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Silver Spring, Maryland, United States | Ansel Oliver/ANN

T he Philippines has granted approval for an Adventist medical school to begin classes in August, making it the first Adventist medical school in Asia and the denomination’s sixth medical school worldwide.

The Commission on Higher Education of the Philippines in December approved the opening of the Adventist University of the Philippines’ College of Medicine, located on campus in Silang in the province of Cavite.

The program has also met requirements set by the International Board of Education of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, a Church leader said.

The institution, slated to begin with as many as 35 students, was designed to serve the denomination’s Southern Asia-Pacific Division, Adventist leaders said.

“We’re very excited. They have worked very hard for this day, a dream of more than 30 years,” said Dr. Peter Landless, Health Ministries director for the Adventist world church.

“This creates an opportunity for the entire Southern Asia-Pacific Division to benefit from this school,” Landless added.

The College of Medicine will use Batangas Medical Center as its main teaching hospital for its volume and variety of patients. The college will also partner with Adventist Medical Center—Manila.

“AUPCOM envisions to train and graduate physicians who are service-oriented, effectively witnessing for God and promoting the worldwide mission of the Adventist Church as medical missionary-minded doctors wherever they may be,” said Dr. Doris Mendoza, the founding dean of the medical school.

AUP President Dr. Francisco D. Gayoba, president of AUP, said, “Opening the doctor of medicine program was a journey of faith.”  

AUP has been partnering with Loma Linda University School of Medicine, an Adventist university in the United States, for advising on student admissions, curriculum development and faculty development.  

“Over the past 100 years, Loma Linda has refined a process to select mission-focused graduates who have carried out the healing ministry of Christ and the commission of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, and their mentoring of AUP and our other new medical schools has been vital,” said Lisa Beardsley-Hardy, Education director for the Adventist world church.

The denomination opened its fifth medical school in Peru in 2012. Other Adventist medical schools are located at Loma Linda University in the United States, Montemorellos University in Mexico, River Plate Adventist University in Argentina, and Babcock University in Nigeria.

A seventh Adventist medical school is currently being planned for the denomination’s East-Central Africa Division, Beardsley-Hardy said.

“To carry out our mission, especially in the underserved parts of the world, we need many more physicians who speak the language of patients and are culturally competent, in addition to being excellent clinicians,” she said.

—additional reporting by Max Cadalig and Teresa Costello