Governance in a Complex World

Explore the complex role of governance and its place in Christian organizations, and the value of leading with humility, transparency, authenticity, and a Christ like character.


Artboard 1Governance: General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists

The Adventist Church has a representative form of government. This means church members have the ultimate say in who leads the church. Adventist members get together and vote for their representatives at the local, regional and global level. The members themselves, as led by God, elect servant leaders to their roles.
The most local form of governance takes place as leaders are selected to serve their local church congregations. After this, Adventists in an area are organized into conferences which are then clustered into larger unions. These unions are organized into 13 world divisions (or here add MENAU, IF and CHUM which dialogue directly with the General Conference. The General Conference has an Executive Committee comprised of union, division and other key international leaders and members, who make recommendations to a large international gathering called the General Conference Session that meets every five years in different major cities.
The General Conference Session features a large group of church representatives called delegates. They come from all over the world to support mission initiatives and global strategies. During this time, the delegates of the General Conference Session also amend the Church’s governing documents. General Conference and division leaders are also elected during the General Conference Session. Currently, Elder Ted N. C. Wilson is the president of the global Adventist Church, a role in which he has served since 2010.

General Conference of Seventh-day Adventist’s Governance Structures

General Conference of Seventh-day Adventist Executive Committee

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General Conference of Seventh-day Adventist General Conference Session

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Conversations on Governance: Good Governance: What Boards Need to Know

Richard Hart, MD, DrPH, President Loma Linda University Health

Lowell Cooper, MDiv, MPH Former Vice President General Conference of Seventh-day Adventist

Donald Pursley, DBA, Former Vice President Loma Linda University Health

Bob Kyte, JD, Former Legal Council General Conference ofSeventh-day Adventist and Former President of Adventist Risk Management

Elie S. Honore, MD, MPH, MHA, Inter-American Division of Seventh-day Adventist

Loma Linda University Health Good Governance: What Boards Need to Know Information from seminars are available in English, Spanish, French, & Russian


Governance: Heart & Soul. A Series of Discussions on Governance, with Attorney Ted Ramirez

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Adventist Learning Community Resources

ALC Information Video

Adventist Learning Community

The ALC is a website created by the North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists. It houses thousands of continuing education (CE) courses and resources for teachers, pastors, chaplains, administrators, lay-leaders, and faith-seekers.

The ALC requires you to create a FREE account to access content on the site.

Adventist Learning Community homepage

Presented by Dr. Richard Hart, Dr. Donald Pursley, Attorney Bob Kyte, and Dr. Elie S. Honore. Thought-provoking articles by Attorney Ted Ramirez on the heart and soul of governance.