WAU Hosts 100 President's Luncheon

100 Presidents smTakoma Park, MD (April 2) - Washington Adventist University (WAU) recently hosted a 100 Presidents Luncheon for the presidents of Adventist colleges and universities from around the world. The luncheon was held at Sligo Seventh-day Adventist Church in Takoma Park on March 27, and was part of the International Conference for Colleges and University Presidents that began at the Adventist World Headquarters on March 24.

WAU President Dr. Weymouth Spence greeted the 120 luncheon attendees, and WAU Professor of Religious Studies Zack Plantak offered the prayer. Background music was provided by music professors Daniel Lau on piano and Preston Hawes on violin. Those in attendance at the luncheon were gifted with a CD from the WAU Department of Music, featuring performance highlights.

A bus tour of Washington, D.C. followed the luncheon, and three WAU professors went along to serve as tour guides and discuss the theme of religious freedom with the participants.

WAU Hosts Family Fun Festival April 13

Festival Features Music, Food and Family Entertainment

Takoma Park, MD (March 28) - A Family Fun Festival will be held on Sunday, April 13, noon to 5 p.m., on the campus of Washington Adventist University (WAU) in Takoma Park. The free event will feature music, food and family entertainment. Previously known as the WAU Taste of Takoma, the event has been an annual tradition on campus for more than a decade during the university’s alumni weekend – which is April 10-13 this year.

“This festival offers families a variety of wholesome entertainment, and it’s a nice way to spend time together on a Sunday afternoon.” said Professor Kimberly Pichot, chair of the WAU Business Department and chair of this year’s festival. “I encourage individuals and families to join in the fun.”

The festival this year will be staged with support from the City of Takoma Park and local sponsors such as Washington Adventist Hospital and WGTS 91.9 FM radio. Featured will be a performance by WAU’s award-winning Acro-Airs sports-acrobatics exhibition team; a showcase of WGTS music artists; a concert by Josh Wilson; health screenings; food from local restaurants and caterers; tents filled with interesting crafts; and entertainment for children, big and small. A food drive for the Capital Area Food Bank will also be featured, and families are encouraged to bring non-perishable food items to donate. The festival will be held rain or shine. The WAU campus is located at 7600 Flower Avenue, Takoma Park, Md. 20912, near Washington Adventist Hospital and accessible by public transportation.

For more information about the Family Fun Festival, call 301-891-4034 or go to www.wau.edu/festival.

Family Fun Festival - Press Release

Women’s Ordination and the Politics of Interpretation Topics for 34th G. Arthur Keough Lectureship, March 28-29

Takoma Park, MD (March 26) - The Washington Adventist University Department of Religion is hosting the 34th G. Arthur Keough Lectureship program on March 28 and 29, featuring topics that include women’s ordination and the politics of interpretation. The lectures are open to the public and will be held on and near the university campus, located at 7600 Flower Ave. in Takoma Park, Md.

On March 28 at 7 p.m., “Higher Criticism and the Resistance to Women’s Ordination: Unmasking the Issue” will be presented by Olive J. Hemmings, Ph.D., in the chapel at Richards Hall, located on campus. Hemmings is a professor of religion at Washington Adventist University (WAU) and a commissioned minister who preaches locally, nationally and internationally. She teaches Biblical Theology, Pauline Theology, introduction to the New Testament and other New Testament courses. Hemmings brings to her teachings a passion for using the cultural and historical contexts of Biblical text as it reflects social struggles, including the struggle to understand and engage the divine. She is author of the recently published book, “Sacred Texts and Social Conflict.”

Hemmings will also deliver a March 29 lecture at 10 a.m. on “The Text: Weapon or Guide?” at the Sligo Seventh-day Adventist Church, Fellowship Hall A, located at 7700 Carroll Ave. in Takoma Park.

A lecture on “Inerrancy, Adventism, and Church Unity” will presented on March 29 at 3:30 p.m. by Richard Rice, Ph.D., on campus in the chapel at Richards Hall. A professor of religion at Loma Linda University, Calif., he has served as a church pastor and is the author of numerous books and articles. His books include “When Bad Things Happen to God's People;” “Reason and the Contours of Faith;” and “The Reign of God: An Introduction to Christian Theology from a Seventh-day Adventist Perspective.”

The G. Arthur Keough Lectureship program honors the memory of a former WAU faculty member who authored such books as “Let Daniel Speak;” “Rejoicing with the Psalmist;” and “Infinitely Happy.”

This year’s program was organized by Zdravko Zack Plantak, Ph.D., chair of the Washington Adventist University Department of Religion and author of the book “The Silent Church: Human Rights and Adventist Social Ethics."

WAU Keough Lectureship - Press Release

The program schedule is as follows:

Friday, March 28, 7pm – Dr. Hemmings: “Higher Criticism and the Resistance to Women’s Ordination – Unmasking the Issue” – Richards Hall Chapel, Lower Level, Building 10

Saturday, March 29, 10am – Dr. Hemmings: Sligo Church Fellowship Hall A

Saturday, March 29, 3:30pm – Dr. Rice: “Inerrancy, Adventism, and Church Unity” Richards Hall Chapel, Lower Level, Building 10

Maryland Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown to Speak at WAU Ministers Summit March 27

Takoma Park, MD (March 26) - Maryland Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown will be a featured speaker at the Ministers/Religious Leaders Summit on March 27 at the Washington Adventist University (WAU) Student Activity Center in Takoma Park. The event, which begins at 10 a.m., is sponsored by the WAU Center for Law and Public Policy, and it is open to students, faculty, staff and members of the local and faith-based community.

The summit brings together political, educational and faith leaders to discuss ways to resolve issues and facilitate positive change in the community. In addition to Lt. Governor Brown, speakers will include WAU President Dr. Weymouth Spence; Center for Law and Public Policy Director Dr. Joan A. Francis; WAU Adjunct Professor of History Derrick Green; Senior Pastor Dr. Anthony Medley of Emmanuel-Brinklow Seventh-day Adventist Church in Ashton, Md.; and Pastor Marcus Harris of Breath of Life Seventh-day Adventist Church in Ft. Washington, Md.

The WAU Student Activity Center is located on campus at 7600 Flower Ave., Takoma Park, Md. 20912. The campus is next to Washington Adventist Hospital, and it is accessible by public transportation.

WAU Minister Summit - Press Release

New Ball Field Construction Moves Forward

Takoma Park, MD (March 13) — Washington Adventist University (WAU) is moving forward with its new $1.8 million ball field, following permit approval from Montgomery County government. Construction will start in early April, and the field is expected to be completed this summer.

The field will be constructed of artificial turf, which will provide a safe and aesthetically pleasing space to accommodate soccer games, intramural sports, and a variety of activities by students, staff, and members of the local community throughout the year.

The ball field is part of an overall effort by WAU to improve its physical campus. During the past five years, the university has made investments of more than $16 million, reaping visible and effective results. The list of completed projects includes a new $6.3 million music building, a $1.2 million dining hall renovation, a $1.1 million activity center, and a host of smaller projects.

Smaller projects have included new sidewalks near the library, replacement steps for Richards Hall, new furniture for the men’s and women’s dormitories, new flooring and classroom furniture, and new lockers for the gymnasium locker rooms, in addition to some ongoing and needed maintenance projects.

Transforming the physical campus is part of Washington Adventist University’s Vision 2020: Growing with Excellence strategy, which will enable the university to better serve its students, faculty and staff as it goes about the business of “engaging minds and transforming lives.” With these capital investments, WAU is moving closer towards its goal of becoming one of the premier universities in the mid-Atlantic region.

Ball Field Construction Starts - Press Release

WAU’s Bible Translation Institute Has Published New Testament for a Russian Audience

Takoma Park, MD (March 11) — The first joint edition of the modern translation of the Russian New Testament and Psalms intended for a mass audience was recently published by the Washington Adventist University (WAU) Bible Translation Institute, and copies are now on sale in bookstores across Russia.

Bible Translation Institute Director Mikhail M. Kulakov, D.Phil., is leading the project that is expected to conclude with a complete translation of the entire Bible into Russian by 2015. A professor of theology, history and philosophy in Washington Adventist University’s Department of Religion, Kulakov is working on the project began by his father. Partners in the project are the Zaoksky Theological Seminary in the Tula region of Russia, and the Biblical-Theological Institute of St. Apostle Andrew in Moscow, which is a leading academic publisher of Russian theological literature.

Copies of the New Testament translation in Russian are now available at the main book stores in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Krasnodar, Perm, Novosibirsk, Kiev, Odessa and Minsk. The release of this inter-denominational edition produced for the general public has already received positive reviews by several popular Orthodox and Protestant theological web sites and seminary journals.

“It is humbling for our team that the faculty of St. Andrew’s Biblical Theological Institute decided to publish this joint edition as a part of its prestigious series of publications of ‘Modern Biblical Studies’ in which they publish the works of renowned Biblical scholars,” said Kulakov, who is working to complete the translation of the entire Bible. “We have already launched work on the layout of the completed books of the Bible, and are anxiously anticipating the date of completion so that the new translation of the entire Bible can be distributed and read afresh by the Russian people.”

Kulakov is currently in the fourth year of a five-year sabbatical to complete the translation of the entire Bible into Russian. Working in collaboration with biblical scholars from universities across Russia, WAU’s Bible Translation Institute is an initiative in international and inter-denominational collaboration. The Institute has already published the Pentateuch, the Minor Prophets and the New Testament and the Psalms.

WAU Sports Teams Record Winning Seasons

basketball pic smTakoma Park, MD (March 11) — This was a winning and record-breaking year for the Washington Adventist University sports teams. The Shock men’s basketball team won the United States Collegiate Athletic Association (USCAA) Men’s Basketball Division I National Championship for the first time in school history on March 8. The Washington Adventist Shock beat the Tennessee Temple Crusaders with a score of 61 to 38 at the Penn State Fayette Arena in Uniontown, PA.

Prior to the championship tournament, the basketball team had ended its regular season with a 19-8 record – representing the most wins in 22 years, and tying the school’s 19-win record in the 1991-1992 season for the most wins in the history of the university’s basketball program.

“This was the third time in four years that our team participated in the United States Collegiate Athletic Association National Championships,” said head coach Patrick Crarey II. “I am really proud of the players for overcoming injuries and winning the championship.”

Also this year, the men’s soccer teams earned the No. 7 seed in the 2013 USCAA National Championships in Charleston, WV. The women’s basketball team recorded the most wins in 20 years by finishing the 2013-14 season with an overall record of 9-18, and the cross country team had one of its strongest years in recent history, defeating many different Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) NCAA Division II colleges and universities.

The Department of Athletics has applied to become a member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), which is expected to be finalized this spring. The move will help enhance support for the athletics program and better align the university with others that have similar character initiatives.

Competitive sports teams are part of the vision that WAU President Dr. Weymouth Spence has had for the university since he was hired four years ago.

Up-to-date information about Washington Adventist University Athletics is available at www.WAUathletics.com, the official website of WAU Athletics.

WAU’s Religion Department Chair Authored Four Published Articles This Past Year

Takoma Park, MD (March 11) — The chair of Washington Adventist University’s Department of Religion has published four articles in the past year. The most recent, authored by Zdravko Zack Plantak, Ph.D., is “Occupy Till I Come: Relevance of the Belief of the Coming of God,” which was published in the Winter 2014 issue of Adventist Today, Vol. 22, No. 1. (pp.22-27). The piece explores Christian beliefs, perspectives and actions during the time between the first and second coming of Christ.

The article focuses on how the unknown timing of a second coming can affect believers, particularly those who anticipate an imminent advent, and those who become impatient and disappointed. The result can be overexcitement or indifference, shifting attention away from the work of helping those who are the most vulnerable and marginalized in society.

Plantak’s article concludes that “the second coming need not be an obstacle for the involvement in human rights but should become, although not necessarily the primary, at least an additional incentive for moral life in society and being concerned for justice, equality, and peacemaking.”

Other articles published by Plantak during the year are “Creation Care in a Careless World,” published in the April-June 2013 issue of Dynamic Steward, addressing the issue of environmental concern and responsibility; “A Call to Restore God’s Justice” which was published in the Summer 2013 issue of The Journal of Adventist Education; and an article on the meaning of life, entitled "To Live is to Love" which appeared in the Summer 2013 issue of Adventist Today.

WAU President Weymouth Spence Offers “State of the University” Update

Takoma Park, MD (Feb. 25) — Progress Continues in Vision 2020 – Growing with Excellence Plan

In a statement issued today by Washington Adventist University (WAU) President Dr. Weymouth Spence regarding the university’s progress in its “transformative journey from a good university to a great one,” he pointed to the importance of realigning resources as the next step in building a stronger and more vibrant school.

The university, located on 19 acres in suburban Takoma Park, Md., embarked last year upon a plan to create a culture of excellence and become a thriving university that is continuously fulfilling the vision of producing graduates that demonstrate competence and moral leadership in their communities. Known as the Vision 2020 – Growing with Excellence plan, which Spence instituted in May 2013, the university is moving forward in its journey towards excellence by more carefully aligning its resources with operational improvements and instructional efficiencies – all while providing support to students and keeping tuition and fees affordable.

“One of the many traits of thriving institutions of higher education is that the budgeting process aligns with the planning process,” said Spence. “As we prepare our FY2015 budget for the Board of Trustees approval, we are intentional in not only aligning the proposed budget with the planning process, but are also very intentional in making sure that the FY2015 budget supports our institution’s growth through identified action plans.”

The following guidelines were used in developing the university’s next budget, which is pending Board of Trustees approval on March 5. They include: ensuring that the university exceeds programmatic and institutional accreditation standards; enhancing programs for liberal arts, STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics), and careers; enhancing academic support for students and maintaining affordable tuition and fees; investing in faculty compensation and development to improve academic quality; and implementing best practices to improve governance, effectiveness, efficiencies and relevance.

In his progress statement, Spence reminded faculty and staff, students and constituents that “moving forward together will help ensure that WAU emerges as a premier private Christian university that engages minds and transforms lives.”

State of the University Update - Press Release