AIIAS Celebrates 108th Graduation With Emphasis on Lifelong Faithfulness

The Adventist International Institute of Advanced Studies (AIIAS) held its 108th commencement for the 2023-2024 academic year, themed “Faithful Beginnings, Victorious Endings.” By interesting coincidence, 108 graduates received their degrees at this 108th commencement.

AIIAS President Dr. Ginger Ketting-Weller introduced commencement speaker Dr. Daniel Bediako, associate director of the Biblical Research Institute in Maryland, USA, noting his leadership roles within academia and the church, and his contributions to exploring Biblical truths. 

Using the biblical story of King Asa as a cautionary tale, Dr. Bediako emphasized the importance of remaining faithful throughout life. He noted that while Asa began faithfully, he later relied on human help instead of God. “Your training has prepared you to inspire hope and pursue good, ready to change the world. Embrace the challenges ahead as opportunities for growth and innovation,” said Dr. Bediako. “Keep Christ at the center of your actions and decisions, serving others selflessly.”

This year, 79 graduated from the Seminary and 29 from the Graduate School, representing 30 countries. A significant group had completed the MA in Ministry Intercultural Studies program, focusing in studies in Islam and in urban ministries. 

The class gifted AIIAS with a library book transport system to enhance AIIAS library services.

The Indonesian Ambassador to the Philippines, Agus Widjojo, and his wife, along with four other embassy officials, graced the ceremony in a strong gesture of support for the 15 graduates from Indonesia. 

Graduation celebrations kicked off on Thursday evening with a reception hosted by Dr. Ginger Ketting-Weller, featuring Filipino delicacies. During the gathering at the Function Hall, she introduced the AIIAS administrators, faculty, and staff directors. Online students were able to meet some of their professors in person for the very first time, and family members enjoyed meeting beloved mentors of the graduates. 

On Friday, evening the Consecration ceremony featured class sponsors Dr. Pavel Zubkov (Applied Theology) and his wife Liliya (English Center), who presented a photovoice demonstration called “Milestones of Faith,” showcasing student-taken photographs and their narratives of God’s faithfulness. “We charge you to continue to be faithful to God, take every opportunity to serve and excel, and learn to collaborate with God and others,” they said. “Achieving a victorious ending means graduating from God’s school of submission and brokenness and entering into His joy,” Liliya concluded.

At the Baccalaureate worship on Sabbath, Dr. Terry Tsui, president of Taiwan Adventist College, spoke about the life of Moses, emphasizing humility and daily surrender to God. “Walk humbly with your God, not ahead or behind, but with Him daily,” advised Dr. Tsui. He stressed that true education and character are paramount, and shared stories of courage as seen in his students who  have learned to be effective evangelists, regardless of their area of study and sometimes in dangerous circumstances.

This year’s graduation featured a parade of country flags, orchestral renditions, and guest choral groups, creating a festive atmosphere for the graduates and their families. The 108th graduation and commissioning, held from May 17 to 19, 2024, concluded on a high note, with heartfelt appreciation to everyone who made the events possible and gratitude for God’s guidance over the institution’s 52-year history of developing leaders for mission.


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