The Seminary Serves the World Field

The Seminary Serves

The seminary serves the world and the world field serves the seminary

EARLE HILGERT Vice-President for Academic Administration Andrews University

At the beginning of a new term I  usually ask each student in any class to introduce himself by giving his name and the place from which he comes. In most schools there would be nothing unusual about this. But at the Seminary this is al­ways an intriguing moment, for the whole world is often brought together in one classroom. A few days ago as a new term began I found thirty-five students enrolled in my church history class. The introduc­tions sounded like a roll call of the United Nations: Denmark, England, Holland, Sweden, Germany, Haiti, Jamaica, Brazil, Australia, Korea, and Japan, as well as many areas of the United States. And this is characteristic throughout our Seminary; with students from twenty-six countries, the Seminary motto was never truer than it is today: "From all the world to all the world."


The Seminary serves the world—and the world field serves the Seminary—in a vari­ety of ways. While the presence of over­seas professors is a common feature of American higher education, the faculty of our Seminary has reflected to an unusual degree the fact that the Seminary is truly a worldwide school. During the thirty-four years of its existence, sixteen of its regular faculty have been persons born abroad in eleven different countries. A total of twenty-six faculty members have served as denom­inational workers in all but one of the over­seas divisions before joining the Seminary staff. During the present year, out of seven­teen teachers, twelve have had overseas ex­perience in nine different world divisions. Six of them have earned degrees in foreign universities. The Seminary faculty is truly representative of the denomination's world­wide work.

Extension Schools

Perhaps the most interesting aspect of the Seminary's outreach is the program of overseas extension schools which has char­acterized its work throughout much of its history. A pattern was established in 1948 when three teachers were sent to England to conduct short-term courses for workers in the British Union. Since that time twenty-four such extension schools, in all regularly functioning overseas divisions, have been held. Hundreds of ministers and teachers have thus had access to Seminary instruction who otherwise could not have benefited in this way. A list of these schools provides impressive testimony of the Sem­inary's contribution to our worldwide work: 

1948 British Union

1950 South America

1952 Mexico

1953 South Africa

1953 Southern Europe

1954 Inter-America

1955 Southern Asia

1956 Far East

1958 Australia                                

1958 Germany             

1959 England

1959 Norway               

1960 South America

1961 Middle East                           

1962 Far East              

1963 Southern Europe  

1964 South Africa

1965 Northern Europe

1965 Southern Europe

1966 Northern Europe

1967 Northern Europe

1967 Central Europe

 While a large variety of subjects been taught, special emphasis has given to the distinctives of Adventism: prophetic interpretation, the Spirit of Prophecy, and evangelism. Personnel from the Ministerial Association, the White Es­tate, and the GeoScience Institute have often joined with regular Seminary teach­ers. R. Allan Anderson, LeRoy E. Froom, and Arthur L. White have been particu­larly active in these endeavors from time to time.

Missionary Training

Yet another vehicle of worldwide service is the Seminary's recently inaugurated pro­gram for the training of missionaries. From its very first session in the summer of 1934 the Seminary has always been a training ground for missionaries under appoint­ment and on furlough. Increasingly, how­ever, the need has been felt for a program of professional training for missionaries, bringing together the study of theology, sociology, anthropology, linguistics, and political science to provide a thorough and professional training for the prospective missionary who must now face a world of complex problems little anticipated a few years ago. Such a program was initiated in 1966 when Dr. Myrl 0. Manley, highly trained in sociology and psychology, and with more than twenty years experience as a mission administrator and educator in Southern Asia, joined the Seminary faculty  to  establish  a  Department  of  Missions. Uniting  with  him  in  this  program  is  Dr. Gottfried Oosterwal,  an internationally recognized  expert  on  the  social  and  religious anthropology  of  primitive  peoples, who has served  the  denomination  for  many  years both in  Europe  and  in  the  Far  East.  Additional strength is brought to this program by Dr. Charles C. Crider, professor of sociology at  Andrews  University,  who  brings  a  rich background  of  mission  administration  in  the  Middle  East,  and  Dr.  Elaine  Giddings, former  missionary  in  Africa  and  a  specialist  in  the  learning  and  teaching  of  foreign  language Each summer the Mis­sions Department of the Seminary conducts a Gen­eral Conference-sponsored institute for missionaries under appointment. Here under expert guidance the prospective missionary stud­ies both the general phi­losophy of Adventist mis­sions and the specific characteristics and problems of the country to which he has been appointed. He receives basic orientation in living conditions in his new field of labor, he studies current political and social issues, and he seeks the begin­nings of insight into the new psychological and religious context in which he will live.

For missionaries on furlough and others who can spend a full year in study, the De­partment of Missions offers a Master's de­gree. This program provides graduate-level orientation for those who already have achieved professional status in other fields such as the ministry, teaching, or medical work.

In its faculty, its student body, and its training programs, the Seminary receives its students from all the world, and sends them into all the world to preach the gos­pel. For more than a third of a century it has fulfilled this role in the Advent Move­ment; today in an even greater measure than ever before it is achieving this goal as a truly worldwide institution.

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EARLE HILGERT Vice-President for Academic Administration Andrews University

April 1968

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