Adventist Student Leaders Issue Statement on Annual Council

Editor’s Note: On November 6, 2018, the Adventist Intercollegiate Association and Adventist Christian Fellowship student leaders issued a statement which was read at the North American Division Year-end Meetings. The statement follows in its entirety.

Brothers and Sisters,

As representatives of the youth and young adults within the North American Division, we are speaking from a place of deep care and love for our church. Recognizing Christ as the foundation of our faith in the Seventh-day Adventist church, we strive to mirror the Savior’s ministry of love on earth by exemplifying the living gospel that bridges barriers and provides hope to humanity.

On October 14th, 2018, a document was passed at the Annual Council. Since then, we bear witness to the pain, division, and disappointment that the document has caused among our peers. It is disheartening to see our church in conflict, when it is meant to be a safe haven for all.

Despite the conflict, we affirm:

• The mission and purpose of our church

• Christ’s desire for unity through diversity in our church

• The heartfelt desire to play an active role in our church

• The value of collaboration and mentorship from spiritual leaders in our church

We long for opportunities to create intentional relationships with our church leadership and be actively involved, by facilitating conversations and making decisions about our church.

To the youth and young adults of the NAD: In the midst of uncertainty and confusion, hold fast to your faith, and do not be discouraged. We hear you, we see you, and we stand with you. We affirm your desire to further the work of the Lord. This is not the time to walk away from our church, but a time in our history to speak out, to stand up, and to actively seek roles in restoring our local and global church.

Brothers and Sisters: We need you. Our church needs you.

Adventist Intercollegiate Association & Adventist Christian Fellowship

NAD Executive Committee Members


This statement was provided for distribution by the NAD Communications Department.

Logos courtesy of AIA and ACF.

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As a pastoral counselor I appreciate this sentence as highly relevant (and can indeed confirm its content). The pain has indeed been underestimated within all the political discussions. And it will have long term effects, far beyond any actual “effectiveness” of the compliance committees.


This is long overdue.

Andy Nash called for this to happen when he was an under-30-year-old covering the General Conference in 2000 in Toronto.

This organization was activated by young adults. It’s time to include them in our strategic leadership plans. Women, too.

Thank you so much, student leaders. I’m so impressed with your generation.


It’s really quite interesting that no mention was made of women’s ordination. I think the students wisely addressed the issue in terms of its inherent divisiveness and its impact on young people’s enthusiasm for the church. Many of us know young people so upset with the current administration that they are walking away. I wonder whether the GC will respond to this statement. I question whether the GC cares.


That is interesting, can anyone point to me Christ teaching of unity through diversity? I can find unity, praying to the Father let them be one as we are one, but don’t really see the diversity part there. I am rather concerned about this quote as well

Is it really meant to be a safe haven for all? It seems to me we have at least one story in the New Testament where a guy was kicked out of the church. Surely we would never need to disfellowship anyone from the SDA church if it was a safe haven for all!

There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free , nor is there male and female , for you are all one in Christ Jesus. – Galatians 3:28


“In the work of soul saving, the Lord calls together laborers who have different plans and ideas and various methods of labor. But with this diversity of minds there is to be revealed a unity of purpose. Oftentimes in the past the work which the Lord designed should prosper has been hindered because men have tried to place a yoke upon their fellow workers who did not follow the methods which they supposed to be the best.” – Ellen G. White - Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students p. 531.1

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So the evidence for unity through diversity is that there is no diversity for those who are one in Christ. That is pretty much the opposite of unity through diversity. Because unity through diversity means that the unity is achieved by way of the diversity. If we rewrote the Bible text you use to make it mean unity through diversity it would be:
There is Jew and Gentile, slave and free , there is male and female , for you all make us one, Christ Jesus. Not that a lot of liberal theology wouldn’t want to rewrite the Bible to make that statement. But it is far different from the idea of the Bible, which is unity with Christ that makes that unity in Christ more important then all the diverse forms of humanity.

This is a very pastoral statement. Kudos to all in whose name it is issued.

Dear Adventist Student Leaders, if you put your best foot forward, the other foot will follow.

Experience keeps you going, and expedience moves your feet discovering who God created you to be - proper and moral.

Do a little better what everybody else is doing. You never been so convinced that kindness is the essential antidote to the divisions and disconnections you’re seeing.

With love.


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