Adventist 2011 World Budget Highlights Mission, Administrative Support
Most of $160 million to fund mission, administrative work outside North America
BY ANSEL OLIVER, assistant director for news, General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists
Continuing tradition, the two largest components of the Seventh-day Adventist Church’s world budget this year will fund appropriations for administrative and mission work outside of North America and fund operation of the world headquarters building.
Adventist Church undertreasurer Juan R. Prestol says the 2011 world budget highlights mission, while making small adjustments regarding appropriations to certain world regions based on need.
The denomination’s US$159.4 million budget for 2011 continues support of mission work—about $37.5 million in appropriations to world fields, with an additional $26 million in funding for missionaries and employees to other world regions.
Operating costs for the denomination’s headquarters in Silver Spring, Maryland, United States, is limited to 2 percent of world tithe, about $38 million this year. Finance officers say the church typically comes in below that mark by $1 million or $2 million.
“We are budgeting for 2011 in an economy that’s giving us less money than we need, but it’s a balanced budget,” said church undertreasurer Juan R. Prestol.
While appropriations to the world field increased slightly, two of the 12 receiving world divisions will draw less in appropriations from tithe compared to last year. The Inter-American and South American divisions will receive 13 percent and 7 percent less, respectively, in tithe appropriations. Most receiving divisions are allocated appropriations from both tithe and nontithe funds totaling between $1 million and $4 million annually.
Prestol said the trend in Latin America acknowledges the church’s “maturity” there, as well as “financial strength and growth.”
“This also acknowledges the needs in other places and that a different distribution rate is needed at this time,” he said.
Reduced appropriations from those regions will instead be sent to the 10/40 window, an area of the world from 10 degrees latitude north to 40 degrees latitude north from North Africa to East Asia, where only about 1 percent of the population is Christian.
Other major appropriations from the 2011 world budget include:
$9.8 million for Loma Linda University
$5.5 million for Adventist World magazine
$4.3 million for Andrews University
$3.5 million for Hope Channel operations
$2.2 million for the White Estate
$2.1 million for Adventist World Radio
$1.2 million for Oakwood University
$1.4 million for the 2015 General Conference session
(the same amount is saved each year during the fives years leading up to session)