Asia-Pacific International University Appoints New President

Asia-Pacific International University has appointed a new president, succeeding Dr. Loren Agrey, as announced in the following release:

Asia-Pacific International University is pleased to welcome Dr. Danny Rantung as our new University President. Dr. Danny was officially welcomed and introduced to the student body during chapel on January 13, 2016. His extensive experience in Adventist higher education as well as his work throughout Southeast Asia makes Dr. Danny an excellent fit for Asia-Pacific International University.

Dr. Danny previously served as the Education Director of the Southeast Asia Union Mission (SAUM) in Singapore, the parent administrative body for the University. Before that, he was the Associate Director of Education for the Southern Asia-Pacific Division (SSD) in the Philippines. Also, prior to that, Dr. Danny was Dean for the Faculty of Business at Asia-Pacific International University. Dr. Danny also has four years of experience as a Vice President for Academic Affairs. Dr. Danny has the strong leadership skills and the background in higher Adventist education necessary to manage a large institution such as Asia-Pacific.

A common theme running throughout Dr. Danny’s previous roles is his commitment to the Seventh-day Adventist principles of holistic education. Adventist education aims for an integration of faith and learning — ministering to students’ minds, bodies and spirits. As the main international university of the SDA Church in this region, Asia-Pacific International University looks forward to developing under Dr. Danny’s leadership.

Dr. Danny shared with the faculty and staff that, “As we move deeper into days and months ahead of us, it is my prayer that God will sustain you with good health, emotional strength, and divine wisdom. May we all work as a team in preparing the students that God has entrusted to us to be successful in this world and in the world to come.”

Asia-Pacific International University is a private international Seventh-day Adventist university located in Thailand. Its main campus is in the rural town of Muak Lek, Saraburi Province and the nursing school is located on the grounds of Bangkok Adventist Hospital in downtown Bangkok. Asia-Pacific is the only tertiary education institution serving the Southeast Asia Union Mission of Seventh-day Adventists. Asia-Pacific International University is part of the Seventh-day Adventist education system, the world's second largest Christian school system.

Diana Riesenberger is director of Public Relations at Asia-Pacific International University.

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Dr. Danny shared with the faculty and staff that, “As we move deeper into days and months ahead of us, it is my prayer that God will sustain you with good health, emotional strength, and divine wisdom. May we all work as a team in preparing the students that God has entrusted to us to be successful in this world and in the world to come.”

One of the key components of Adventist educational philosophy has been to remember that the young people have been entrusted to the care of the faculty and staff of the school in order to prepare them for this life and the life to come. In Asia-Pacific International University’s 2013 promotional video this philosophy is very evident:

As someone who has spent his professional life in Adventist postsecondary education in North America, it warms my heart to see such dedication in Thailand to young people, the future of the church. May the Holy Spirit continue to guide and direct Dr. Danny Rantung, the faculty and staff of Asia-Pacific International University.

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I just wish they would charge tuition fees that Southeast Asians could afford.


I would think that THB2125 or USD$59.00 a credit hour for Southeast Asian students is a steal. Is that still out of reach?

Well out of reach. Have you ever been to southeast Asia? We sponsored some Cambodians to go there. Around $5000 a year at the time. How much do you think the “average” Cambodian earns a year? A Filipino professional may earn $300 a month (e.g. a nurse). (Aussie dollars.)

I suppose if you are speaking about Cambodians, you are right. There are more affluent Southeast Asian countries and less. Filipinos would most probably attend Adventist University of the Philippines rather than AIU. I grew up in Singapore and that’s a steal as opposed to $810/unit at PUC now, where I went to school eons ago :smile:

Filipinos struggle to attend their own institutions, let alone APIU, which is possible double the cost. Thais would probably struggle to attend. Singapore is an exception, a first world city among 2nd and 3rd world nations. Malaysians could probably afford it.


I’ll set the background as best I understand, but please realize I may not have every detail correct. However, I will say where I am wrong, it will be because someone misinformed me, or my memory has faded with the passage of time.

Years ago, before it was APIU, it was Muak Lek Mission College, and educated the Thai people. When the government in Singapore took over the church property by right of eminent domain, and paid good money for it, the division opted to convert Mission College into their new international university. The entire campus was renovated with the funds received from the prior property in Singapore, and buildings were erected with a “modern” touch. Whereas before, the windows had been the glass “blinds” typical for Thailand that the outdoor breeze could easily pass through and keep the rooms no warmer than the normal temperatures outdoors, the new buildings had windows installed that could not be opened, and air conditioners had to run to both cool and provide air circulation indoors. Whereas before, the roofs had been used to catch some rainwater for filtering and drinking, they now installed the asbestos tile roofs that made drinking from them impossible. The electric bill of the campus spiked dramatically, so much so that a few years later it threatened the financial solvency of the institution, and the cost to attend the college tripled overnight. Though many international students came to the university, locals were excluded on account of the costs. Most Thai people at that time were doing well to earn much over $200 a month. While the treasurer who insisted things be built his way is no longer in office, the damage remains. Furthermore, the college closed the Thai theology program (maybe they had too few students on account of the high tuition?), and gave all theology courses in English. Thailand is now short on qualified pastors as a result. It was theorized at the time that if the Thai pastors knew English, they could better reach the upper classes in Bangkok and surrounding regions of Thailand, and thus help to boost the tithe base for Thailand Adventist Mission. I don’t think that has panned out as hoped.

I hope the new president can set a few things right that have been allowed to fester for years at APIU. I would hope, for one thing, that the campus’ cable TV network can be cleaned up to remove such worldly channels as MTV and HBO. There are Christian channels that could replace them. I don’t know, for example, if they currently carry HCBN from the Philippines.

Only a firm dependence upon God and His way in all things can bring success to APIU, both spiritually and financially. Our schools and institutions are not businesses. They are ministries. God cannot bless if their sights are lowered to the mere goal of profit-making. May the new president aim high, is my prayer.

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