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8-4-15 3rd Annual Adventist Conference on Family Research and Practice

by Claudio Consuegra, DMin
NAD Family Ministries Director

Keynote speaker, Dr. Scott Stanley

For over 35 years, several Adventist organizations under the auspices of Family Ministries have sponsored an annual event to celebrate and educate our constituencies about the importance of ministry to families in the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Andrews University hosted the annual Family Life International under the leadership of Drs. John and Millie Youngberg, which has now evolved into the Adventist Conference on Family Research and Practice (ACFRP), now on its third year and with a growing attendance and participation.

Keynote speaker, Dr. Scott Stanley, is a research professor and co-director of the Center for Marital and Family Studies at the University of Denver. Along with Dr. Howard Markman and colleagues, he has been involved in the research, development, and refinement of the Prevention and Relationship Enhancement Program (PREP) for over 25 years. Stanley has authored or co-authored various books including Fighting for Your Marriage and The Power of Commitment. He is a founder of PREP and co-author of the Within Our Reach, an experiential-based curriculum for couples, and the Within My Reach, an experiential-based curriculum for individuals.

  Pastor Roger and Kathy Hernandez from Southern Union Conference

The Sabbath keynote speakers were Pastor Roger and Kathy Hernandez who focused on this year’s theme, “Family Memories: Leaving a Spiritual Legacy.” Roger is the Ministerial and Evangelism Director for the Southern Union Conference and Kathy is the Coordinator for the Ministerial and Evangelism Department for the same. In addition, there were twelve seminars, six on family research, and six on practical application for those involved in working with families.

Two special awards were presented during this year’s conference as well. Jeanne and Ray Hartwell received the NAD Family Ministries Distinguished Service Award. Ray is the president of the Pennsylvania Conference and Jeanne is the Family Ministries director and the associate director of the Ministerial Department. 

Monte Sahlin received the GC Spaulding Distinguished Service Medallion. The author of 24 books and 117 research monographs, Sahlin directed and wrote reports on two major studies of Adventist family life: A New Generation of Adventist Families and Adventist Families in North America. Monte entered the ministry of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in 1970 and worked full time as an Adventist minister until early 2014 when he retired.

While this event is planned to attract Doctor of Ministry students who have chosen an emphasis in Family Ministry, and MA and PhD students in Religious Education who choose either the Family Life or Children’s Ministry Emphasis, it also attracts faculty and students from throughout the campus community, family ministry leaders and church members from throughout the world.

The 4th annual ACFRP will take place at Andrews University on July 21-23, 2016. The keynote speakers will include Dr. David Olson, Professor Emeritus, Family Social Science, University of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN and Founder and CEO of PREPARE/ENRICH. Dr. Olson developed the PREPARE/ENRICH Program, which has been taken by over three million couples. He has written 20 books and over 100 articles in the field of marriage and family. The Sabbath speakers will be Drs. Lael and Lena Caesar. Lael is an associate editor of the Adventist Review and Adventist World magazines, and Research Professor of Hebrew Bible at Andrews University, and Lena taught and directed the department of Speech Language Pathology and Audiology at Andrews University as she does now at Loyola University.


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