Date of Award


Embargo Period


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (Theology) MA(Theol)


Arts & Theology


Ministry and Theology

First Advisor

Arthur N. Patrick


Problem: What a person thinks of himself and how he gets along with others are issues of crucial concern in our families, our churches, and in our community. Some Seventh-day Adventist Christians have tended to believe that an emphasis on propositional theology will automatically make Christians better people, but this is shown to be inadequate. Indeed Adventist teaching has always insisted man functions best in four dimensions. It was the purpose of this project to focus on a relational theology as well as some of the important principles of psychology and sociology to see to what extent an understanding of these things would bring about a growth in self esteem and interpersonal relationships.

Method: Two human relationship workshops were conducted in different Adventist Churches to establish an environment in which there would be freedom to examine, discuss, communicate, experience, and evaluate relationship issues. The workshops were structured around lectures and group dynamics. The first workshop was conducted at Hillview Seventh-day Adventist Church over nine weeks with an average attendance of fifty-eight and the second at Kurri Kurri Seventh-day Adventist Church over five weeks with an average attendance of eighteen.

Results: The evidence from the objective and subjective data gathered at the workshops indicated that the majority of participants experienced significant growth in self esteem, interpersonal relationships and the ability to manage personal conflicts.

Conclusion: Systematic human relationship training can effectively aid in the development of one's self concept and interpersonal relationships. It appears that regardless of the size of the group some degree of increase in relational growth will take place. It is felt that this training is an important part of developing the Body of Christ so it can function as He desired. "By this all men will know you are my disciples, if you have love for one another" (John 13:35).


Dissertation: Thesis (M.A.)

Andrews University, School of Graduate Studies, Avondale Campus, 1982.

Published with permission from Andrews University.

Staff and Students of Avondale College may access a print copy of this thesis from Avondale College Library (302.3 G31).

Every effort has been made to contact the author of this thesis to gain their permission. If the author objects to this thesis being online please email

Recommended Citation

Gerken, W. J. (1982). Self-esteem and interpersonal relationships (Master's thesis). Andrews University, Avondale Campus, Australia: Andrews University.

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