New Family Ministries specialist appointed to SPD

Dr Edyta Jankiewicz.

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Dr Edyta Jankiewicz has been appointed to focus on Family Ministries within the Discipleship Ministries Team for the South Pacific Division (SPD).

Dr Jankiewicz brings significant ministry experience to the role, having served as a pastor’s wife and home schooling mother in Australia, Fiji and the US for many years. Most recently, she served as assistant professor in the Department of Discipleship and Religious Education at the Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary at Andrews University, where she lectured in courses such as “Marriage, Family and Interpersonal Relationships” and “Parenting Education and Guidance”.

“I’m excited that I get to work in the family ministry space,” she said. “I just love working with families and to continue in that same family ministry area is what I’m passionate about.”

The position was formerly held by Dr Trafford Fischer until his retirement in mid-2019 and will involve working to facilitate, encourage and coordinate family ministries across the SPD. This includes developing functional healthy families by focusing on marriage, parenting, family development, domestic violence and addiction.

“Families are the building block of life, and families are important to God,” Dr Jankiewicz said.

“We learn to love in our families and if our families are not working well, then our picture of God’s love is distorted. Whereas when we’re loved well in our homes we’re more able to understand and experience God’s love.”

She joins her husband Darius, who has recently been appointed Field and Ministerial secretary and Spirit of Prophecy co-ordinator at the SPD. They have two daughters, Caitlin and Ashley, who are currently studying at Avondale College of Higher Education.

Leader of the SPD Discipleship Ministries Team (DMT), Dr Leigh Rice, said he is very excited to have Dr Jankiewicz join the team.

“Edyta brings an amazing set of skills and experience to her role in family ministries,” he said.

“Her doctoral research on discipling within the family connects family ministries with discipleship and her passion (and favourite class to teach at Andrews University) was ‘Teaching for Discipleship’. I am delighted to welcome Edyta to the team and see how God has prepared her to be a part of the DMT.

“While I am delighted to welcome Edyta to the team, I also wish to acknowledge the great contribution that Dr Trafford Fischer made to family ministries to the Church in the South Pacific over more than 10 years in this role. He contributed significantly to marriage enrichment among pastors and church members, conducted training in basic counselling skills and domestic violence, educated the Church on LGBTQI issues and developing resources for Family Ministries. His role as SPD office chaplain was greatly appreciated. Edyta will build on this strong legacy that Trafford has left.”

Dr Jankiewicz has also worked as a physical therapist, and taught adult and children’s Sabbath schools. She received a PhD in Religious Education—as well as Outstanding Dissertation of the Year—at the Andrews Seminary in 2016. She has a Master of Ministry in Family Life and a Bachelor of Science.

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