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An aerial view of Brazil Adventist University - Campus Hortolandia in 2019.

Photo courtesy of Brazil Adventist University - Campus Hortolandia - Archives.

Brazil Adventist University – Campus Hortolândia

By Hermenérico Morais, and Renato Ferreira Silva


Hermenérico Morais

Renato Ferreira Silva

First Published: December 3, 2021

The Brazil Adventist University–Campus Hortolândia (UNASP–HT) provides education from elementary through high school and collegiate levels for both residential and community students. It is affiliated with the Seventh-day Adventist Church and is part of the worldwide Adventist education network.

UNASP–HT is located in the Central Brazil Union Conference (UCB) mission field, at R. Pastor Hugo Gegembauer 265, 13184-010 Hortolandia, São Paulo, Brazil, in the Parque Hortolândia neighborhood.1 As of 2020, UNASP-HT served 9,224 students distributed over all educational levels. It relied on a team of 527 staff members including 49 Bible workers, eleven pastors, and 467 employees, eighty-six of whom are teachers or professors. The campus was situation on a total area of 726,000 square meters, 58,500 of which was occupied by buildings.2

Developments that Led to the Establishment of the College

The history of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Brazil indicates that Adventist education arrived somewhat timidly in the state of São Paulo, although Adventist groups had been formed in the state’s countryside beginning in 1893. The first baptism in the region took place in 1895, and the São Paulo Mission was established in 1906. However, construction of the first educational institution in the state, the Colégio Adventista Brasileiro (Brazil College or CAB) in the region of Santo Amaro, did not start until 1915. Later, in the 1940s, pastors estimated that there were 3,000 potential students in the state. These were young people who wanted to study at an Adventist school, but were without access to one.3

In 1941, under the leadership of Germano Ritter, the São Paulo Conference managed the advancement of the Adventist work in São Paulo. A decade of major evangelistic efforts resulted in the establishment of many churches. Until then, conference administration had been limited to caring for groups that needed pastors and meeting places. When the local leadership began to invest in additional missionary programs, they began with medical missionary work in the city of São Paulo. The first Adventist health institution in Brazil was established in São Paulo, Casa de Saúde Liberdade (São Paulo Clinic and Hospital), now known as Hospital Adventista de São Paulo (São Paulo Adventist Hospital or HASP). The first episodes of the “Voice of Prophecy”4 with Roberto Rabello as the speaker were broadcast about this time. Education also attracted the attention of the leadership of São Paulo Conference.5

In 1946, through articles published in the Revista Adventista (Adventist Review), Ritter expounded on parents’ responsibility to enroll their children in schools where Christian principles were taught. He encouraged the establishment of schools in communities where none existed. The state of São Paulo was already home to CAB, which was already establishing itself as one of the largest Adventist educational institutions outside of the United States. Some believed that another college would create detrimental competition for students and resources. In contrast, others defended that the state of São Paulo had a great potential for education.6 On February 13, 1946, the administrators of São Paulo Conference voted to study the potential of establishing a college in the state’s countryside.7

College Foundation

The study resulted in a vote, taken on October 29, 1946, to form a commission that, among other tasks, would be in charge of looking for a suitable place for the construction of a boarding school. Among the sought-after criteria were convenient access, fertile land, and favorable weather. Several places were visited such as the cities of São Carlos and Bauru, both in the state’s countryside. However, none of these places were deemed suitable.8

At the time, João Ortolan, an Adventist lay member, owned a farm in the district of Jacuba, where the city of Hortolândia in the Metropolitan Region of Campinas is located. Orotlan’s intention was to raise cattle; however, he moved his enterprise when he realized another village in the region provided better railway access and potential for trade. In Jacuba, he built a ceramic factory and divided part of the farm into lots, which he sold to form the Estância Ortolan neighborhood.9

In 1947, Ortolan was visited by Alminda Bueno de Oliveira, a canvasser10 and student at CAB. He suggested she tell the Adventist leaders in the capital of São Paulo to consider building a school in the district of Jacuba. The leaders of São Paulo Conference immediately sent Francisco Nunes de Siqueira to investigate the region. As soon as he arrived, Siqueira contacted Camilo Arcângelo de Oliveira, the canvasser responsible for the entire region, who accompanied him. Their report described the place as suitable for the installation of a boarding school despite the difficulties in supplying water to the land. After receiving the report, Ritter decided to visit the location himself. He viewed the land favorably and realized the need to buy the neighboring properties. Thus, on August 14, 1947, the São Paulo Conference voted to build an Adventist school in Jacuba and to begin buying the neighboring properties.11

On November 6th of that same year, the new school was named Educandário Adventista Campineiro (São Paulo Academy or EAC), as Jacuba was part of the municipality of Campinas. The following year, on February 10th, the São Paulo Conference appointed a commission to manage the construction of the school buildings. Under the direction of Kaneshighe Morimoto, planting and farming started before the construction of the first buildings. The school obtained registration in July 1948 to provide elementary classes. Negotiations also continued for purchasing the adjacent land. The last deed was singed on September 19, 1947—the date chosen as the anniversary of the school. This last land transaction expanded the campus by 142 hectares.

In 1948, the EAC was still under construction when it enrolled the first students at the school. Sent by the São Paulo Conference, they worked on both the construction sites and the farm to pay for their tuition. João Batista Souza and Aurora Caputo were the first students to arrive at the school. At the end of that year, some masons arrived to finish the construction of the first building, a dormitory for girls.12

At the beginning of the following year, the São Paulo Conference sent Carlos Tavares to lead the school's spiritual and administrative life. The preparatory classes for admission began in existing houses in the vicinity of the farm. These classes were taught by Moisés Rocha Prates and Vicente Camargo Dias, EAC’s first teachers. In July 1949, Valdemar Ehlers was appointed the institution's first president. The first admission exams were held on February 27th and 28th, 1950, organized by the inspector of the city of Campinas. Opening ceremonies were held on March 4, attended by pastors from the São Paulo Conference, and classes started the next day. There were twenty-three fifth graders, ten sixth graders, and four students in the first four grades of elementary school.13

College Foundation

EAC faced many challenges during its first years. The water used in the school was carried by a mule. There was no electricity and the students depended on the light of lamps to study. On June 12, 1950, a year after the school was inaugurated, the government officially recognized the elementary course. The following year, Osvaldo de Oliveria was called to preside over the school. During his tenure, an orchard was planted in the front of the campus with many fruit trees. The school’s music program developed under Oswaldo Azevedo’s leadership. He himself started a choir for the institution.14

In 1951, the institution was renamed Ginásio Adventista Campineiro (São Paulo Adventist Academy or GAC), and the girls’ dorm was completed. This building also included space for the administrative office, three classrooms, the laundry, and some apartments. Although the physical conditions of GAC were improving, Friday and Sabbath services were still held outdoors under the shade of trees with the teachers as pastors. In order to stimulate students' spiritual life, the Grêmio de Ação Missionária Estudantil (Student Missionary Action Guild or GAME) was created, led by Tossako Kanada and Oswaldo Azevedo. The group's meetings usually took place on Sabbath’s afternoons. During these meetings, students took part in several activities, such as preparing sermons that were evaluated by teachers, in order to improve their oratory and preaching skills.15

On December 6, 1952, the school's first graduation ceremony took place when sixteen students officially completed their studies at GAC. Subsequently, some of them went to CAB to study theology and become pastors.

In 1954, GAC started to provide Medical Cadet Corps training which prepared students for military medical service. Brazil’s compulsory military service and the possibility that young Adventists would be required to participate in the nation's conflicts concerned the Church. Therefore, the decision to provide the course was the Church’s response to these circumstances. The course was a yearlong and enabled those recruited by the army, navy, or air force to serve in the medical sector, where they would not be required to use weapons.16

In 1955, enrollment reached 231 students, evidence of the increasing need for the construction of new facilities. In response to this demand, in August 1956, the three main buildings were finished: two dormitories and the school building.17 For much of its existence, agricultural and manufacturing production were the pillars of GAC’s development. The campus boasted hundreds of fruit trees, plus cane and rice fields in addition gardens that supplied the cafeteria. Fruit production increased sufficiently for the school to operate a fruit stand beside Anhanguera Highway close to campus selling produce to the public.18

Starting in 1960, several musical groups were formed and recorded albums. Concerts were performed in local theaters and some presentations were even broadcast on television channels of the region. With the completion of the gymnasium in 1960, a sports program was organized, including an inter-school Olympic games program hosted by GAC and organized by the city hall of a neighboring city (Sumaré). In 1963, Jacuba became a district of Sumaré, so the school was no longer based in the municipality of Campinas.19

Until 1965, GAC provided elementary education, in addition to the Medical Cadet Corps course. This changed in 1966 when the legal procedures for the implementation of an accounting technical course were approved to begin the following year. This led to the school changing its name to Instituto Adventista Campineiro (São Paulo Adventist Academy or IAC). Construction once again became the focus of administration as a commercial building was needed for the technical course. The school’s musical conservatory was built at the same time. The plan for a new cafeteria was also analyzed and approved. Meals were still being served in the girls’ dorm.20

In 1966, the student body reach 382 students. Along with the increased enrollment, an Adventist community consisting of parents and IAC employees began to form the Parque Ortolândia neighborhood adjacent to the school. Participants in the daily activities of the institution, Parque Ortolândia residents also attended the school’s church, which operated in the auditorium of the school building. Due to the evangelistic work performed by pastors and students in the area surrounding the school, the number of Adventists in the region increased. Consequently, the congregation soon outgrew the school’s auditorium. As a temporary solution, the congregation, known as the igreja dos vizinhos (neighbor's church), gathered in the sports pavilion. The São Paulo Conference was asked to build another church in Hortolândia as permanent place of worship. Thus, on October 8, 1966, the IASD Central de Hortolândia (Hortolândia Central Seventh-day Adventist Church) in Parque Ortolândia became official.21

In 1967, the accounting technical course classes started with twenty-nine students.22 In addition, the school infrastructure improved with the inauguration of the new musical conservatory on March 5. On December 10, 1968, the cafeteria building, which had room for up to 600 people, was finished. During the decade of the 1960s, the school added to its agricultural production a series of small industries that used the surplus of fruits and cereals to make juices, jams, sweets, honey, whole wheat flour, rye flour, and tomato sauce. The school mill also started to produce syrup, cane molasses, peanut rapadura23 and honey.24

On November 29, 1969, the graduation of the first accounting technical course took place. Having realized the potential of technical courses, IAC leaders sought to invest in providing more of them. Thus, in the early 1970s, the technical courses the school provided continued to grow and attract students. The secretariat course was also developed at this time.25

To improve the school’s market appeal, its name was changed again in 1970. The name chosen was Instituto Adventista São Paulo (São Paulo Adventist Academy or IASP). Campus industries continued to expand, with new services including carpentry, sewing, a dairy, shoe repair, and a rice mill. Students worked in all of them. The campus spiritual life continued to be influenced by GAME, which met on Sabbath mornings after breakfast in the central school building. GAME members also did missionary work on Sabbath afternoons when students and teachers distributed flyers and gave Bible studies in Hortolândia. 26

As the student body continued to increase, the auditorium once again became too small as a worship space. Consequently, in 1974 the institution board of directors made plans to build a church on campus. Construction was completed in twenty-six months, and after much anticipation, on July 13, 1976, IASP church was inaugurated. IASP development was next directed toward the construction of a new classroom building for which ground was broken in 1976. 27

In the mid-1970s, music at IASP began to gain prominence within the Adventist Church in Brazil and in the evangelical community. In fact, the Coral Jovem do IASP (IASP Youth Choir), later renamed Prisma Brasil (Brazil Prism), became widely known.28 In the 1980s, Helenita Souza Portes, a teacher at IASP, produced child evangelism materials for the Adventist Church in Brazil. This project eventually became the official producer of all illustrated children’s material in South America. In 1980, there were 1,404 students in the school. Six years later, in 1986, enrollment had grown to 1,205. In the following year (1987), the Centro de Produções Artísticas (Artistic Production Center or CPA) was created. It was responsible for organizing special programs at the school as well as producing music for congresses and evangelistic campaigns. The CPA members also traveled throughout Brazil, performing musical services in churches or public places usually accompanied by the musical group Integração (Integration), originally from the state of Espírito Santo. Although it performed admirably, the CPA’s activities ended in 1988.29

IASP continued to grow and by 1988, there were 1,322 students. At that time, the Agência de Criação e Produção Musical (Music Creation and Production Agency or CROMUS) was created. It was responsible for supporting musical materials for the Adventist Church, such as composing hymns for the South American Division (DSA) and recordings of Adventist singers and musical groups. The agency was also responsible for the process of reviewing and publishing the Hinário Adventista (Adventist Hymnal) completed in 1995, and recording all the songs in this collection, which happened in the following years. In 1990, the group of singers Tom de Vida (Life Tone) was formed on the campus and became influential in the Brazilian evangelical music scene. In 1991, the school reached the landmark enrollment of 1,437 students.30

In 1993, a project called “Pensando em Você” (Thinking of You), consisting of 15-minute long audio biblical reflections, was produced and broadcast by a radio station in Sumaré. It was well-received and its duration was extended until an invitation for a new show in another city arose. Afterward, with the help of the São Paulo Conference, a radio station was purchased in the city of Nova Odessa, a municipality next to Sumaré. Later, the Rádio Liberal (Liberal Radio), as it was known at the time, was integrated into the Adventist Media Center–Brazil.31

By 1995, the school’s enrollment increased to 1,825 students, necessitating the expansion of the cafeteria and additional classroom space. A new building was planned for kindergarten.32 The construction process of the new school building was interrupted a few times, delaying the completion of the work for about twenty months. Concerned whether the new building would meet the needs of an ever-increasing number of students, construction was paused 1996 while it was determined whether the new building would meet the school needs. This reevaluation resulted in the building design’s alteration. It was only after this adjustment that the construction work could resume. The school building was completed in 1998, including new administrative offices in the front wing. Most significantly, its completion allowed the implementation of college majors that would take place in the following years. The first college major, an undergraduate degree in pedagogy, was authorized by the government in 1999. It boasted ninety-eight students the first year.33

In 1999, the college celebrated its fifth decade of existence. Approximately fifty thousand visitors attended the celebration. On that occasion, there were eight stages across the campus where various presentations took place. Altogether, the program featured 100 musical, folk, and sport activities. Booths sold sandwiches, as well as books from the Brazil Publishing House (CPB) and food products from Superbom. Another attraction was a helicopter tour over the entire area of the college. The day’s festivities ended with a firework display.34

In the following year, physical education and teaching majors were introduced. At that time, the college leaders noticed the need to adapt facilities for higher education. Some projects became a priority, such as the construction of a new sports gym for gymnastics, a roof for the handball court, and renovation of the swimming pool to International Swimming Federation (FINA) standards. Higher education courses attracted more new students to the institution, most of whom lived off campus. Other majors, such as biology, Portuguese, psychology, and administration consequently came under consideration.35

The new emphasis on higher education represented a significant change for the college as the number of high school students, which at first had been the focus of IASP, began to decline. The Brazilian legislation discouraged high school technical courses and this impacted the college. From 845 in 1995, the number of students dropped to 513 in 2000. Despite the loss of students and the various transformations that took place, IASP remained outstanding in the sector of primary and secondary education. An example of this was the prize offered to fifteen students by Fundação Nestlé de Cultura (Nestlé Culture Foundation) in 2000. The foundation held a national competition for the development of multidisciplinary school works and literary texts through which IASP students and teachers were acknowledged and rewarded with money and books. Corresponding to the decrease in secondary students, the number of on-campus residential students also declined and further reduced the school’s income. Consequently, the administrative and financial operations underwent a reorganization.36

In 2003, the college became part of the Brazil Adventist University (UNASP), under the name of UNASP campus IASP. The information systems major was also implemented in 2003. In 2005, with only 223 students in primary and secondary programs, IASP total student enrollment showed a decline. The college sector which had started its classes only a few years before, had already reached 642 students distributed among the physical education, pedagogy, and information systems majors.37

In 2006, after architectural renovations that took almost ten years, the campus was re-inaugurated during a ceremony in the campus church. For this ceremony, the organizers invited all pastors and directors who had worked at the institution over its history. The college also experienced an increase in the number of students enrolled in 2006. In order to better serve the students and employees of the institution, IASP leadership began to make plans for the construction of new classrooms, and viewed these plans as a priority. Thus, the construction of a building for early childhood education and the multisport gymnasium began. The men’s dorm was also renovated and a new lobby was built. Finally, still in 2006, a business major was implemented.38

In 2008, IASP faced another kind of challenge. This time, the college, which had been seeing the number of students that lived on campus decrease, now found its residence halls crowded. Overflow accommodations were found in a house. With the college full, the musical groups also multiplied, joining the already traditional Tom de Vida and Coral Jovem (Youth Choir). Among the new groups were Tom Jovem (Youth Tone), Chorus Day, Expressão Jovem (Youth Expression), and Coral Canto Livre (Free Singing Choir). Also, at that time, an orchestra played during campus church worship services. On April 14, 2009, the construction of a new three-story wing for higher education began next to the school building. In its sixtieth year, IASP reached the landmark enrollment of 3,356 students, 1,462 of whom were elementary school students, 446 high school students, and 1,448 undergraduate students.39

The 60th anniversary was celebrated October 9-11, 2009. On Friday, the Arautos do Rei (Brazilian King’s Heralds) quartet started the celebrations with a concert. On Sabbath, members of Germano Ritter’s family, the school's pioneer, preached.40 The college also hosted a Follow the Bible (Siga a Bíblia) event as part of a General Conference project aimed at popularizing the Scriptures and encouraging people to read them. During the event, the Bible had its cover changed because of wear and tear throughout its journey before it was sent on its journey to other churches and institutions in the region.41 On Sunday, a musical DVD was released. The program included school professionals and students, and the visit of the mayor of Hortolândia. In a statement, he said that “IASP caused the city to grow,” highlighting the role of the college in the development of the municipality.42

In 2014, the accounting sciences major was implemented at IASP,43 and in the following year, classes for the public relations and marketing major began.44 The early childhood education facility also expanded with the inauguration of the first wing of a building called IASPinho (little IASP), later renamed UNASPinho (little UNASP). At the end of 2015, the college enrolled a record 3,185 undergraduate students. In the following year, this number decreased to 3,086 students. Although the college had been considered one of UNASP's campuses for many years, it was only in 2017 that the official integration was made by the Brazilian educational authorities. Thus, the name of the college officially became UNASP–Campus Hortolândia (UNASP–HT). In 2018, UNASP–HT implemented the computer engineering major and by the end of that year the institution had 3,111 students. In 2018, the college employed 465 people, eighty-three of whom were teachers.45

AS of 2020, UNASP–HT also provided psychology and law courses at the undergraduate level, in addition to all those mentioned above. The institution also offered several graduate courses, including five MBA programs: retail marketing strategy, financial controlling and auditing, business and entrepreneurship strategy, logistics, and management and leadership. There were also special education and personal improvement courses including philosophy, biomechanics, and applied marketing at graduate level.46

Historical Role of the College

Over its history, approximately fifty thousand students have studied at UNASP–HT. In 1986, the IASP Alumni Association was founded. It was responsible for organizing events such as annual alumni meetings and programs fostering relationships between alumni. It also represented the interests of alumni before the school. Since then, the alumni association has contributed to numerous campaigns and renovation efforts on campus, funded the school’s “square” and a collection of flags from all Brazilian states, and sponsored several special programs in the church.47

In the 1980s, the school was known as "IASP, the college that sings." This reputation was the result a tradition of producing recorded albums begun in the 1960s. The first album was entitled “Crepúsculo” (Twilight), released by the Marimbas Trio in 1968. Since then, the school has been deeply involved in the artistic field. Several choirs recorded LPs and CDs, including Coral do IAC (IAC Choir), Coral dos Meninos (Boys Choir), Coral do IASP (IASP Choir), IASP Youth Choir, Coral Louvor Jovem (Youth Praise Choir), as well as musical groups such as Prisma Brasil (Brazil Prism), Prisminha (Little Prism), Prisma Teen (Teen Prism), Louvor Kids (Kids Praise), and Tom de Vida (Life Tone). By the college’s sixtieth anniversary in 2009, thirty-seven musical projects had been released. Fifteen of the musical projects were produced in 1990s.48

Besides that, UNASP–HT usually attracts a large audience with its anniversary celebrations. In 1982, this celebration was established as an annual event to be held on a weekend every October. About thirty thousand people visit the college during this period each year. Among them there are people from the local community, family members of students who reside on campus, alumni, ex-employees, and others who are attracted by the media and popularity of the event. The college also became recognized through a weekly show broadcasted on a cable TV channel called Vivax (formerly known as Horizon). The show reached seven municipalities in the region. Its goal was to advertise the institution's activities, taking the Adventist message to several homes in order to reach families who could visit the college.49

UNASP–HT also stands out in the agricultural field. During the college’s entire history, its fertile land has grown a variety of produce benefiting both the campus and the community. Crops include oranges, lemons, figs, persimmons, papayas, mangoes, jackfruits, bananas, and grapes. In 1950, there were two thousand passion fruit trees and in 1966 eleven thousand fruit trees total. At that time, rice production reached five hundred bags. The college also sold sugar cane to Usina Santa Bárbara for a while. Until the 1990s, the college farm produced pasta and eggs, which were both used by the cafeteria and sold to supermarkets in the region. At that same time, whole grain bread was produced and sold in grocery stores and health food shops. In 1993, about three thousand bread loaves were baked every day.50

As part of its sixtieth anniversary events, UNASP–HT organized a blood drive and bone marrow donation campaign on February 14, 2009. The college partnered with the Lions Club of Hortolândia and the Unicamp Blood Center, with the support of the city hall. Over 130 bags of blood were donated and the number of bone marrow donors exceeded the goal by six people, reaching twenty-six registrants.51 In December 2009, the city of Hortolândia paid a tribute to the college for its decades of contributions to the community. During the ceremony, the title of Cidadão Hortolandense (Hortolandense Citizen) was given to Alacy Barbosa, then director of the college, and the title Empresa Cidadã (Citizen Company) was given to UNASP–HT. The institution also was given a motion of praise for its sixtieth anniversary.52

In 2010, the leadership of UNASP–HT mobilized 700 volunteers who worked in three neighborhoods of the city during an Impact Hope evangelistic event.53 On the day of the outreach, three buses took the members of Coral Jovem (Youth Choir) to the city of Elias Fausto, where more than four thousand books were handed out to the population. In the evening, the group performed a musical presentation in a public square.54 That same year, in Bertioga, a city on the coast of the state of São Paulo, several undergraduate students from UNASP–HT handed out invitations for an evangelism event via satellite that would take place in the following weeks. In order to get the public's attention, the students used colorful GAME scarves. This initiative was part of the evangelistic training of the institution's mission school offered to fifty-four students.55 At the end of the year, seventy-six UNASP–HT students were baptized.56

In the beginning of 2011, UNASP-HT students were at the celebration of the tenth anniversary of the magazine Época Educação (Time Education), a product of Globo Editora (Globe Publishing House). Students and teacher from chools that were part of a project to integrate the magazine into the curriculum were invited to exhibit school projects carried out during the previous school year. The project coordinators showed a memorable appreciation for UNASP–HT projects and invited them to a new exhibition at the publishing house’s offices in Rio de Janeiro. UNASP–HT was featured in the magazine's October issue, which highlighted the cultural exhibit held on the college anniversary.57

Also, in 2011 UNASP-HT became the headquarters of the Sociedade Bartimeu de Apoio aos Cegos (Bartimaeus Society of Support for the Blind). In this society, several materials from the Adventist Church were converted into braille and audio. Thus, through the work performed by this society every quarter audio recordings of the Sabbath School Bible Study Guide lessons were sent to at least fifty people who were visually-impaired.58 Also, in 2011, a new congregation was built in the Jardim Novo Ângulo neighborhood in Hortolândia. The church was organized and started with eighty-six members on a lot that had recently been acquired. At that time, there were ninety people studying the Bible in that region and at least twelve of them had already decided to be baptized.59

On July 25, 2011, UNASP–HT students crossed the Atlantic to Mozambique. Their purpose was to carry out missionary and social activities, such as the renovation of a medical post, the construction of a church, and eight nights of evangelistic preaching in Munguluni. In addition to these activities previously planned, the young people also engaged in visiting local residents, painting buildings, and transporting bricks among other tasks. On the last night of evangelism, sixty-four people were baptized.60

Showing its concern for sustainability issues, UNASP–HT leadership does its part to advance in this field. At the college, natural heat warms the water for the thirty-nine showers in the women’s dorm. The water is heated by supersensitive solar panels heated by sunlight, moonlight, wind, rain and even breeze. UNASP–HT is the third institution in Brazil to implement this type of technology, which besides contributing to the preservation of the environment, reduces the costs for the consumer. The plan is that in the future all of the school's showers work this way.61

Throughout its history, UNASP–HT has become an institution with an active role in the development of the Adventist Church in Brazil, mainly in the field of music. In recent years, it has also become an exponent in technology, ceding physical space for the construction of the Adventist Technology Institute (IATec)’s headquarters, which were inaugurated on August 14, 2017. Today, the IATec provides technological support for the Adventist Church in Brazil and worldwide.62

As of 2020, there are fifty Adventist churches in Hortolândia. The first of these churches started on campus and was later transferred to a location close to the school. This congregation helped to build the new temple and most of the other churches, directly or indirectly, whether providing labor, materials, or spiritual programs.63

What Remains to be Done to Fulfill the College's Mission

In order to achieve the main goal of preaching the message of the gospel to the world, the plans for the future of UNASP–HT involve the construction of a mission center from where it will be possible to send missionary students to different places in Brazil and the world. Additional plans include consolidating the Volunteer Service program making a permanent ministry to the residents of Hortolândia. The college's employees have worked hard to maintain positive public relations with the wider Hortolândia are and surrounding regions. The leadership of UNASP-HT has also worked to ensure that the teaching staff is fully composed of teachers who share the same faith.64

Such projects, as well as many others, have been carried out amid challenges faced in recent years in relation to changes in Brazilian educational legislation, which have affected the traditional model of education. This brings still more challenges to the preservation of the boarding system, which is a tradition in the branch of Adventist educational culture in the country. Furthermore, political and economic instability in Brazil has also brought disruptions and difficulties on the development of the college. This national tension started in mid-2014, when a series of political scandals became a major event in Brazilian history, causing an economic recession that caused the national Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to decrease and consequently, it led unemployment to rise.65

However, amid these more recent challenges and others that have been faced during the institution's 70 years of existence, several lessons could be learned. The first is that even amidst so many setbacks, God always provides the necessary conditions for the college to grow and serve the church. The second lesson is that the success of the SDA Church educational organizations depends on faithfulness to God's plan. Such success consists in promoting an integral education, which allow the development of physical, intellectual and spiritual faculties, vivid principles and genuine interest in people. Throughout history, God's people has always been blessed when it did His will. Thus, it is possible to envision an impactful future in the lives of students, employees and the community around UNASP-HT, knowing that the success of this college depends entirely on obedience to God's guidance. These guidelines have been made explicit in the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy. Through the promises fulfilled in the past, there is the assurance of blessings reserved for the journey that is still set to UNASP-HT.66

Chronology of Administrative Executives67

São Paulo Academy (1949-1952)

Waldemar Ehlers (1949-1950), Arthur Dassow (1950)

São Paulo Academy (1953-1965)

Osvaldo Rodrigues Azevedo (1951-1957), Mário Roque (1958-1965)

São Paulo Academy (1966-1973)

Arthur Dassow (1966-1971)

São Paulo Adventist Academy (1974-2001)

Tércio Sarli (1972-1980), José Iran Miguel (1980-1982), Moysés R. Prates (1983-1985)

Brazil Adventist University–Campus IASP (2002-2005)

Irineu Rosales (1986-2002), Acílio Alves Filho (2003), Paulo Cezar de Azevedo (2004)

Brazil Adventist University–Campus Hortolândia (2006-present)

Alacy Mendes Barbosa (2005-2015), Laureci Bueno do Canto (2016), Lélio Maximino Lellis (2017-2018), Afonso Ligório Cardoso (2018-present)68


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  1. Afonso Cardoso, president, Brazil Adventist University–Campus Hortolândia, e-mail message to Carlos Flavio Teixeira, ESDA assistant editor, September 2, 2019.

  2. Ibid.

  3. Hermenérico Morais and Luís H. Santos, IASP: 60 anos transformando vidas [IASP: 60 Years Transforming Lives] (Hortolândia, SP: Multicomm, 2009), 22.

  4. “The Voice of Prophecy is the oldest evangelical program on Brazilian radio, starting in 1943.” Hope Channel Brazil, “The Voice of Prophecy,” accessed on January 28, 2020,

  5. Edson Rosa, ed., 100 anos Conduzindo Vidas em São Paulo [100 Years Leading Lives in São Paulo] (Tatuí, SP: Brazil Publishing House, 2006), 128.

  6. Germano Ritter, “A Coluna Paulista” [The Pillar of São Paulo], Revista Adventista [Adventist Review], October 1947, 11.

  7. Hermenérico Morais and Luís H. Santos, IASP: 60 anos transformando vidas [IASP: 60 Years Transforming Lives] (Hortolândia, SP: Multicomm, 2009), 22.

  8. Ibid.

  9. Aparecido Paschoal, Hortolândia sempre [Hortolândia Forever] (São Paulo, SP: author’s edition, 1996), 119.

  10. Evangelist canvasser of the Seventh-day Adventist Church is the missionary who “develops his ministry by acquiring and selling to the public the publications edited and approved by the Church, to transmit to his fellow-men the eternal Gospel that brings salvation and physical and spiritual well-being.” Seventh-day Adventist Church (Brazil) website, “Colportagem” [Canvassing], accessed February 4th, 2020,

  11. Hermenérico Morais and Luís H. Santos, IASP: 60 anos transformando vidas [IASP: 60 Years Transforming Lives] (Hortolândia, SP: Multicomm, 2009), 21-23.

  12. Ibid., 24.

  13. Hermenérico Morais and Luís H. Santos, IASP: 60 anos transformando vidas [IASP: 60 Years Transforming Lives] (Hortolândia, SP: Multicomm, 2009), 24, 25.

  14. Ibid., 26.

  15. Ibid., 27.

  16. Hermenérico Morais and Luís H. Santos, IASP: 60 anos transformando vidas [IASP: 60 Years Transforming Lives] (Hortolândia, SP: Multicomm, 2009), 30.

  17. Auir José Lopes, “Instituto Adventista São Paulo (IASP)” [São Paulo Adventist Academy (IASP)], Monograph: Faculdade Adventista de Teologia [Adventist Theological Seminary] (2006): 30.

  18. Hermenérico Morais and Luís H. Santos, IASP: 60 anos transformando vidas [IASP: 60 Years Transforming Lives] (Hortolândia, SP: Multicomm, 2009), 32.

  19. Ibid., 42.

  20. Ibid., 46.

  21. Auir José Lopes, “Instituto Adventista São Paulo (IASP)” [São Paulo Adventist Academy (IASP)], Monograph: Faculdade Adventista de Teologia [Adventist Theological Seminary] (2006): 30 and 47.

  22. Ibid., 30.

  23. Editorial note: a peanut candy made with rapadura sugar, similar to American peanut brittle.

  24. Hermenérico Morais and Luís H. Santos, IASP: 60 anos transformando vidas [IASP: 60 Years Transforming Lives] (Hortolândia, SP: Multicomm, 2009), 47, 50.

  25. Ibid., 51.

  26. Ibid., 58.

  27. Ibid., 56, 58.

  28. Ibid., 60.

  29. Ibid., 82.

  30. Ibid., 83, 84.

  31. Ibid., 85.

  32. Ibid.

  33. Hermenérico Morais and Luís H. Santos, IASP: 60 anos transformando vidas [IASP: 60 Years Transforming Lives] (Hortolândia, SP: Multicomm, 2009), 88, 89; Auir José Lopes, “Instituto Adventista São Paulo (IASP)” [São Paulo Adventist Academy (IASP)], Monograph: Faculdade Adventista de Teologia [Adventist Theological Seminary] (2006): 31.

  34. Hermenérico Morais and Luís H. Santos, IASP: 60 anos transformando vidas [IASP: 60 Years Transforming Lives] (Hortolândia, SP: Multicomm, 2009), 90.

  35. Ibid., 91, 92.

  36. Auir José Lopes, “Instituto Adventista São Paulo (IASP)” [São Paulo Adventist Academy (IASP)], Monograph: Faculdade Adventista de Teologia [Adventist Theological Seminary] (2006), 31.

  37. Hermenérico Morais and Luís H. Santos, IASP: 60 anos transformando vidas [IASP: 60 Years Transforming Lives] (Hortolândia, SP: Multicomm, 2009), 123.

  38. Ibid., 111.

  39. Ibid., 90.

  40. “Internatos em festa” [Boarding Schools Celebrate], Revista Adventista [Adventist Review], November 2009, 26.

  41. “O Povo da Bíblia” [The People of the Bible], Revista Adventista [Adventist Review], November 2009, 23.

  42. “Internatos em festa” [Boarding Schools Celebrate], Revista Adventista [Adventist Review], November 2009, 27.

  43. “Data” [Date], Revista Adventista [Adventist Review], April 2018, 8.

  44. “Novos Cursos Universitários” [New College Majors], Revista Adventista [Adventist Review], June 2015, 9.

  45. Afonso Cardoso, president, Brazil Adventist University–Campus Hortolândia, e-mail message to Carlos Flavio Teixeira, ESDA assistant editor, September 2, 2019.

  46. Ibid.

  47. Hermenérico Morais and Luís H. Santos, IASP: 60 anos transformando vidas [IASP: 60 Years Transforming Lives] (Hortolândia, SP: Multicomm, 2009), 94.

  48. Hermenérico Morais and Luís H. Santos, IASP 60 anos transformando vidas [IASP: 60 Years Transforming Lives] (Hortolândia, SP: Multicomm, 2009), 96-103; Auir José Lopes, “Instituto Adventista São Paulo (IASP)” [São Paulo Adventist Academy (IASP)], Monograph: Faculdade Adventista de Teologia [Adventist Theological Seminary] (2006), 43.

  49. Auir José Lopes, “Instituto Adventista São Paulo (IASP)” [São Paulo Adventist Academy (IASP)], Monograph: Faculdade Adventista de Teologia [Adventist Theological Seminary] (2006), 43-47.

  50. Ibid., 35-38.

  51. Charlise Alves, “IASP promove doação de sangue e medula óssea” [IASP Hosts Blood and Bone Marrow Donation], Revista Adventista [Adventist Review], March 2009, 26

  52. “Câmara de Hortolândia presta tripla homenagem ao IASP” [Hortolândia City Council Pays Triple Homage to IASP], Revista Adventista [Adventist Review], February 2010, 36.

  53. “Impacto Esperança [Impact Hope] is a program that encourages the practice of reading and provides a mass annual distribution of books on the part of the Seventh-day Adventist in the South American territory.” Seventh-day Adventist Church (Brazil) website, “Impacto Esperança” [Impact Hope], accessed February 4, 2020,

  54. “Impacto Continental” [Continental Impact], Revista Adventista [Adventist Review], June 2010, 25.

  55. “No Vale da Decisão” [On the Valley of Decision], Revista Adventista [Adventist Review], December 2010, 25.

  56. “Entre a Cruz e o Mercado” [Between the Cross and the Market], Revista Adventista [Adventist Review], February 2011, 24.

  57. Ibid., 26.

  58. Rosemeire Braga, “Abrir os Olhos” [To Open the Eyes], Revista Adventista [Adventist Review], February 2011, 37.

  59. “Plantio de Igrejas” [Church Planting], Revista Adventista [Adventist Review], February 2012, 27.

  60. Jael Eneias, “Missão une Brasil e África” [Mission unites Brazil and Africa], Revista Adventista [Adventist Review], October 2011, 35.

  61. Charlise Alves, Jeanne Moura and Heron Santana, “Sustentabilidade” [Sustainability], Revista Adventista [Adventist Review], May 2011, 24.

  62. Afonso Cardoso, president, Brazil Adventist University–Campus Hortolândia, e-mail message to Carlos Flavio Teixeira, ESDA assistant editor, September 2, 2019.

  63. Ibid.

  64. Ibid.

  65. Ibid.

  66. Ibid.

  67. Hermenérico Morais and Luís H. Santos, IASP 60 anos transformando vidas [IASP: 60 Years Transforming Lives] (Hortolândia, SP: Multicomm, 2009), 11-94; Afonso Cardoso, president, Brazil Adventist University–Campus Hortolândia, e-mail menssage to Carlos Flavio Teixeira, ESDA assistant editor, September 2, 2019.

  68. Further information about UNASP-HT can be found at the following website:, Or on the social media: Facebook: @unasphortolandia, Instagram and Twitter: @unaspht and Youtube: UNASP Hortolândia.


Morais, Hermenérico, Renato Ferreira Silva. "Brazil Adventist University – Campus Hortolândia." Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. December 03, 2021. Accessed May 23, 2024.

Morais, Hermenérico, Renato Ferreira Silva. "Brazil Adventist University – Campus Hortolândia." Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. December 03, 2021. Date of access May 23, 2024,

Morais, Hermenérico, Renato Ferreira Silva (2021, December 03). Brazil Adventist University – Campus Hortolândia. Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. Retrieved May 23, 2024,