Dr. Ivan Omaña serves as the Director/Endorser of Adventist Chaplaincy Ministries and President of Adventist Chaplaincy Institute at the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. He assumed his duties in June 2022.
Born in Venezuela, Omaña’s family history is tied closely to the growth of Adventism in that country. His great-grandfather, Julio, became a Seventh-day Adventist in 1922 and at the 1935 General Conference Session in San Francisco, he became the first Venezuelan Pastor to ordained to the gospel ministry.
Other Omaña family members have also served the church. His father and one of his uncles are retired Adventist ministers, an aunt served as under-treasurer for the Inter-American Division, his mother was the Children’s Ministries Director and Shepherdess coordinator for the Inter-American Division his father served as Ministerial Secretary.
At age 18, Omaña came to the United States to complete his undergraduate degree in theology at Columbia Union College (now Washington Adventist University). Following graduation, he returned to pastor in Venezuela for the next ten years. Two years after his return to Venezuela, Ivan met and married Anabel. They have a daughter, Ivonne.
During a family trip to Florida, Omaña learned more about chaplaincy in a conversation with a chaplain at Florida Hospital. Before he returned to Venezuela, a chaplaincy position opened and Omaña applied, and was hired.
Omaña began his chaplaincy at the Adventist Care Centers in the Greater Orlando area.
In 2002, Ivan transitioned to Florida Hospital Kissimmee as the full-time chaplain. In 2015 Omaña assumed the duties as an Assistant Director of Adventist Chaplaincy Ministries for the North American Division. He served as Associate Director of Adventist Chaplaincy Ministries—GC prior to being elected Director.
Omaña holds a Master of Divinity degree from Florida Center for Theological Studies and a Doctor of Ministry degree from Denver Theological Seminary and is an ordained Seventh-day Adventist pastor. He is a Board Certified Pastoral Counselor by the American Association of Christian Counselors, a Board Certified Chaplain by the Association of Professional Chaplains, as well as the College of Pastoral Supervision and Psychotherapy and an Associate Clinical Pastoral Education Supervisor with College of Pastoral Supervision and Psychotherapy.
He is also certified in Acute Stress, Grief, and Trauma Intervention by the American Association of Christian Counselors. He is a member of the Association of Professional Chaplains, the American Association of Christian Counselors, the Association of Clinical Pastoral Education, and is endorsed by Adventist Chaplaincy Ministries. He chairs the Adventist Chaplaincy Institute Board of Certification and is endorsed as a chaplain by Adventist Chaplaincy Ministries—North American Division.
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Deena Bartel-Wagner is the owner of Verbal Oxygen Creative Services. She has worked as a freelance writer, editor, and journalist for 35 years. She has authored hundreds of articles that have appeared in Adventist and other Christian publications as well as secular publications. Among Adventist publications, Deena has written for the GraceLink Sabbath School Lessons, the Adventist Review, Collegiate Quarterly, Adult Bible Study Guide, Winner, Guide Magazine, and Adventist Mission. Not limiting her writing to print publications, she is also the scriptwriter for Mission Sonlight. She has recently accepted as a book reviewer for Thomas Nelson Publishing and will be blogging her thoughts about book topics ranging from politics to biographies and theological essays.
Deena currently is the publications editor for the General Conference Department of Adventist Chaplaincy Ministries and oversees the production of two quarterly journals, The Adventist Chaplain and For God and Country.
Deena simultaneously earned a bachelor of arts degree in journalism from Union College in Lincoln, Nebraska and an associate of science degree in radio broadcasting from Barton County Community College.
Experiencing other cultures is one of the opportunities that Deena values in developing her writing voice. She has lived and worked in Thailand, the Marshall Islands, the Chuuk Islands and the Republic of Congo. While in the Congo, her editorial skills were put to the test as she edited publications for the World Health Organization in both English and French.
Deena is married to Gary, a retired pastor, and the Southeast Asia Regional Director for Gospel Outreach. Their family includes their three children, Justin, Ashley and Jordan, their daughter-in-law Ashley, and three granddaughters.
When she isn’t writing, you will find Deena following her other passions of backpacking, breadmaking, reading anything historical, and tracking down the perfect bar of chocolate.