Religion Professor Publishes New Book

OliveHemmingsTAKOMA PARK, Md. (Aug. 20) - Professor of Religion Olive Hemmings, Ph.D., is the author of a newly release work, Sacred Texts and Social Conflict, exploring the debate over women’s ordination within the Seventh-day Adventist Church.

“Here stands a dynamic faith community whose founding prophet and major source of authority outside the Bible is a woman,” a description on reads. “Thirteen decades after a resolution to ordain women, it continues to search the Bible for reasons to ordain or not. And yet, throughout its history, women have always functioned as ministers of the gospel. There must be some supra-biblical force driving the resistance. Hemmings goes behind the scenes of the debate to examine the profound and age old drama—the human struggle to find its best self.

The review calls the book “a surgical work of removing a tight, well fitted mask to reveal the real social fears and inhibitions driving the hermeneutics.”

bookcoverIt is described further as helpful for students of sacred texts wishing to observe the social dynamics driving interpretation, and even formation of sacred texts. Hemmings describes it as “a great starting point for any research on the issue of women’s ordination.”

Hemmings has been teaching in Seventh-day Adventist higher education since 1983. In the teaching of New Testament Bible, Ethics, and World Religions, she tends to call attention to the essential co-relation between religious ideologies/convictions and human civilization.

University Enjoys Best Credit Rating Ever

farley smTAKOMA PARK, Md. (Aug. 8) - Washington Adventist University is enjoying its best credit rating ever, thanks to its improved working capital position. An August 5 report from Dun & Bradstreet upgraded the University’s Supplier Evaluation Risk Rating has been improved from a 2 to a 1. T

The current scale is from nine to one with nine being the lowest—high risk—and one being a low risk. Moving from a 2 to a 1 is the best possible rating.

The rating is based on past payment history and the ability to pay or availability of working capital.

“To achieve the most favorable risk rating is further evidence that the financial position of Washington Adventist University has been remarkably improved over the past five years and, at this moment, our vendors view us with a great deal of confidence,” said Patrick Farley, vice president for finance and administration.

According to its website, Dun and Bradstreet (NYSE:DNB) is the world's leading source of commercial information and insight on businesses, enabling companies to decide with confidence for more than 171 years. Its global commercial database contains more than 225 million business records.

The Company provides two solution sets that meet a diverse set of customer needs globally. Its Risk Management Solutions mitigate credit and supplier risk, increase cash flow and drive increased profitability while its Sales Marketing Solutions provide data management capabilities to convert prospects into clients by enabling business professionals to research companies, executives and industries.

VP for Ministry Honored by General Conference Youth Department

muganda smTAKOMA PARK, Md. (July 26) - Vice President for Ministry at Washington Adventist University and former General Conference Youth Ministries Director, Baraka Muganda, Ed.D., was honored by the General Conference Youth Department at the third World Conference on Youth and Community Service in Pretoria, South Africa July 8 - 13, for outstanding contribution to the Seventh Day Adventist Church worldwide.

Youth, Children, and Chaplaincy Director of Uganda Union, Israel M. Kafeero, Ph.D, CFLE, in a citation, described Muganda as “a man of all season, whose service record spanned several generations.”

“He started college in the late ‘60s, with worldview miles apart from the post-modern world but he refused to be left behind,” the citation said. “His ideas, words, and behaviors always marched with the generation. Like the Apostle Paul, he mastered the art of speaking the language of the people before him, of whatever generation.”

Kafeero said Muganda was righteous, obedient and humble even when it meant sleeping in a thatched tent in the bushes of Uganda during a youth camp in 1986 “where the nights were filled with the music of a lion scare.”

“I was humbled and grateful to God for using me to impact the lives of so many youth around the world and leading them to the cross of Calvary, “Muganda said.

Muganda served as world youth director for the Seventh-day Adventist Church from 1995 to 2010. During that time, he gave leadership to activities for eight million young people around the world, developed programs and strategies for (Adventure Club, Pathfinders, Ambassadors Club and Senior Youth. Under his leadership the World Conference on Youth and Community Service, an event held every five years, was introduced.

“The work of leading young people in this fast paced world is enormous,” Kafeero said. “With a lot of options being offered by the world to the youth, we still have a lot to do, but he has done his part.”

Mission Trip to India Pulls together Major Religious Faiths

missiontrip1TAKOMA PARK, Md. (July 19) - Students from Washington Adventist University continue to take the institutions passion for excellence and service abroad, this time with a three-week trip to Pune, a bustling metropolis in Maharashtra, India’s second largest state.

Fifteen students made the trip, led by Vice President of Ministry Baraka Muganda, Ed.D. and Chaplain for Ministry, Regina Johnson. The students left the University June 7 and returned June 23.

“Washington Adventist University is preparing students not only academically but also spiritually, to impact the local and global world through service,” said Muganda.

missiontrip2Students participated in a health fair, under the theme NEWSTART (nutrition, exercise, water, sunlight, temperance, air, rest, and trust in divine power) and visited the Good Shepherd School and the Roger School, both secondary institutions , and Spicer Memorial College, a Seventh-day Adventist Institution of higher learning in Pune.

Students also preached at the locations and conducted Vacation Bible School, attended mostly by children from Buddhist, Hindu, and Muslim homes.

“It was awesome to hear these children sing with joy and excitement and not only at the schools but also in their own homes. What these young missionaries from Washington Adventist University have done in Pune will go a long way to plant seeds of faith among the people of missiontrip3Pune,” said Thomson Parackal, pastor of the Good Shepherd Church in Pune and coordinator for the group’s evangelistic activities. “This mission trip planted the seeds of Jesus in many Indian homes in the city of Pune. The children in those homes are now singing songs like, “Jesus Loves Me” and “He is Able.”

The trip ended June 22 with the baptism of 30 new converts.

“Under the heat of a beautiful Indian day, we watched as our brothers and sisters in Christ gave their lives to Him, rebirth. A distinct visual I will forever cherish,” said Sola Campbell, recent graduate of Oakwood University who accompanied the WAU students on this trip.

Spence Named Secretary/Treasurer of Maryland Independent College and University Association

spence smTAKOMA PARK, Md. (July 16)- Weymouth Spence, Ed.D. President of Washington Adventist University has been elected secretary/treasurer by The Board of Trustees of the Maryland Independent College and University Association elected, effective July 1, 2013.

He will serve alongside Chairman Kevin Manning, President of Stevenson University; Vice Chair Roger Casey, President of McDaniel College; and Capital Projects Committee Chair, Michael Wood, President of Capitol College.

MICUA is a member-driven organization devoted to serving the interests of independent higher education and supporting the work of campus leaders throughout the State. Established in 1971, the Association provides services to foster cooperative efforts among its member institutions and all segments of higher education. As the voice of independent higher education in Maryland, MICUA seeks to inform the broader public about its member institutions and the vital importance of independent colleges and universities to the future of our State and nation.

Washington Adventist University is a private liberal arts institution located in scenic Takoma Park, Md. Founded in 1904, it is owned by the Seventh-day Adventist Church and offers a Christian education to nearly 1,500 students of all faiths, through eight graduate and 32 undergraduate programs. Its vision is to produce graduates who bring competence and moral leadership to their communities. The 2011 edition of U.S. News & World Report ranked the University among the best regional colleges in the northern region and as one of the most diverse.

Retired Trustee Honored With Gateway Service Award

trusteewebphotoTAKOMA PARK, Md. (July 12) –Former president of the East Allegheny Conference of Seventh-day Adventists and the Washington Adventist University Board of Trustees, Charles Cheatham, is the newest recipient of the Gateway Distinguished Service Award.

President Weymouth Spence, Ed.D, presented the award to Cheatham at an East Allegheny camp meeting, June 28.

“Charles Cheatham served WAU with great distinction for 12 years. He was a valuable member of the board and the University was enriched by his presence. We wish him well in retirement; it is very well earned,” Spence said.

Cheatham served as a member of the WAU board of from 2000 to 2012. He was a member of the marketing and enrollment and executive committees.

Cheatham, who holds a master’s degree in theology from Andrews University, has done extensive missionary work in Africa, Russia, Europe, India, and the Caribbean.  His numerous roles in the church include those of pastor, director, and executive Secretary.

Radio Station Appoints New General Manager

Kevin-Krueger-Head-Shot-April-2013TAKOMA PARK, Md. (July 9) – Kevin Krueger, general manager for KGTS 91.3 and Positive Life Radio Network at Walla Walla University, Washington, is the new general manager of WGTS 91.9 FM, the contemporary Christian music radio station owned by Washington Adventist University. Rob Vandeman, chair of the WGTS Board, confirmed the appointment, July 3.

Located in Takoma Park, Md., WGTS serves the Washington, D.C., area, broadcasting to over 600,000 listeners.  It ranks among the top 10 in the Washington D.C. market.

“It’s an honor to be invited to guide the team at an industry leading station and ministry. KGTS/PLR and WGTS have a long rich ‘sister station’ history that I plan to continue. I anticipate many wonderful opportunities to serve the people in our nation’s capital just as we have served those in the Inland Northwest. Whatever the scale or location, it really boils down to service – one person serving another,” says Krueger.

Krueger replaces General Manager John Konrad who died at the University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore, January 2, after a short illness.  Douglas Walker currently serves as interim general manager.Studio-Photo---Kevin

Krueger began working as a student announcer at Walla Walla University’s radio station in 1982. After graduating from in 1987 with a degree in communications, he became program director and general manager a year later. Under his leadership, the station grew from a single local station into a regional Christian radio network with 120,000 listeners. Stations in the Positive Life Radio network are based in 15 cities in Washington, Oregon and Idaho.
“I’m humbled by what lies ahead. The opportunities to serve others and share Christ are huge. I feel fortunate to be joining a team of professionals and student interns that know their craft. The change is a hard one, we have deep roots in the Inland Northwest, but it’ll be good to take all I’ve learned here and take it to our nation’s capital to encourage and bless people,” Krueger said.

University Celebrates America’s Day

carraigeTAKOMA PARK, Md. (July 10) – Washington Adventist University (WAU) president Weymouth Spence, Ed.D., celebrated America’s 237th year as an independent nation by participating in the annual Takoma Park Independence Day Parade, along with his family and a number of WAU staff and students.

“I believe it is important for the University to connect with the city and I thought this was one way to do that,” Spence said. “It was great; I thoroughly enjoyed the experience.”

This is the 124th consecutive celebration Independence Day for the City of Takoma Park. This year’s parade began at the intersection of Carroll and Ethan Allen Avenues, wound its way along Carroll Avenue through Old Town Takoma, turned right on Maple Avenue, and ended at the intersection of Maple and Ritchie Avenues, a distance of approximately 1.25 mile.groupwau

The City of Takoma Park is a municipality of approximately 17,000 residents in Montgomery County, Maryland. It has a long history of political and civic activism, leading to the city declaring itself a nuclear free zone and a sanctuary city. Non-U.S. citizen residents are permitted to vote in municipal elections and environmental initiatives have been pursued for decades by the public and the city government.

peopleTakoma Park is known as “Azalea City” because of the many flowering azalea bushes that brighten the area in the spring.

Washington Adventist University is the only four year residential institution of higher learning in Montgomery County.

Cheryl Harris Kisunzu Appointed Provost

provost smTAKOMA PARK, Md. (June 13) - Cheryl Harris, Ph.D., RN, executive dean and director of nursing at Mountain View College, Dallas, Texas, has been appointed provost of Washington Adventist University (WAU), effective August 2013.

“I am excited about incorporating Dr. Kisunzu into the WAU leadership team,” said President Weymouth Spence, Ed.D. “I believe that her appointment will provide the stability, vision and energy that will help WAU meet the current and future needs of our students.”

Kisunzu holds a Ph.D. in educational leadership from Andrews University Berrien Springs, MI; M.S. in Nursing from Rush University, Chicago, IL and Nursing, also from Andrews University/Berrien Springs.

She has held senior level positions in academic and administrative leadership, including grant administrator at Eastfield College, Mesquite, TX, and at different times, had responsibility for nursing, the life sciences, and human resources at William Rainey Harper College, Palatine, IL.   She has also taught at the community college and university levels for 14 years.

The search for a new provost for WAU began last fall when the University engaged the services of executive search firm, FaithSearch Partners, to identify well-qualified Adventist candidates.  Five individuals were interviewed by an internal panel, four of whom were invited to campus during April and May for  in-depth review by the entire campus community and members of the Board of Trustees.

“After carefully considering each candidate’s qualifications and strengths, as well as the campus community feedback, and after much prayer, I recommended Dr. Kisunzu to the Board of Trustees as the candidate who best fits the role of Provost.  At its special meeting, June 6, the Board concurred with my recommendation,” Dr. Spence said.

“I am extremely grateful to Dr. Patrick Williams who has served as Interim Provost since last July.  He has worked tirelessly to advance the academic agenda and I believe that he has orchestrated and laid significant groundwork for the institution for the future,” he added.

The president said Dr. Williams will continue to serve WAU as associate provost and dean of the School of Arts and Sciences.

“I look forward to his continued leadership and perspective as WAU continues to strengthen the academy.”