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Inter-American Adventist Theological Seminary (IATS)

Click here to download file: Application Package, Master – Doctoral


Provides graduate Theology/Religion Education to Inter-American Pastors/Teachers in 10 sites on the campus of 10 affiliated Adventist Universities and Seminaries.

To provide graduate theological education to Pastors called to the gospel ministry, developing their pastoral, evangelistic, administrative, counseling skills through professional and academic training. This will include but not be limited to instruction in Biblical studies and linguistics, pastoral-evangelistic skills, historical and missiological expertness, while attempting to respond to the cultural, ethnic, and national records of the peoples of the Inter-American Division and encouraging research, publication, and field experience as it seeks to develop model pastors.

There is no Seventh-day Adventist (SDA) graduate granting degrees theological seminary in the vast territory of IAD (Mexico, Central America, Panama, Colombia, Venezuela, Guyana, Surinam, French Guiana and all the island countries/territories of the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean). More than two thousand Adventist ministers work in these countries. Most of them have earned a B.Th. degree. Largely due to financial limitations, only a few have come to the U.S. to study at the graduate level. A number have benefitted from the Master’s degree in Religion program offered by Andrews University during the last two decades mostly in Mexico, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, and Haiti (attended also by pastors from neighboring countries). The establishment of IATS is the IAD’s first step towards making graduate theological education available to all qualified SDA ministers in its territory.

As it fulfills its educational function, IATS does so in harmony with the following philosophy of the human being and the role of education:

Man is a rational, sociable and creative being. Created in the image of God: his origin, nature and destiny are highly elevated. It is an indivisible unity endowed with physical, intellectual and moral faculties, able to develop and reach harmonious development.

True education recognizes and values the superior realities and values. Using the best methods, techniques and scientific processes of the era, it is committed to prepare man to fulfill with excellence the mission of his life. It values and promotes the whole development of the individual and prepares him for ample service, capable to transcend the boundaries of our present world.

The Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada has granted accreditation to the Master of Arts in Pastoral Ministry. This program provides the student with content in biblical, linguistic, historical, theological, ministerial, and other fields so as to serve the church and mankind effectively. Within the scope of the worldwide mission and outreach of the Adventist Church, the following objectives are basic to the function of the Seminary:

1. To furnish the Seventh-day Adventist Church with competent, highly motivated and consecrated pastors and church workers for service in the worldwide mission of the church.

2. To equip men and women for the various phases of ministry with sound methods, principles, and procedures of biblical interpretation and scholarship so as to provide a firm basis for an intellectual and spiritual understanding of the religion, morality, and ethics set forth in the Bible and as understood in Christianity in general and the Adventist Church in particular

3. To transmit a belief in the relevance of biblical faith and teaching for modern men and women and their preparation for the future kingdom.

4. To develop skills requisite for effective propagation of biblical faith by proclamation in the form of preaching, teaching, writing, and leadership in corporate worship and all phases of church life.

5. To teach methods and procedures for leading a congregation or group to accomplish its own task of disseminating the faith by word and deed.

6. To encourage the development of the professional and other skills necessary to create an atmosphere of mutual care within the Christian community in order that harmony and unity may be maintained, the common good fostered, and Christian commitment deepened.

7. To encourage appreciation for other cultures, sympathetic understanding of customs different from one’s own, and responsiveness to change.

8. To promote such engagement in the spiritual life of the Seminary as it will aid in the formation of the devotional life and inspire a profound deepening of the student’s vocation and commitment to serve God and humanity in harmony with the teachings set forth in Scripture as understood by the Adventist church.

9. To foster, within the Adventist framework, a stimulating academic and professional environment which by its provision of the tools of learning, emphasis on sound method, sharpening of critical judgment, and eager approach to the question of ultimate truth may form an adequate foundation for lifelong competence and integrity.

10. To lay the foundations for lasting friendships, productive of mutual assistance and confidence, by promoting professional collegiality that issues in a willingness to transcend personal bias and to be receptive of counsel from one’s peers.

The graduate from the Seminary is envisioned as a regenerated person fully committed to God and the Lord Jesus Christ and prepared to communicate the Biblical message, the good news about Christ, through the many ministering and teaching functions of the respective vocations of service.

RESOURCES AVAILABLE: The IATS-SETAI Bulletin-Catalogue and all its Policies in the IAD WP and other documents.

Teaching events in summer blocks until the curriculum for each program is successfully completed after which defense (for doctoral dissertations) events are programmed followed by graduation. Degrees offered are: MAPTh, MA Bib. Studies, D.Min. In the future PhD in Biblical Studies.


Efraín Velázquez, PhD   IATS President



Efraín Velázquez, PhD., IATS President
Carmen C. Pérez, PhD., Vice-President Effectiveness and Strategic Planning.Marco Terreros, PhD., Academic Vice-President
Eduardo Villanueva, Vice President of Finances
Hector Sanchez, VP Spiritual Affairs
Jorge Torreblanca, PhD., Assistant to the President
Ketlie Henry, Registrar, Records and Admissions Officer


IATS Institutional Effectiveness Statement

The Inter-American Adventist Theological Seminary (IATS) is a multi-site institution with a unique structure that serves thirty-four countries. The IATS is committed to providing professional and academic programs to ministers in Central America, the Caribbean and the northern part of South America. Professional programs include the MA in Pastoral Theology, and the Doctor of Ministry; the only academic program is an MA in Religion. These programs are offered at various affiliated sites: Costa Rica, Colombia, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Trinidad, and Venezuela. The Seminary is developing an assessment culture with a variety of tools to assess the extent to which students are achieving the outcomes of the degrees they are pursuing. Faculty and staff are able to review the assessment data to measure the effectiveness of its programs. The Seminary provides ample support to ensure student success. The data from the registrar’s office offers evidence of the integrity of our degree programs and the ability of students to complete them in a timely manner.

The MAPTh is offered at all nine affiliated sites that constitute the IATS program; the DMin is offered at 3 sites (Costa Rica, Jamaica, Mexico). The Faculty of IATS consists of 49 members drawn from each of the nine sites in addition to four at the academic center in Mayaguez, PR, Antillean Adventist University, an affiliate institution.

Between 2004 and 2011, 509 students matriculated in the MAPTh degree program and 478 students graduated. At the end of 2011, 31 students remained in the program. The completion rate was 84.30%; in other words, 93% of the students who entered the program graduated with the degree. The average length of time between matriculation and graduation was four summers.

The MAPTh degree program serves primarily as professional development for pastors in the SDA Church. Of the 509 students who graduated from the program between 2004 and 2011, 98% returned to full-time service with the church. At the end of 2011, 96% are still serving the church in a position for which the MAPTh degree program was designed.

Between 2004 and 2011, 45 students matriculated in the DMin degree program and 31 students graduated. At the end of 2011, 14 students remained in the program. The completion rate was 69%; in other words, 31 of the students who entered the program graduated with the degree. The average length of time between matriculation and graduation was five years receptively.

The DMin degree program serves primarily as professional development for pastors in the SDA Church. Of the 31 students who graduated from the program between 2004 and 2011, 98% returned to full-time service with the church. At the end of 2011, 98% are still serving the church in a position for which the DMin degree program was designed.

Commission on Accrediting of the Association of Theological Schools

During the last two decades, different schools of Andrews University have offered graduate programs in business, education, and religion on several Seventh-day Adventist college/university campuses in several countries of the IAD territory. With the approval of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, the Master of Arts in Religion was initially offered at different extension/affiliated sites by the Andrews University School of Graduate Studies. Later on this school was organized and part of its function was taken over by Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary (SDATS), at Andrews University. The Master’s degree in Religion has been offered in yearly summer sessions at West Indies College, Jamaica (since 1974), Montemorelos University, Mexico (since 1977), Antillean Adventist University, Puerto Rico (since 1982), Caribbean Union College (1986), and Haiti Adventist University, Haiti (since 1993).

After several years of preparation, the IAD Executive Committee voted (IAD 96-081) on May 30, 1996, to officially begin the process of establishing its own theological seminary (IATS) with its administrative headquarters at the IAD office, appointing its first President and Registrar and offering initially, in four of the IAD schools where SDATS (Andrews University) had been teaching, both the Master of Arts degree in Religion (only in Antillean Adventist University while the group that already started that program with Andrews, finished their degree) and the Master’s of Arts in Pastoral Theology degree elsewhere. Colombia Adventist University was added later as IATS’ fifth site. The Inter-American Division (IAD) requested the Seventh-Day Adventist Theological Seminary (SDATS), at Andrews University to facilitate the process by assuming full academic responsibility for the IATS while it developed and advanced to the status of Candidate for Accredited Membership. The SDATS requested authorization from the Association of Theological Schools to help establish IATS, initially as an extension in the territory of the IAD. In June 2000 at its biennial session the ATS welcomed the IATS as an associate member and thus recognizing it as an independent educational institution on its own. In June 2001 the Candidacy status was granted, and the IATS became academically and administratively independent from ANDREWS.

At its 2012 biennial session, Inter-American Adventist Theological Seminary was accredited by the Commission on Accrediting of the Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada, and the following degree programs are approved:

MA in Pastoral Theology, MA (Religion), DMin

The Commission contact information is:

The Commission on Accrediting of the Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada

10 Summit Park Drive
Pittsburgh, PA 15275 USA
Telephone: 412-788-6505
Fax: 412-788-6510


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