This website, which receives over two million pageviews a year, continues the mission of Seventh-day Adventists who founded SPECTRUM: a quarterly journal of the Association of Adventist Forums in 1969. Inspired by the freedom of independent thought and supported from the beginning by denominational leaders, it has continued to encourage Adventist participation in the discussion of contemporary issues from a Christian viewpoint, to look without prejudice at all sides of a subject, to evaluate the merits of diverse views, and to foster intellectual and cultural growth.
A 501(c)(3) nonprofit, its board of directors, editors, writers, donors, and readers mirror the varities of Adventist beliefs, behaviors, and sense of belonging. Its institutional and funding independence has allowed Spectrum (as the org is generally represented) to provide everyone with respected, investigative, solutions journalism, academic scholarship free from dogmatic control, and inspiring creative work. In addition to its quarterly print journal in its 52 volume, Spectrum’s mission to create community through conversation continues at spectrummagazine.org as well as via a variety of social media accounts as well as at online and in-person forum gatherings.
Molleurus Couperus (1969-1974)
Charles Scriven and Roy Branson (1975-1978)
Roy Branson (1979-1998)
Bonnie Dwyer (1999-2021)
Alexander Carpenter (2022-)
Alexander Carpenter, Executive Director and Executive Editor, graduated summa cum laude from Andrews University as a John Nevins Andrews Honors Scholar with majors in Religion and English literature. He also received honors through his invited membership to Sigma Tau Delta (ΣΤΔ), Theta Alpha Kappa (ΘΑΚ), and as chapter board member of Phi Kappa Phi (ΦΚΦ). During his undergraduate studies, Alexander was active in the Society of Andrews Scholars, including as president, and was religion section editor of The Student Movement. His graduate work in Art and Religion included studying under Linda Williams and Mark Sandberg at the University of California, Berkeley, and Mia Mochizuki and Michael Morris at the Graduate Theological Union. He spent an Arts in New York City experience at Union Theological Seminary directed by Doug Adams. Alexander earned a Beatitudes Society fellowship to the Center for American Progress think tank in Washington, DC, where he created media for its Faith and Progressive Policy initiative. After the board invited him to lead Spectrum, he earned a certificate in nonprofit financial management from Cornell University.
Since 2008, Alexander has taught as a full-time and adjunct professor in the Visual Arts department and Honors program at Pacific Union College. He has published in the academic journal Worldviews: Global Religions, Culture, and Ecology and guest lectured at Washington Adventist University, Andrews University, and Southern Adventist University and contributed papers and facilitated scholarly presentations for the Society of Adventist Philosophers, the Adventist Society for Religious Studies, at Purdue University, the Conference on Faith and History at Baylor University, the Loma Linda University Humanities Program, and delivered sermons and other presentations in churches and for Adventist Forum chapters around the country. He serves on the advisory boards for the Communication and Community Engagement department of the Pacific Union Conference and the Center for Law and Public Policy at Washington Adventist University.
A fifth-generation member of the Seventh-day Adventist Church on both sides of his family, Alexander has roots and experiences in a variety of ideological, independent, and institutional approaches to Adventism. On his mother’s side, his great grandfather Dumitru Nicolici served in the top executive leadership of the Seventh Day Adventist Reform Movement from 1948-1963, including nine years as General Conference President.
Alexander was born in Glendale, California, where his parents worked at the Adventist hospital. Later his father taught at Loma Linda University where Alexander grew up hearing sermons by Bill Loveless and Louis Vendon. While a student at the self-supporting Country Haven Academy, Carpenter spent the summer between his sophomore and junior year colporteuring, earning a photo on the cover of Insight magazine for being the top seller nationwide. Alexander spent the next four summers as a leader in the Pacific Union Youth Rush program. At age 20, Alexander spent almost a year in Bangladesh as a volunteer grant writer for the Adventist Development and Relief Agency’s women empowerment projects. He spent respective years adventuring around the Bollywood film industry in Mumbai, India, tutoring Oakland High School seniors for The Princeton Review, and working in San Francisco as the Online Communication Manager for the national environmental org Interfaith Power and Light where his advocacy work involved meetings with Carl Pope, Gavin Newsom, and Sheldon Whitehouse.
For over a decade, Alexander has helped with the creation of short and feature-length films exploring the complex issues around international child adoption, misogyny in religion, and other issues, including as Executive Producer of Black Prom (2021), a collaboration with Film Independent and Netflix Film Club were it currently streams. Most recently he is Co-Executive Producer of Union (2023), one of 10 films screened in the U.S. Documentary Competition category at the 2024 Sundance Film Festival. The film was reviewed by The Hollywood Reporter, The Guardian, and included in the ten best list by The Los Angeles Times. It won the 2024 Sundance Film Festival U.S. Documentary Special Jury Award for the Art of Change.
During his time studying and working in the Bay Area, Alexander started the Spectrum Blog and edited it almost daily for six years as it grew into the current website. He has written over 100 long-form investigative reports, breaking news stories and essays about the 22-million member Seventh-day Adventist Church, including an article on a quiet plan by the Michigan Conference to rebaptize the founder of GYC (Generation. Youth. Christ.) despite women providing evidence of his sexual abuse. Alexander has attended dozens of denominational meetings, constituency sessions, conventions, and has held denomination-approved press credentials to the last four General Conference Sessions. In 2015, when the top administrators turned off the denomination’s television network feed during a global debate and vote on women’s ordination, he used his phone to broadcast the live CCTV footage online worldwide directly causing a midday restoration of normal access. In 2022, he reported on how the president of the denomination was reelected through an irregular nominating committee process. Two articles published in the journal during his first year as executive editor won the top Award of Excellence (SCHOLARLY ARTICLE) and Honorable Mention (SCIENCE WRITING FOR THE WORLD OF FAITH: Long Format) at the 2023 Associated Church Press awards.
A dual citizen (Australia), Alexander lives in Northern California where his wife Doris Tetz Carpenter works as a healthcare executive. With her and their friends, he enjoys snowboarding, playing golf, visiting museums and art galleries, attending live music events, sharing creative cuisine, and travel around the world.
Alex Aamodt is the Editor-at-Large and Roy Branson Investigative Reporter.
Raquel Mentor is Digital Editor and Social Media Manager. She won the Award of Merit (BEST IN CLASS) in the Social Media Presence category at the 2023 Associated Church Press awards for her work for Spectrum.
Jared Wright is a Web Producer for this website.
Jacklyn Frias is a Web Producer for this website, the editor of the Campus Connect newsletter, and the host of Spectrum’s TikTok account: Adventist Tea.
Sofia Lindgren is Office Manager and Bookkeeper.
Alita Byrd is the Interviews Editor.
Steve Hergert is the Webmaster for this website.
Kevin McCarthy is a podcast host and writer.
Samuel Girven is a Special Projects Correspondent.
Ezrica Bennett is a Special Projects Correspondent.
Alana Crosby is a Special Projects Correspondent.
Josue Vega is a Special Projects Correspondent.
Jeremy Gray is a Special Projects Correspondent.
Christina Cannon is a Special Projects Correspondent.
Pam Dietrich aggregates news stories.
Rich Hannon edits the weekly columns for the Spectrum website.
Our Writers: We’d also like to express our sincere appreciation for the hundreds of writers who have generously contributed their eloquent thoughts and ideas over the years. Their voices have made Spectrum an invaluable resource for independent Adventist news, scholarly reseach, and creative expression for over 50 years.
Spectrum Journal Masthead and Editorial Board
Alexander Carpenter, Executive Editor
Stephanie Leal, Designer
Cliff Rusch, Art Director
Julie Murdoch Lorenz, Copy Editor
Beverly Beem — Walla Walla, Washington
Alex Barrientos — Takoma Park, Maryland
Alita Byrd — Santiago, Chile
Christie Chui-Shan Chow — Princeton, New Jersey
Vanessa Corredera — South Bend, Indiana
Juli Miller — Bellevue, Idaho
Richard Rice — Riverside, California
Charles Scriven — Ooltewah, Tennesee
Gerhard Svrcek-Seiler — Vienna, Austria
Gil Valentine — Riverside, California
Kendra Haloviak-Valentine — Riverside, California
Norman Young — Cooranbong, Australia
The History of Adventist Forum
During the uproar of the 1960s the younger generation questioned everything. It focused its attention on such major issues as the Vietnam War, civil rights, traditional morality, and ecology. Patriotism, rules, and values were no longer taken for granted. Seventh-day Adventist students were no exception. As more and more church members began to attend non-Adventist universities and colleges they applied critical thinking learned in their studies to other topics — including their church’s beliefs and practices — that meant much to them. Many Adventist graduate students and other like-minded individuals began to meet in groups for discussion and fellowship. These groups were the forerunners of local Forum chapters that meet today throughout the world. In time, these diverse discussion groups came together under the umbrella of the Association of Adventist Forums (AAF). In 1968, the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists officially endorsed the association in the Adventist Review. The organization is currently known as Adventist Forum (AF).
Board and Leadership Team Set Big New Goals
After more than 50 years of groundbreaking work, there is still much we want to do. We are excited about moving to the next level of conversations, independent reporting, analyses, partnerships, and events. Our new Strategic Plan outlines an array of ambitious initiatives for the next few years to broaden our scope of interest, forms of impact, and demographic reach.
Grow the Vision Campaign will Support New Strategic Initiatives
To provide the financial resources necessary to move boldly forward with the new plans, we launched a successful $1 million Grow the Vision fundraising campaign. Learn more about our Grow the Vision campaign.
Adventist Forum Board of Directors
Alexander Carpenter, Ex Officio — Sacramento, California
Debbi Christensen, Director of Finance — Roseville, California
Jason Hines — Apopka, Florida
Carmen Lau, Board Chairperson — Birmingham, Alabama
J. Mark McKinney — Jacksonville, Florida
Juli Miller — Bellevue, Idaho
Joyce Newmyer — Happy Valley, Oregon
Richard Osborn — Moreno Valley, California
Ken Peterson, Jr. — Camas, Washington
Brenton Reading — Shawnee, Kansas
Gail Rice — Riverside, California
Charles Sandefur — Silver Spring, Maryland
Brent Stanyer — Spokane, Washington
Nicholas Zork — New York, New York