From Thursday, Oct. 14, to Sunday, Oct. 16, the Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary at Andrews University will host the Congress on Social Justice, image courtesy Department of Christian Ministry
The biblical account of Creation reveals that humanity was created in God’s image and granted authority to rule over animals and other elements of His creation. However, the entrance of sin brought about disequilibrium to all relationships and disrupted the ecological balance. Guest speakers at the Congress will emphasize humanity’s role in caring for creation and addressing the existing injustices.
Willie Hucks, associate professor of pastoral theology and homiletics and chair of the Congress on Social Justice Planning Committee, says that our world suffers from a disequilibrium in its relationship with God, others and the environment. “I hope that those who attend will be educated about issues of social justice, equipped to tackle them, and empowered to make a difference in their communities,” he shares.
The Congress will take place as a hybrid event with in-person and virtual attendance options available.
On Thursday, Oct. 14, Christian Dumitrescu will deliver the keynote address, titled “Sex Trafficking and Social Justice.” Dumitrescu teaches World Mission and Intercultural Studies and Research at the Adventist International Institute of Advanced Studies (AIIAS) in the Philippines. He is the editor for the Journal of Asia Adventist Seminary and a regional editor for the Journal of Adventist Mission Studies. He has also spent several decades studying current social issues.
Akintayo Odeyemi will speak for the first plenary session on Friday, Oct. 15. His presentation is titled “Female Genital Mutilation and Social Justice.” Odeyemi has been an active player in the community development industry for more than a quarter century, serving most recently as executive director in the ADRA Africa Regional Office with initial responsibilities of Programs and Planning director as well as emergency management and strategic planning.
Joel Raveloharimisy, associate professor of behavioral sciences at Andrews University, will present “Environment and Social Justice” for the second plenary session on Friday. Raveloharimisy works to alleviate poverty in Madagascar and has raised funds for construction of classrooms, school buildings and churches there. He helped establish the first ophthalmological clinic and education center in the country and started the group “Actions for Madagascar,” which creates positive and sustainable changes in Madagascar.
On Saturday, Oct. 16, Wintley Phipps will deliver the sermon during the worship service. Phipps is a Seventh-day Adventist minister as well as a singer, songwriter, record producer, and founder of the U.S. Dream Academy, Songs of Freedom Publishing Company and Coral Records Recording Company.
Throughout the Congress, a number of breakout sessions will cover topics such as “Social Justice, Adventism, and Fundamentalism,” “Domestic Abuse and Social Justice,” “Preaching Social Justice” and “Restorative Justice.” A musical worship service will also take place on Saturday evening.
Registration fees for the Congress on Social Justice are as follows.
Founded in 1874, Andrews University is the flagship institution of higher education for the Seventh-day Adventist Church and offers more than 160 areas of study, including advanced degrees. Its main campus is in Berrien Springs, Michigan, but the University also provides instruction at colleges and universities in more than 25 countries around the world.
Moriah McDonald, University Communication student writer