Date of Award
Bachelor of Ministry and Theology (Honours) BMinTh (Hons)
Arts & Theology
A number of Christian churches practise baptism as the believer’s baptism by immersion. Within these denominations, church leaders have a variety of philosophies and practices regarding baptism. Subsequently, individuals who experience baptism are assimilated through a diversity of strategies.
A study of baptism strategies in Australia and New Zealand will investigate a sample of Baptist Churches and Seventh-day Adventist Churches through a mixed methods approach. Their philosophies and strategies of baptism will be compared with each other, and also compared with the findings of the literature review and theology of this study.
Six churches from Australia and New Zealand participated in this study. Altogether, 145 church members and 6 church pastors were included in the group of respondents.
The qualitative results reveal progressive levels of the four components of a baptism strategy. These four components are bible learning, mentorship, church involvement, and faith development. The quantitative results reveal the use of these components, as faith development and church involvement are prominent in the practice of the sample, but the components of mentorship and bible learning are less practised. Baptism usually occurs during the second level of faith development (relationship with God) and church involvement (participation), while it occurs in the first level of mentorship (friendship) and bible learning (gospel).
Baptist Churches have a stronger emphasis on church involvement, and Seventh-day Adventist Churches have a stronger emphasis on biblical learning in their baptism strategy. Both denominations have a stronger emphasis on faith development, and have a weaker emphasis upon mentorship. With the support of the earlier chapters of this study, it is recommended for baptism to occur at the second level of each component of a baptism strategy.
Iererua, W. T. (2012). Baptism blueprint: A comparative study of baptism strategies in the context of Australia and New Zealand (Bachelor's thesis, Avondale College, Cooranbong, Australia). Retrieved from https://research.avondale.edu.au/theses_bachelor_honours/11