Rawlings School of Divinity


Doctor of Ministry (DMin)


P. Adam McClendon


Self-efficacy, Biblical Literacy, Bible Study, Doctrine, Christian Education, Discipleship


Educational Psychology | Practical Theology | Religion


Self-efficacy for biblical learning was explored in the context of a small group experience focused on how to study the Bible. After first developing a new instrument to measure self-efficacy for biblical learning in a pilot study, ten church attendees participated in a seven-week course designed around the hermeneutical principles of understanding a Scripture passage in textual and historical context, placing the passage in the grand story of God, and relating it to relevant doctrine. The small group process employed micro-teaching as a mechanism to facilitate challenge and mastery experience in learning. Micro-teaching places the student in the role of teacher for very short segments of the class. It was hypothesized that this elevation of the student role would facilitate stronger self-efficacy beliefs for biblical learning and increase doctrinal awareness. Results demonstrated considerable improvement in both self-efficacy and doctrinal awareness across multi-methods. Positive change in teaching confidence and accuracy ratings was also observed for participants’ micro-teaching, which points to the process as a mastery experience. Because self-efficacy beliefs are excellent predictors of future behavior, increased efficacy for biblical learning could lead to increased engagement with the Bible. Implications for future research and practical ministry are discussed, including elevated involvement of congregants in Bible study classes and increased focus on hermeneutical skills.