Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry (DMin)



First Advisor

Phillip Carnes, DMin

Second Advisor

Douglas Balzer, DMin

Third Advisor

Jim Eichenberger


In the realms of popular education, literates hold the day, yet they are not the majority. Even in our highly-advanced world, non-literates or oral communicators, still comprise the largest class of potential learners awaiting an education. The problems they face are complicated and challenging. Physical and financial access to education stop most oral communicators before they even start. If they had access to a local educational institution, more massive hurdles await, including literacy itself followed closely by lack of attention to the learning styles of oral learners. Yet there is hope. When educators determine to address the unique needs and challenges faced by the non-literate world majority, new schemas arise. This paper examines some of those efforts while focusing on one segment of oral societies, those individuals in spiritual leadership, pastors. Oral learning pastors bear the significant burden of providing spiritual guidance in a field where this knowledge is usually gained through literate means. I will offer a clear explanation of the problems faced by these leaders, what means and methods have been attempted to reach them in the past as well as more recent efforts to address more appropriate andragogic methods. This paper will explore learning style preferences for oral communicators while giving attention to field tested methods examined in the last thirty years. A review of ancient oral communications brought into modern practice will demonstrate effective models of verbal and visual teaching and learning. An emphasis on theological accuracy and reproducibility will present compelling evidence that oral learners represent the largest untapped resource of the global church.

Included in

Christianity Commons