Gathering in the Philippines included science educators focused on faith and learning integration.
The Education Department in the Southern Asia-Pacific Division (SSD) of the Seventh-day Adventist Church organized a conference August 4 to 6, 2022, for science educators and Adventist scientists in the Philippines. Its goal was to take on the challenge of integrating faith and learning with an emphasis on the creation worldview.
The conference was held at Mountain View College under the theme “Integration of Creation Science in Teaching and Mission.” A total of 148 science educators and scientists from the Philippines’ three union conferences attended the meeting.
SSD education director Bienvenido Mergal presented the conference overview during the opening ceremony. “Our ultimate goal is primarily to prepare students for the great work of life in this world and in the higher and more joyful service in the world to come,” Mergal said, quoting Adventist Church co-founder Ellen G White. “Also, the main focus is on transforming students’ character to godliness and God-likeness so they may be saved into God’s kingdom,” he added.
Mergal explained that to achieve education’s ultimate purpose, Adventist teachers “need to know the foundation of our existence by adopting a creation worldview.” According to Mergal, “a teacher cannot understand the essence of the gospel unless they understand the truth and the reality of biblical creation,” he said.
Guest speakers during the event included Ronald Nalin and Timothy Standish of the Geoscience Research Institute of the General Conference, as well as Monte Fleming from Loma Linda University, all of whom appeared by video conference. Other presenters included Filipino Adventist scientists Jose Oclarit, Ronelie Salvador, Alma Mohagan, Lorcelie Taclan, and Orlex Yllano, among others.
According to organizers, the presenters covered topics in their fields of expertise, including zoology, biology, geology, behavioral science, and theology. “All presentations pointed out the [connections with our] loving and infinitely wise Creator of this vast universe,” they said.
The Saturday (Sabbath) celebration included a special message by SSD treasurer Sir Jacinth Adap. “Despite sin, our most loving God placed His highest regards on man,” Adap said. The gathering closed with a commitment service led by Bryan Sumendap.
The SSD Education Department represents 1,100 Adventist schools, with 11,661 teachers and 136,000 students across the region.
The original version of this story was posted on the Southern Asia-Pacific Division news site.