“Andrews University is committed to mission. It has and will always be part of our DNA,” stated John Wesley Taylor V, president of Andrews University. Taylor presented the Andrews University (AU) Report during Annual Council 2023 at the General Conference (GC) of Seventh-day Adventists headquarters in Silver Spring, Maryland, United States.
Renowned educational institution and flagship university of the GC, AU has been a torchbearer for Adventist education worldwide since 1874. Taylor’s report highlighted the institution's deep-rooted dedication to mission, asserting that AU is not just a center for learning, but a beacon for Adventist mission.
Mission in Action
The motto “Seek knowledge, affirm faith, and change the world,” steers the Adventist university, which prides itself on educating and equipping its students to be “change-makers” who carry forward Christ’s Gospel Commission into the world. Taylor reinforced AU’s commitment to the education and nurture of its students to become dedicated agents of change. This point was emphasized with stories of current students who are or have served in missionary opportunities overseas.
“The Theological Seminary at Andrews University is not only a place that is faithful in theology and scholarship, but we train each of our students in evangelism and discipleship,” stated Taylor. In the last ten years, students and staff from the AU Theological Seminary have organized and conducted evangelistic meetings in Zimbabwe, Benin, Kenya, Fiji, Honduras, and Jamaica, among other countries, to participate in various mission initiatives. In Cuba, over 300 baptisms have taken place, and, most recently, seminary students and faculty traveled to Zambia to participate in the Lusaka for Christ campaign where over 1,300 people were baptized.
AU’s commitment to mission is not limited to providing students and faculty with missionary opportunities. Taylor outlined several current initiatives the university is investing in to develop mission-focused leaders for tomorrow.
In collaboration with the GC through the Global Leadership Institute, AU hosts LEAD Labs, a leadership development program intended to equip participants for evangelism and leadership in their local fields. A grant from Lilly Endowment has allowed AU to establish the Center for Community Change,, a training opportunity for pastors and laypersons seeking community impact.
The AU School of Social Work also developed the International Center for Trauma Education and Care, which trains global pastors, leaders, and laypersons to work with individuals impacted by trauma. According to Taylor, the center has participated in projects in Ethiopia, Cambodia, Thailand, Eswatini, and North America.
Lastly, AU’s annual Change Day provides the entire staff, faculty, and student body with an opportunity to serve its home city of Berrien Springs, Michigan, and other surrounding communities. Taylor explained that over 1,200 faculty and students participated in 40 different community engagement projects during this year’s Change Day event.
Looking Ahead to 150 Years
In closing, President Taylor shared a glimpse into the institution’s future. Next year, AU will celebrate the 150th anniversary of two significant events in Adventist history. It will commemorate its namesake, J.N. Andrews mission as the Adventist Church’s first sponsored missionary with his family to Switzerland. It will also remember the inauguration of Battle Creek College in Battle Creek, Michigan, which today is Andrews University.
The AU anniversary, highlighting the theme “Forward in Faithful Mission," will be the focus of the university’s sesquicentennial celebration. “We are committed to the global mission of the Adventist Church. We believe each student is a candidate of heaven and we seek to change the world for God through mission and service. In these times of unprecedented change and uncertainty, Andrews University is committed to God in mission,” expressed Taylor. The 150th celebration will serve to remind all who visit the campus that AU has been shaped by mission, continues to be involved in mission, and will move forward, focused on mission.
About Andrews University
Andrews University is the flagship educational institution of the Seventh-day Adventist Church located in Berrien Springs, Michigan. Founded as Battle Creek College in 1874 in Battle Creek, Michigan, the school began with only 12 students and was relocated to Berrien Springs in 1901. In 1960, the institution was renamed Andrews University as a dedication to the Church’s first missionary, John Nevins Andrews.
AU has recently been recognized by numerous publications for its high-quality education ranking as the top private university and Christian college in Michigan. According to Niche.com's 2024 Best Colleges in America rankings, AU ranks within the top 15 best Christian colleges/universities in the United States.
AU offers over 90 undergraduate and over 60 postgraduate majors. The Seventh-Day Adventist Theological Seminary, on the campus of AU, is well recognized among Adventists as a training ground for Adventist pastors.
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