I’ve never been more clear about our mission: we are a Seventh-day Adventist higher education learning community dedicated to serving world needs. The new branding of our research offers a sharper summary.
“Here for Good” aligns our mission with our research agenda. As my colleague Dr Carolyn Rickett notes, we research not for individual scholarly pursuit, but “to embrace a larger, more altruistic concern of improving the world around and within us”. The framework and focus of our research supports the Church’s mission by increasing our understanding of historic Adventist fields of significance: society and culture (including biblical study and Christian spirituality), Christian education and health. One of our vice-presidents, Professor Jane Fernandez, describes research at Avondale as never an end in itself. “If our research is here for good, it is especially here for the cause of good.”
This is why students choose an Avondale education: they see it as giving them “a greater vision”. That’s our motto and I saw it in action during our biannual Festival of Faith. Speaker Pastor Brock Goodall found the gospel of grace in Leviticus. Now, 10 students want to take their relationship with Jesus further—we baptised the first three just before Easter. About the same number want Bible studies. Three times as many want to serve on campus.
And it’s a campus that continues to modernise. The Clinical Education Centre (Sydney) is a state-of-the-art learning centre for nursing students. And the administration building and College Hall (Lake Macquarie) are being refurbished into contemporary hubs for new and prospective students.
But the best evidence that we are Here for Good is our graduates. Look for them in your churches and schools. I’m very proud of them.
Professor Ray Roennfeldt is president of Avondale College of Higher Education.