Doctor of Ministry

Year Approved


First Advisor

Moncauskas , Debra


Parents have a God-given duty to bring up their children in the faith. God calls pastors to shepherd flocks, point them to the Gospel, proclaim sound doctrine, and teach the people about the will and ways of God. The problem this project addressed was the decline of parental involvement in and responsibility for the Christian catechesis of their children in the context of the Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod. Parents have all but abdicated their responsibility to catechize their children to the church, and pastors have been complicit in allowing it. The purpose of this research was to identify the attitudes pastors and parents of the New England District held toward catechesis and to develop a new approach to catechesis. The researcher approached this project from a postmodern theoretical perspective. Utilizing grounded-theory and phenomenological methodology, the researcher surveyed parents and pastors through an online survey and follow-up interviews. Informed by the findings, the researcher developed a cooperative catechesis model that went beyond traditional catechesis approaches. The model emphasized lifelong catechesis beginning at birth and continuing throughout one’s life across four stages: “Equipping” for children birth to eight, “Enhancing” for ages nine to thirteen, “Exploring” for ages fourteen to eighteen, and “Engaging” for adults. In each stage, the researcher provided guidelines for how pastors and parents could cooperate in Christian catechesis.

Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry

Document Type

Doctoral thesis