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CYE Celebrates 30th Anniversary

Date: November 1, 2010

“Youth ministry leaders are beginning to realize that it’s not only about doing church activities and events—it’s about transforming young adults,” said Denis Fortin, dean of the Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary and vice-chair of the Center for Youth Evangelism (CYE) Board. Fortin was one of several key speakers who participated in the CYE’s 30th Anniversary Celebration held Thursday, Oct. 21, in the Andrews University Seminary Chapel. The service reflected on the history of the Center while also highlighting its current impact and future goals.
Established in 1979 as the Youth Resource Center at the Andrews University Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary, it became the first such center at any Adventist college or university in the world, specializing in the training of students and congregation youth ministry leaders for various forms of youth evangelism. It has steadily grown over the years and was renamed in 1996 as the Center for Youth Evangelism.
Today, the CYE is home to more than a dozen ministries specifically focused on youth evangelism including Cruise with a Mission, International Pathfinder Camporee, an annual Music & Worship Conference, and more.

Following comments from three of the past
CYE directors, Pastor Ron Whitehead,
current executive director of the Center
for Youth Evangelism, spoke for the CYE’s
30th Anniversary Celebration, held in the
Seminary Chapel. (Photo by Bradley Austin)
Erin McLean, mathematics and English major at Andrews University, is just one of many youth leaders who have been inspired by the CYE’s evangelistic efforts. “I have been involved in the past two Pathfinder Camporees,” said McLean. “The CYE is the most dedicated professional organization that I’ve ever been involved in. I honestly think the CYE is the best organization of its kind in the Adventist church... They incorporate so many cutting edge ideas and revitalize the way the church thinks about youth.”
At the 30th Anniversary Celebration, other youth leaders shared their experience working with the CYE. Japhet de Oliveira, CYE director, began the service with opening remarks and prayer. Thoughts from former Youth Resource Center directors Des Cummings Jr. (1979–1985), Steve Case (1985–1991) and Randal Wisbey (1991–1996) were also shared. The speakers told of their evangelistic experiences and how inspiring it was to work with young people.

Case, president of Involve Youth, explained the growing number of students who were interested in youth ministry during his experience as director. “The Youth Resource Center was the lab for what we were learning in class,” he said. “It put me into the field instead of just going off of my own experience from the past... We sometimes say ‘my’ ministry,” he explained. “But we need to keep putting ministry into the hands of God.”
Ron Whitehead, who currently serves as executive director of CYE, also spoke. He reflected on the excitement of having a new Seminary completed in 2001 and shared his hopes for further Center improvements. “I believe the future for the CYE is very exciting,” he said; commenting on the development of new technology, research methods and media communication. “I believe the Center is at the right university—Andrews University—where we prepare students to change the world. I’m happy to celebrate a Center that has much to do with the future.”
Gilbert Cangy, director, General Conference Youth Department; Manny Cruz, associate director, North American Division Youth Department; Roger Dudley, director, Institute of Church Ministry; Don Livesay, president, Lake Union Conference and member of CYE Board; and Niels-Erik Andreasen, president, Andrews University and chair of the CYE Board, also shared thoughts at the event.
Following the CYE’s 30th Anniversary Celebration,
a reception was held in the Center for Youth
Evangelism’s office suite in the Seminary. (Photo by
Bradley Austin)

The ceremony ended with remarks and closing prayer by José Bourget, assistant director of the CYE. A reception with light refreshments was held in the CYE offices following the event.
Concurrent with the CYE’s 30th Anniversary Celebration, the Church of Refuge (COR) Advisory, 180 Symposium and a Youth Leadership Development Summit were also held on the campus of Andrews University. To learn more about the Center and its ministries, visit

-Written by Ashleigh Jardine, student news writer, Office of Integrated Marketing & Communication

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