The Seventh-day Adventist Church and the quest for transformational development in contemporary Nigeria: Perspectives from an empirical study

Ignatius Swart, Olugbenga Adetokunbo Efuntade


This article discusses the findings of an empirical study that investigated the attitudes of different sections of the membership of the Seventh-day Adventist (SDA) Church to the socio-economic and political struggles in Nigeria. The study sought to explore how this denomination’s theology and missional orientation have limited its role in the holistic development of Nigerians. The article argues that proclamation of the SDA Church’s unique message and its involvement in transformational development should not be mutually exclusive. There were three major findings of the empirical research. First, although SDA members, clergy and church leadership thought the church had a role to play in national development, there was a level of inhibition in their minds and actions. Second, SDA members, clergy and leadership upheld that involvement in national development should ultimately be for evangelisation purposes. Third, Nigerians who were not members of the SDA Church felt the SDA Church had not made any really significant impact on Nigerian society. Based on these findings, the article concludes by upholding the paradigm of transformational development as theological vision for the SDA Church becoming an actor of holistic development in Nigerian society.  


Seventh-day Adventist Church, Nigeria, mission, transformational development, poverty

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