Institute of Adventist Studies
The Institute of Adventist Studies (IAS) was established by Friedensau Adventist University (FAU). It cooperates closely with the Historical Archive of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Europe. It is attached to the departments of Systematic Theology and Historical Theology in the School of Theology.
The Institute fosters activities of research and teaching, particularly in the following areas:
- research and publication in Adventist Studies at FAU
- organization of scholarly conferences about research on Adventism
- cooperation with scholars from other universities and institutions
- services to the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Germany, Europe, and beyond
- further development of the Historical Archives of the SDA Church in Europe
- creation of an international network for Adventist Studies
- development of academic programs and course offerings
The Institute of Adventist Studies of FAU is committed to the historical and denominational study of Adventism and its related currents. It is the only scholarly institution of this kind in Europe.
Among the members of the Institute there are professors, lecturers, and research assistants, and in special cases, pastors and other members of the Seventh-day Adventist Church as well as other persons engaged in Adventist Studies.
Applications for membership should be addressed to Rolf Pöhler the current director of the institute: .
General inquiries can be sent by e-mail to Philip Nern, student assistant at the Institute: .
The IAS pools the research interests of its members and welcomes suggestions regarding other themes of research.
The following projects were run within the framework of the institute:
- Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists (Inter-European and Euro-Asia regions)
- Bibliography: Adventism in Europe (by J. Stefánsson and E. Jean)
Every two years the IAS organizes symposia dealing with historical and systematic issues of Adventist theology.
2021: The Kingdom of God is at Hand – Adventist Interpretations of Biblical Apocalyptic
The fourth symposium of the Institute of Adventist Studies at FAU aimed at deliberating the variety, continuities, and distinct emphases in Adventist interpretations of biblical apocalyptic. Beyond Daniel and Revelation, what have been the roles of other biblical passages of this genre (e. g., in Zechariah, Ezekiel, Paul, and Peter)? What impact, if any, did the Methodist, Baptist, and Christian Connection backgrounds of the founders have on their particular “apocalyptic accent”? Which themes were stressed in earlier periods, and which received attention in later generations? How should the denominational spectrum of hermeneutical and interpretative traditions with regard to apocalyptic materials be assessed? How have Adventists handled key themes such as theodicy and judgment, the nearness and “delay” of the parousia, and consequences of apocalyptic eschatology for mission and ministry? What impact has the apocalyptic orientation had for members’ anticipation and angst regarding future events, and for their life in but not of the world?
By observing and pondering Adventist discourses in the various realms touched by apocalyptic beliefs and thought, symposium participants aimed both at critically analyzing and at gaining a fresh appreciation for a contested, but crucial element of Christian theology and salvation history – the expectation that “the Kingdom of God is at hand.”
The program featured seventeen scholarly papers. Here you can find a list of all presenters (including working titles).
The proceedings will be published in the IAS series Adventistica. Watch out for news.
2018: Contours of European Adventism
Is there such a thing as "European Adventism"? What are its most important contributions to worldwide Adventism? These were some of the questions discussed at the symposium "Contours of European Adventism" organized by the Institute of Adventist Studies. From 23 to 26 April 2018, the participants of the symposium heard 21 lectures by Adventists from many European and non-European countries. The presentations reflected historical, theological, empirical or sociological perspectives and dealt with the problems of past and present generations of Adventists in Europe
The presentations have been published; the book can be ordered here via Amazon or here via BOD, with cheaper shipment in many countries (Contours of European Adventism: Issues in the History of the Denomination on the Old Continent. Ed. by Stefan Höschele und Chigemezi N. Wogu).
If you are interested in IAS publications, you can subscribe to the IAS Newsletter. All you need to do is send an e-mail to: .
Book chapter with color graph:
2016: Perceptions of the Protestant Reformation in Seventh-day Adventism
Are Seventh-day Adventists “heirs of the Protestant Reformation”? How did early Seventh-day Adventists perceive the Protestant Reformation? Which theological lines connect Luther, Melanchthon, Zwingli, and the Seventh-day Adventist Church? These and other issues were discussed on the Second International Symposium of the Institute of Adventist Studies of FAU, May 9-12, 2016. The Symposium consisted of 18 scholarly lectures held by national and international researchers. In the first part, the focus was on the Protestant Reformation as an overall movement, and then, in a more specialized part, on the tradition of the Anabaptists, the so-called “left wing” of the Protestant Reformation.
In a constructive atmosphere, ideas could be exchanged, and perspectives widened. The Symposium came to an end with an excursion to Lutherstadt Wittenberg. In 2018, an anthology of the scholarly lectures was published in the series "Adventistica" by FAU.
2014: The Impact of World War I on Seventh-day Adventism
The Institute for Adventist Studies of FAU organized its first International Symposium on May 12-15, 2014. Approximately 90 speakers, auditors, and students attended the Symposium with the theme “The Impact of World War I on Seventh-day Adventism”. After listening to the lectures held by 19 speakers, amongst others, the church historian George Knight (USA), there were discussions with questions and answers on the respective topics.
The event was structured by three thematic blocks: the interpretation of prophetic texts on the expected fall of the Ottoman Empire (Turkey), the military service of Seventh-day Adventists (also on Sabbath) in countries involved in World War I, and the origin of the Seventh-day Adventist Reform Movement in 1915 in reaction to the Church's position towards this issue.
The highlight of this Symposium was the discussion with some leading representatives of the Seventh-day Adventist Reform Movement on Wednesday evening. There had already been a discussion with representatives of the Seventh-day Adventist Reform Movement in Friedensau in 1920, which should be repeated in 2014. There was an open exchange of views in a fraternal atmosphere, which aroused the desire for further discussions on the basis of an historical study of sources and a dialog without apologetics/polemics.
The conference organized by Prof. Dr. Rolf J. Pöhler came to an end on Thursday with an excursion to Lutherstadt Wittenberg in the afternoon and a concert of the world-famous conductor Herbert Blomstedt at the Gewandhaus Leipzig in the evening.
A compilation of the scholarly lectures as an anthology is currently in progress and planned for spring 2019. If you are interested in publications of IAS, you can subscribe to the newsletter of IAS. Just send an e-mail to: ">.
The current series "Adventistica – New Series" can be ordered from Books-On-Demand.
Videos | Symposium 2021
Managing committee of the Institue
The following persons are members of the Institute's managing committee
Professor of Systematic Theology
Director of Institute for Adventist Studies
Program Director of Master of Theological Studies
Telephone: +49 (0) 511 640 93 63 | +49 (0) 179 754 08 13
Fax: +49 (0) 3921 916-201
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Dr. theol. Johannes Hartlapp
Lecturer of Church History | School of Theology
Program Director B.A. Theology
Telephone: +49 (0) 3921 916-149
Fax: +49 (0) 3921 916-201
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Ph.D. (University of Malawi)
Professor for Systematic Theology and Adventist Studies
Vice Dean School of Theology
Telephone: +49 (0) 3921 916-121
Fax: +49 (0) 3921 916-201
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The following research assistants are currently working at the Institute: --
- Eudritch Jean, M.T.S., Volunteer/Research Assistant for the project Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists, 10/2018–9/2019
- Kerstin Maiwald, M.A., Dr. phil, Researcher, Institute of Adventist Studies, 10/2017–5/2021
- Jón Stefánsson, M.A., Ph.D. cand. (VU Amsterdam), Research Assistant for the project Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists, 10/2018–12/2019
- Chigemezi Nnadozie Wogu, M.T.S., Ph.D. cand (VU Amsterdam), Researcher / project manager, Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists, EUD and ESD regions, 10/2015–5/2020
Former student assistants
- Filip Kapusta, M.A., 2014–2018
- Philip Nern, M.A., 2018–2021