Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


School of Education


Higher Education Administration EdD

First Advisor

John Youngberg

Second Advisor

John V. G. Matthews

Third Advisor

Gary Land


Problem. The first and only Seventh-day Adventist (SDA) tertiary-level institution in Venezuela is Venezuelan Adventist University Institute. It was founded initially as asecondary boarding academy in 1962, began offering college level programs in 1990, was accredited by the Seventh-day Adventist Church at the college level in 1995, and achieved status as a university institute under Venezuelan law in 1999. No comprehensive history has been written portraying its development.

Method. The documentary-historical method, based on published and unpublished material, was used. Sources included books, periodicals, school bulletins, board minutes, school reports, school evaluations, correspondence, interviews, and other documents pertaining to the history, development, and operation of the school. The study is chronologically organized. Spanish materials were translated into English by the writer.

Conclusions. Venezuelan Adventist University Institute (IUNAV) was first established in El Limón in 1962 as a boarding school for the SDA youth of Venezuela. It served as a haven for these youth to obtain an education encompassing manual, intellectual, and spiritual elements. It was established to provide qualified denominational workers and a laity dedicated to service for God and society. The writings of Ellen G. White had considerable influence on the founding, relocation, curriculum, and development of the institution to the end of the twentieth century.

The narrative covers the early beginnings in El Limón from 1962-1966; construction of a new facility in Nirgua and relocation to this new site in 1966; and consolidation of the secondary-level academic and the industrial programs during the 1970s. The decade of the1980s was characterized by the vision of what the institution could become in meeting the objectives of the founders. The building program and academic initiatives were focused on the goal of achieving college status. The dream of offering higher education as an approved and accredited institution was not easily achieved. Preparation and negotiation continued into the 1990s, and full denominational accreditation was only granted in 1995, while government approval as a university institute was achieved in 1999. Each of the nine senior administrators has made a substantial and distinctive contribution to the development of the institution. Achievement of university institute status is a tribute to all these leaders and the teachers and staff who served with them. IUNAV has to a considerable extent achieved the, vision of its founders for an exemplary institution of higher Christian learning in Venezuela.

Subject Area

Education--Venezuela, Seventh-day Adventists--Venezuela, Venezuelan Adventist University Institute

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