John Gavin

Title: Associate Professor of Social Work and Assistant Undergraduate Program Director at Washington Adventist University Extension

Office Location: Social Work Department, WAU
Phone: (269) 471-6196 Direct: 301-891-4153




John Gavin, MSW is the on-site program director for the Andrews University Social Work Program at Washington Adventist University near the nation’s capital in Takoma Park, Maryland.  He is the associate director and a senior fellow for the Center for Metropolitan Ministry.  The Center for Metropolitan Ministry is one of the study centers associated with the Office of Global Mission of the worldwide Seventh-day Adventist church.  As such it is a strategic resource center providing research, information, and training to church and community leaders.

 Professor Gavin teaches courses in sociology, social welfare, values and ethics, and social work methods.  He has designed and conducted adult training in agency and program administration, evaluation, resource development, and disaster response.

 Professor Gavin received his BSW in 1986 from Walla Walla College.  He received his MSW in 1992 from the Catholic University of America’s National Catholic School of Social Service focusing in Social Policy Planning and Administration.  His work experience includes serving as the executive director the National Voluntary Agencies active in Disaster, the North American director for the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA), and the national director for Adventist Community Services - the social action and disaster response agency of the Seventh-day Adventist church.

 He and his wife have three daughters and enjoy sailing on the Chesapeake Bay and surrounding waterways.

Current Research or Professional Activities:

Selected Publications:

Gavin, J., Ellis, W., & VanderWaal, C.J. (2012).  Checking the Political Pulse of the University:  Findings from the 2012 SDA Religion and Social Issues Survey.  Spectrum, 40(4), 52-64.

 Gavin, J. (1992). Assessment of ingathering as a policy and fundraising program: Historical perspectives, assessment and recommendations. NAD.

 Gavin, J. (1998). Certified disaster response training level 1-5. Lincoln, NE: Advent Source.

Gavin, J. (2002, winter). Mobilizing People of Faith. Volunteer Leadership. Gavin, J. (2003). Perspectives on Spontaneous and Unaffiliated Volunteers. National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster, DC.

Sahlin, M., & Gavin, J. (1994). Basic services: Interviewing, listening & referral skills for community services practitioners. Lincoln, NE: AdventSource.

Sahlin, M., Gavin, J., Washington, F., Williams, G., Chavanz-Q., J., Moyer, B., et al. (1994). Ministries of compassion: Handbook for Adventist community services inner city programs and social action projects. Silver Springs, MD: NAD Church Resources Consortium.

Sahlin, M., Gavin, J., Washington, F., Williams, G., Chavanz-Q., J., Moyer, B., et al. (2000 revised). Ministries of compassion: Handbook for Adventist community services inner city programs and social action projects. Silver Springs, MD: NAD Church Resources Consortium.

Selected Presentations:

Gavin, J.T., Ellis, W., & VanderWaal, C.J. (2013, November).  Right in our own backyard:  The role of volunteering on church attendance and retention among seventh-day Adventist faculty and staff.  Presented at the 2nd Annual Human Subjects Research Conference, Summit on Nurture and Retention, Sponsored by the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, Silver Spring, MD.

VanderWaal, C.J., Gavin, J.T., Mayer, A., & Ellis, W. (2013, November).  The relationship between Volunteering and Religious Behaviors among Seventh-day Adventist Faculty and Staff:  Preliminary Findings.  Poster presentation at the Andrews University Celebration of Research, Berrien Springs, MI.

Shelly J., Sedlacek, David & Gavin, John. Assessment of Student Professionalism (ASP): Integrating Practice Behaviors Into a Behavior-Based Instrument. Council of Social Work Education (CSWE): 56th Annual Meeting, October 14-17, 2010, Portland, OR – oral paper presentation.

Gavin, J. (1993, July). Social Work and the Adventist church. Columbia University, NY: Adventist Forum.

Gavin, J. (1997, February). History of the Adventist Church Social Action. Columbia University, NY: Adventist Forum. Gavin, J. (2001, March 27). Disaster Volunteerism in the United States. Washington, DC: Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Gavin, J. (2001, August 28). Perspectives on Disaster Donations. Emittsburg, MD: Federal Emergency Management National Training Center. Gavin, J. (2001, March). Perspectives on Faith-Based Community Action. Riverside, CA: Better Living Series Inner City Symposium.

Gavin, J. (2001, October 25). Volunteer organizations and the aftermath of terror: Efforts to recover from the 911 disasters. Chattanooga, TN: University of Tennessee.

Gavin, J. (2003, February 28). Volunteer Organizations in Disaster Response. Meridian International Center.

Gavin, J (2004, February 15). Remarks on equipping churches for mentoring youth in the current context of individualism. Columbia Union College.

 Gavin, J., Drumm, R., & Sedlacek, D. (2009, March). Barriers to Adventist Involvement in Social Issues. Presented at the International Association of Adventist Social Workers, Huntsville, AL.

Phone: 269-471-6196   Email:
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