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MARCH 2020

Graduate School and Seminary

Volume 15, Number 1 1



Vice president for Academic Administration: Dolf Oberholster, PhD Vice president for Finance: Jorge Montero, MBA Vice president FOR Student Services: Bryan Sumendap, DMin Dean, Graduate School: Danny Rantung, PhD Dean, Seminary: Ricardo Gonzรกlez, PhD FLAGS COMMITTEE Ginger Ketting-Weller Bruce Sumendap Sharnie Love Zamora-Belarmino Christian Rodelas Irene Rivera Donie Ver Medalla Gracel Ann Saban Sheri Joy Namanya Blessing Obaya Prakash Jacob


FLAGS EDITORIAL BOARD Editor: Sharnie Love Zamora-Belarmino content Editor: Bruce Sumendap Copy Editors: Irene Rivera Donie Ver Medalla Layout & Design editor: Christian Rodelas FLAGS, MARCH 2020 VOLUME 15, NUMBER 1 Flags is the semi-annual international magazine for alumni and friends of the Adventist International Institute of Advanced Studies (AIIAS), a graduate-level educational institution of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists.


ISSN 1908-1693


GENERAL ENQUIRIES AIIAS Lalaan 1, Silang, Cavite 4118, Philippines Phone: +63 (46) 414-4300 Fax: +63 (46) 414-4301 Email: admissions@aiias.edu www.aiias.edu online.aiias.edu facebook.com/aiias twitter.com/aiiasedu instagram.com/aiiasedu


Alumni Development Spiritual Life News About AIIAS

05 12 19 21 26

06 FEATURES 06 Live Out Your True Purpose 12 Breaking Ground For The New AIIAS Academy 14 President’s Installation Ceremony 16 Dialogue With The New AIIAS President

16 25


ABOUT THE COVER Ginger Ketting-Weller, PhD, is the eighth president of AIIAS. She has an extensive experience in leadership and has a passion for developing leaders, fulfilling the mission of AIIAS.


TRANSITIONS By Ginger Ketting-Weller


had just arrived in my old college town for a Christmas time visit with my long-distance boyfriend (who became my husband), when God spoke in my life about transitions. At that juncture, I was a professor at another college, and as I got ready for church that Sabbath morning, my college spirit watch, with the college name on the front of it, dramatically broke and popped off my wrist, as though shot off from a place it no longer belonged. At church later that morning, the pastor preached about transitions. “God can reach us more readily,” he said, “when we are in a time of transition. Transitions are often uncomfortable, but that sense of imbalance makes us more aware, more ready to learn, more available for God to move us where He wants us to go.” Well! I was getting a sense of what the year ahead might hold. Indeed, the next year held transition for me. I got married and acquired three stepchildren. I moved to where my new husband lived. I took up a new job, for the first time leading

in higher education administration. And through it all, God was at work, guiding my life in ways I couldn’t see until I was down the road. These were all opportunities for rich rewards and the strengthening of my heart towards God. AIIAS is a place of constant transition and opportunity. Students are ever coming and going from this institution, which means transition for them, and transition for those of us who stay. Yet, as that pastor preached long ago, transitions are an opportunity for growth and God’s work in our lives. As I emerged from the auditorium a few nights ago following vespers, I encountered three seminary students on the doorstep in quiet conversation together. One of them, by the time you read this, will have graduated and left to pastor a college church in his country—yet another transition. “Do you think AIIAS has been helpful for your ministry?” I asked them. Their faces lit up in wonder at the question. “Oh, YES!” they chorused emphatically. “You can’t even imagine,” one of them exclaimed. They told me that their study at AIIAS had completely transformed their


thinking, their views, their approach. They are eager to put that to work in their home country. We are deeply grateful for the work of transition that AIIAS accomplishes in the lives of people. Transition to a broader worldview. Transition to deeper ways of thinking. Transition to wiser ways of leadership. Transition to a more diverse group of friends. Transition to new and more effective approaches in one’s own family relationships. Transition to wiser understandings of people, and of God’s Word. “See?” God says in Isaiah 43:19, “I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” Let us not waste the opportunity of a transition.

Ginger Ketting-Weller, Ph.D., is the president of the Adventist International Institute of Advanced Studies (AIIAS).

Alumni Newsbits Up close with our online graduates


id you know that you could study at AIIAS without ever coming to its physical campus? As long as you have a good internet connection, wherever you are in the world, you may start and finish a master’s degree program from AIIAS. Read more to see what our AIIAS Online alumni have to say:



“When I was teaching, I had told my students that I would complete my studies in 2009 but I didn’t know where to go and what to do until I stumbled on the AIIAS website. I was so curious about AIIAS, so I had to research it. There I learned that AIIAS offers online studies. So, out of curiosity, I sent an inquiry. The AIIAS Online personnel were very helpful in assisting me with my application. I learned so much from the professors that guided me throughout the program until I was able to complete my degree in 2017. Thanks to AIIAS Online for helping me to achieve my dream.

“I have been working as a pastor in Palau for 11 years already. I felt the need of upgrading myself for better ministry outcome but the challenge is that there is no university in the midst of the ocean. Praise God! He answered my desire by using AIIAS Online. I enrolled in an online program, and within two years, I was able to finish my master’s degree in ministry. I really felt the blessing and advantages of taking online classes. I was able to graduate even though I am here in the midst of the ocean. I encourage you to experience the same and be more equipped for God’s glory.”

One of the significant experiences studying online with AIIAS is this: it is so flexible. Their lectures are of great help. The staff keep following up on any work that needs to be done. They provide all the assistance that you need. The help that I got from them was remarkable. The continued support and, more importantly, the week of prayer filled me with energy and excitement. Because of these, today, I can say that I am an alumna of AIIAS. It really opened doors for me.“

About Marino: Marino Laurin is a Filipino pastor serving three Seventh-day Adventist congregations in Palau. He is considered the longest-serving pastor in Guam-Micronesia Mission after working in the area for more than 10 years. In 2019, he graduated with a Master of Ministry degree through AIIAS Online.

About Heather: Heather Vanua hails from Port Moresby in Papua New Guinea and has been working as a lecturer at the School of Business at Pacific Adventist University (PAU) since 2013. She obtained her Master of Science in Administration degree through AIIAS Online in 2017.

Are you an AIIAS graduate? We would like to invite you to share your recent life stories with your AIIAS family around the world. We are requesting the following information about you: 1. Achievements/Promotions 2. Recently published books 3. Professional development 4. Volunteer/mission work stories 5. Ministry involvement stories 6. Experiences in the field of academics

AIIAS Online is the virtual campus of AIIAS.

or a recent transition that has happened to you or your family (e.g. transfer from home country to the mission field), or anything that’s worth sharing. Kindly indicate your full name, graduation date, most unforgettable memory as a student at AIIAS, and present occupation, 150 words maximum. Also, include a highresolution digital portrait photo (in .jpg format) for publication in the Flags Magazine. We will notify you if your submission has been selected. Send your entries to flags@aiias.edu.

Heather Alup-Pole Vanua

Marino Laurin 5

Photo Credit: Yearbook Team






By Nadine A. Joseph–Collins


n August 2003, I felt impressed to leave my job at the Bank of Saint Lucia to pursue studies at the Caribbean Union College in Trinidad and Tobago. By faith, I did it, not knowing how I would be able to pay school fees, dorm fees and so on; but I followed His leading anyway. Throughout that journey, God provided opportunities to ensure that He finished what He started—I worked almost full-time as a student worker in the human resource department and then the president’s office and also canvassed during two summers in Canada to make scholarships for tuition. I graduated at the end of four years, magna cum laude. When it was time for the master’s degree, I had another challenge. I was not sure how I would be able to pay for it. Thankfully, I was able to sign a contract for two years to manage a research project. That is when God directed to ask for a special arrangement to pay for my tuition—deduct half of my salary every month for two years, which was just enough to cover my tuition for the master’s degree program. After completing that program in May 2010, I decided to honor myself by attending the General Conference Session in Atlanta, Georgia. On the last Friday of the session, I made arrangements to go to a museum with a new friend. However, I did not feel well so I opted to stay in bed. Around 11 a.m., I felt this irritating urge to go to the exhibit hall before it would shut

down at 1 p.m. I had already decided not to take any “free” gifts from the hundreds of exhibitors, considering this was only the first leg of my journey and airline overweight charges were not pretty. Under that compelling spirit, I walked like almost in a controlled way to the exhibit hall that was about seven minutes from my hotel. I walked straight down the middle aisle and was headed straight out of another aisle working to make my way out of the hall and fulfilling what I felt compelled to do. That is when I saw the sign “Adventist International Institute of Advanced Studies”. I had never seen or heard of that institution so my interest was piqued. I stopped and asked two questions to the lady at the desk: “do you offer a PhD in theology?” and, “do you offer a PhD in education?” To both, she replied, “Yes!” So right there, even though I had not yet processed what I would do next, I decided to sign up. She gave me a small calendar, a key ring, and a small sticky notepad afterwards. I left the hall having a sense of accomplishing exactly what I needed to accomplish. That lady was Trevlynn Oberholster, the HR director of AIIAS. Upon returning to the Caribbean, I visited my close friend and mentor. While we were talking, he asked about me doing a PhD and then ventured to ask if I had ever considered the Philippines. I was in shock, because that afternoon when I was heading to his office, I


was impressed to take that little sticky notepad with me. I had quite a few of these pads but felt the deep urge to take that specific one with me—the one I had taken from the AIIAS desk. I calmly asked him the name of the university he had in mind, but he could not remember. That is when I went into my bag, pulled out the little notepad, raised it in the air, and asked, “Is this the one you are speaking of?” He raised his head and said, “Yes! That’s the one.” Wow! I was overwhelmed and relieved at the same time. I had gotten my confirmation that God wanted me to go, literally, halfway across the world to AIIAS. On June 3, 2011, I landed in the Philippines to enroll in the Doctor of Philosophy in Educational Administration program. It was strictly a journey of faith, but this time, on a whole other level. I was particularly taken up with the vision and mission statements of AIIAS; both of them being richly rooted in the idea of developing world-class leaders for the purpose of service, excellence, and mission. Today, as I reflect on the past and my experiences at AIIAS, as I look at the work that God has purposed for and positioned me to do with women globally, and the world at large, I can truly say that both the mission and vision statements continue to guide my personal and professional endeavors, especially the qualities of

spirituality, scholarship, and service. I come from a society that firmly believes that education is the key to access a better life, alleviate one out of poverty and create opportunities for a prestigious job or thriving career. While these are for many true, the purpose of true education as stressed in the writings of Ellen G. White is to “prepare the student for the joy of service in this world and for the higher joy of wider service in the world to come” (Education, p.1). I will share three points that I believe can ensure that every AIIAS student can live out the AIIAS mission and vision and ultimately, live out their true and destined purpose in this world as they prepare for the world to come:

1. Choose Purpose Over Prestige For many, studying at AIIAS is a means to have greater access to the Seventh-day Adventist world. With students generally registered annually from over 60 countries, it means that persons enrolled at AIIAS not only have the opportunity to meet and interact with people from different cultures, but also have the opportunity to create and establish friendships or mutual alliances that may strategically create opportunities for advancement in their future. For others, the purpose for which they choose to study at AIIAS is to ensure that upon graduation, they have a ‘big’ or prestigious job waiting for them. Some may serve as the president of a mission, union, division, university, hospital, or as a director for a department, dean, chair, or tenured faculty member. While these are excellent opportunities to “serve” and add value to our institutions and entities worldwide, one of the beautiful lessons I continue to learn is about choosing purpose over prestige. It is about ensuring that my motive to “serve” is not self-aggrandizing but always rooted in my true purpose and fully aligned with what God has destined me to do.

I have also learned that my true purpose may not always be aligned with my area of study, though the knowledge gained from my studies can add great value and enhance the work that I do in my “true purpose”. Every AIIAS student has to realize that as he journeys through life, prestige can never bring the fulfillment that purpose can. In fact, living in your true purpose is the only way that you can live authentically and totally fulfilled because you are living a life that is true to yourself, to God, to your family, and to those whom you serve. Upon completing my studies at AIIAS, I had my dream job waiting for me— to head the research and innovation department at one of our institutions. I loved research and had a desire to truly inspire the next generation of researchers at that institution, but, instead, I asked the administration to hold it for me for six months to a year while I did ministry. Two years later, I got another call asking if I was interested in heading research at another Adventist institution, and right then, I had to turn the offer down because of what was brewing in me—a deep call to global ministry on prayer and to empower women. At first, many thought that I had lost my mind and that I was making a wrong decision. However, I understood that trusting God’s leading would be the best decision. God has a way of doing more with what appears to be less. I knew that if I chose His way over mine, He would prosper me and set me up for a life much greater than I could have ever planned for myself.

2. Choose Excellence Over Exactness I have read somewhere that excellence is a matter of choice. It is a mantra that guides me in all that I do. I am of the firm belief that whatever I do must be done exceedingly well.


God has given us some counsel on the blessing of choosing excellence over exactness, and also demonstrating or portraying our level of scholarship. “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might, for in the realm of the dead, where you are going, there is neither working nor planning nor knowledge nor wisdom.” (Ecclesiastes 9:10) “We need to follow more closely God’s plan of life. To do our best in the work that lies nearest, to commit our ways to God, and to watch for the indications of His providence—these are rules that ensure safe guidance in the choice of an occupation.” (Education, p. 267) A few years ago I wrote this thought, and I still believe it today, “My greatest accomplishment in this life is being God’s portrait of excellence!”

2. Choose Service Over Self In my very first semester enrolled in the PhD program at AIIAS, I was fortunate to sit “at the feet” of Dr. Dolf Oberholster in an administrative class. One of the leadership styles that we focused on was servant leadership. For some, “service” may seem below us because we have earned master’s, or doctorate degrees and feel entitled to have positions at the top. We set the lofty goals of being the next president, the next vice president, the next director, and so on, because we believe that we are “qualified.” Sometimes we not only desire or aspire. Instead, we plan for it strategically, by any means necessary and at the expense of relationships and our salvation, to be on top. Though there is nothing wrong in aiming high or desiring to be the head, as long as it is in God’s plans for your life, and you are not aiming or desiring for your own self-glorification.

When you focus on choosing service over self, you will let go of all of your lofty plans and ideas and instead, spend time seeking out what God’s plans are for you. You will spend time uncovering your true purpose, asking God to direct which part of the world you go to serve, and in what capacity, and align yourself with the exact assignment that He has for you, even though it does not match up to your own ideas or ideals for your life. That is why I had to trust God and the unique path of purpose, excellence, and service that He chose for me. This path has allowed me to serve thousands of Adventist, Christian women and the world church globally, having travelled so far to over 60 countries and counting, empowering people to have a more meaningful and effective relationship with God.

dictate my actions. But instead, I chose to answer God’s divine calling, trusting His leading, and embracing His plans for my life because I understood that my “true” purpose had to trump prestige in order that I could live my WOW life—a life of personal and professional fulfillment, success, peace and impact! Holy Bible, New International Version (NIV) ©1973, 1978, 1984, International Bible Society. Zondervan Bible Publishers. White, E. G. (1903). Education. Mountain View, CA: Pacific Press Publishing Association.

Nadine A. Joseph-Collins, Ph.D., graduated with a Doctor of Philosophy in Education degree with specialization in Educational Administration at AIIAS in March 2015. Since then, she has been engaged in full time ministry as an international speaker empowering others to have an effective prayer life. She is also a spiritual wellness coach, women’s leadership and empowerment expert, prayer counselor, and author. Collins also serves as an adjunct faculty member at AIIAS and a peer-reviewer for the research journal.

Today, some of the very people who doubted and second-guessed my willingness to walk a road that was not paved, express how much admiration they have for me because I was brave to do something that went against all that I had been taught and knew. I did something that was different and unexpected. I answered a call that was so far from what I had planned for my life, but ultimately, I did not allow the norm or status quo to

Email: nadine@nadinecollins.com Web: www.nadinecollins.com

Nadine A. Joseph-Collins


Special Tribute to

STEPHEN GUPTILL AIIAS President, 2006-2019

Here is a compilation of special messages from friends and colleagues of Stephen R. Guptill in academe who have been greatly blessed by his service.


r. Stephen Guptill is a model of missionary spirit. He has served in several assignments in various parts of the world with distinction and total commitment. Both he and Peggy deserve recognition for their untiring, unselfish service and ministry. I have worked most closely with Steve at AIIAS as chairperson of the board of trustees during his presidency. This relationship can be a challenging one, but there never has been an unpleasant moment with Steve. He is dedicated to the work, understanding of academic matters and church processes, receptive to guidance, resourceful in giving direction, and above all faithful to the Lord. He will be remembered at AIIAS for many accomplishments, but perhaps remembered most as a “builder” for having overseen and raised funds for several impressive student housing towers and faculty homes that now adorn the campus. God bless you, Steve, as you retire from educational leadership. ELLA SMITH SIMMONS, Ed.D. General Vice President Seventh-day Adventist Church World Headquarters

Dr. Stephen Guptill will be missed by many as he retires from AIIAS. My initial acquaintance with Dr. Guptill was in the mid-nineties when we were both division directors of education and met on IBE and AAA meetings in Washington. His passion for and commitment to Adventist Education would not be unnoticed in the meeting room. My first visit to Asia was at his invitation for AAA visits to several institutions in the Southern Asia-

Pacific Division (SSD), a great introduction to my current and greater association with the SSD territory and people. What great coordination and leadership during the visits! When Dr. Guptill was called to AIIAS, what might have seemed like a loss to the department turned out to be a greater blessing, as he was now preparing leaders and workers for the same territory and beyond. His contributions to AIIAS for the benefit of students were numerous, as in the development of student residential apartments, creative ways of student sponsorships, and several other developments. I cannot forget the fellowship we enjoyed in their home with meals prepared by both Peggy and Steve. Peggy was also very helpful to my children when they studied at Adventist University of the Philippines. As the Bible says, there is a time for everything. We accept it as time for the family to move on. While they will be missed, I wish them happy retirement and God’s continued blessings. HUDSON E. KIBUUKA, Ed.D. Associate Director of Education Seventh-day Adventist Church World Headquarters

It has been my honor and privilege to work for AIIAS for five years under your leadership. I remember the times when we had meaningful conversations with you and other administrators about different AIIAS topics related to students, personnel, or strategic plans, and how interesting it was to realize that even though we came from different cultures and backgrounds, 10

we were together in one mission! The Lord has given you many talents. There were two of them that were providential for AIIAS during these last years— fundraising and building construction. Thank you for sharing your expertise with others. Thank you for being a humble example, always ready to listen and give words of advice. GERMAN A. LUST, MBA

Associate Treasurer/IPRS Co-Director Seventh-day Adventist Church World Headquarters

It was a privilege for me to work under the leadership of Dr. Stephen Guptill, both as a seminary faculty as well as a member of the administration team of AIIAS. I learned about Christian leadership principles from his vision, actions, initiatives, and responses to multiple situations. Team spirit and camaraderie, constructive correction and trust, and task delegation and accountability are just some of those principles. Above all, his faith has been the basis for the vision that he shared with his team. He really proved that nothing is impossible for God. This is seen in many strategic projects that AIIAS has accomplished throughout the last 10 years. It required one first step into the waters of Jordan to pave a way for God’s people cross the raging river. Dr. Guptill has done it for AIIAS. What AIIAS has achieved now cannot be disconnected from all his contributions. May God bless you, Dr. Guptill, and to God be the glory! RICHARD SABUIN, Ph.D.

Education Director and Director for Sabbath School and Personal Ministries Northern Asia-Pacific Division

Praise God for the ministry of Stephen Guptill as president over the last 12 years, not forgetting other roles he played in the life of AIIAS even before that. I have appreciated Steve’s ministry, having worked very closely with him as a friend and colleague for more than a decade. I admired his steady view of the “big picture,” thereby avoiding getting bogged down by immediate concerns and tasks. Steve is a person of action. Numerous projects were accomplished in his time at AIIAS, due mostly to him being so driven and at the same time selflessly supporting them with his own means and social capital. He leaves a very visible mark on AIIAS, having led in the physical development of the campus. He is likely to be remembered for many years for the signage, the auditorium, four student towers, two faculty duplexes, and the construction of extensions to both schools. We thank God for the impact Dr. Guptill had on this campus, but even more for the far-reaching impact on the lives of faculty, staff, and students from so many different countries. He has blessed not only this academic community but even the global church wherever our alumni are serving. DOLF OBERHOLSTER, Ph.D.

Vice President for Academic Administration AIIAS

To work with Dr. Stephen Guptill was such a wonderful opportunity. He is a leader by example—he is a true worker of God who values work more than the benefits he could get. When I was in my first few months as a new worker at AIIAS, I remembered him telling me that, “work is life and we should be happy about it.” I recall one instance when Dr. Guptill was on his itinerary. He had just travelled for about 32 hours during his return to the Philippines. I thought when he arrived home from that long journey he would rest and recover from jet lag—but I was wrong. Instead, he came to the office in the afternoon and chaired the Administrative Committee meeting. I learned from him that God has given us this work and we should not neglect our duty. Dr. Guptill is not my direct boss—God is—yet he is a God-given boss who motivated me to do my best in the workplace. He is a committed man in God’s service. I benefited much from being mentored by him.

Dr. Stephen “Steve” Guptill has been an exceptional leader with a visionary heart. He has always been passionate about the different projects, events, and ministries happening within AIIAS and the communities off-campus. He and his wife, Peggy, have also shown their untiring support for the AIIAS Flags Magazine over the years. They have been working closely with us—Dr. Guptill as previous chair of the Flags Committee and Mrs. Guptill assisting us with content editing. It has been a pleasure working with both of you. We are sad to see you leave, yet we are still grateful for all the assistance that you keep extending to Flags. We wish you God’s overflowing blessings! SHARNIE LOVE ZAMORA-BELARMINO Flags Editor

Thank you very much, Sir! “Oh, there’ll be joy when the work is done.” Happy retirement, Sir! EPHRAVIL FADOLLONE

Administrative Secretary to the President AIIAS

Peggy and Stephen Guptill



he AIIAS Public Health Department, in collaboration with the AIIAS Church Health Ministries Department, hosted the 2019 Health Festival Weekend with the theme, “Choices for Change: Environmental Stewardship Starts With Me” on November 22-24, 2019. The aim was to encourage the AIIAS community to make informed

By AIIAS Public Health Department

choices that would promote environmental sustainability. Activities included a free health screening, a CELEBRATIONS workshop, tree planting, and various programs that focused on waste segregation and environmental stewardship. The event culminated with an international potluck that show-

cased an assortment of healthy food, an opportunity to enjoy meals served around the world. The public health department hopes that their program has set the direction for others to protect the environment better as these small changes may contribute to the desired environmental stewardship.

Photo Credit: Samuel Fuentes


Members of the AIIAS community enjoys the Health Festival international potluck on November 30, 2019.

Breaking Ground for

THE NEW AIIAS ACADEMY By Jim C Weller and Sharnie Love Zamora-Belarmino


IIAS Academy’s high school has for years been housed in classrooms, which are in the AIIAS Gymnasium. A facility more conducive to rigorous study was urgently needed. On November 15, 2019, AIIAS celebrated the groundbreaking ceremony for the new AIIAS Academy high school building, a two-story structure that will fit the style of other AIIAS buildings.

Academy principal. He described the three new science laboratories, computer science room, MakerSpace, ESL room, library, a large common meeting area, and rooms for learning home crafts like cooking and sewing, and labor skills such as electrical and plumbing. The crowd of AIIAS Academy students cheered as each room was described.

Attending the ceremony were guests from the Seventh-day Adventist Church world headquarters, the Southern Asia-Pacific Division, and the whole community of young AIIAS Academy scholars and their teachers. Dr. Samuel Gaikwad, AIIAS Academy Board chair and Bhekutando Sibanda, academy Student Association president buries books symbolizing the school’s philosophical foundation.

President Ginger Ketting-Weller introduced the members of the Building Committee and the architect, Angusto “Augie” dela Paz, who will also serve as general contractor during the construction phase which is well underway. Building plans were described by Jim C Weller, AIIAS


Two books were buried under the center of the future building to symbolize the school’s philosophical foundation. The Bible was opened to Psalm 127:3 which states, “except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it.” Ellen G. White’s book, Education, was opened to page 30 which Weller read in a slightly modernized version. It states, “in the highest sense, the work of education and the work of redemption are one, for in education, as in redemption ‘no other foundation can be laid than has already been laid, that is, Jesus Christ.’ (1 Corinthians 3:11)” Through donations given by the Seventh-day Adventist Church world headquarters, Northern Asia-Pacific Division, Southern Asia-Pacific Division, and other friends and families from AIIAS, the construction of the academy building has begun. Footings are being poured and columns will soon rise. The goal is to finish building the school in the first week of August this year.

Meet the New AIIAS Academy Principal:

JIM C WELLER By Sharnie Love Zamora-Belarmino

Concept drawing of the new AIIAS Academy building


he new AIIAS Academy principal, James ”Jim” C Weller, says he was happily minding his own business as one of four principals at Loma Linda Academy in California when he and his wife, Ginger Ketting-Weller, decided to come to AIIAS to attend the International Conference in November 2018. Their visit happened during the period when AIIAS was in need of capable eligible persons to fill-in key administrative positions—specifically a president, principal, and education professor, all at once.

Stephen Guptill expresses his appreciation during the groundbreaking ceremony

Help to build the AIIAS Academy! Scan this QR Code to find out how.

AIIAS Building Committee members and AIIAS kindergarten students pose for a photo before breaking the ground for the new AIIAS Academy building.

“I was considering the job but had not made any final decisions,” says Weller. “During my visit to AIIAS, the academy teachers won my heart. The Lord made it clear that AIIAS is where I should be. As I thought more about it, many doors miraculously opened—a huge “sign” was that Ginger and I had the needed skills and experience. What’s the chance of that? It made us sit up and take notice.” Weller, who has taught every level from first grade to graduate school, brings 39 years of educational leadership experience earned in Taiwan, Washington, Hawaii, and California. “I think a strength that I bring is the memory of thousands of incidents. Not much baffles me anymore. And I really want all people to succeed: students, teachers, and parents. We all have our challenges and failures, but God can help us shine in whatever we do. Jim C Weller Photo Credit: Yearbook Team 13

It just takes trust and more practice,” explained Weller. “AIIAS Academy is uniquely positioned to make a difference in this world,” Weller continued. “Our students come from, and go to, just about everywhere in the world, and they are destined for leadership. We need to make some data-driven changes in our curriculum, but our teachers are enthusiastic and hard-working. With God’s help, we can equip these students to be powerful for Him.” Weller will also teach education classes as a part-time assistant professor in the AIIAS Graduate School.

Sharnie Love Zamora-Belarmino, RN, is the editor of the Flags Magazine. She serves as the assistant for institutional writing at AIIAS.

PRESIDENT’S INSTALLATION CEREMONY HIGHLIGHTS AIIAS’ UNIQUE MISSION By Bruce Sumendap AIIAS celebrates the installation of Ginger Ketting-Weller, PhD, as the institution’s eighth president.


efore an audience made up of Seventh-day Adventist leaders from around the world, as well as faculty, staff, alumni, and local government representatives, President Ginger Ketting-Weller, said she is privileged to lead and contribute as God opens up ways for her to do so at AIIAS. “AIIAS was established by God. I am here to give my best effort,” said Ketting-Weller, in her installation response. Central to her message was her commitment to achieving the mission of AIIAS, “to develop leaders through distinctively Seventh-day Adventist graduate education, excelling in spirituality, scholarship, and service.” The installation ceremony held in the Siew Huy Auditorium on the AIIAS campus last Friday, November 16, 2019, included students bearing their flags, representing 53 countries of AIIAS’ diverse student body. The keynote address was given by Ella Smith Simmons, chair of the AIIAS Board of Trustees and general vice president of the Seventh-day Adventist Church world headquarters, who also led the installation and presentation of symbols of authority.

“We hope that today this ceremony puts you in the right frame of mind—to prepare you to receive what God has prepared for you and AIIAS,” said Simmons. In her response message, Ketting-Weller acknowledged those ‘who have nurtured and given strength’ to her so far, specifically the members of the AIIAS Board of Trustees, the vice presidents, and deans. “We are part of something bigger than ourselves, part of what God wants to do in the Philippines, to spread His message to the world,” said Ketting-Weller. “What a privilege to be part of that, established in that, and to have support from around us!” During the installation proper, outgoing president Stephen Guptill placed the presidential medallion on the new president. He also presented to her other symbols of authority such as the AIIAS mace, AIIAS seal, and a copy of Presidential Decree No. 2021, which established AIIAS in 1986.

The platform party cheers during the speeches of Ginger Ketting-Weller’s friends and colleagues during the installation ceremony at AIIAS on November 16, 2019.


The installation ceremony was part of a three-day celebration which focused on a central theme of preparing leaders for mission. The series of services was well-attended by more than 1,200 people altogether, starting with a consecration on Thursday, followed by the installation ceremony on Friday and culminating on Sabbath morning with the worship service. During the Sabbath worship, Ketting-Weller highlighted the importance of developing leaders through testimony, scripture, and guidance—which echoes the three functions listed in the AIIAS Mission, namely, spirituality, scholarship, and service. “We need to be a community that gently but actively invites one another to better faithful leadership. Our openness to receiving guidance could develop faithful leadership in us that will contribute to the mission God

has given us to accomplish,” said Ketting-Weller. “We have reason to hope, we have faith in the future.” Ketting-Weller’s installation marks the next step in her 25-year career in higher education including serving as a professor of teacher education at Pacific Union College in California from 1994 to 2001, followed by one year as associate vice president and then 10 years as vice president for academic administration at Walla Walla University in Washington from 2001 to 2012. Before coming to AIIAS, Ketting-Weller served for seven years as dean of the School of Education at La Sierra University in California where she oversaw graduate programs in education and developed a PhD program in leadership. She began her service as president of AIIAS on August 1, 2019.

Bruce Sumendap, MBA, is the administrator for Public Relations at AIIAS.

Outgoing president, Stephen Guptill, hands over a copy of the Presidential Decree No. 2021 to Ginger Ketting-Weller and presented other AIIAS symbols of authority as witnessed by Ella Simmons.

President Ginger Ketting-Weller wears the presidential medallion and carries the AIIAS mace—symbols of authority.


Dialogue with the AIIAS President,


01 Flags: When did you first hear about AIIAS? I first heard about AIIAS in 1988 when I was asked to do a 2-month substitute teaching stint at Makiling View Adventist School (the precursor to AIIAS Academy) on the campus of Adventist University of the Philippines (then Philippine Union College). At that time AIIAS was very new, having been established by presidential decree only two years before.


02 Flags: Before accepting the call to become president of AIIAS, you served as dean of the School of Education at La Sierra University. How long did you serve there and what was your most significant accomplishment or contribution then? I served at La Sierra University for seven years, from 2012 to 2019. The most noticeable accomplishment was probably the development and launch of the PhD program in leadership. But I’m also very pleased with the increased collaboration between departments in the School of Education, and also the increased interaction with the university as a whole. Prior to my arrival, the departments and the school had worked in very siloed ways, and had not interacted much with the broader university.

Flags: Why did you accept the office of the AIIAS president? Quite simply, I felt called by God. I had always wanted to work in Seventh-day Adventist mission, but we were comfortably settled near our children and grandchildren, with influential jobs and church contributions in the Loma Linda–Riverside community. There were plenty of reasons to not leave, and yet we felt the strong tug of the Holy Spirit on our hearts, and saw the fit of our strengths with the needs of AIIAS.


Flags: What are some of the unique strengths and experiences that you bring to the office of the president? Cross-cultural competencies and a whole childhood steeped in the atmosphere of Asia are probably the most unique. I also bring 25 years of experience in U.S. higher education within several institutions,18 of which were in higher education administration. I would add that my K-12 teaching experience gives me a unique point of view that takes in the entire institution, including the academy. Along the way I’ve worked for years with accreditation agencies, and that has—I hope—helped to focus my priorities on what is strategic in institutional leadership.



Flags: How can AIIAS contribute more to the world church? What makes AIIAS a unique institution? The world church needs to be busy cultivating the next generation of leadership. Those leaders must not be swayed by the winds of drama or the loudest voices of criticism. The world church also needs leaders who have seen the struggles of countries where people live with very little, so that they understand what drives human nature when the elements of survival are at stake. The world church also needs leaders who will listen to a variety of voices, and not become tribal in privileging just one people’s point of view. In other words, the world church needs leadership that is practiced in cross-cultural competencies. It is in these areas that I think AIIAS shines, particularly with students who have lived and studied in the multicultural, multiracial environment of the AIIAS campus. AIIAS graduates have practice at interacting across cultures in a place that values and celebrates a “mosaic” of culture, and therefore have developed unique competencies and viewpoints.

06 Flags: If you could choose one major accomplishment for the time you are at AIIAS, what would it be? That’s a great question! I suppose my wish would be a simple one: to build people. I’d hope that people who have interacted at AIIAS with my husband, Jim, and me would say that they learned excellent leadership from watching what


07 Flags: What do you see as some of the challenges that AIIAS is facing? The next generation of leadership must be grounded in principle, grounded in commitment to the Seventh-day Adventist Church and its unique mission, knowledgeable about how to function in a world that is increasingly secular and urban-focused. The next generation of leadership must also be well-prepared to function in a world that is highly connected, thanks to ease of travel and electronic communication. It takes a different kind of courage to lead in these times, and it will continue to be a challenge to stay up-to-date with the changes of modern times. Preparing leadership for a world like this will require deliberate thought and much conversation, or we will find ourselves irrelevant in a world that is essentially “speaking a different language from ours.” The other challenge we face is that of strategy in the coordination of programs across institutions. We function under the General Conference umbrella, but higher education institutions at the union levels are interested in developing some of the same programs we have. At this point the demand for graduate level training doesn’t indicate that proliferation of programs will be sustainable. We will need to work openly and carefully with wise educational leaders to coordinate these interests, or we will find ourselves (all of Adventist higher education) with too many programs, too few students, and all the problems of resource and expertise that come along with that.

we modeled in our leadership roles. Jim and I are very different from each other, and we’re just human beings with flaws, but if people could leave here with a picture of steward leadership and a sense that they knew how to put that kind of unselfish leadership to work within the “skin” of their own personalities, I’d be very glad.

Flags: What are some of your visions for AIIAS? An immediate vision is completion of the high school building at AIIAS Academy, to better serve our grade 7 to12 students. Our AIIAS students should know that their children have access to high quality education on campus at the same time they are accessing high quality graduate education. Another project we are working on is getting our degrees recognized in countries that currently do not recognize them—we are in process of addressing that—and exploring the possibility of institutional accreditation with a regional accrediting agency in the United States. Both of these will provide broader recognition and affirmation of what we already know—that AIIAS provides high quality, rigorous education that can be credible anywhere in the world. When we were praying about coming to AIIAS, the vision that attracted us was the mission of AIIAS: to develop leaders at all levels. I think we can do quite a bit more to build on that mission, at all levels from kindergarten through graduate, including faculty and staff in our efforts at development. This will take shape more as we get acquainted with the institution, with the felt needs here and with the needs of the church we serve. I am also interested in increasing the size of the on-campus student body a little bit more. All of our modalities—on campus, online, oncampus cohorts, and distance cohorts—are valuable for meeting the educational needs of our students. But there is a special wholistic experience on campus in building leaders for the future, that can’t be fully replicated in the other modalities. I would like to see more future leaders have the benefit of this.

President Ginger Ketting-Weller Photo Credit: Yearbook Team



09 Flags: What would you like to be known for? I’ve always wanted to be known as a “joyful woman.” Within my role at AIIAS, being a “joyful leader” who sees clearly and does my work to the best of my ability with a demonstrated faith in God and His character of love—that would be enough.

Flags: Why should students study at AIIAS Online? Online learning is a very important modality for AIIAS students. There are people who are place-bound or have schedules that are not conducive to the on-campus traditional model, but would love to pursue a master’s degree at AIIAS. For them, the online learning modality is a lifesaver. And getting that from AIIAS would bring the “distinctively Seventh-day Adventist” flavor with it, as well as our unique and ongoing integration of a whole-world view, and cultural and missional understandings. I’ve not yet discussed this here at AIIAS, but it’s my hope to eventually extend our online programs into the doctoral area, as such programs need to become accessible to many place-bound people. However, we must make sure that when we add such programs, they are of signature quality, equal to that of our face-to-face programs.


Flags: How would you establish positive public relations between the university and the community? I’ve been thinking of that question, actually. Our students and faculty are involved in many ways of mission outreach to the community. I’ve started to look at ways that we can be involved in the civic life of the region, as well. How that will happen is not clear to me yet. Perhaps membership in civic organizations, perhaps the provision of workshops by the graduate school programs to local citizens, and certainly partnerships between the seminary and the local Seventh-day Adventist church organizations, which have already been in place. I’m open for more ideas!



inger Ketting-Weller was born in Thailand to missionary physicians. She spent the first 18 years of her life in Thailand, Malaysia,and Singapore. Ketting-Weller’s PhD in Education was earned at Claremont Graduate University, California. She also earned a Master of Arts in Educational Administration and Leadership from Loma Linda University (La Sierra Campus), California. With 34 years of service as an educator, Ketting-Weller brings broad teaching experience in higher education as well as in the K-12 system. She has previously served as a professor of teacher education at Pacific Union College and vice president for academic administration at Walla Walla University. She also served as an interim teacher for the third and fourth grade students of AIIAS Academy (formerly Makiling View Adventist School) from June to August 1988.

Ketting-Weller has participated on visiting teams of the Adventist Accrediting Association, served on the General Conference Executive Committee of the Seventh-day Adventist Church and the North American Division Board of Ministerial and Theological Education, chaired the Association of Adventist Academic Administrators, and most recently chaired the Association of Chairs and Deans of Education for the North American Division. Ketting-Weller is married to Jim C Weller, who has been chosen by the AIIAS Academy Board and AIIAS Administrative Committee to serve as principal at the AIIAS Academy.

Interview with 18 President Ginger Ketting-Weller.

He will also serve part time as assistant professor in the graduate school at AIIAS. The Wellers have three married children, Brandy Farley, Jasmine Baptist, and Micah Weller. They also have eight grandchildren. Ketting-Weller succeeds Stephen Guptill who has served as AIIAS president since the end of 2006. In July 2017, Guptill announced his plans to retire, and had continued in leadership until the arrival of the new president.



teered by the Students of AIIAS Missionary Association (SAMA), the five-day mission trip to Tingloy island demonstrated the substantial impact that SAMA can have on its members under God’s guardianship. The goals of the trip were comprised of community service through medical outreach, constructive engagement of AIIAS students during the semester break, and the undeniable opportunity to explore. Choosing Tingloy island was a culmination of a presentation and recommendation to SAMA by one of the AIIAS staff members. This island municipality in Batangas was identified as an area where civil authorities are hospitable to missionary work. Along with this were the reported rising levels of poor sanitation, malnutrition, and addiction to alcohol and cigarette smoking among the island’s population. Despite the status quo, a faithful Adventist family on the island continues to be a “lighthouse” for

Christ in that community. It was such factors that inspired SAMA’s mission to Tingloy island. Thus, at dawn on October 16, 2019, the AIIAS student missionaries bravely set off on their mission. Home visitations were conducted daily to get acquaintances, to share expences, and to invite people to the meetings. Children received exceptional packages in the community hall every afternoon. It consisted of Bible stories, craft activities, games, and videos. Towards sunset, there were health programs conducted to help the well-being of the community. The focus was on addressing the community’s most urgent needs as mentioned above. Very often, such talks were punctuated by special music and sermonettes. On the last day the medical team provided free medical, dental, and optical check-ups. In addition, there were free counseling sessions and tooth extractions. Some received free eyeglasses and medication as well.

The island’s medical doctor and community captain could not hold back their joy and appreciation as they witnessed almost 226 islanders benefiting from SAMA’s initiative. To God be the glory! Considering everything, it was a mutual experience; the befitting justification that whatever you give away will always roll back to you. I am certainly convinced that the SAMA crew will live to tell the joy of pressing on—on God’s agenda. Special acknowledgment goes to the AIIAS community for its varied support in this cause, the AIIAS administration for seconding the event, Dr. Evelyn Almocera, faculty of the public health department at AIIAS, for organizing the medical team and Dan Namanya, Student Association president, for organizing the logistics. Godwin Kato is a student of the Master of Arts in Education program of the AIIAS Graduate School. He comes from Uganda.

Students of Missionary Association (SAMA) arrives at Tingloy, Batangas.

Photo Credit: SAMA


SAMA serving the community through a medical, dental, and optical mission.

Week of Prayer Prompts

By Sharnie Love Zamora-Belarmino



Week of Prayer organized by the Student Association themed “Resting in Jesus” was held on September 2-7, 2019. Guest speakers were the husband-wife tandem, Gerald Klingbeil, D.Litt., associate editor of Adventist Review/Adventist World and Chantal Klingbeil, M.Phil., associate director of the Ellen G. White Estate in Maryland, USA. The Klingbeil’s talked about how God’s people can rest daily in Jesus—rest in relation with health, relationships, and life in general. “Despite life’s challenges, we can always rest in Jesus. Our prayers may not be answered the way we wish but we can still rest in Jesus”, emphasized the couple.

This week of prayer was not all about receiving God’s message. Special offerings were gifted in the form of money and tangible goods that were distributed to those in need. As part of the week’s activities, the attendees received five magnetized bookmarks, each with a message geared toward preparation for Holy Communion which was held at the end of the week of prayer. The community also participated by giving notes of appreciation and love to one another through personalized envelopes.

Sharnie Love Zamora-Belarmino, RN, is the editor of the Flags Magazine. She serves as the assistant for institutional writing at AIIAS. Gerald and Chantal Klingbeil

Photo Credit: Samuel Fuentes

Business Scholars talk about:



hrist’s Methods of Management is a series of seminars related to business. It is an event which is now in its second year that is organized by the AIIAS Business Club (ABC). The theme was on a business perspective of “God’s strategic plan to save humanity”. The case for such an event became relevant as these different aspects of management were presented on December 4-7, 2019. There is currently a dire need for discussion because people live in a world that is highly saturated with the impact of business, and yet, few attempt to integrate faith in such endeavors.

LeRoy Ruhupatty

By Anup Dominic and Edivaldo Abel

Different realms of management were discussed by ten speakers from the AIIAS community of scholars. Keynote speakers, Danny Rantung, dean of AIIAS Graduate School gave a lecture on “The Perfect Reconciliation”—connecting the use of accounting principles and other management concepts to highlight what God has done to save humankind; Bruce Sumendap, administrator for Public Relations of AIIAS discussed about God’s strategy for His strategic plan where God desires to restore a broken relationship; President Ginger KettingWeller, came equipped with a message on “Leadership Pain” and brought a wealth of knowledge from her own leadership experiences. She shared how painful decisions are made by leaders and the implications it can have on one’s leadership;

Natasha Sinaga-Nangoy

Special music rendered by the all-male chorus, Fishers of Men

AIIAS Welcomes NEW GRADUATE SCHOOL DEAN By Sharnie Love Zamora-Belarmino


IIAS is pleased to announce the arrival of the new dean of the graduate school, Danny Ivan Rantung.

Rantung hails from Indonesia. Prior to accepting the call at AIIAS, he served as the president of Asia-Pacific International University (AIU) in Thailand. He has also served as the education director of Southeast Asia Union Mission in Singapore and as an

associate director of education in the Southern Asia-Pacific Division. He has spent 19 years working at Universitas Klabat, in Indonesia. He has a PhD in Business, majoring in Commerce from the University of Santo Tomas (UST) in the Philippines in 2003, and a Master of Business Administration, with a major in Accounting from the University of LaVerne, California in 1993.

Rantung is taking the place of William “Bill” Green, former dean of the AIIAS Graduate School who retired in 2019.

Sharnie Love Zamora-Belarmino, RN, is the editor of the Flags Magazine. She serves as the assistant for institutional writing at AIIAS.

His wife, Nouke Sysca Oroh, is serving in the finance department as a receiving cashier and receptionist. She previously worked as a teacher and librarian at AIU. She has a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree in Business Management from AIIAS and an MBA degree in Accounting and Finance from UST. They are blessed with two adult children who are currently residing in Indonesia as well as one child, Graceline, age 2. Nouke Sysca Oroh and Danny Ivan Rantung

LeRoy Ruhupatty, associate professor of the business department, shared the importance of financial planning from a retirement perspective, emphasizing on poor planning can lead to dire consequences; and Eric Nasution, professor of finance at the business department, spoke on financial strategy and gaining prudence in earning a living, financing everyday needs, and investing. Other speakers were PhD in Business students, Anup Dominic, who spoke on Christ’s management insights from the book of Luke Chapter 16; and Natasha Sinaga-Nangoy who discussed about the act of cleaning up church organizations and churchrun institutions; MBA student, Samé Dan Espérant, talked about digital technologies acting as mass marketing communications accelerating business and how Christ pioneered mass marketing in different ways; and lastly, Jorge Montero, vice president for finance, shared through his own story about using the management functions of planning, organizing, leading, and controlling.

The culminating message was given by Kenneth Swansi, assistant dean of AIIAS Graduate School and chair of the business department. He fixed his message on redemption as a business metaphor. The ABC aimed to show that Christ’s Method of Management is an effective way to portray the outlook of Christ, the first century management teacher, who spoke revolutionary ideas ahead of his time. There is yet much to learn from His methods. The seminars are a good avenue to start. Edivaldo Abel, MBA, is a student of the Doctor of Philosophy in Business program at the AIIAS Graduate School. He comes from Angola. He is the strategist of the 2019 AIIAS Business Club.

Anup Dominic, MBA, is a student of the Doctor of Philosophy in Business program of the AIIAS Graduate School. He comes from India but was born and raised in Dubai. He is the president of the 2019 AIIAS Business Club. Photo Credits: Akiko Sinaga & Anup Dominic

Kenneth Swansi

Bruce Sumendap

Scholars Discuss Paul: APOSTLE, THEOLOGIAN, AND MISSIONARY By Sharnie Love Zamora-Belarmino

Felix Cortez


he 22nd AIIAS Annual Theological Forum was held on November 14-16, 2019 at the AIIAS Siew Huy Auditorium. Scholars gathered to discuss and present research centered on the life, teachings, and writings of the Apostle Paul. “Out of the 27 books of the New Testament, 14 were attributed to his authorship. Nobody influenced the development of the Christian church through writing more than he did,” said Ricardo González, dean of the Seminary. This year’s forum is a platform to contribute to the discussions on Paul’s figure and his message for God’s church in the 21st century. According to American New Testament scholar, Thomas R. Schreiner, Paul’s writings did not have anysystematic explanation, which showsto be a challenge to today’s scholars. The keynote speaker, Richard Choi, PhD, chair of the New Testament department of Andrews University, spoke about “Paul’s Anthropology

Carl Cosaert

Richard Choi

and Sanctification: Justification and Sanctification.” In his lecture, he discussed the relationship between the two by comparing Romans 5 and 6, the core narrative of Christ’s death and resurrection.

languages in order to accommodate his readers. He elaborated that Paul unfolds more of the function of Jesus as the Son of man in his letter to the Hebrews.

Choi delved more into the in-depth spiritual entity of the body in close relationship with the flesh. He also offered a discussion about the combined work intended for the spirit, mind, and heart in facilitating the process of sanctification. Plenary speaker Felix Cortez, PhD, MA program director of Andrews University, presented, “Paul and the Letter to the Hebrews”, as an evaluation of research on the authorship of Hebrews and its place in the Pauline Collection. In other sessions, Cortez spoke about “The Story of Hebrews at the National Level”, and “The Story of Hebrews at the Cosmic Level”. He discussed the fact that Paul wrote anonymously because of modesty. His writings were written in different writing styles and were translated into different

The three lectures by Carl Cosaert, PhD, dean of the School of Theology at Walla Walla University were on the justification, reconciliation, and redemption of Paul and the Romans. He emphasized Paul’s good news of justification and salvation from the penalty of sin in which Christ’s life and death atones for our failed history. Cosaert addressed the beginning of sin, how it has been the status of humanity before God, and how salvation is the only way to alienate sin. He built more on the idea that on account of Christ’s life, death, and resurrection, sin has been defeated through the continual indwelling of the Spirit. For more information, visit https://www.aiias.edu or follow AIIAS on Facebook: www.facebook.com/aiias

Sharnie Love Zamora-Belarmino, RN, is the editor of the Flags Magazine. She serves as the assistant for institutional writing at AIIAS.

Attendees of the 22nd Annual Theological Forum gather in front of the AIIAS Siew Huy Auditorium.


Photo Credit: Aimee Tapeceria


he 20th AIIAS International Conference (iConference) organized by the AIIAS Graduate School, offered a platform for numerous research studies that probed at the heart of this year’s theme, “People, Process, and Performance”. Research studies primarily represented the broad industries of education, business, and public health. The three-day event at AIIAS took place on November 19-21, 2019.

Thessalonians. He consistently connected deeply with the ideas of developing people, need for effective processes, and measuring success. With the government’s requirement for local professionals to complete certain units for professional development, AIIAS invited Dr. Kezia Lorraine H. Rosario, Medical Officer III, from the Office of the Director of Health Promotion and Communication Service from the Department of Health,

The conference hosted a wide variety of delegates representing leaders, educators, administrators, researchers, students and other professionals from near and far educational institutions, businesses, and healthcare industries. A sustained number of conference attendees during the event was reflective of the quality of the content shared through presentations. The conference, through a multidisciplinary approach, pushed the known knowledge boundaries denoted in this year’s theme by conveying content associated with people-building knowledge, process implementations, and its impact on performance. The keynote speaker, Phil Bassett, director of Chinese Educational Services, and an education professor at Cedarville University, Ohio, interpreted the conference theme through the writings of the Apostle Paul, in his first epistle to the

“intellectually stimulating”. From an organizer’s perspective, Prema Gaikwad, professor of education at AIIAS commented, “the multidisciplinary presentations by visiting professionals, AIIAS faculty, graduate students, and academy students added richness to the shared experiences”. She said, “The overall result had attendees wanting more of it, as expressed by many in my own hearing”. Others found great networking opportunities as an added benefit. The event involved two keynote sessions, four plenary sessions, six seminar and workshop sessions, and 90 oral presentations. Most of the break-out sessions concurrently took place at 10 campus venues. Also unique from the previous iConferences was the display of 15 poster sessions at the AIIAS Gymnasium. The event was the result of a great deal of collaboration among Graduate School students, faculty, and staff along with many other key personnel who orchestrated the theme well.

Philippines. She gave presentations on developing psychologically and physically safe learning environments. Attendees were able to collect professional development units from this lecture along with the workshop sessions.

The theme of the next iConference is “Design Thinking”.

The quality of the conference presentations as voiced by students, and other attendees, suggested that they were very informative. Blessing Obaya, an education student at AIIAS said that the presentations were

For more information, visit https://www.aiias.edu or follow AIIAS on Facebook: www.facebook.com/aiias

Scholars attending the 20th AIIAS International Conference


Kezia Lorraine Rosario

Phil Bassett


IIAS Business Club hosted a TED-style event and signaled a trend for a fresh and contemporary style for creating and delivering presentations in the academic community. LightTalk: A Clear Way Forward, is the title chosen by the organizers to raise interest on themes of uncertainty and disruptions. This ‘high value production’ held on September 26, 2019, featured a speaker lineup from the fields of business, education, and public health. The show that lasted nearly 4 hours in the AIIAS Amphitheater was taped by Hope TV Philippines. The opening speaker, a pastor’s wife and mother of four, Danielle Rios, shared a personal testimony on facing unimaginable pain and tragedy. She entitled it “The Blessing of Disruptions” and turned her recovery journey into hope and assurance for others. “In this life’s marathon, I have so many reasons to stop running. But I am still in the race.” Rios continued, “While being strong, smart, and creative might be the measure of success by many standards, I chose another path which is surrendering to God and accepting his love, grace, and provision.” Information technology professional Faelmar Tañada, who advocates for a software piracy-free community, talked about how he found a smart way of using alternative software to boost productivity for free; Prema Gaikwad, professor of education at AIIAS, talked about her encounter with Generation Z and how to be prepared to touch their future by developing effective teaching strategies. “Be authentic,” she said. “Don’t be superficial because each generation has different traits.” Danielle Rios, sharing a testimony of her recovery journey.




Other speakers included business student Edivaldo Abel, an advocate for healthy family relationships; Seminary student and author of the book “Digital Evangelism”, Aias Cabaça; ADRA Philippines country director, Tom Pignon; and youth enthusiast Romulo Halasan, Jr. David Allen is the MBA student behind the idea of LightTalk. As part of his entrepreneur course requirement, under the guidance of LeRoy Ruhupatty, assistant professor of business at AIIAS. He proposed the idea of having a platform for learning purposes last July 2019. With the support of the business department and business club, the event came into fruition just two months later. “LightTalk is a program intended to enable the business department and the business club to communicate ideas that can foster change, bring initiatives, and make a difference in the world,” said Kenneth Swansi

LightTalk speakers

with business faculty. 24

chair of the business department. “We would want this idea to continue and become part of the business department’s calendar year.” In the initial stages of planning, the AIIAS administration have shown support for student-led initiatives that can enhance presentation skills. “This is the kind of skill that our students and faculty may choose to develop,” said Dolf Oberholster, vice president for academic administration talking about the stylistic and engaging presentation format of LightTalk. He also acknowledged that the platform is useful even for academic presentations simply because research should also be applicable in many ways. TED-style talk has gained popularity in recent years because it enables speakers to tell a story, evokes the imagination of the audience, and encourages speakers to talk and not be afraid to talk about the human side. All of these are presentations done in 18 minutes or less. Ruhupatty remarked that there are various platforms for presentation but the LightTalk style is unique. “For the academe, we might want to see the methodology and other details of one’s work, and yes, we already have the platform for that but we need another platform too. Are we capable of it? Yes, indeed!” The business department has conducted another series of seminars called Christ’s Method of Management. The public health department is starting a discussion on launching their version of LightTalk as well.

Bruce Sumendap, MBA, is the administrator for Public Relations at AIIAS.


South Pacific community

By Andrew Bundi and Blessing Obaya


IIAS is a melting pot of cultures. Its students, faculty, and staff come from within six of the seven continents in the world with more than 60 countries living together in one community. To promote this diversity, the Student Association organizes the Cultural Night—a yearly event where the community learns about one another’s culture. A mix of vibrant colors and patterns on national flags and costumes eloquently spoke to the diversity that abounds within AIIAS on the evening of November 24, 2019.

deed, and doing all in the name of the Lord Jesus. Southern Asia community

south Pacific Community: The value of forgiveness, unity, and reconciliation.

Southern Asia Community:

The value of respect for elders, unity, and hospitality.

Latino Community:

The value of family relationships.

The communities demonstrated what they value in their culture in line with this year’s theme “Values: Mosaic of Cultures”.

African Community:

Implicit to all these cultures are diverse ways to express values such as forgiveness, unity, reconciliation, respect, hospitality, family, hard work and faithfulness. Communities exemplified all these various values through skits, musical performances, dances and speeches. Varied cultural values that permeate our everyday life created a beautiful mosaic display that mirrors the unique community of AIIAS.

Chinese Community:

President Ginger Ketting-Weller read Colossians 3:14-17 pointing to what unites the diverse cultures at AIIAS into a beautiful mosaic: putting on love, letting the peace of God rule in our hearts, letting the word of God dwell in us richly in all wisdom and in word or

Latino community

The value of respect and relationships in the body of Christ.

African community

The value placed on hard work and persistence.

Indonesian Community:

Chinese community

The value of celebrating diversity and equality to create one Ind-one-sia.

FILIPINO Community:

The value of recognizing the heart of the Filipino peaple.

Filipino community

Korean Community:

The value of inclusion and unity. “In diversity there is beauty and there is strength.”—Maya Angelou Korean community

Blessing Obaya, MAEd, is a student of the Doctor of Philosophy in Education at the AIIAS Graduate School. She comes from Nigeria.

Andrew Bundi is a student of the Master of Arts in Religion program at the AIIAS Seminary. He comes from Kenya. Indonesian community


Photo Credit: Samuel Fuentes



he Adventist International Institute of Advanced Studies (AIIAS) is a graduate-level Seventh-day Adventist educational institution that offers quality education while keeping the tuition at a great value. AIIAS has three modalities: online learning, distance learning centers (DLCs), and on-campus full-time programs. AIIAS is located on a beautiful tropical campus 45.5 kilometers outside of Manila, the capital city of the Philippines. This location offers easy access to opportunities for mission trips and community outreach both locally and internationally, especially within the 10/40 Window. The AIIAS community consists of over 300 graduate students from more than 60 countries all over the world. The faculty members come from 17 different countries. The teacher-student ratio is low, giving students the opportunity to work closely with their teachers. Typically, a class of 10 students will represent many nationalities that create access to a variety of insights and global perspectives.

Photo Credit: Samuel Fuentes

THE AIIAS ADVANTAGE Aside from education, there are various benefits of living on a campus filled with students and their families.

“AIIAS provides a wholesome experience by developing each person academically, spiritually, mentally, and physically.�

The AIIAS alumni hold prestigious positions throughout Asia and the world. They serve as teachers, pastors, world church leaders, university presidents, administrators, business executives, and health professionals. Many of the students come to AIIAS to have a strong foundation as a benefit from world-class graduate training.

Living on campus gives you opportunities to experience a rich cultural diversity of friends, thoughts, and activities. Here, you will be able to meet fellow students from every continent except Antarctica. The diversity allows students to unite and gain knowledge from other cultures.

RECOGNITION & ACCREDITATION AIIAS is recognized as a graduate educational institution of international character by the government of the Republic of the Philippines, as certified by the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) pursuant to Presidential Decree No. 2021. The institution and all its programs are accredited by the AAA1. In addition, the Graduate School programs are accredited by PAASCU2 and those from the Seminary by ATESEA3.

The Adventist Accrediting Association of Seventh-day Adventist Schools, Colleges, and Universities of Maryland, USA. 1

AIIAS has a family-friendly environment where you will be able to see children of different age groups from various countries interacting and freely playing together. This develops cultural awareness and appreciation at an early age. Parents maintain a peaceful mind while focusing on studying as the walled campus has a secure entrance.

The Philippine Accrediting Association of Schools, Colleges and Universities which is a full member of APQN and INQAAHE. 2

The Association for Theological Education in South East Asia which is a full member of WOCATI thereby networked with other regional associations like the ATS. 3

Adventist International Institute of Advanced Studies Lalaan I, Silang, Cavite 4118, Philippines

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+63 (46) 414-4318 (Admissions Office) +63 (46) 414-4365 (AIIAS Online)

Why choose AIIAS?

ADMISSION DEADLINES Intersemester–B April 30, 2020 First Semester July 6, 2020 Second Semester December 4, 2020

Distinctively Adventist AIIAS has an abundance of opportunities for one to grow spiritually, whether it is through prayer meetings, Sabbath worship programs, or church ministries off-campus. There are many other opportunities that will allow you to both receive a blessing and be a blessing.

We champion the educational philosophy, teachings, and lifestyle of the Seventh-day Adventist Church and a clear sense of its mission and identity.

Academic Excellence

GRADUATE SCHOOL The AIIAS Graduate School develops service-oriented professionals known for integrity and scholarship in the fields of business, education, and public health, within an international context.

We maintain the highest academic quality, highest accreditation level, and employ outstanding faculty recognized in their field.

Affordable Cost

THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY The AIIAS Theological Seminary exists to equip mission-driven professional teachers and other church leaders in a wholistic, multicultural, and collaborative approach to learning. The AIIAS Theological Seminary promotes biblically-informed scholarship, spirituality, and a meaningful field experience.

ENGLISH CENTER The AIIAS English Center gives students intensive and personalized instruction in the English language in an English-speaking environment. The English Center helps students to learn English in line with well-recognized English language programs.

ONLINE AIIAS Online delivers quality graduate Christian education that is accessible and affordable through student-centered and contextualized learning experiences for better service to the church and society.

All AIIAS students enjoy the highest quality of education through the benefit of financial subsidy by the Adventist world church.

Exotic Location Dive to undisturbed coral reefs, enjoy unspoiled tropical beaches, or shoot the rapids. All these activities can be enjoyed within a short distance from AIIAS campus.

Mission Oriented AIIAS, being strategically located in the Philippines, provides greater access to the 10/40 Window for research opportunities and field experiences.

Excellent Supporting Resources Exemplary graduate research library with a collection of more than 70,000 volumes means easier access to a growing gold mine of library resources.

Alumni Impact AIIAS alumni have become well-equipped leaders around the world committed to the church and its mission.

www.aiias.edu online.aiias.edu

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admissions@aiias.edu online@aiias.edu

Operated by the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists



AIIAS Program Offerings Graduate Education with a Heart for Mission GRADUATE SCHOOL



Professional Programs

Master of Business Administration (MBA)* Master of Science in Administration (MSA)* Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Business

Master of Arts in Church Ministry (MACM)* Master of Divinity (MDiv)* Master of Arts in Ministry (MA-Min) Doctor of Ministry (DMin) Doctor of Missiology (DMiss)


Master of Arts in Education (MAEd)* Education Specialist (EdS) Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Education

Academic Programs

Master of Arts in Religion (MA-R) Master of Theology (MTh) Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Religion

Public Health

Master of Public Health (MPH)*

*also offered Online

Come to AIIAS, change the world! Distinctively Adventist | Mission Oriented | Affordable Cost Exotic Location | Outstanding Alumni

Adventist International Institute of Advanced Studies Lalaan I, Silang, Cavite 4118, Philippines Phone: +63 (46) 414-4318 (Admissions Office)/414-4365 (AIIAS Online) 28


www.aiias.edu facebook.com/aiias twitter.com/aiiasedu instagram.com/aiiasedu

Profile for AIIAS

Flags Magazine - March 2020