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2015 Adventist World Budget funds mission, administrative support

Highlights of headquarters budget of $184 million; full budget upon request

2015 Adventist World Budget funds mission, administrative support

In an interview, Adventist Church Undertreasurer Juan R. Prestol-Puesán gave an overview of the 2015 General Conference World Budget. Above, he addresses the denomination’s Executive Committee in October. This is the sixth consecutive year ANN has made the full budget available for readers to review. [ANN file photo by Ansel Oliver]

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The Seventh-day Adventist Church’s 2015 General Conference World Budget funds mission work and administrative support, as well as funding operation of the denomination’s world headquarters building.

The 2015 General Conference World Budget this year of more than $184 million allocates:

  • $47.6 million for operating costs, salaries and programs of the world headquarters building.
  • $45.1 million in appropriations to the fields outside of North America.
  • $30.2 million for missionaries and employees serving in other divisions other than their own.
  • $23.8 million in subsidies to institutions.
  • $14.5 million in headquarters administered funds for programs in divisions.
  • $10.5 million in subsidies for institutional services.
  • $12.4 million for General Conference Auditing Service.    

An Adventist Church finance officer underscored that the 2015 General Conference World Budget only includes items relating to the denomination’s world headquarters and appropriations to world fields. The World Budget does not include the reported incomes or budgets for its 13 divisions or respective local administrative units and congregations (The Adventist world church receives more than $2 billion in tithe annually). Many local administrative units may choose to report their own budget in a similar way.

Operating costs for the denomination’s headquarters in Silver Spring, Maryland, United States, is limited to 2 percent of world tithe, and it is again expected to operate significantly under that cap.

“We have been running under that cap for decades, making more resources available for world fields,” said Juan R. Prestol-Puesán, undertreasurer for the Adventist world church.

Prestol said this year’s World Budget highlights the continuing adjustment in tithe percentages from North America, a decision that was approved by the denomination’s Executive Committee in 2012.

Until 2012, the North American Division contributed 8 percent of its tithe to the World Budget, while the other 12 divisions each contributed 2 percent. The 2012 vote reduced North America’s tithe percentage contribution down to 6 percent, which would be implemented over several years. North America’s tithe is approximately $1 billion, and the 2015 continuing adjustment means a reduction of $10 million to the World Budget from North America, Prestol said.

“We are carefully threading through the process of the time of reduction without affecting existing programs,” Prestol said.

Recipient divisions other than North America are allocated appropriations between $1.3 million and $5 million.

More than one-third of appropriations to divisions are located in the 10/40 Window, a geographical rectangle in the eastern hemisphere between the 10 and 40 northern lines of latitude. The region is home to more than 60 percent of the world's population and less than 2 percent are Christian.

This year, for the second year in a row, the North American Division will receive an appropriation—$295,000, mostly to help administrate the Guam-Micronesia Mission, which until three years ago was part of the Southern Asia-Pacific Division.

Prestol also said the Adventist Church this year will spend most of the funds allocated for the 2015 General Conference Session. Church finance officers have set aside $1.4 million each year for the past five years for the 2015 GC Session. Prestol said the GC Session fund from 2010 ended with nearly $1.5 million in unspent funds.

Other appropriations over $1 million identified in the 2015 General Conference World Budget are:

    $7.8 million for Loma Linda University
    $5.5 million for Adventist World magazine
    $5.4 million for Andrews University
    $5 million for Hope Channel
    $2.6 million for the Ellen G. White Estate
    $2.6 million for Adventist World Radio
    $1.6 million for subsidies to publications
    $1.4 million for the 2015 General Conference Session
    $1.3 million for Adventist Mission
    $1.2 million for the Adventist International Institute of Advanced Studies
    $1.2 million for the Geoscience Research Institute
    $1.1 million for the Adventist University of Africa

To see a complete copy of the 2015 General Conference World Budget, please send a request to the ANN editor at [email protected]