The South Pacific Division (SPD) has announced plans for an innovative training hub in discipleship and evangelism at Avondale University in Cooranbong, New South Wales.
The SPD Centre for Discipleship and Evangelism will focus on advancing the mission of the Seventh-day Adventist Church by creating and implementing discipleship pathways for young people, church members, and pastors to become competent in discipleship and evangelism.
The center will also be a hub for developing, marketing, and growing discipleship and evangelism programs; creating networks of disciple-makers, missional leaders, and movement builders and providing them with missional coaching; and coordinating inspirational mission, discipleship, and evangelism events.
It is modeled after the North American Division Evangelism Institute (NADEI) at Andrews University. NADEI has built strong connections with Andrews University, enabling it to establish long-lasting, influential relationships with seminary graduates across the North American Division.
In a similar way, it is envisioned that the SPD Centre for Discipleship and Evangelism will have strong relationships with Avondale Seminary and Avondale University. The SPD Institute of Public Evangelism and church planting support will be integrated into the new center, which will help to strengthen it with the diversity of disciple-making expertise.
The SPD Board has appointed Dr. Gilbert Cangy, currently the pastoral services manager for the Sanitarium Health and Wellbeing group, as director of the new center. Pastor Gary Webster, director of the Institute of Public Evangelism, and Dr. Wayne Krause, SPD Adventist Missions director, have been appointed associate directors and will also continue in their current roles.
Pastor Glenn Townend, SPD president, said he is excited about the potential of the new center to create a thriving disciple-making movement. “It will help us to engage many more people in our core missional activities,” he said. “It will contribute significantly to fulfilling the great commission that Jesus has given us to go and make disciples within the context of the three angels’ messages.”
The center is expected to be operational in early 2023.