First Page


Last Page



This article presents quantitative data collected from 607 seminary students at the Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary from 2019 through 2022 on the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) they have suffered. ACEs include various forms of abuse and neglect as well as household factors such as being raised with addiction, mental illness, divorce, and the like. Also included are environmental factors such as being raised in an unsafe or deprived neighborhood. Included in this article are ACE data collected from pastors at the 2022 Called Convention, a quinquennial meeting for all Seventh-day Adventist pastors in North America, and a small sample of conference and union leaders.1 The data reveals at or above average trauma in seminary students, pastors, and administrators in several areas of the participants’ lives as children. If left untreated, research shows that this trauma would likely result in higher rates of chronic illness, mental and emotional challenges, and self-destructive behavior. These results challenge leaders at all levels of the church to build educational experiences, counseling, and treatment opportunities, and to develop policies that take past trauma into account in both pastoral education and practice. Plans for future research and the vision of trauma-informed churches will be presented.