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A broader scope, a higher aim



Summer 2022

Educational issues remain a hot topic of debate across the North American Division territory as well as worldwide. School systems are in a constant state of flux and reform, so there is never a shortage of delicate, complex issues worthy of discussion and debate. Adventist Education (AE) has its  unique challenges as we move out of the fog of COVID. Local schools and their governing boards continue to wrestle with new and unexpected demands as they provide needed character development, academic preparation, and service opportunities for our youth. This often repeated and timeless Ellen G. White quote from the book Education (1903) comes to mind:

The Adventist philosophy of education and the principles we hold dear are as important today as they were 150 years ago. Because of world events, we now have an opportunity to reaffirm how we provide and deliver AE from Early Childhood through college and beyond. Martin Luther King, Jr. noted that “the function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character – that is the goal of true education.”  Sage advice that resonates with us as Adventist educators.

We all have an investment in the future, and we all want children and young adults to receive the best educational opportunities possible. Adventist schools remain distinctive and unique compared to other private, public and independent schools. We should never compromise on that platform. George Knight, in his book Educating for Eternity (2016), states that “[o]nly when [educators] clearly understand their philosophy and examine and evaluate its implications for daily activity in [an Adventist] setting can they expect to be effective in reaching their personal goals and those of the school for which they teach” (p. 19). Knight’s law declares: “It is impossible to arrive at your destination unless you know where you are going” (p. 19).

It was God who “ordained” the Adventist school system, providing a direction for us to go, and ultimately, a clear path to arrive at our destination. AE remains a significant contributor to the success of the Adventist church at large and is it’s longest running evangelist series. As we transition into a new normal, White reminds us that “[w]e have nothing to fear for the future, except as we shall forget the way the Lord has led us, and His teaching in our past history” (Councils for the Church, p. 359).



Arne Nielsen, PhD

Vice President of Education

Arne Nielsen, PhD

Vice President of Education

Our ideas of education take too narrow and too low a range. There is need of a broader scope, a higher aim. True education means more than the pursual of a certain course of study. It means more than a preparation for the life that now is. It has to do with the whole being, and with the whole period of existence possible to man. It is the harmonious development of the physical, the mental, and the spiritual powers. It prepares the student for the joy of service in this world and for the higher joy of wider service in the world to come (p. 131).

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