Andrews University Agenda News and Events at Andrews University en-us Copyright 2018, Andrews University Tue, 20 Mar 2018 17:28:00 -0000 Tue, 20 Mar 2018 17:28:00 -0000 Week in Pictures: March 15, 2018 Thu, 15 Mar 2018 16:27:42 +0000 2018 Annual Faculty & Staff Awards <p> A multisensory experience of Michigan Wonders greeted those who attended the annual Faculty &amp; Staff Awards Celebration held March 4, 2018, in the Howard Performing Arts Center. As guests entered the building, they were greeted by an antique automobile, paying tribute to the world-renowned auto industry headquartered in Detroit. A buffet of made-in-Michigan food was served in a Michigan woodland, complete with woodland animals among the trees and flying overhead. Four local photographers also displayed a mini gallery of photographs of Michigan Wonders.</p> <p> The program began with a warm welcome and blessing by President Andrea Luxton. The host for the event was Duane Covrig, chair of the Department of Leadership in the School of Education. Duane portrayed Michigan-born former president Gerald Ford, a Michigan woodsman, and Edson White, son of Ellen &amp; James White, at intervals during the evening. He also shared details about the historical, cultural and natural wonders of Michigan against a stage backdrop portraying the four seasons. Throughout the evening, the audience enjoyed various prizes of made-in-Michigan items and participated in electronic polls that tested their knowledge of the state.</p> <p> At the conclusion of the night, Artur Stele, board chair and General Conference vice president, expressed his appreciation for the people of Andrews and the beauties of Michigan, closing the evening with a prayer of blessing.</p> <p> The real Michigan Wonders are the faculty and staff who were honored for their years of service to Andrews University as well as for excellence in service, teaching, faith development, research and creative scholarship.</p> <p> Click on individual names below to view the video tributes presented:</p> <h3> 25 Years of Service</h3> <p> <a href=""><strong>Steve Atkins</strong></a>, earth science and biology teacher, Andrews Academy</p> <p> <a href=""><strong>Bruce Bauer,</strong></a>&nbsp;professor of world mission, Department of World Mission, Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary</p> <p> <a href=""><strong>Denise Curnutt, </strong></a>Kindergarten teacher at Ruth Murdoch Elementary School</p> <p> <strong><a href="">Daniel Drazen</a>,&nbsp;</strong>editor of the Seventh-day Adventist Periodical Index (SDAPI) and implementation of Digital Commons @ Andrews, James White Library</p> <p> <strong><a href="">Dennis Gryzbowski</a>,&nbsp;</strong>motor pool foreman, Office of Transportation</p> <p> <a href=""><strong>Maxwell Jardine</strong></a>, HVAC foreman and master electrician, Office of Plant Services</p> <p> <strong><a href="">Beverly Matiko</a>, </strong>associate&nbsp;professor of English and communication, Departments of English and Communication, College of Arts &amp; Sciences</p> <p> <strong><a href="">Mencia Shelley</a>, </strong>financial aid processor,&nbsp;Office of Student Financial Services</p> <h3> 30 Years of Service</h3> <p> <a href=""><strong>Elynda Bedney</strong></a>, assistant vice president for Student Financial Services and University ombudsperson</p> <p> <strong><a href="">Jo Ann Davidson</a>,&nbsp;</strong>professor of systematic theology, Department of Theology &amp; Christian Philosophy, Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary</p> <p> <strong><a href="">Kathleen Demsky</a>,&nbsp;</strong>director of the Architecture Resource Center (ARC), a branch of the James White Library</p> <p> <a href=""><strong>James Hayward</strong></a>, professor emeritus of biology, Department of Biology, College of Arts &amp; Sciences</p> <p> <a href=""><strong>Herbert Helm Jr.</strong></a>, professor of psychology, Department of Behavioral Sciences, College of Arts &amp; Sciences</p> <p> <a href=""><strong>Bernard Helms</strong></a>, periodicals/acquisition librarian, James White Library; assistant professor of library science, College of Arts &amp; Sciences</p> <p> <a href=""><strong>Mildred McGrath</strong></a>, patron services manager, James White Library</p> <p> <a href=""><strong>Dorothy Show</strong></a>, executive administrative assistant to the Seminary dean, Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary</p> <h3> 35 Years of Service</h3> <p> <a href=""><strong>Daniel Cress</strong></a>, director,&nbsp;Servers &amp; Networks, Office of Information Technology Services</p> <p> <a href=""><strong>Michael Harrington</strong></a>, herdsman and cow feeder, Andrews University Dairy</p> <p> <a href=""><strong>Carlene Johnson</strong></a>, administrative assistant</p> <p> <a href=""><strong>Meredith Jones Gray</strong></a>, professor of English and department chair, Department of English</p> <p> <a href=""><strong>Keith Mattingly</strong></a>, dean, College of Arts &amp; Sciences</p> <p> <a href=""><strong>Barry Wilson</strong></a>, master electrician, Office of Plant Services</p> <h3> 40 Years of Service</h3> <p> <strong><a href="">Daniel Bidwell</a>,&nbsp;</strong>senior systems administrator, Servers &amp; Networks, Office of Technology Services</p> <p> <strong><a href="">Gregory Offenback</a>,&nbsp;</strong>heavy equipment operator, Office of Transportation</p> <h3> Daniel A. Augsburger Excellence in Teaching Award</h3> <p> <a href=""><strong>Gunnar Lovhoiden</strong></a>, professor of engineering, Department of Engineering &amp; Computer Science, College of Arts &amp; Sciences</p> <h3> Siegfried H. Horn Award for Excellence in Research &amp; Creative Scholarship</h3> <p> <em>Arts, Humanities &amp; Education:</em> <a href=""><strong>Charles Reid</strong></a>, director of vocal studies and artist-in-residence, Department of Music, College of Arts &amp; Sciences</p> <p> <em>Religion &amp; Theology:</em> <a href=""><strong>Stanley Patterson</strong></a>, professor of Christian ministry, Department of Christian Ministry</p> <h3> Faith Development Leadership Award</h3> <p> <a href=""><strong>Harold Schmidt</strong></a>, Lamson Hall&nbsp;maintenance supervisor and woodshop manager for the School of Architecture &amp; Interior Design</p> <h3> Excellence in Service Awards</h3> <p> <a href=""><strong>Jennifer Albers</strong></a>, administrative assistant, School of Business Administration Dean's Office</p> <p> <a href=""><strong>Benjamin Regoso</strong></a>, PC support manager, Client Services, Office of Information Technology Services</p> <p> <a href=""><strong>Allen Wellborn</strong></a>, manager, Office of Custodial Services</p> Tue, 13 Mar 2018 17:32:15 +0000 Health & Wellness Center Construction Begins <p> On Monday, March 5, Andrews University broke ground for an approximately $17.5 million, 76,000 square foot Health &amp; Wellness Center scheduled to open in the fall of 2019. Twenty individuals, leaders from on- and off-campus, participated in the shovel brigade, using gold-colored shovels to turn ground at the building site.<br /> <br /> The groundbreaking celebration started in the Howard Performing Arts Center Lobby. David Faehner, vice president for University Advancement, and Andrea Luxton, president, shared opening remarks.<br /> <br /> Faehner noted the location of the Wellness Center&mdash;close to students as well as to the community. &ldquo;Inadvertently, or maybe on purpose, it [the Wellness Center] will complete the final corner of a square between the Howard Center, Seminary and Pioneer Memorial Church,&rdquo; he said, &ldquo;and, in the process, will incorporate the meaning of the concepts that are permanently engraved on the Andrews University seal of Corpus, Mens, Spiritus or body, mind and spirit.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Andrew von Maur, professor of architecture in the School of Architecture &amp; Interior Design, has served as one of the architects for the project. Addressing attendees, he said, &ldquo;Former president Dr. Andreasen once told me that the reason we have a school of architecture on our campus is because architecture is about stewardship. Stewardship of God&rsquo;s blessings: financial resources, land, our natural environment, our built heritage and the time that each student and visitor spend on our campus. So it was very humbling and a real privilege to work on the design of the Health &amp; Wellness Center.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Dominique Gummelt, director for University Health &amp; Wellness, summarized work already taking place related to the University&rsquo;s health and wellness initiative. Highlights included the Health &amp; Wellness Council, the approximately 40 campus Wellness Ambassadors, an e-wellness platform for employees, daily wellness themes and the recognition of being selected as a gold level campus by the American College of Sports Medicine for the third year in a row. Gummelt said, &ldquo;God has created us with phenomenal potential to live our lives to the fullest in every possible way. He has created us extraordinarily, and He wants us to live healthy and happy lives so He can use us best for His sake.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Artur Stele, chair of the Andrews University Board of Trustees, invited Ted Wilson, president of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, to close the program with a prayer of dedication. Attendees then walked to the construction site where the official, ceremonial groundbreaking took place, followed by a reception back in the Howard Center lobby.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;We have been awaiting this moment for several years,&rdquo; says Luxton, reflecting on the event. &ldquo;This is not just a new building for the campus; it is one that will be central to our life and our mission. It will show every day how vital we consider health and wellness to be for our campus and our community. This build is now happening only due to the vision of President Emeritus Niels-Erik Andreasen and the generosity of all those who have supported this project with their very significant gifts. Thank you all very much.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> The Health &amp; Wellness Center will have a swimming pool, a recreation and event center with basketball courts, fitness and exercise areas and space for educational programs. The building site is currently under construction, and a web camera will be installed to provide a live view as the center takes shape.<br /> <br /> For additional updates on the Health &amp; Wellness Center, visit <a href=""></a>.</p> Mon, 12 Mar 2018 12:38:40 +0000 Official Online Release of "The Jackie Film" <p> On Jan. 25, 2018, &ldquo;The Jackie Film: A Wellness Transformation Project&rdquo; premiered on the big screen at Celebration Cinema in Benton Harbor, Michigan, after touring the film festival circuit for one year. Over 100 attendees viewed the film at the recent premiere, which was followed by a Q &amp; A session with the film team and cast, including Dominique Gummelt, the film&rsquo;s executive producer/producer/personal trainer, and Jackie Barrios, the main character, whose kick-start to a lifelong journey to wellness is documented in the film.<br /> <br /> In May 2017, &ldquo;The Jackie Film&rdquo; received an award of merit at the Christian Life International Film Festival in Canada. It also received an official nomination and third-place award at the October 2017 Kingdomwood International Film Festival in Atlanta and another award of merit at the 2017 Awareness Festival in Los Angeles in October 2017.<br /> <br /> Gummelt says, &ldquo;We sincerely hope that the film will inspire people to consider making positive lifestyle changes to experience transformation on an emotional, physical and spiritual level to start living life to the fullest potential.&rdquo; She added, &ldquo;For anyone who is looking to embark on a journey of transformation and change, we have made available the &lsquo;Kickstart Guide to Wellness Transformation&rsquo; on our website that anyone can download for free to help them get started!&rdquo;<br /> <br /> &ldquo;The Jackie Film&rdquo; is now available for rent and purchase via Amazon Video. It will also be available for screenings and for television. To learn more, contact <a href=""></a> or visit <a href=""></a>.</p> Tue, 06 Mar 2018 17:31:33 +0000 Seminary Releases Revised MDiv Program <p> The Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary of Andrews University has revised the Master of Divinity (MDiv) program, providing a sharper focus to the degree with fewer credit hours required. The 78-credit program starts in fall 2018 and is designed to be completed in as little as two years by students with an undergraduate degree in theology. Students with degrees in other disciplines will follow a three-year plan to complete their MDiv.</p> <p> The previous 92-credit program took three years for the average student with a theology undergraduate degree to complete. The revised MDiv allows the same students to finish the program in less time if they have fulfilled all prerequisite courses and can demonstrate intermediate-level proficiency in biblical languages.</p> <p> &ldquo;I&rsquo;m thrilled about our newly revised MDiv,&rdquo; said Ji&rcaron;&iacute; Moskala, Seminary dean. &ldquo;It brings together the best in scholarship and praxis to provide a stellar biblical, theological, historical and missiological framework for our students&rsquo; future ministry. Evangelism combined with a profound knowledge of the Bible and pastoral care is the first priority in our coursework.&rdquo;</p> <p> The revisions to the MDiv were shaped by extensive consultation with North American Division (NAD) advisory groups, faculty committees, administrators, students and accreditation standards with the purpose of providing an enhanced degree.</p> <p> &ldquo;The revised MDiv is shorter, deeper and stronger,&rdquo; said Fernando Ortiz, MDiv program director. &ldquo;Students can now fulfill their educational goals more quickly without compromising the quality of the program.&rdquo;</p> <p> One key aspect of the credit reductions has involved working with undergraduate schools in a Curriculum Collaboration set up by the NAD. This collaboration reviewed the learning needed by a pastor to determine which should be studied at the MDiv level and which should be prerequisites or part of students&rsquo; post-seminary internship training. Students who have degrees in disciplines other than theology and sense a call from God to deepen their preparation for ministry will take prerequisite courses at the beginning of their MDiv program. These essential courses will establish a solid theological and practical foundation on which their MDiv studies can be built to prepare them for excellence in ministry.</p> <p> Revisions to the MDiv program included dividing selected classes such as Issues in Daniel and Revelation into two courses in order to provide students with greater depth of study and strengthen their Adventist identity. Other courses that shared similar subject matter were combined. Theological and preaching courses were diversified to equip students to meet the needs of an increasingly complex world.</p> <p> &ldquo;Congregational pastors, chaplains and youth pastors will be equipped to closely collaborate with our church schools, making the schools a center for their evangelistic and community activities,&rdquo; said Moskala.</p> <p> Attention to the Adventist health message was also a significant factor that shaped the MDiv revisions.</p> <p> &ldquo;We are particularly excited about our new health and wellness course that will be taken by all MDiv students,&rdquo; said Teresa Reeve, associate dean. &ldquo;Students will receive training in personal fitness and learn to bring the health message to their churches and communities.&rdquo;</p> <p> To allow time for exercise, spiritual life and work, along with the demands of classwork and ministry practice, the maximum number of credits allowed per semester for MDiv students has been reduced from 16 to 14 credits. This adjustment will not only prevent academic burnout but also sets a pattern for healthy, balanced living to maximize students&rsquo; effectiveness in their future ministry.</p> <p> Concentrations in Chaplaincy and in Youth and Young Adult Ministry are offered in the revised MDiv program. In addition, a new dual degree, the MDiv/Master of Science in Community and International Development, has been added to the already-established MDiv dual degrees (MDiv/Public Health, MDiv/Communication and MDiv/Social Work). These concentrations and dual-degree programs allow students to gain advanced understanding and competency in areas of interest in order to more skillfully address the needs of today&rsquo;s world.</p> <p> To learn more about the MDiv or to enroll in the program, email <a href=""></a> or visit <a href=""></a>.</p> Sun, 14 Jan 2018 10:14:57 +0000 Death of Former President Joseph Grady Smoot <p> Joseph Grady Smoot, 85, of Pittsburg, Kansas, died Friday Jan. 5, 2018 at Via Christi Village. He had been a resident since January 2015. He served as president of Andrews University from 1976 to 1983. His tenure saw many significant accomplishments as outlined in the following life sketch. All four of his grandchildren, Hannah, Haley, Eric and Heidi Smoot, are current Andrews University students and their mother, Shari Nash Smoot, serves as the executive assistant to David Faehner, vice president of University Advancement. His son,&nbsp;Andrew Christopher Smoot of Oshkosh, Wisconsin, served in the development office at Andrews University from May 2000 to July 2002, when the family went as missionaries to Kenya.&nbsp;</p> <p> A memorial service will be held Wednesday, Jan. 17, at 11 a.m. in the Timmons Chapel at Pittsburg State University, Kansas, for colleagues and friends of Pittsburg State University and the community of Pittsburg. On Sunday, Feb. 11, a Celebration of Life Service will be held at 11 a.m. at the Fox Valley Seventh-day Adventist Church in Neenah, Wisconsin with Pastor Carlos Ancheta officiating. Burial will be in the Underhill Cemetery, Underhill, Wisconsin.</p> <p> Please remember his family and friends as they mourn his passing.</p> <p> <strong>LIFE SKETCH</strong></p> <p> Joseph Grady Smoot was born May 7, 1932, in Winter Haven, Florida to Robert Malcolm Smoot and Vera Eaton Smoot McNutt. Smoot received a Bachelor of Arts from Southern Missionary College in Collegedale, Tennessee in 1955, and Master of Arts and PhD in history in 1961 from the University of Kentucky.</p> <p> He married Florence Rozell on May 30, 1955. He married Irma Jean Smoot on June 4, 1959.</p> <p> He served as academic dean at Columbia Union College and dean of graduate studies at Andrews University where he also became vice president for academic affairs and later president. He held the academic rank of professor of history at Andrews from 1968 to 1983. He led Andrews to professional accreditation in several fields of knowledge, created the first strategic master plan, launched the first comprehensive capital campaign, and built numerous buildings. He instituted doctoral programs of study, developed a world system of affiliated higher education, and led the University to full accreditation of the Doctor of Philosophy. Under his leadership, the School of Business Administration, School of Education and College of Technology were established, as well as the Department of Architecture and programs in physical therapy. He developed the Andrews University Press as a scholarly publisher and created the Institute for Prevention of Addictions. Additionally, he reached into the community, establishing strong relationships with Whirlpool executives, which resulted in further gifts and improved community relations. He was also the leading founder of the University of Eastern Africa in Kenya.</p> <p> While at Pittsburg State University in Kansas, he was the vice president of Development and Public Affairs. During that time, he organized the PSU Foundation, established the public radio station KRPS, founded the university magazine, and created a substantial endowment fund for university operations. He brought one of America&rsquo;s finest concert organs to the campus and provided funding for numerous building and renovation projects. The Vietnam Veterans Memorial on the university campus was a special project to him. After retirement, he returned as assistant to the president of Pittsburg State University and vice president emeritus.</p> <p> In 1994, he became a director of Gold Bank Pittsburg and served for nine years in that capacity. In 1999, the Pittsburg City Commission appointed him to a four-year term to the Pittsburg Public Library Board of Trustees where he became a founder of the PPL Foundation in 2000 and its president in 2004. The Pittsburg City Commission appointed him to a second four-year term to the Board of Trustees in 2003. In 2001, he became a founder of the Pittsburg Area Community Foundation and served on its Board of Trustees.</p> <p> He was a member of Phi Alpha Theta, the national honorary society for history. Widely published as a historian, he has nearly 700 publications. As an educator, he became a national authority on the accreditation of higher education. He was a Paul Harris Fellow of Rotary International. Widely traveled, he has visited over 100 countries on seven continents.</p> <p> Survivors include his son, Andrew Christopher Smoot of Oshkosh, Wisconsin; brother Wayne McNutt of Winter Park, Florida; and four grandchildren. Hannah, Haley, Eric and Heidi Smoot of Berrien Springs, Michigan.</p> <p> Smoot was preceded in death by his first wife, Florence, in 1957, and second wife, Irma Jean, on June 18, 1999; grandson Christopher Nash Smoot, one brother, two sisters and one half-brother.</p> Thu, 11 Jan 2018 17:50:41 +0000 Rankings and Enrollment Report <p> As another school year began with fall semester studies on the Berrien Springs campus, at partner locations around the world, and with individual distance education students, Andrews University took the measure of its progress, success and challenges through a variety of internal and external measures and statistics.</p> <p> <strong>Rankings</strong><br /> In addition to fall semester and year-round accounting of students, the fall season is also a time when a wide array of school rankings is released, ranging from those that measure specific disciplines to the more well-known rankings, such as U.S. News Best Colleges, Wall Street Journal/Time Higher Education College Rankings, College Factual (in collaboration with USA Today) and others.</p> <p> In the perhaps best-known ranking system, U.S. News Best Colleges, Andrews University moved into the number one position in campus ethnic diversity among national universities (tied with University of Nevada, Las Vegas and Rutgers University-Newark). That ranking has changed dramatically for the University, with Andrews ranking in the Top 20 in this category within the last decade. The University also tied for 10th in number of international students.</p> <p> &ldquo;At a time when cultural, global and ethnic diversity are increasingly important for students who are global citizens, this is an especially significant achievement for the University,&rdquo; says Michael Nixon, vice president for diversity &amp; inclusion.</p> <p> Overall, the University ranked as #192 out of 311 national universities; U.S. News rankings review 3,000 universities and colleges overall. It is the only Seventh-day Adventist college or university ranked as a national university. The university was again listed as A+ Colleges for B Students. The university&rsquo;s undergraduate engineering program was also recognized in the overall rankings, as were its online programs for MBA and graduate education.</p> <p> Among the other recognized players in annual rankings are the following:</p> <ul> <li> Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education includes 1,000 institutions on its list (about 20 percent of the overall total). Andrews University ranks at #335 on that list, or in the top third of institutions overall.</li> <li> Forbes America's Top Colleges includes 15 percent of American universities and colleges on its list, and Andrews University is ranked #545. It is also included in the best Midwest colleges and best research universities lists.</li> <li> College Factual, which publishes its annual rankings with USA Today, focuses in particular on the financial value of education. In these rankings, Andrews University was in the top 10 percent for financial value (for both domestic and international students) and in the top 5 percent for overall and ethnic diversity.</li> </ul> <p> <strong>Enrollment</strong><br /> The number that is often the most familiar way to measure enrollment is through fall census numbers, which offer a snapshot of students who enroll at (or through) our Berrien Springs campus. For fall 2017, that census showed that there were 3,348 students overall. Those enrollment figures include 1,704 students enrolled as undergraduates and 1,644 graduate students. Overall, full-time equivalents and credit hours are up three percent compared to last year.</p> <p> In terms of new student enrollment, there was an overall increase of new undergraduate and graduate students. In particular, the number of first-time graduate students increased by more than 90 students to 334 new graduate students for fall 2017. On the other hand, first-time freshmen, new Master of Divinity and undergraduate transfer students decreased 47 students overall, with fall 2017 new freshman enrollment of 281, undergraduate transfer enrollment of 122 and new Master of Divinity student enrollment of 121.</p> <p> Additionally, non-United States extension sites or off-site programs add 103 more students, bringing the overall fall semester headcount to 3,451.</p> <p> For an overall measurement of student enrollment levels, Andrews has begun to calculate its enrollment on an annual basis by measuring its unduplicated headcount.&nbsp;</p> <p> That most recent assessment of this overall enrollment (June 2016&ndash;June 2017) showed there were 4,567 different students who enrolled for undergraduate or graduate programs through the University&rsquo;s Berrien Springs campus at some point during the year. The University&rsquo;s current 2017&ndash;2022 Strategic Plan calls for an unduplicated headcount of 5,000 students, an increase of more than 400 students.</p> <p> An additional 656 different students enrolled in international off-campus programs during the last year, and 2,256 different students studied through the School of Education professional development distance offerings.&nbsp;</p> <p> In other words, during the 2016&ndash;2017 school year, there were 7,479 different students overall who studied part- or full-time through the University&rsquo;s various on- and off-campus educational options.</p> <p> &ldquo;Our enrollment patterns reflect an exciting and increasingly rich diversity of where, how and even when students choose to study with Andrews University,&rdquo; says Andrea Luxton, president. &ldquo;For example, nearly 200 students&mdash;compared to just 30 a few years ago&mdash;are beginning their university studies with Andrews University online courses while they are still high school juniors and seniors. In addition to that, international partnerships bring hundreds of students to our campus for one-semester or one-year exchange study programs, or these students choose to study in Andrews courses and programs at nearly 60 different partner programs around the world. These international students are increasingly choosing creative Andrews University study options, even though they may not ever be able to otherwise study with us as full-time students on our Berrien Springs campus.&rdquo;</p> Wed, 13 Dec 2017 19:13:54 +0000 Confidential Care Group for LGBT Students <p> <strong>Andrews University Response to Questions Regarding Care for Students Navigating Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Differences</strong></p> <p> Over the past few years Andrews University has been working to respond to questions about sexual orientation and gender identity that have arisen on our Adventist campuses. Our commitment from the beginning has been to hold and put into practice the biblical teaching of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, as expressed in our fundamental beliefs and the official statements on human sexuality issued by the General Conference and its North American Division.<br /> <br /> A few years ago, the University created a Task Force made up of faculty, staff, students, church leaders and board members. This group worked closely with the relevant subcommittee of our Board of Trustees, which includes significant representation from church leaders. From this collaboration, the University established &ldquo;A Seventh-day Adventist Framework for Relating to Sexual Orientation Differences on the Campus of Andrews University,&rdquo;* which outlines our commitment to the biblical teachings and values of the Adventist church and establishes policies that call our students to uphold them. This document sets the expectation that sexual intimacy belongs only within marriage, defined as &ldquo;a lifelong union between a man and a woman.&rdquo; Furthermore, the University clarifies that students are to refrain &ldquo;from romantic behaviors between individuals of the same sex.&rdquo; This policy is strictly enforced through our student conduct processes, and the Adventist biblical position is taught in our classrooms and from our pulpits.<br /> <br /> Having affirmed the University&rsquo;s commitment to biblical faithfulness, as detailed in the General Conference&rsquo;s statement on homosexuality,** the Task Force then moved to implement that statement&rsquo;s call for compassion: &ldquo;Jesus affirmed the dignity of all human beings and reached out compassionately to persons and families suffering the consequences of sin. He offered caring ministry and words of solace to struggling people, while differentiating His love for sinners from His clear teaching about sinful practices. As His disciples, Seventh-day Adventists endeavor to follow the Lord's instruction and example, living a life of Christ-like compassion and faithfulness.&rdquo;</p> <p> Additionally, the Task Force also used the Andrews University&rsquo;s Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary statement, &ldquo;An Understanding of the Biblical View on Homosexual Practice and Pastoral Care,&rdquo;*** as a guiding resource for how Andrews University should provide ministry and care for these students.<br /> <br /> The Task Force reviewed recent research on over 300 Adventist young adults who identify as LGBT to learn more about their struggles and discovered a great deal of hurt in this population, placing them at a higher risk for depression and self-harm. At nearly all of our North American Division colleges and universities, these students have started unofficial groups&mdash;with little to no guidance from their institutions. Our goal has been to create a University-based group where students can receive spiritual and emotional care for their lives that is in accordance with Adventist biblical teaching on human sexuality and the University&rsquo;s code of conduct (as noted above). In the words of the General Conference statement, Andrews University &ldquo;recognizes that every human being is valuable in the sight of God, and we seek to minister to all men and women in the spirit of Jesus. We also believe that by God's grace and through the encouragement of the community of faith, an individual may live in harmony with the principles of God's Word.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> This new entity will not function as a student club or organization, nor will it be a Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA), as found on so many public campuses. It is a confidential, members-only group that will minister spiritually and emotionally to a select number of students with the influence and care of faithful Adventist mentors. While there will be campus communication to make students aware of the group&rsquo;s existence, our Framework policy explicitly forbids students from advocating or instigating views or behaviors that are inconsistent with the biblical teachings of the Adventist church.</p> <p> Overseeing the group will be Judith Bernard-Fisher, director of the Andrews University Counseling &amp; Testing Center. Reflecting on this responsibility, Fisher says, &ldquo;As I think of God&rsquo;s immeasurable love for all of His children, I am convinced that His spirit of love and grace will continue to guide our steps as we reach out to our own students through this new group that is committed to providing meaningful, Christ-centered care for these young men and women.&rdquo;</p> <p> _____</p> <p> <br /> <strong>References</strong></p> <p> *A Seventh-day Adventist Framework for Relating to Sexual Orientation Differences on the Campus of Andrews University; Andrews University Student Handbook<br /> <a href=";navoid=2578">;navoid=2578</a></p> <p> **General Conference Statement on Homosexuality<br /> <a href=""></a></p> <p> ***An Understanding of the Biblical View on Homosexual Practice and Pastoral Care; Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary, Andrews University<br /> <a href=""></a></p> Tue, 05 Dec 2017 13:07:27 +0000