American Division of Seventh-day Adventists and the Adventist Intercollegiate
Association (AIA) combined for an historic first, October 31- November 5, 2013,
during the NAD’s annual year-end executive committee meetings in Silver Spring,
MD. At the invitation of NAD Education vice-president Larry Blackmer, AIA
president Metelleklang Kevin Iyechad, and a contingent of 11 student
association executives from most of NAD’s universities, attended the meetings, took
notes, and reported back to their hosts on the observations they had made, and
conclusions they had drawn about the running, and the future of their church. Other
team members and the schools they represented were Barry Howe (Loma Linda), Carl
Dupper (Union College), Ivan Ostrovsky Jr. (Pacific Union College), Jonathan
Jacobs and Kevin Wilson (Andrews University), Jonathan Pratt (Walla Walla
University), Kryzia Abacan and Faith Calaminos (Canadian University College), Marcus
Keenan (Southern Adventist University), and Philip Malcolm and Michael McNeill
(Washington Adventist University).
asked for his personal reaction to the church’s current state Iyechad responded
with a question: “What do you think is our church’s most valuable resource?
It’s untapped potential? It’s greatest asset? It’s strongest weapon? Well, we
are out there, and we are waiting to be found, to be acknowledged, to be
valued, and to be utilized – just like
gold waiting in a mine to be discovered by the miner for the worth we truly
are.” Barry Howe, of LLU observed that he and his colleagues “represent the
youth of the church, and are a sample of the leaders in the future church.
[This is a] huge opportunity. We can bring up certain larger issues in the
church like the large number of people leaving the church after graduating; or
the decline in the number of student missionaries going overseas. [We] recognize
this opportunity to rise above that and the core issues that conflict our
church. We could have a grassroots impact.”
The AIA response to the NAD specifically addressed
each of the division’s six operating modules during the 2010-2015 quinquennium,
and pledged the support of the youth in a spirit of love for God, respect for
our leaders, and shared commitment to the mission and message of the
Seventh-day Adventist Church.