During Jan. 2-20, 2023, the visiting team for accreditation from the North American Division (NAD) Department of Education spent time with students and faculty at four of the nine schools in Guam-Micronesia Mission. One of 13 divisions for the Seventh-Day Adventist World Church, NAD operates a system of more than 900 early childhood centers, elementary, and secondary schools and universities, including the ones in the Guam-Micronesia Mission.
The visiting team from the NAD was comprised of Arne Nielsen, NAD vice president for Education; Stephen Bralley, director of secondary education and accreditation; and Martha Ban, director of technology for education. The NAD team was accompanied by Churchill B. Edward, director of Education for the Guam-Micronesia Mission.
While on Majuro, Pohnpei, and Kosrae, the team reviewed self-study reports compiled by the schools' faculty and staff and conducted fact-finding interviews to help them complete their official report — with a recommendation to the North American Division Commission on Accreditation.
At each of the schools visited, students expressed their belief that the teachers “believe what they are teaching, especially about God,” shared Nielsen. He reported that the students said they feel safe, are a "pod" (family), that their teachers genuinely care about them, and have a great appreciation for their academic preparation. “We found this to be true as we observed student and teacher interactions daily,” Nielsen added.
The visiting team continued to Chuuk to spend time with the school administration in preparation for their accreditation visit in January 2024. They finished up the time in GMM with a visit to Guam Adventist Academy and the Guam-Micronesia Mission office to discuss further in-service and training opportunities for student missionaries and teachers.
Nielsen further shared, “At each of the schools visited I observed that the teaching staff is diverse, coming from over a dozen countries, are primarily Adventist Volunteer Services and student missionaries with a strong desire to serve God, while growing through professional development and a desire to ascertain denominational certification.”
Aside from visiting the schools and meeting faculty and students, the team had the privilege of worshiping and fellowshipping together with our church members in Pohnpei and Kosrae.
If you would like to know more about our schools in Guam-Micronesia, visit https://www.gmmsda.org/schools.You can also explore how you can engage with God's work in GMM through volunteer options: https://www.gmmsda.org/missions/open-positions; and/or project options https://www.gmmsda.org/projects.