“My first inspiration to teach was from a young kind atheist educator, in a communist country.”
Two years prior to the end of the communist regime in Romania in 1989, Andrea Nagy was a young girl hoping to start attending a prestigious music school in her hometown. Having been raised in a devout Adventist family, Nagy (pronounced Nahj) was a bright, cheerful girl who loved the Lord. The school her parents wished for her to attend was run by a staunch atheist who hated Adventists and mandated school attendance on Saturday. Still, prayerfully, Nagy’s parents applied to the school knowing their daughter might face strong reproach. During her audition, a panel of teachers asked her various questions and tested her music skills. One particular teacher was present to ask her if she was an Adventist. If she answered yes, she would have been immediately disqualified. Knowing their daughter would not lie, her parents wondered how she would be allowed into the school. Miraculously, when the time came for her faith to be questioned, the teacher was called to a different room and Nagy passed the audition.
However, there was still one big issue: how could Nagy escape attending school on Sabbath? If Nagy missed multiple days of school on Sabbath, she would be expelled. Her mother spoke with her teacher, one afternoon and asked if she would be willing to not penalize Nagy for her absence. Knowing that the principal was very keen on punishing Sabbath keepers, the young educator decided to mark Nagy present on Sabbath and even gave her the homework for Saturday on Friday night so she would not fall behind. This act of kindness is what inspired Nagy to become a teacher.
One year after this story, the communist party in Romania collapsed, but to this day, Nagy still remembers fondly the courage and kindness of her teacher. Influenced by Ms.Bloj’s and her pastor for a father, an educator of sorts, Nagy decided to pursue a career in teaching. She began her undergraduate studies in music and a bachelor’s in education. By this time, her family lived in Canada where she taught music in an Adventist school. Once school was out for the summer, Nagy cultivated a love for missions while traveling to Panama on a mission trip for a month.
After three years of teaching, Nagy researched students’ commitment to religious values in Adventist schools for her doctorate in religious studies at Andrews University.
With her doctorate in hand, Dr. Nagy’s first job was with the General Conference, publishing sabbath school lessons for teens and youth. While working there, Dr. Nagy met Dr. and Mrs. Neil Nedley and began a friendship with them. Over the years, Dr. Nagy has helped edit books he has published and Dr. Nedley wrote many health articles for the sabbath school lessons she edited. In 2017, Dr. Nedley asked her to work at Weimar University but Dr. Nagy refused. However, shortly thereafter, Dr. Nagy began teaching again and reconsidered the opportunity to work at Weimar University. During her interview, Dr. Nagy expressed her hesitance in teaching at the university. However, after hearing about Weimar University’s TCI (total community involvement) program and missionary efforts, Dr. Nagy saw that the standards of true godly education were upheld here.
Dr. Nagy’s joy is serving God; and people-centered mission is her passion. Throughout her life, one Bible passage that has inspired her is 1 Peter 3:15 “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts and always be ready to give a defense for the hope that lies in you with meekness and with fear.” For her, this verse details how to be a good missionary. She says “Christians should display the hope that is in us, not sad and depressed.” Dr.Nagy decided to delight herself in the Lord, His missions, and godly education.