Rawlings School of Divinity


Doctor of Ministry (DMin)


Daphne Washington


Elderly, Salvation, Resident, Interdenominational


Counseling | Social and Behavioral Sciences


A fundamental error in urgency is made in perceiving that elderly persons have a surer and more substantive faith. One thing can be certain: those aged 80 and older have already eclipsed the life expectancy for United States residents and their time on this earth is nearing completion. The goal of this project was to provide an informed assessment of the deficit of biblical understanding among a group of elderly residents living in an interdenominational residence facility. This project reported on the spiritual gaps in biblical understanding addressed with the teaching of focused biblical truth in the areas of the certainty of the Bible, trust in God, and assurance of heaven. The process included a questionnaire that was distributed to members of the resident community and gauged the perception of the truth of the Bible, their trust in God, and assurance of salvation. The intervention presented included three group teaching sessions over dinner for those who had demonstrated the greatest total deficit in these areas during an initial meeting. A second identical questionnaire, individual follow-up, and a self-assessment were provided for each participant. The t-test revealed success in reducing the gap for understanding the Bible and for assurance of salvation with the use of focused instruction. Those interested in the faith practice of the elderly may wish to design worship and follow-up activities in their communities that relate to this work.

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