At the leadership elections during the Southern Asia-Pacific Division’s Annual Council in November, AIIAS Vice President for Student Services, Dr. Bryan Edward Sumendap, was appointed to serve as associate director of the Education Department. He begins serving in his new office effective January 2022; however, the SSD has graciously allowed him a little release time to cover basic leadership of the AIIAS Student Services Office until the new Vice President for Student Services is appointed.
Sumendap, himself an alumnus of AIIAS, has served AIIAS as vice president for student services from August 2015 to December 2021. He has also taught courses as a faculty member in the Applied Theology department of the Seminary. In his vice presidential role he has worked as part of AIIAS’s experienced international leadership team, improved the services offered by the AIIAS Student Services Office, established a chaplaincy department, collaborated to develop the campus’ spiritual master plan, brought a more focused biblical studies thematic focus to the chapel programming, and developed and refined policies to further benefit the students. Sumendap has gotten to know students from a wide variety of backgrounds and regions, assisting them with their concerns, helping them with dilemmas and choices, and regularly praying with them. Although challenges occasionally arise in working with students in such a role, he has effectively conveyed concern toward all students and worked to provide administrative support for meeting their needs.
Sumendap’s career began in Indonesia, where he served in various capacities as a district pastor, chaplain, and principal from 2002-2007. He worked as a Bible teacher and vice-principal for student affairs at SLA Tompaso, a boarding school in Minahasa Conference (2002-2003), and then became the youth and communication director for East Indonesia Union Conference (2013-2015). After being ordained, Sumendap was assigned as the senior pastor for the Ranotana Karombasan Church, the largest congregation in Manado, Indonesia.
Sumendap’s wife, Joiedevi, served as a Level 1 English Teacher at the AIIAS English Center (2015-2017) and currently works as the Assistant for Admissions and Records. She will continue in that role.
In reflecting on this unique experience, Sumendap observes that it gave him the opportunity for his own personal and professional growth. He says, “Working at AIIAS has been a wonderful experience for me. Being a part of the President’s Council has helped me grow. The opportunity to be included among the Seminary teaching faculty allowed me to hone my experience as a teacher. The thought that I could touch students’ lives in some way to make them successful humbles me. Thank you, AIIAS family, for providing me with these growth opportunities. May God bless AIIAS as it continues to train students for “distinctively Seventh-day Adventist graduate education, excelling in spirituality, scholarship, and service.”
Current AIIAS Student Association President, Anup Dominic, comments, “Dr. Bryan Sumendap, being a people-centered person, continually showed genuine concern for the welfare of all AIIAS students. As a student, he surprised me several times, asking me pointedly about specific past personal concerns that I had previously brought up with him, but had resolved and long forgotten. If he was doing that for each of the students of AIIAS, that’s a heavy burden to bear. I think that students of AIIAS are at a loss with his departure from this office.”
Dr. Richard Nelson, vice president for institutional advancement at AIIAS, observes from his viewpoint as a new colleague working next door to Sumendap: “AIIAS is known for exporting talent on a global scale. Thankfully, our next ‘export’ is only down the street from AIIAS to the Southern Asia-Pacific Division. Dr. Bryan’s leadership expertise and dedication to service will be a great blessing to SSD in harmony with 1 Timothy 3.”
AIIAS president Dr. Ginger Ketting-Weller expresses deep gratitude for Dr. Bryan Sumendap’s leadership and collegiality as part of the administrative team. “Quite simply, Bryan has been not only the go-to person for all of us when needing to solve problems and crises, but also has been a trusted friend and colleague who is approachable and relational. We will sorely miss his day-to-day leadership among us. At the same time, we look forward to continuing to interface with him in this new role, for the enhancement of the mission of AIIAS in serving this region.”
Thank you, Dr. Sumendap. May the Lord bless you in the next chapter of your leadership in the ministry of education.