11 September 2023 |
(Photo: Picture of new Pathfinder honor which will be silk-screened.)
In an effort to recognize the contributions of women in Seventh-day Adventist history, the NAD Office of Archives, Statistics, and Research has launched a new Pathfinder honor, spearheaded by Michael W. Campbell. Campbell, who worked closely with a Guide class that included his daughter, Emma, shared that the class was instrumental in beta testing the honor and developing its requirements.
The honor is a comprehensive study into the lives and contributions of women across different periods in Adventist history, and requirements to obtain it can be viewed at this Pathfinder site. Campbell elaborated, “People need to understand the wide tapestry of contributions by many different women across time and space in Adventist history.” Participants in this honor program will delve into multiple facets of the women who have shaped Adventist history, thus gaining a deep understanding of their significance and impact.
When asked why there was a need to bring attention to women in Adventist history, Campbell pointed out that women have always been the majority in both the Christian Church and the Seventh-day Adventist Church. “It is important to highlight the vast and varied contributions of women in our Adventist past to help inspire a new generation of young women,” he said. The aim is to offer these historical examples as inspiration for how young women today can contribute in sharing the Adventist message.
Currently, the NAD Honors Taskforce approves honors specifically for the North American Division (NAD). However, Pastor Mark O’Fill, member of the Taskforce, added that these honors often find their way into broader, international acceptance. “We send our approved honors to the General Conference (GC), and in many cases, they eventually become GC honors as well,” he said.
Interestingly, this honor is also closely linked with the upcoming October symposium on Women in Adventist History. “Since this is an initiative of the NAD Archives, Statistics, and Research, it aligns with our concerted effort to develop new resources about women in Adventist history. The symposium will feature several other new curriculum resources that will complement and help enhance learning about this subject,” Campbell added. According to the NAD website, “The conference will take place on the campus of Washington Adventist University from October 12 – 14, 2023. Some of the featured keynote speakers will include Ella Simmons, former vice president of the General Conference; Anneke Stasson, author of the book Women in the Mission of the Church; Heidi Olson Campbell, women’s historian and host of the new podcast Women in Adventist History; and Laura Vance, author and historian.”
On what he hopes Pathfinders will gain, Campbell concluded, “Our dream is to see a new generation of young women be inspired by early Adventist women who did so much to shape the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Although many of these stories have not been well-known, this honor helps to create an intentional moment for Pathfinders to learn and share these stories. Adventist women today can walk in the footsteps of these early Adventist women by continuing to share the good news about Christ’s soon return.”
Visit adventsource.org/events/women-in-seventh-day-adventist-history-conference-2023-656 to register for the conference.