From January 2 to 20, 2023, the accreditation team from the Department of Education at the North American Division (NAD) of the Seventh-day Adventist Church spent time with students and faculty at four of the nine schools in the NAD’s Guam-Micronesia Mission (GMM).
One of 13 divisions of the Adventist Church, the NAD operates a system of more than 900 early childhood centers, elementary and secondary schools, and universities, including the ones in the GMM.
The visiting NAD team was composed of Arne Nielsen, NAD vice president for Education; Stephen Bralley, director of secondary education and accreditation; and Martha Ban, director of technology for education. The NAD team was accompanied by Churchill B. Edward, GMM director of Education.
While on Majuro, Pohnpei, and Kosrae, the team reviewed self-study reports compiled by the schools' faculty and staff and conducted fact-finding interviews to help them complete their official report — with a recommendation to the NAD Commission on Accreditation.
At each of the schools visited, students expressed their belief that the teachers “believe what they are teaching, especially about God,” Nielsen said. He reported that the students said they feel safe, are a “pod” (family), that their teachers genuinely care about them, and they have a great appreciation for their academic preparation. “We found this to be true as we observed student and teacher interactions daily,” Nielsen added.
The visiting team continued to Chuuk to spend time with the school administration in preparation for their accreditation visit in January 2024. They finished up the time in the GMM with a visit to Guam Adventist Academy and the church administrative offices in the region to discuss in-service and training opportunities for student missionaries and teachers.
Nielsen added, “At each of the schools visited, I observed that the teaching staff is diverse, coming from more than a dozen countries, are primarily Adventist Volunteer Services and student missionaries with a strong desire to serve God, while growing through professional development and a desire to ascertain denominational certification.”
Aside from visiting the schools and meeting faculty and students, the team had the privilege of worshiping and fellowshipping with church members in Pohnpei and Kosrae.
The original version of this story was posted on the North American Division news site.