News & Events
2017 Natural Remedies & Hydrotherapy Workshop
The 2017 Intensive Workshop in Natural Remedies and Hydrotherapy scheduled to take place August 6-11, 2017, at the Seminary, has been RESCHEDULED for spring 2018. Details will be provided as they become available.
During this workshop, lecturers from various health-focused organizations teach the skillful use of natural remedies, water, nutrition, charcoal and massage. We look forward to seeing you next spring!
Care for Cuba
222 new believers were baptized in Cuba at the culmination of a spring break mission trip hosted by the Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary on the campus of Andrews University.
For nine days, the team of 24 Seminary students and three faculty sponsors led six simultaneous evangelistic series in various parts of Holguin, Cuba. The team also gave away clothing, musical instruments,100 bicycles, 20 computers and 12 tablet libraries to pastors and Bible workers who have no transportation or access to Bibles, devotionals or other ministry materials.
On the final night, the six groups joined together in a basketball arena for a worship service ending in a call to baptism, with over 2,000 in attendance. The next morning, after a Sabbath program in the same facility, 222 new believers were baptized.
“A few years ago, it was unthinkable to do religious services in a public arena,” says Fernado Ortiz, director of the MDiv program and Care for Cuba organizer. “This was only the second religious congress held in Holguin, and the first one was also Adventist-led. None of this would have been possible or even imaginable at the height of Fidel Castro’s power when public worship or religious activities in a public setting were forbidden.”
Ortiz led the first mission trip to Cuba in 1998. When he became the director of the MDiv program in the Seminary, he united his passion for preparing pastors for ministry with his call to meet the needs of the Adventist church in Cuba. The result was “Care for Cuba,” the yearly study tour that made history in 2013 as the first North American Adventist educational institution to reach Cuba in almost 50 years.
“For decades, Cuba felt forgotten by the world, even the Adventist world,” says Ortiz. “We could not go there or send money for decades, and now it is time to recoup what we haven’t been able to do for 50 years.”
Since Care for Cuba began in 2013, 120 seminarians and seven faculty members have done ministry in Cuba, resulting in over 800 baptisms and hundreds of Cuban pastors and Bible workers equipped to do more effective ministry.
One unique aspect of this year’s trip is the first Care for Cuba youth evangelistic effort, where Seminarians practiced creative evangelism techniques such as a Frisbee ministry. The efforts drew 60-80 youth, young adults and university students to a rented Quaker church each evening.
“It was a true inside look of how to do ministry,” says Samuel Ulett, a trip attendee who will graduate from the Seminary in December. “It was great learning experience and an opportunity to learn how to do ministry in a different environment.”
The trip not only benefits the Cuban people, but also transforms the ministry of the pastors-in-training who attend.
“What I see for myself in the future is having a church where we communicate and interact with the community like we did in Cuba,” says Michael Shelton, a 2017 trip attendee. “If there’s anything I learned from going to Cuba, it’s the fact that people are longing for healthy relationships. They don’t want to know how much you know about the Bible—they want to know that you care about them, and that’s what it’s all about.”
Leif Cano, who will also graduate from the Seminary in December, agreed: “In the future, I want to do more of this with my church—go out to different places, and reach out in our community to those who are in need.”
Past Seminary students have been so inspired by the trip that they have organized Care for Cuba fundraisers and even led their own mission trips to Cuba.
“The trip has such a big impact on the students because they learn the New Testament model of evangelism, which cannot go wrong anywhere” Ortiz says. “They learn that evangelism is a lifestyle. They may not win 222 souls in one year, but they can do effective outreach.”
“I wish I had more money, just so I could give it to this ministry,” says Uzziel Maldonado, a 2017 trip attendee. “Our money can only accomplish a little here, but over there, it can do so much. There, you can fund someone’s tuition, or even feed a family for a month with $25. God’s work is advancing in Cuba, and all that money goes to God’s cause.”
Care for Cuba’s goal is to give 1,000 bicycles, 500 tablet libraries and 500 computers to the pastors and Bible workers in Cuba. To donate bicycles ($150), tablets ($100) or computers ($100) on behalf of your family, church or business, visit CareforCuba.org. Your dollars will impact lives for eternity!
E.G. White Symposium Held at Andrews
On Monday, April 3, the 13th Ellen White Issues Symposium was held in the Seminary Chapel on the campus of Andrews University.
More than 100 students, faculty, clergy and community members gathered to hear presentations from speakers including Richard Davidson, professor of Old Testament interpretation, and Jiří Moskala, Seminary dean. Other presenters included Merlin Burt, director of the Center for Adventist Research, Denis Kaiser, assistant professor of church history, and Iriann Marie Hausted, PhD candidate. Following the paper presentations, respondents who had read the presenter's papers prior to the event, shared their insights and responses to the papers presented. Respondents this year were Roy Gane, professor of Hebrew Bible and Ancient Near Eastern languages; Jerry Moon, professor of church history; and Keith Mattingly, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.
Burt, who is the event’s primary organizer, began the symposium to address the reality that much of the church’s study of White is simply a response to critics’ arguments.
“They’ve had the same arguments for over 100 years,” he said. “We need to press further, and explore what can be learned about Ellen White and the gift of prophecy from a faith perspective.”
As a result, the Ellen White Issues symposium was born in 2004. Since then, Adventist institutions all over the world, including Russia, Kenya, Mexico and Korea have hosted similar symposia using the scholarly material published from the annual gathering at Andrews.
“I want to colorize Ellen White,” said Burt. “We have an emotionally and relationally black-and-white Ellen White, and the only way we can get beyond that is to begin to connect to her in her writings, life and stories.”
The topic of study for the 2017 gathering was “Ellen White’s Understanding of Hermeneutics.”
“Hermeneutics is the science of interpretation,” said Burt. “It is looking for what rules keep us objective when we interpret a text.”
Many attendees were drawn to the symposium because of the topic.
“I’m studying the development of Adventist theology, so I came to get a better understanding of Ellen G. White and how she interpreted the Bible,” said Jimmy Atkins, an MDiv student. “This would be helpful even for those who are not studying theology, so they can get an idea of what pastors are talking about in their sermons.”
This year, scholarly papers on the topic of hermeneutics were presented with a prepared response, allowing the presenter to refine his or her ideas before publication. Attendees were encouraged to submit questions to be discussed at a panel following the presentations.
John Reeve, professor of church history and the panel moderator, challenged attendees to ask themselves, “Am I willing to go with objective hermeneutics, or are my personal, private conclusions and decisions going to trump hermeneutics?”
First-time attendee Janet Lankheet, who finished her degree at the Seminary in 1988, was inspired by the presentations.
“Today got me really interested in the research,” she said. “I’ve had a paper brewing in my head that I’ve never written, and this inspired me to get busy!”
Lankheet and her husband were invited to the symposium by Jim Shields, an Adventist church member from Howell, Michigan, who has attended the event four times.
“I invite a lot of people to come,” he said. “I think this is important. I feel these issues need to come from here in the academic arena and be disseminated to the whole church.”
Shields particularly appreciated Davidson’s presentation exploring the exact beginning and end dates of the 2300-day prophecy in Daniel 8.
“I’m looking forward to seeing the summary when it’s printed out,” he said. “I have all the summaries from the conferences I’ve attended because I can sit down and go through them at my own speed.”
Davidson’s presentation, along with the others, will be published in the “Symposium Journal,” which is available for purchase through the Center for Adventist Research. Those interested in ordering the journal can call 269-471-3209 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. The “Symposium Journal” will also be available at the next Ellen White Issues Symposium on April 2, 2018.