School of Communication and the Arts


Doctor of Philosophy in Communication (PhD)


Wesley Hartley


Biblical and theological training, developing world, communication infrastructure theory, cybernetics




Research that shows the impact of training throughout the developing world is positive and limited. Informed by Communication Infrastructure Theory (CIT) and framed within the Cybernetic tradition, this study expands communication research to understand the impact of biblical and theological training among marginalized people in San Gabriel Mixtepec, Oaxaca, Mexico. Through semi-structured interviews and direct observation, this qualitative research study shows how the curriculum developed by Shepherd’s Global Classroom (SGC) and deployed through Ezra Biblical Seminary in San Gabriel works to equip believers and church leaders in their developing-world context. The storytelling network of CIT is examined and discovered to be active and growing in San Gabriel Mixtepec to inform those who need and desire the biblical and theological training extended by SGC through Ezra Biblical Seminary. This study has found that the information processing characteristic of the cybernetic communication tradition is critical to communicating content from one language and culture to another. Hindrances to communication and training were discovered to have been recognized by professors and eliminated. Thoroughly identifying and evaluating the outcomes of this biblical and theological training effort, this study answered whether the SGC curriculum, through the training efforts of Ezra Biblical Seminary, is working to equip believers and church leaders in the developing world. Future research should consider additional contexts in which the SGC curriculum is disseminated and used throughout the developing world to understand whether commonalities in training strategy and outcome exist and identify markers that shape the best results.

Included in

Communication Commons