform this issue was an exercise to measure the level of self-esteem in Compassion-registered children and their siblings. The results of that research helped determine whether there are correlations between a child’s self-esteem level and his/her taking initiative as a change agent. 

Chapter 1 provides background on the reasons the role of children in community transformation was selected as the topic for this project, and how this study contributes to transformational leadership. Chapter 2 discusses the historic place of church-based, child-focused programming within the larger community transformation industry and compares the programmatic principles of Compassion International to those of Bakke Graduate University, The Christian Community Development Association, and other industry standards. Chapter 3 is a literature review of various aspects of community transformation and includes a comparison of the World Vision International and Compassion International models for child-focused programming. Chapter 4 provides a theological overview and case for elevating the place of child-focused ministry as well as a history of the recent child theology movement. 

Chapters 5 and 6 both focus on the actual research project. Chapter 5 describes the project that took place in Uganda comparing self-esteem levels of Compassion-registered children with those of their siblings. A tool referred to as the DAPR (Draw-A-xiii Person-In-The-Rain) exercise was used as the primary data collection tool. Chapter 6 reports the findings of the project and also includes examples that children gave regarding their own experiences initiating change at home or in the community. These stories are categorized according to Bakke Graduate University’s eight principles of transformational leadership. 

Chapter 7 provides the conclusions and specific recommendations to Compassion International’s programmatic leadership team. Recommendations are given in the areas of equipping the church, child-focused transformation, and other potential programmatic adjustments as well as suggestions for additional research. 

Publishing Info: 

Bakke Graduate University 2013

English Theology of The Womb