Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Gyant, LaVerne, 1950-

Degree Name

Ed.D. (Doctor of Education)

Legacy Department

Department of Counseling, Adult and Higher Education


Winston; William Samuel; Living Word Christian Center (Chicago; Ill.); Adult education--Illinois--Chicago; African Americans--Education--Illinois--Chicago; Church work with African American families--Illinois--Chicago; African American clergy--Illinois--Chicago--Biography


This dissertation examined the educational programs provided by an African American church and the philosophy of its pastor, and how the participants and surrounding community were empowered. For years the African American church has been the major provider of a holistic education—spiritual, economic, social, and political. Likewise, it has been the center for learning in the African American community. Within the African American church, the pastor is a leader, motivator, educator, and spiritual mentor. It is the pastor who preaches words of hope and how to apply the Bible daily. The field of adult education has overlooked the contributions of the African American church to nonformal education (NFE), and limited research has been conducted on the leadership role of the African American pastor. This study will contribute to literature on nonformal education programs offered in African American churches and the contributions the pastor provides. A qualitative method was used to portray the life of Pastor William “Bill” Samuel Winston, at Living Word Christian Center, and their nonformal education programs. This study combined historical and biographical methodology to explore the life of Pastor Winston. Interviews were conducted to gain an understanding of the pastor's role in developing nonformal education programs and how the participants were transformed. Findings indicated that (1) the African American church provides both church-based, community-based nonformal education programs, and special programs to meet the needs of the community; (2) the results of these programs have empowered participants in the areas of spiritual enrichment, academic excellence, social enrichment, and economic consciousness; and (3) the pastor within the African American church is the initiator for nonformal education programs. The findings show that the church and the pastor create nonformal education programs that offer a spiritual foundation, to teach participants how to apply the Word of God to their daily lives, and an opportunity to utilize their gifts. This study opens up several areas for future research in adult, religious, and general education. “Study to shew thyself approved unto God” (2 Timothy 2:15 KJV) is what the African American church and the pastor offer through nonformal education programs.


Includes bibliographical references (pages [128]-135).


ix, 177 pages




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