8 October 2023 |
Renowned researcher and prolific author Roger L. Dudley passed away on September 15, 2023, at the age of 92 in Centerville, Ohio, according to an obituary published by the Lake Union Herald. For four decades, Dudley played a pivotal role in conducting human-subject research within the Seventh-day Adventist Church, contributing significantly to the understanding of youth engagement and church growth. One notable study he led tracked young Adventists from their mid-teens to mid-twenties, revealing that although around half ceased regular church attendance, a larger proportion maintained their Adventist identification. Monte Sahlin, former research officer for the North American Division, noted Dudley’s unwavering focus on youth, marking his longitudinal study and subsequent three books as enduringly pertinent.
A Life Dedicated to Research, Teaching, and Ministry
Born on September 8, 1931, in Honesdale, Pennsylvania, Dudley committed his life to academia, ministry, and the betterment of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. His academic pursuits, which include degrees from Columbia Union College and Andrews University, fueled a career that spanned various roles such as teacher, school principal, pastor, and youth ministries director. Dudley joined the Andrews University Seminary faculty in January 1980 and served the Institute of Church Ministry with fervor until the age of 82. Throughout his illustrious career, he notably served in multiple capacities, such as the director of counseling and guidance services at Thunderbird Academy in Arizona and Georgia-Cumberland Academy in Georgia.
Dudley’s intellectual legacy is cemented in his authorship, co-authorship, or editorial contribution to sixteen books, tackling topics from teenage religious engagement to marriage counseling. Moreover, over 170 of his articles have found homes in various scholarly and professional journals. Dudley’s influence permeated beyond Adventism, offering insights to researchers and leaders of various faith communities. Sahlin maintains that Dudley’s extensive work, especially in church growth, will continue to resonate and potentially wield the most substantial impact, stretching across denominational lines and offering valuable insights to faith communities worldwide.
Roger Dudley shared a 68-year marriage with Margaret (Peggy) Goronzy, who predeceased him, and together they conducted numerous seminars and workshops focused on marriage and family living. Their collective endeavors were recognized with several awards, including the Arthur and Maud Spaulding Award for Distinguished Service in Family Ministries. Their passion for exploring the globe took them to all seven continents and sixty-one countries, intertwining their love for travel with their vocational responsibilities. A joint memorial celebration for the Dudleys will be held on October 21, 4 p.m., at the Pioneer Memorial Church in Berrien Springs, Michigan. Dudley’s impactful legacy lives on through his published works, influencing future generations of researchers and faith leaders.
Read the full obituary at the Lake Union Herald website.