Pastors Hold First National Theology Symposium
Focus is on growing in Christ
BY SILVESTRE GONZALEZ/IAD Staff
undreds of Seventh-day Adventist pastors, administrators, lay members, and theology students gathered for a special Theology Symposium held recently on the campus of the Adventist University in Bonao, Dominican Republic. The symposium, the first such event held on the island, brought Adventist theologians from the world church to expand and emphasize one of the newest fundamental beliefs of the church, “Growing in Christ.”
“We organized this symposium for our ministers, leaders, and students to gain in-depth knowledge on our church’s specific fundamental belief from a theological and pastoral perspective,” said Franz Rios, director of the Theology department at the Adventist Dominican University and event organizer.
Sponsored by the church’s Biblical Research Institute, the Inter-American Division (IAD), and the church and university in the Dominican Republic, the symposium featured more than a dozen theologians from the Adventist World Church’s Biblical Research Institute, Loma Linda University, Andrews University, Inter-American Adventist Theological Seminary, Montemorelos University, and Linda Vista Adventist University.
More than 500 pastors, administrators, lay members, and theology students met recently at the Dominican Adventist University for a special theology symposium led by more than a dozen Adventist theologians. [Dominican Union Mission/IAD]
“For many of you this symposium will mark a milestone in your pastoral and professional life,” said Israel Leito, president of the church in Inter-America to the more than 500 participants at the event.
“Adventist theology is permeated by love and brings out the transformation of lives as a result,” Leito said during his Sabbath address.
The idea of the symposium was a project conceived about three years ago after the church voted on the Growing in Christ fundamental belief during the church’s General Conference Session in St. Louis, Missouri in 2005, said Rios.
“We hope this symposium can motivate biblical research and as a result [participants] can experience growth in Christ until the Lord comes in glory and majesty," Rios said.
Pedro Plata, president of the church in the Dominican Republic’s North Mission, was glad to see this symposium happen for the pastors and lay members working in his territory.
“We have all benefitted from the simple and yet in-depth way our theologians have presented Adventist beliefs,” Plata said.
“This event really impacted my life and overall confirmed my beliefs,” added district pastor Luis Martinez.
Symposium participants toured the brand-new theological research center at the university, inaugurated during the event by Biblical Research Institute and IAD leaders. The center is equipped with several computers and resources for students, faculty, and pastors.
For more information on the symposium and the work of the church in the Dominican Republic, visit www.adventistas.org.do.