March 25, 2009

09CN:First Adventist Woman in Philippines to Earn a Ministry Doctorate

First Adventist woman in Philippines
to Earn a Ministry Doctorate
Former civil engineer researched church growth among Chinese
BY ARMON TOLENTINO with Adventist News Network staff
capA former civil engineer has become the first Seventh-day Adventist woman in the Philippines to earn a ministry doctorate and practice as a field pastor in the country.
Jadaza M. Hintay, known to many as "Sister Jade," received her diploma during graduation exercises in early March at the Adventist International Institute of Advance Studies (AIIAS), in Silang, Cavite, Philippines. The graduate school is one of a handful of Adventist educational institutions directly affiliated with the church's world headquarters.

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DOCTOR JADE: Jadaza M. Hintay, known as “Sister Jade” among Seventh-day Adventists in the Philippines, receives a doctor of ministry degree at Adventist International Institute of Advanced Studies (AIIAS) gymnasium, Silang, Cavite, Philippines on March 1. She is the first Adventist in the Philippines to earn such a doctorate. [Photo: Central Luzon Conference]

Hintay, 45, previously earned a master's degree in divinity from AIIAS in 1990, three years after converting into the Adventist denomination.

"I am simply happy that the Lord finally helped me attain my goal," she said in an interview. "My goal has been the toughest challenge I have ever faced."
The former field engineer for the Department of Public Works and Highways said working with men is not new to her. Despite the Philippines having a female president, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, much of the culture is still not used to a woman entering work fields dominated by men.
Her challenges, she said, haven't been so much about gender, but mostly the challenges any person might encounter while earning an advanced degree. She carried on her studies despite the death of her mother and sister, all while facing financial difficulties and a three-hour commute from her home in Manila.
She has previously earned bachelors' degrees in civil engineering, sanitary and environmental engineering, and a master's degree in structural engineering.
"Dr. Hintay has been a very dedicated pastor who has focused on the mission of the church in her ministry," said James Park, chair of the applied theology department at the university's theological seminary.
Hintay's doctoral project researched how church growth principles could be applied to nine Chinese-Filipino Churches in the city of Manila. Park said the topic was important given the presence of Chinese living in nearly every country of Asia.
"We are hoping that her expertise will be used in the future to guide the church in its practice and ministry," Park said. "We congratulate her on her fine accomplishment."
Hintay says she plans to follow what God wants for her as she dedicates herself to church service and the soon implementation of her dissertation project. She says she won't forget that more challenges await her.
Carmelito U. Galang Jr., president of the church's Central Luzon administrative region, where Hintay serves, said, "In achieving for God, it doesn't matter if you are a man or a woman. The issue is you have to do something. Sister Jade did, so can any women of faith."