Order of Merit to Jan Paulsen
Former Seventh-day Adventist world church President, Dr. Jan Paulsen (77), has been appointed Commander of the Royal Norwegian Order of Merit. The announcement from the Royal Palace states that: “H. M. The King has appointed Jan Paulsen Commander of the Royal Norwegian Order of Merit for meritorious work for the good of humanity.”
“I am totally surprised and very honored by this recognition coming from H. M. The King of Norway and his councilors,” said Jan Paulsen. “It warms my heart that the accolade came with the recognition ‘Service for the good of humanity’, for that is what the life of Christian service is all about,” Paulsen added.
The Royal Norwegian Order of Merit was founded King Olav V in 1985 and is conferred on foreign and Norwegian nationals as a reward for their outstanding service in the interest of Norway. The actual date when Paulsen will be presented with the insignia of the order has yet to be decided.
“It is a great honor for the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Norway that the global service of Dr. Paulsen has been recognized in this way,” said Pastor Reidar J. Kvinge, leader of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Norway.
Pastor Paulsen was the world leader of the Seventh-day Adventist Church from 1999 to 2010. He holds a Doctor of Theology degree from the University of Tübingen in Germany. Dr Paulsen began his ministerial service in 1953 in Norway and has served as teacher in Ghana and as teacher and college president in Nigeria. From 1976-1980 he was the Principal of church-run Newbold College in England which houses the main theological faculty of the church in the Trans-European region. For twelve years he served as the President of the Trans-European Division with headquarters in St. Albans, England. Throughout his career Jan Paulsen has shown particular interest in furthering higher education in Africa. His initiative in establishing the humanitarian response of the Adventist Chruch to the Aids pandemic is also notable.
The Seventh-day Adventist Church has 17 million members world wide and 4,700 members in Norway. Jan Paulsen lives in the Washington D.C. area, he is married to Kari (nee Trykkerud) and has three adult children.