Professional Dissertations DMin

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry


Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary


Doctor of Ministry DMin

First Advisor

Abner F. Hernandez

Second Advisor

Ricardo Norton

Third Advisor

Kleyton Feitosa



The observations made by the researcher in the district of Hispanic Adventist churches in Paterson, New Jersey, in the years 2021 and 2022, led to the conclusion that the way the leaders uses the writings of Ellen G. White is not the best. Even the understanding held by fellow church members, mostly used for rebuking the behaviors or judging certain situations of other members, clearly demonstrates a lack of wisdom and balance on this subject. This issue creates discontent and animosity towards the task Ellen G. White sought to accomplish when called by God to encourage, strengthen, and sustain the Christian community back in her time. Her purpose was never to wound, criticize, or destroy, which, ironically, is often how her teachings are portrayed by many. This situation has brought about disbelief and skepticism regarding her prophetic work. The absence of a program to help bring a balance to the perception of Ellen G. White’s prophetic and scriptural work within the Adventist church is a problem that must be addressed. To do so promptly presents a challenge that needs to be met. --


This program initiated when theological questions arose within the congregation, in response to the leadership’s approach to the use and interpretation of prophetic writings. Its primary objective was to assist both leaders and church members in their understanding and hermeneutics of Ellen G. White’s writings specifically, although the two interactive teaching seminar sessions extensively emphasized the paramount significance of prophetic writings throughout history. This was complemented by an entirely solid biblical foundation that addressed prophetic work in both the Old and New Testaments, ultimately leading to the role of Ellen G. White. The program was named “Seminars on Applying Interpretative Principles to the Writings of Ellen G. White”. The program was implemented for a period of approximately nine months. This period included the establishment of the point of inception, the preparation of the two seminars, the administration of evaluation surveys, and the subsequent assessment of the survey responses to be evaluated. In such manner, the prophetic training program was implemented to the leadership and the Hispanic Adventist community in Paterson.


The researcher measured the effectiveness of the program using both quantitative and qualitative evaluation tools. Two surveys were conducted: an initial one to assess the perception of both the leaders in the Paterson district and the congregation regarding their knowledge, acceptance, interpretation, and use of the writings of Ellen White; and another survey at the end to measure the impact of the presented seminars. Out of the 70 surveys distributed to leaders and church members, a total of 51 from the initial survey (73%) and 56 from the final survey (80%) were returned for consideration and evaluation. While many initially believed that they were quite knowledgeable about Ellen White’s writings and their correct interpretation, they eventually acknowledged that not everything was as they had thought. Their perspectives, illuminated by the survey results, clarified the real situation described as a problem at the beginning, as well as what can be done to address the issue and improve it. There was a general acceptance of the program, and it was evident in each response with positive reactions and a willingness to repeat it, both based on the reflected data and the additional comments requested in the final survey.


The program to assist, help, and support in interpreting the writings of Ellen White in the Hispanic district of Paterson, New Jersey, was a wonderful experience that set a precedent, as an event of this kind had never been developed in the churches that received this benefit. The brotherhood was so fulfilled that they continuously requested its repetition, thus laying the groundwork for similar enriching experiences in the future. At the moment, the use of the Ellen G. White’s writings is much more balanced and liberated from dangerous biases. The fellowship is spiritually growing, and it is joyful to have vital theological support for these times.

Subject Area

White, Ellen G. (1827-1915)--Criticism and interpretation; Seventh-day Adventists--New Jersey--Paterson; Paterson South Spanish Seventh-day Adventist Church (Paterson, N.J.); Paterson Temple Spanish Seventh-day Adventist Church (Paterson, N.J.); Paterson Eastside Spanish Seventh-day Adventist Church (Paterson, N.J.)