After nearly eight years as an associate director of the Seventh-day Adventist world church’s Education Department, Dr. John Wesley Taylor V is about to disprove author Thomas Wolfe’s maxim that “you can’t go home again.”
Taylor has been called by the Adventist International Institute of Advanced Studies (AIIAS), in the Republic of the Philippines, to serve as its next president. He would succeed Dr. Stephen R. Guptill, who is retiring after 11 years in the position, reportedly the longest tenure for any AIIAS president.
The announcement came just after the school’s spring 2018 graduation ceremonies.
Having served seven years as a professor, associate dean, and director of Doctoral Programs for the School of Graduate Studies at AIIAS, Taylor is well acquainted with the school. He was the founding director of AIIAS’s online learning division, and as chair of the educational studies department, established five distance learning center sites for the school. Ten years ago, in 2007, AIIAS “distinguished itself as being one of the first Adventist educational institutions to graduate students with master’s degrees from an online learning program entirely on the internet,” according to the school’s website.
As a professor at AIIAS, Taylor taught courses in educational philosophy, curriculum and instruction, and educational research. According to his curriculum vitae, he taught at AIIAS extension campuses in Bangladesh, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, and Thailand.
Taylor’s selection culminated a global search process, school board chair Dr. Ella Smith Simmons, a general vice president of the Adventist world church and a veteran educator, said. The search “included gathering recommendations and applications from all over the world, doing interviews and obtaining references, then analyzing the names according to the job description and search criteria,” according to an AIIAS news release.
Along with his tenure at AIIAS, Taylor has been a teacher and an administrator at several Seventh-day Adventist institutions, including Montemorelos University in Mexico and U.S.-based Andrews University and Southern Adventist University. Taylor’s educational background includes bachelor’s degrees in health science and in religion from Weimar College; master’s degrees in educational administration and in instructional technology, and a doctorate in curriculum and instruction from Andrews University; as well as a doctorate in educational psychology—gifted and research, from the University of Virginia.
During his time at the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, Taylor has been an editor of College and University Dialogue and chair of the Advisory Board for The Journal of Adventist Education, along with his primary Education department responsibilities as liaison and advisor to the church’s Inter-American, Northern Asia Pacific, and the West-Central Africa Divisions as well as the Middle East and North Africa Union Mission.
Taylor’s wife, Miriam, is a certified meeting professional. Their daughter, Caroyln, is a statistician, and their son, John Wesley, is a physical therapist.
AIIAS, located near Silang, Cavite, in the Philippines, was formally established in 1987 as a theological seminary and a graduate school. Four years later, AIIAS moved to its current campus, and in 1996 it became an institution of the General Conference.