AIIAS has published its first history book commemorating the events between the institution’s inception and the present. “AIIAS: The First 50 Years” is authored by former AIIAS faculty member Dr. Shawna Vyhmeister. The book was first released during the 50th Founding Anniversary Celebration of AIIAS, beginning with a book signing event at the Southern Asia-Pacific Division (SSD) of Seventh-day Adventists Midyear Meetings on May 2, 2023.
The concept of creating a book on the 50-year history of AIIAS was born during a Loma Linda-area alumni meeting in 2021, during a friendly get-acquainted discussion between former AIIAS Professors Dr. Shawna and Ronald Vyhmeister and AIIAS President Ginger Ketting-Weller. The AIIAS Board and administration of the institution enthusiastically supported the project from the start.
The history book tells the story of how AIIAS began and how it continues to thrive in the present time. It pays tribute to the service offered by pioneering leaders of AIIAS and numerous stories of God’s faithfulness towards AIIAS from its humble beginning. The book is divided into three significant periods: paying tribute to the historical roots and early years of the seminary (1952-1985), a closer look at the AIIAS years (1985-present), and several themes that provide a deeper look into life at AIIAS and activities that support its mission. In addition, several interviews from key leaders and pioneering professors who lived through experiences at AIIAS illustrate how God has blessed the institution throughout the years. Documentary research conducted in institutional archives also provided data to support the facts cited in the book.
Showcased in separate sections are photographs of the campus’ early years, providing a view of how the current campus came to be. It also features photos of notable campus activities and the diverse international community that comprises AIIAS. The photos document how AIIAS has grown from a small beginning to today’s beautiful campus.
The 317-page book is the result of the unselfish efforts of those who have passed through and currently serving at AIIAS. AIIAS is grateful to the Vyhmeisters for their continued support for AIIAS and contribution to documenting this important history while pioneers and those who knew them are still available to share their stories.
“AIIAS was founded to bring world-class Seventh-day Adventist graduate education to Asia”, explains AIIAS President Ginger Ketting-Weller. “AIIAS is busy developing the next generation of leaders who have that unique cultural worldview that comes from studying at AIIAS. We exist to serve the Seventh-day Adventist church, and we’re grateful to pursue our mission hand-in-hand not only with our home regions in Asia, but as a service to the world church.”
President Ketting-Weller presented a copy of the AIIAS history book to Pastor Roger Caderma, president of the Southern Asia-Pacific Division (SSD) of Seventh-day Adventists. Pastor Audrey Andersson, general vice president of the Seventh-day Adventist Church and AIIAS board chair, also accepted a copy to carry back to the General Conference for Pastor Ted Wilson, president of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.
Many of the SSD Constituency Members raised their hands when SSD President Caderma asked who among these church leaders were AIIAS alumni. “I would like to encourage everyone to get a copy for our institutions. We are here to support AIIAS. It is our institution, training leaders for our church, and we are thankful for that program.”
“Got one copy today. The read was sparklingly golden! One shouldn’t miss reading part three of the book, miracles at AIIAS. For me, the best miracle is me, [that] God made me part of AIIAS,” shares Mamerto Guingguing, associate secretary of SSD.
AIIAS presses onward with its mission “to develop leaders through distinctively Seventh-day Adventist graduate education excelling in spirituality, scholarship, and service” from 50 years ago to that day when Jesus will return.