Recently my daughter researched the history of the Adventist Church for her public high school project. She saw the project as an excellent opportunity to share Adventist heritage with her class. I immediately suggested several books on Adventist history that we had in our home library. As a parent and teacher, I make every effort to share reliable and trustworthy information with my children and students, because trusted information significantly shapes people’s habits, worldview, and choices. How could I have forgotten that my daughter’s generation consults “Dr. Google” first?

My daughter was appalled by the amount of false and defamatory information she found online about the Adventist Church. Disheartened, she asked me to recommend authentic online resources on Adventist history. That day, I wished for a comprehensive and captivating publication like the new online Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists.

I wonder how many parents, teachers, and Adventists of all ages face the same challenge.

The Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists (ESDA) is an official publication and record of the history of the Seventh-day Adventist work. This global church project will produce an estimated 10,000 articles on Adventist history; on crucial events and themes; and on organizations, entities, institutions, and individuals; with accompanying photographs, media, and original documents. The new encyclopedia will reflect the incredible growth in the church in the past fifty years or more since the publication of the first edition of the Seventh-day Adventist Encyclopedia.

ESDA Online, the church’s first online reference work, will have its official debut at the 2020 General Conference session. ESDA Online will be a free website, ensuring global dissemination of content. The print version of the encyclopedia will be produced after the first online edition.

The editors invite not only history and theology scholars but also researchers, teachers, students, and members with expertise on a given subject to contribute articles on topics not yet covered by the initial invitation-only editorial process.

ESDA makes a special appeal to writers around the world to collect historical data from their home regions — the missionaries, evangelists, educators, medical workers, preachers, and church leaders who contributed in the past to the growth of the Adventist church in their territory. Good places for authors to begin research are local church archives, obituaries, yearbooks, newsletters, church publications, private collections of missionary letters and diaries, audio and video materials, and interviews, to collect historical data from oral traditions.

Each article in the Encyclopedia will qualify as a scholarly publication, with its author receiving full recognition. Authors should check the Author Materials page for detailed information and the Assistant Editors page for ways of contacting the responsible division editors and learning about the available topics. They should also visit the Encyclopedia page for EUD and ESD, the page for NAD, and, and the page for NSD.

The editors are open to considering new research and unplanned articles as they become available. Authors can consider what to write on and contact the Archives and Statistics office of the General Conference with suggestions. They can also follow the project on Twitter at @EncyclopediaSDA.

Together we can make the ESDA a blessing to the world and praise God for the wonderful guidance of His people!

About the Encyclopedia Editor

Dragoslava Santrac is managing editor for the Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. She holds a PhD in Old Testament (North-West University, South Africa/Greenwich School of Theology, United Kingdom) and an MA in Biblical Languages and Old Testament (Andrews University). She has taught biblical studies for the past 15 years at Belgrade Theological Seminary (Serbia) and the University of the Southern Caribbean (Trinidad), and currently serves as adjunct professor of religion at Washington Adventist University (United States).

Santrac has also served as an editor for the South-East European Union and the Biblical Research Institute (BRI). She has authored several books and articles on Old Testament theology, the book of Psalms, and biblical studies.

The original version of this commentary was posted in the Seventh-day Adventist Educators site.

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