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About Spectrum

As a print journal and an online presence, Spectrum has published scholarship, journalism, and creative work by and about the Seventh-day Adventist community since 1969.

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 spiritually inspiring creative work. In addition to its quarterly print journal in its 52nd volume, Spectrum’s mission to create community through conversation continues at as well as via a variety of social media accounts as well as at online and in-person gatherings.

Winner of 14 Best of the Associated Church Press Awards (’23 and ’24), including: 

  • Scholarly Article (1st place Award for Excellence);
  • Website Redesign (1st place Award for Excellence);
  • Social Media Presence (twice, with one 1st place Award for Excellence); 
  • Science Writing for the World of Faith (twice);
  • Denominational Politics (short format);
  • Denominational Politics (long format);
  • Local Reporting (long format);
  • Illustration with Article for the journal;
  • Biblical Interpretation.

Editors of the journal

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 from ΣΤΔ, ΘΑΚ, and as a chapter board student member of 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. During almost his entire time at Andrews University he worked as the reader for the chair of the department of Religion and Biblical Languages and earned five student research grants assisting Roy Gane and others at the Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary. During his senior year he created and taught a new Honors course titled Faiths, Fictions, Philosophies: Readings in Contemporary Thought.

His graduate work in Art and Religion involved classes and research at the department of film and media at the University of California, Berkeley, and at the Graduate Theological Union. He completed his coursework with a 3.95 GPA. During his study, he spent a term at Union Theological Seminary in New York City directed by Doug Adams and Jackie Lewis. Alexander received a fellowship to the Center for American Progress think tank in Washington, DC, where he created media for its Faith and Progressive Policy Initiative project Faith in Public Life, led by Rev. Jen Butler, the former United Nations liason for the Presybterian Church (U.S.A.). During the early aughts he attended the Burning Man arts and music festival several times. After the board invited him to lead this organization, 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 taught over 1,500 students in art history, film, and religion classes. He was chosen by the 2014 senior class to be their recognition chapel speaker. He has published in the academic journal Worldviews: Global Religions, Culture, and Ecology and guest lectured at Washington Adventist University, Andrews University, Southern Adventist University, and presented papers and facilitated scholarly panels for the Society of Adventist Philosophers, the Adventist Society for Religious Studies, at Purdue University Northwest, 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. In 2024, Alexander received an Award of Merit in biblical interpretation from the Associated Church Press for his writing on the Psalms.

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. The next year he colporterred in Las Vegas earning enough to pay for his entire senior year of academy. Alexander worked the next four summers as a leader in the Pacific Union Youth Rush program. At age 20, Alexander volunteered for the school year in Bangladesh as a 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, The Regeneration Project/Interfaith Power and Light.

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 Co-Executive Producer of Black Prom (2021), a shorts collaboration with Film Independent and Netflix Film Club where 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 longform investigative reports, breaking news 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 despite women providing evidence of his dishonesty and sexual abuse. The baptism was stopped at the last moment and he was later disfellowshipped. Alexander has attended dozens of international Church 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 Hope TV feed during a global debate and vote on women’s ordination, he used his phone to broadcast the live internal 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. 

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 and pickleball, visiting museums and art shows, attending live music events, sharing creative cuisine, and travel around the world.

Alex Aamodt is the Editor-at-Large and Roy Branson Investigative Reporter. 2x ACP Award winner.

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 and the Award of Excellence (1st place) at the 2024 Associated Church Press Awards for her work for Spectrum.

Makayla Mattocks is Assistant Copy Editor for the website.

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. ACP Presenter.

Sofia Lindgren is Office Manager and Bookkeeper.

Alita Byrd is the Interviews Editor.

Steve Hergert is the Webmaster for this website.

Kevin McCarty 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. ACP award winner.

Pam Dietrich aggregates news stories.

Rich Hannon edits the weekly columns for the Spectrum website. ACP award winner.

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

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 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 always independent, donor-supported organization is currently known as Adventist Forum (AF). It publishes the print journal and online media known as Spectrum.

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

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 Donors Like You Help to Support New Strategic Initiatives

Grow The Vision

A list of our donors can be found on page 72 of our most recently print journal, available online here. Whether you are new to us or have been reading for awhile, your support matters. Consider helping us create community through conversation with a deeply appreciated gift of $5 a month or get the journal as well for $8 a month. Thank you!