Date of Award


Document Type

Major Applied Project

Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry (DMin)

First Advisor

Joel Biermann

Scripture References in this Resource

Acts 13:1-3; Matthew 18:19-20; Acts 16:4; 1 Peter 5:3; Numbers 11:29


Among Lutheran denominations in America, the Association of Free Lutheran Congregations privileges the free activity of the congregation with a unique church polity. Because of its rarity, the AFLC is especially concerned that a correct understanding of its polity be taught at its schools and passed on effectively to future generations. One way to ensure that this occurs successfully is through a combination of theological and historical instruction. Historical education has been in decline for several hundred years due to developments in Western thought. Nevertheless, significant arguments can be made for the necessity of an historical and narrative understanding of Christian faith and life. This research project set forth a narrative account of the AFLC’s polity and attempted to measure the impact on Bible college students of a combination of theological and historical instruction using that narrative account. A Likert-scale survey was given to participants after theological instruction of church polity but before historical instruction. Another survey was given after the historical instruction. Results suggest that the historical instruction improved the students understanding of the AFLC’s practice of congregational church polity.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.