GC EXCOM? NADYEM? Haystacks?
What does this stuff mean?!
No worries. Adventists haven’t exactly mastered the art of abbreviating terms. Fortunately, we’re here to decode it for ya.


Stands for “Association of Adventist Colleges and Universities.” It is an organization founded in 2002, with the goal of promoting cooperation between, and raising awareness of, Adventist colleges and universities in North America.


Amazing Facts is a Christian media ministry dedicated to sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ and the three angels' message of Revelation 14.

Annual Council

The annual meeting of the general conference officers and representatives that takes place between General Conference sessions. One happens in the Spring and one happens in the Fall. Decisions made at the annual council may be reviewed or changed during a General Conference session.


Independent educational ministry, which fosters to develop more intentional Seventh-day Adventists. It holds enrichment programs in different places around the world, through intensive weekend seminars, or online.


Stands for “Adventist-laymen’s Services & Industries.” It is a membership-based organization of Seventh-day Adventist laypeople

Camp Meeting

Camp meeting is an annual spiritual retreat for Seventh-day Adventist members and guests, taking place during the summer. It is hosted by local conferences and includes seminars, inspirational speakers, music, the ABC book sale, and activities geared for children and teens.


It stands for “General Conference Administration Committee,” which is a committee of 58 members (46 members and 12 invitees) that meet weekly at the GC Conference to oversee matters of the church and its operation.


It stands for “General Conference Executive Committee,” which is a committee of 474 members (345 members and 129 invitees) from all the different divisions in the world.  They meet twice a year, during the Annual Council and Spring Meetings.

GC President

Head of the General Conference, the governing body of Seventh-day Adventist. Currently, the GC President is Ted Wilson, who was elected in the 2010 GC Conference Session in Atlanta, GA and re-elected at the 2015 GC Session in San Antonio, TX.


GYC (Generation of Youth for Christ) is a youth-led movement that holds various events including a yearly conference where attendees can receive training and the chance to network with others around the world.

Independent Ministry

A ministry who is not officially affiliated to the Seventh-day Adventist Church, but may still support its mission and institutions.


The North American Division (NAD) is the region of Seventh-day Adventist that oversees Canada, the United States, and U.S.-controlled territories. In church structure, it fits between Unions and the General Conference.


North American Division Year-End Meeting is the NAD’s version of Annual Council where they vote on issues relevant to the division.


The One Project seeks - through gatherings, conversations, web-based content, and Christ-focused publications - to stimulate preaching, worship, and adoration of Jesus within and through the Adventist church.

Oshkosh (camporee)

Oshkosh is the international Pathfinder camporee that meets every five years and takes place in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.


An Adventist organization and ministry similar to Boy and Girl Scouts of America, geared toward children ages 10-15 with the objectives of building knowledge of nature and a relationship with God.


This is the GC President’s Executive Advisory.

Regional Conferences

The North American Division Regional Conferences are conferences designed to give black Americans a space and voice in the Seventh-day Adventist Church. They were created in the mid-1900’s and they overlap in territory with traditional conferences.

Spirit of Prophecy

An unofficial way Adventists sometimes refer to Ellen G. White’s writings, which Seventh-day Adventists believe are an inspired message from God for the last days of Earth’s history.

Church Structure (different layers)

The Seventh-day Adventist church has a bottom-up representative structure that goes as follows:

  • The Local Church - made up of individuals

  • The Conference - made up of several churches in a state/province/territory

  • The Union - made up of several conferences

  • The Division - made up of several unions for a total of 13 divisions worldwide

  • The General Conference - organized to help facilitate work and structure throughout the world

List of Unions in the NAD and which conferences are in them:

  • Atlantic Union Conference

    • Bermuda Conference

    • Greater New York Conference

    • New York Conference

    • Northeastern Conference (AAC)

    • Northern New England Conference

    • Southern New England Conference

  • Seventh-day Adventist Church in Canada

    • Alberta Conference

    • British Columbia Conference 

    • Manitoba-Saskatchewan Conference

    • Maritime Conference

    • Ontario Conference

    • Quebec Conference 

    • Seventh-day Adventist Church in Newfoundland and Labrador

  • Columbia Union Conference

    • Allegheny East Conference (AAC)

    • Allegheny West Conference (AAC)

    • Chesapeake Conference

    • Mountain View Conference

    • New Jersey Conference

    • Ohio Conference

    • Pennsylvania Conference

    • Potomac Conference

  • Lake Union Conference

    • Illinois Conference

    • Indiana Conference

    • Lake Region Conference (AAC)

    • Michigan Conference

    • Wisconsin Conference

  • Mid-America Union Conference

    • Central States Conference (AAC)

    • Dakota Conference

    • Iowa-Missouri Conference

    • Kansas-Nebraska Conference

    • Minnesota Conference

    • Rocky Mountain Conference

  • North Pacific Union Conference

    • Alaska Conference

    • Idaho Conference

    • Montana Conference

    • Oregon Conference

    • Upper Columbia Conference

    • Washington Conference

  • Pacific Union Conference

    • Arizona Conference

    • Central California Conference

    • Hawaii Conference

    • Nevada-Utah Conference

    • Northern California Conference

    • Southeastern California Conference

    • Southern California Conference

  • Southern Union Conference

    • Carolina Conference

    • Florida Conference

    • Georgia-Cumberland Conference

    • Gulf States Conference

    • Kentucky-Tennessee Conference

    • South Atlantic Conference (AAC)

    • South Central Conference (AAC)

    • Southeastern Conference (AAC)

  • Southwestern Union Conference

    • Arkansas-Louisiana Conference

    • Oklahoma Conference

    • Southwest Region Conference (AAC)

    • Texas Conference

    • Texico Conference

  • Guam Micronesia Mission

List of Adventist Universities in the NAD and their locations

List of Regional Conferences and their regions

The regional conferences are as follows:

  • Allegheny East Conference: located in the Columbia Union, covering Baltimore, the Bay area, the Delaware Valley area, the Northern New Jersey area, Virginia, and the Washington Metro area

  • Allegheny West Conference: separated from the Allegheny East Conference because of quickly growing memberships. Covers Ohio, western Pennsylvania, West Virginia, specific sections of Virginia, and the tip end of Maryland

  • Bermuda Conference: located in Bermuda, covering Bermuda

  • Central States Conference: located in the Mid-American Union, covering Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, and Nebraska

  • Lake Region Conference: located in the Lake Union, covering Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana, and Minnesota

  • Northeastern Conference: located in the Atlantic Union, covering New York, New England, and Bermuda

  • North Pacific Union Conference: located in the North Pacific Union, covering Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington

  • Pacific Union Conference: located in the Pacific Union, covering Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, and Utah

  • South Atlantic Conference: located in the Southern Union, covering the Carolinas, Florida, and Georgia Cumberland

  • South Central Conference: located in the Southern Union, covering Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi and the portion of Florida lying west of the Apalachicola River

  • Southeastern Conference: located in the Southern Union, covering Florida

  • Southwest Regional Conference: located in the Southwestern Union, covering Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas