Adventist Study Center
The Seventh-day Adventist Church’s Office of Adventist Mission announced several new directors as part of a reorganization of study centers for various cultural groups.
STUDY CENTERS: Gerson Santos is director of the Seventh-day Adventist Church’s new Urban Ministry Study Center.Gerson Santos now serves as the director of the new Urban Ministry Study Center, based in New York City. Santos will also serve as executive secretary of the denomination’s Greater New York Conference for the immediate future.
The Urban Ministry center was launched in response to the Adventist world church’s initiative for comprehensive urban evangelism. The center was founded to assist ministry leaders worldwide as they make plans for outreach in major cities in their own territories. Next year the Adventist Church will begin the effort, starting with a major outreach push in New York City as part of the denomination’s NY13 initiative.
Six Global Mission Study Centers now serve the church to equip leaders and members to build bridges of understanding to those from non-Christian religions and traditions. Study Centers director Rick McEdward said the goal of the centers is to create models of ministry, materials, and to mentor Adventists for sharing Christ in a way that is wholistic and culturally adapted.
“Adventists have usually been very good at sharing their faith with other Christians, but we have to offer a cordial witness for those who don’t yet know Christ,” McEdward said.
McEdward said the World Jewish-Adventist Friendship Center has moved from Jerusalem to Paris. France has the third-largest Jewish population behind Israel and the United States, according to the World Jewish Population Study. Richard Elofer, former president of the denomination’s Israel Field, will continue serving as director.
The announcement came during a study center directors meeting in Cambodia. The group meets twice a year to plan how the Adventist Church can build bridges to cultures and contexts outside of traditional ministry.
Also, the Hindu Study Center, formerly based in India, was recently restarted in the Caribbean nation of Trinidad, home to a large population of Indian diaspora. Cliffmond Shameerudeen, a Guyanese of Indian descent, serves as coordinator.
Gregory Whitsett now heads the Center for East Asian Religions and Traditions, formerly the Buddhist Study Center. He began his new post in September. The center has been located in Thailand since its inception in 1992. Whitsett and his family have spent more than 10 years in Southeast Asia as missionaries. He replaces Scott Griswold, who served as director for 10 years.
The two other study centers are the Center for Secular and Postmodern Studies, based in São Paulo, Brazil, and the Global Center for Adventist-Muslim Relations, which has branches in Berrien Springs, Michigan, United States; Nairobi, Kenya; and London, England.
For more information on the study centers, visit www.AdventistMission.org.
—reported by Adventist News Network