The Congregational Christian Church of Samoa, 1962-2002: A Study of the Issues and Policies that have Shape the Independent Church

Aukilani Tuiai

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

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This thesis examines the major issues and policies of the Congregational Christian Church in Samoa (CCCS) in the first forty years of independence, from 1962 to 2002. The study is more-or-less arranged chronologically in order to identify the progression of key issues such as education within the Church. Much of the study draws upon CCCS archives and therefore the thesis takes a distinctive and unavoidable institutional perspective. The thesis gives particular attention to the impact of the Samoan village upon the organisation of the Church.

There are six chapters in this thesis. Chapter One deals with the cultural, ecclesiastical and political factors that contributed to the independence of the CCCS from the London Missionary Society in 1962. Chapters Two to Six cover a forty-year period in approximately ten year intervals. Chapters Two and Three cover the evolution of the structure of the CCCS and the major challenges it faced from 1962 to 1971. Chapter Four deals with a pivotal period from 1972 to 1980 when the optimism of the Church was bolstered by increasing overseas remittances, leading to ambitious building projects such as the University of Samoa and the six storey John Williams Building. The chapter concludes in 1980 when the American Samoa district split away from Western Samoa. Chapter Five covers the financial crisis of the 1980s brought about by the debt on the
John Williams Building. The continual demand to pay off the loan on the John Williams Building led to the closure of the University of Samoa and seriously affected the academic standards of CCCS schools. Even after the John Williams loan was paid off, there was further demand for finances which, ironically, resulted in a surplus at the end of the third decade. Chapter Six covers the fourth decade, a period marked by greater financial accountability, financial assistance from overseas thereby strengthening the financial state of the Church. Yet, paradoxically, it was also a period characterised by a
sharp decline in membership.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • Charles Sturt University
Award date01 Jun 2012
Place of PublicationAustralia
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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