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While recently sitting on a long plane ride, the person sitting next to me inquired about what I do for a living. I mentioned that I work in private education affiliated with the Seventh-day Adventist Church. I was surprised when he wanted to dig deeper into the conversation. He noted that, for the first time, he and his extended family considered private education as an alternative to public education. They all had a long history in public education but were unhappy with copious changes, especially in community core values and changes in traditional family values, impacting their children’s learning. I provided him with contact information for the nearest Adventist school where he lives. Let’s see how the Holy Spirit leads.

Contemporary issues and trends in education are all about connecting school learning to the lives we lead and the hope we have for the future. Current events that reflect this have become more critical to Christian families. Public schools originated to spread religious beliefs in the United States, but today are strictly secular. That is why private education came into vogue, and the Adventist school system began to flourish in North America. Adventist education, historically, has been the catalyst for providing the Adventist church with workers to sustain a growing world church, a place for teaching Biblical truth, and perpetuating Adventist beliefs.

Elon Musk stated,

“If you go back a few hundred years, what we take for granted today would seem like magic – being able to talk to people over long distances, to transmit images, flying, accessing vast amounts of data like an oracle.”

Much of what transpires in our lives, schools, and homes seem very normal, maybe even mundane, but during my lifetime the changes that have taken place are unimaginable. I suggest we need to be careful that we don’t become glossy eyed with familiarity. Scott Barron, Founder and Chief Reinvention Officer of School Growth, refers to the paradox of “the more visible things are, the more invisible they become.” We can become blind by seeing each day as a similar one.

As we enter the 2022-2023 school year, let us embrace the uniqueness of our school system. Let us look for miracles, daily, to help spark our minds, reset our perspectives, and to find joy in working with His children. Let us build a community where learners thrive, where there are new possibilities, and we as educators can make someone smile, where we can influence the love of learning, and, prayerfully, where we can lead someone to Jesus.


Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, worn, or consumed. Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace, and gratitude.”—Denis Waitley


Arne Nielsen, PhD

Vice President of Education

Arne Nielsen, PhD

Vice President of Education

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