Adventist education is only unique because it supports and communicates education in the context of an Adventist worldview and philosophy. The Spirit of Prophecy provides an invitation for Adventist educators to make an eternal difference in the lives of its learners. Numerous books are dedicated to the establishment and philosophy of providing a Christian education for Adventist youth. Ellen G. White, Education, p. 296, posits “something better is the watchword of [Adventist] education, the law of all true living.” I would like to suggest that Adventist education provides “something better” as it blends spiritual values into all its pedagogy.
Spiritual values that impact our youth are taught at home, at church, in pathfinders, at school, and in many areas impacting student life and learning. It is a collaboration of leaders that requires commitment from each participant in a young person’s life and education journey. George Knight (2016), noted Adventist author, scholar, pastor, and lifelong educator, points out that “pupils are active rather than passive” and the “teacher’s role is that of advisor, guide, and fellow traveler.” This underscores the importance of what transpires in the classroom each day between student and teacher. Further, Knight supports the notion that classrooms are places for students to practice problem solving skills in a cooperative and democratic environment. A safe place. A space where transformation takes place through the work of the Holy Spirit and gentle guidance of a teacher.
The spiritual leadership theorist, Louis Fry (2003), writes that “the purpose of spiritual leadership is to create vision and value congruence” and asserts that, to motivate [students], “leaders must get in touch with their core values and communicate them to [students] through vision and personal actions.” Educators are called by God to share and teach spiritual values actively and intentionally. I am reminded of Solomon’s wise words “Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old, they will not turn from it” (Proverbs 22:6, NIV). This is our goal, this is our collective prayer for our kids.
Prayers and courage,
Fry, L. W. (2003). Toward a theory of spiritual leadership. Leadership Quarterly, 14(6), 263–727.
Knight, G. (2016). Educating for Eternity: A Seventh-day Adventist Philosophy of Education. Berrien Springs, MI: Andrews University Press.
Arne Nielsen, PhD
Vice President of Education
Arne P. Nielsen believes that the real object of education, through the work of the Holy Spirit, is to transform the lives of students and “restore in man the image of his Maker …promoting the development of body, mind, and soul.”
Arne holds a PhD in Leadership from Andrews University, a Master’s in School Administration from Western Carolina University, and a Bachelor of Science from Andrews University.
The Spirit of Prophecy provides an invitation for Adventist educators to make an eternal difference in the lives of its learners.
Sign up to receive a notification in your inbox when a new issue of Engage is published!
Sign up for our newsletter
copyright 2021 North American Division of Adventist Education. all rights reserved.