Dr. Ginger Ketting-Weller, dean of La Sierra University’s School of Education, has accepted a call to serve as president of the Adventist International Institute of Advanced Studies (AIIAS) in Silang, Philippines. She told her faculty in December that she had accepted the call from the denomination’s General Conference (GC) to head AIIAS beginning 1 July 2019. She will be AIIAS’s eighth president.

“When one of our members attains a significant achievement, we applaud the recognition and salute our fellow colleague, even as some accomplishments require us to also bid farewell,” Dr. Randal Wisbey, La Sierra’s president, said. “We are proud of Dr. Ketting-Weller and excited for her as she pursues this new adventure, while expressing our sadness at her pending departure. We are grateful for her dedicated leadership of the School of Education which, among other successes, has resulted in the doubling of its enrollment and the addition of our university’s first Ph.D. program.”

Ketting-Weller also oversaw the development of the Garden of Gratitude, a sculpted wall and garden where life-changing teachers and professors are publicly honored by their former pupils. Additional highlights of her tenure include increased online program enrollment, support for development of off-campus sites for school psychology and counseling programs, and chairing the Association of Chairs and Deans for the denomination’s North American Division. One of her very favorite experiences, she said, was leading the 2018 La Sierra Honors study tour to Malaysia and Singapore.

Ketting-Weller will conclude her work at La Sierra effective June 30, and will move with her husband, Dr. Jim Weller, to the Philippines in July. Jim Weller, who is currently principal of the junior high at Loma Linda Academy, will serve as principal of the AIIAS secondary school.

AIIAS provides graduate degree programs in education, business, public health and theology. It is one of four higher education institutions directly connected to the GC, and its students come from around the globe. The other GC institutions are Loma Linda University, Andrews University and the Adventist University of Africa.

Located 25 miles south of Manila, AIIAS is hosted by the denomination’s Northern Asia-Pacific and the Southern Asia-Pacific divisions. It serves more than 800 students who study either on the main campus, through cohort programs in other parts of the world, or through online courses. Graduates often fill senior leadership positions in Adventist higher education and denominational administration.

“This institution literally prepares leaders for the Seventh-day Adventist Church around the world. It is this diversity and far-reaching influence of the institution that has captured our hearts,” Ketting-Weller said in her letter to School of Education faculty members. She is returning to a region of the world familiar to her. She was born in Thailand and lived 18 years there, as well as in Penang, Malaysia, and in Singapore. Her professional background includes 25 years in higher education, serving as a professor of teacher education at Pacific Union College and as vice president for academic administration at Walla Walla University. She also served eight years in Adventist K-12 education.

Ketting-Weller expressed gratitude for the experiences afforded her during her time at La Sierra. “The openness at La Sierra University and the opportunities it has provided me within this energizing and diverse environment have made it a happy place to work,” she said. “I’ve been glad for the opportunity to be part of La Sierra, and pray that the university will flourish in its journey of fulfilling the mission for which it was founded.”

Wisbey added, “We are so appreciative of all Dr. Ketting-Weller has brought to La Sierra University and we pray for God’s continued blessings on her and her husband as they pursue their response to the call of Christ in Matthew 28, to ‘Go out and train everyone you meet, far and near, in this way of life.’”

A news release and photo provided by La Sierra University.