Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry (DMin)



First Advisor

Karen Tremper, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Trisha Welstad, DMin

Third Advisor

Karen Tremper, Ph.D.


Women in Adama City are enslaved to generational poverty due to a lack of alternative income generating means and unproductive expenditures related to spiritual practices in hopes of attaining supernatural power. A Self-Help Group is a development intervention approach that is aimed at empowering women. This research critically examines the role of SHGs in promoting holistic transformation of women in three areas: women’s economic empowerment, and socio-political empowerment, and women’s spiritual transformation with reference to the Ethiopian Kale Heywet Church Development Program. The SHG approach will be reviewed within a framework based on the concept of Christian holistic transformation. The thesis defines holistic transformation as the proclamation and demonstration of the gospel of Jesus Christ through word and deeds, and the transformation of both individuals and social structures to move towards an increasing harmony with God, the world, ourselves, and the environment as God intended. The research identifies three significant contributions with regards to women’s holistic transformation: (1) Women understood the root cause of their destitution associated with traditional and superstitious practices and the need to connect with their Creator; (2) Women experienced spiritual transformation that resulted in practicing ethical values and principles in both their businesses and personal lives; and (3) Women’s income and asset building were enhanced leading to the gaining of self-esteem and decision-making powers both at home and community and increased influence in socio-political affairs. Some of the research’s key contributions to knowledge include: (1) SHGs that apply Christian spiritual factors are likely to be more effective in facilitating women’s holistic transformation than those which do not; and (2) SHGs that focus on Christian holistic transformation enable women to understand the spiritual aspect of poverty, inspire a new personality and values, and strive for their own transformation promoting God’s vision for human life and living conditions.

Included in

Christianity Commons