AA n initiative by the Latin American Adventist Seminary of Theology, the Seventh-day Adventist Church Ministerial Association , and the Adventist Education Network in South America allows thousands of pastors to conduct in-depth training on Bible prophecy studies for free. The course called Eschatology: a Biblical and Adventist Perspective has more than 3,000 pastors enrolled with the live participation of 1,500 students per class. The total workload is 28 hours.
Pastor Lucas Alves, Ministerial Secretary of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, explains that there are different reasons for this course. Firstly, there is a need for constant ministerial development, with a focus on the integral preparation of pastors.
Dr. Adolfo Suárez, Dean of the Adventist Theology Seminary, points out that the course is important because it strengthens the biblical and Adventist interpretation of prophecies for the end time, solidifies the biblical-theological knowledge of pastors and protects the Church against teachings contrary to the Bible. “The interaction provided gives pastors the opportunity to be students of the best teachers that the Adventist Church has on the topics presented. This allows an update of knowledge and also motivation to continue preaching the Word of God faithfully ”, he concludes.
New courses in the future
The course is offered twice a week, live, via Zoom on the Adventist Academy platform , which also includes materials in PDF and PowerPoint format. The script includes the presentation of the theme by a specialized theologian. Following the class, a time for questions is allowed.
Lucas Alves stresses that the idea, even with the end of this training, is to take advantage of the resources of virtual continuing education to reinforce other topics and even reach out to local congregational leadership to offer new courses.
Among the participants, positive reactions show the importance of the initiative. Pastor Heber Toth Armí, responsible for the pastoral district in Osório, of Rio Grande do Sul, has enjoyed the program offered. “In today’s pluralistic society, greater preparation is needed. In view of this, I express my gratitude for the initiative of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, at the South American level, to create the course in the format of virtual classes ”.
Adriano Cicílio, District Pastor in Caieiras, São Paulo, considers the initiative excellent. “During classes I have several insights and remember the good times of the seminar. I love Adventist eschatology and I know the importance of this theme for our prophetic identity and that more courses like this will come,” he explains. He suggests that there is more time for questions to be answered, with the opportunity to further deepen the discussions on the topics.