In this week’s news round-up, Atlantic Union College has completed its final program, Ghanaian pastor mourns five family members who perished in fire, Nigerian Adventists seek Sabbath recognition for voting and school exams, LLUH retools its public health PhD, and Jamaican Church develops youth membership programs.
Atlantic Union College Closure Completed. Six months after announcing its plans to close, Atlantic Union College has completed its final program, marking the end of the 136-year-old college. AUC lost its degree-granting ability on June 30 when its five-year conditional approval for that authority from the state expired, according to the Department of Higher Education. Since then, Atlantic Union has been closing out its remaining certificate programs via a teach-out under the oversight of the Office of Private Occupational School Education in the state’s Division of Professional Licensure. Many students transferred to other institutions, including Andrews University. In addition, Ednor Davison, the communications director for the Atlantic Union Conference, which oversees the college, said the Atlantic Union Conference has been helping former employees at the college find new jobs elsewhere within the Seventh-day Adventist higher education network. Some have already secured new positions although she said not all laid-off staff have found new employment. Church and college leaders also have not made a decision regarding the college’s 135-acre campus. Davison said the Union is “in contact with several individuals and organizations that have expressed an interest in the facilities.” Orlando Pacheco, the town administrator for Lancaster, said the town is not among those that have been in talks with the college’s owners. From Telegram, “Closing Atlantic Union College wraps up final academic programs.”
Ghana Pastor Buries His Family Who Perished in Their Home. The Dansoman District pastor of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, Pastor Ato Kessie, lost five members of his immediate family in last week’s fire at their residence. Kessie said he has been shattered by the death of his wife, three-week-old baby, four-year-old son, mother-in-law, and niece. From GhanaWeb, “'I’m empty' – SDA pastor breaks silence.”
Nigerian SDA Church Seeks Sabbath Recognition for Voting and School Exams. Seventh-day Adventist Church, owners of Babcock and Clifford Universities, has alleged a disenfranchisement of 270,000 of its members during elections in Nigeria. This has happened due to the continued conduct of elections on Saturdays which is their day of worship. Speaking at a press conference, Freeman Dariya, President of the Northern Nigeria Union Conference of the Church in Abuja, stated that it was against the letters of the Bible and the religious liberty as enshrined in the 1999 Constitution (as amended) to conduct mandatory university entrance examinations on Saturdays. He said that many Adventist children had been deprived of admission into various universities by the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) for fixing the entrance examinations on Saturdays. He appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari and the Independent National Electoral Commission to adopt measures that would enable the members to vote during elections. Pastor Dariye was flanked at the briefing by some pastors and other church workers. He said, “The Seventh-day Adventist Church is a major Christian denomination with a significant presence in Nigeria.” From Vanguard, “2019 elections: SDA Church alleges disenfranchisement of over 250,000 members.”
LLU Retools Public Health PhD, Emphasizing Plant-based Nutrition. Loma Linda University will become the first Southern California school to offer a doctoral program in plant-based nutrition when it launches its new PhD program this fall. The program will align with accreditation requirements set forth by the Council on Education for Public Health and will supplant the school’s existing Doctor of Public Health (DrPH) program. Students will focus on several areas of study including nutritional epidemiology, the impact of dietary choices on the environment, the effects of plant-based nutrition on disease prevention, and community nutrition. Students will also engage in clinical trials to determine the long-term effects of plant-based foods, particularly nuts and soy, on overall health. “The refocused curriculum and degree offering are part of the school’s new strategic direction,” program director Sujatha Rajaram, PhD said. From VegNews, “California university to offer PhD program in plant-based nutrition.”
Jamaican Church Develops Youth Mentorship Clubs to Inspire Christian Lifestyle. Some 35 adolescents were inducted into mentorship clubs at the Tent City Seventh-day Adventist Church in Portmore, St. Catherine, Jamaica. The clubs, known as the Girls of Eloquence, Morals, and Standards (GEMS) and Brothers of Eloquence Morals, and Standards (BEAMS), seek to inspire young girls and boys to attain a higher level of spiritual, emotional, and moral standard and to be the best they can be in their Christian walk. Howard Grant, pastor of the Tent City SDA Church, commended the women's and men's ministries departments of the church for spearheading the initiative and underscored the timeliness of the launch of the program. "In an age where so many young people are being initiated in various activities such as gangs and secret societies, it is fundamental that the Seventh-day Adventist Church come up with this program so that we can keep the young people in the Church and at the same time prepare them for leadership in the Church," he said. Lorraine Vernal, Family, Women, Children and Adolescent Ministries Director of the Jamaica Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, urged the youths to be a beacon of light in their communities. "You are called upon to shine your light, and if you are going to talk about Jesus, you can't follow somebody who you do not know. You have to know Jesus for yourself," she said. From The Jamaica Gleaner, “Adventist Church Launches Mentorship Clubs.”
Pam Dietrich taught English at Loma Linda Academy for 26 years and served there eight more years as the 7-12 librarian. She lives in Redlands, California.
Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons
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