n the parable of the minas (Luke 19:13), Jesus left His followers a very important task: the proclamation of the gospel. He said, “Occupy till I come” (KJV); “Do business till I come” (NKJV); and in the Message Bible this verse reads, “Operate with this until I return.” And in Matthew 28:19–20 Jesus called on His followers to, “go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the father and the son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age. Amen.”
As I look forward to the beginning of my new role in the North American Division, I find inspiration from these two texts. We are reminded that we, as educators, have a work to do until His return, and that we are called to be partners in ministry by teaching and baptizing our children. Our Adventist schools are a source of life and light to their communities and constituencies. Our Adventist schools are a place where the missionary spirit is alive and well. Our Adventist schools are a place where teachers spark intellectual curiosity, providing a safe place for our children to learn. The teaching and mentoring that each of you does with our students transforms lives, and, in so doing, may truly transform the world.
The world is changing rapidly. Adventist education has accomplished a great deal since 1853 when Martha Byington opened the first known church school for Sabbatarian Adventists in Buck’s Bridge, New York. As I reflect on the role of Adventist education today, it seems to me that the primary purpose is for all our students, in early childhood, elementary, secondary, colleges and universities, to have a solid, deep, and personal knowledge of the truths of the Bible (Seventh-day Adventist fundamental beliefs); to respond to Christ’s invitation to live in a lifelong, vibrant relationship with Him; and be passionate about the salvation of others. We need to be engaged in preparing our students for 21st century learning while maintaining our core values and beliefs.
The role of the North American Division is to provide resources, training and support to teachers, administrators and schools as you “do business until He comes.” It’s also our goal to make this newsletter a communication vehicle for what is happening across the division in Adventist education.
As Ellen White shares “Never has there been a time when man has been so responsible to God as he is at the present hour. Never has there been a time when man’s position has been so critical as it is now. All things in nature and in the world at large are charged with intense earnestness.”
—The Remnant Church: Its Organization, Authority, Unity, and Triumph. Elmshaven Office, p. 50.
NAD VP for Education
Vice President, Education
At the annual NAD Year-End meetings November 2018, the NAD Executive Committee voted to have Arne Nielsen, NAD VP of Secondary Education, replace Dr. Larry Blackmer, retired, NAD VP for Education. Arne Nielsen began his new role as NAD VP for Education on January 1, 2019.