Gaines S. Dobbins and Scientific Management Theory in 20th Century Church Education

From: Volume 12, Issue 2: Fall 2015, Curriculum Issues in Christian Education Pages 355-371


Frederick Taylor’s Scientific Management Theory became a topic of focus in church education circles early in the 20th century. Gaines S. Dobbins in particular embraced and extended the principles of scientific management and efficiency at that time. This article contends that his application of these principles to church education effectively redirected the emphasis of church educational ministries to an unbalanced focus on systems and measurements. Analysis of his earlier formative works reveals a contradiction between Dobbins’s sound theological views and the practical ministry applications he developed through adoption of scientific management principles.

Key Words: Educational Ministry, Church Efficiency, Gaines S. Dobbins, Scientific Management Theory, Sunday School



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