|Cuba: Adventist Seminary Gains Independent Accreditation
he Seventh-day Adventist Church in Cuba recently celebrated the accreditation of the Adventist Theological Seminary in Havanah during this year's graduation ceremony. This was the first time in 38 years the seminary graduated theology students with independent accreditation from the Adventist Accrediting Association, based at the General Conference. . In previous years the seminary had functioned as an extension of Montemorelos University in Mexico.
"The Adventist church in Cuba feels that now, with the accreditation, our seminary can better accomplish its function, since we already have our own study program according to the needs of our country and our churches," said Esther Diaz de Guerrero, president of Adventist Theological Seminary in Cuba. "We are joyful and grateful in our hearts."
After the Seventh-day Adventist Antillean College in Cuba was closed in 1967, a small seminary was established in the offices of the Cuban Union in Havanah in 1970. Because the work of Maranatha Volunteers International, the seminary moved into its own facility in 1997. From 1987 to 2006 it operated as an extension of Mexico's Montemorelos University. Antillean College is now located in Puerto Rico.
"This has been the institution that has taken the longest to receive accreditation in our territory," said Moises Velazquez, director of the Office of Education for the Inter-America Division. "They worked hard for years towards accreditation due to the limitations of physical facilities, faculty, staff, library and computer lab specifications, and other requirements needed for full accreditation," he said.
Luis Schulz, an associate education director for the General Conference attended the graduation and handed the certificate of accreditation to Guerrero and Daniel Fontaine, president of the church in Cuba.
With a growing church in Cuba with more than 29,000 church members, the seminary, which grants bachelor's degrees in theology to men and women every year, provides a much needed work force of pastors and Bible workers who are committed to spreading the gospel on the island.
--Inter-American Division Communication Department