Foundational Concepts in Seventh-day Adventist Education
A Rationale for Adventist Education
- To educate children and youth for a useful life in the context of biblical, Christian faith.
- To train Adventist denominational workers and lay leaders who will devote their talents to accomplish the church's mission.
- To strengthen the Christian commitment of Adventist youth and to attract non Adventist young people to Christ and to the Seventh day Adventist Church.
- To exert an uplifting influence on society in ever widening circles through service, evangelism, research, and discoveries carried out by Adventist educators, students, and alumni.
- To cooperate with the Church in discovering new truths, developing strategies, and providing Christian answers to issues raised by contemporary society.
Core Concepts of Adventist Educational Philosophy
In Adventist education:
- We see the Christian formation of children and youth as part of a cooperative process that involves home/parents, school/teachers, and church/religious leaders. Students learn that they belong to a special people with a history, a mission, and a glorious destiny, in which they can play an important role.
- The Bible constitutes the basis and reference point of school endeavors. The entire curricular and co-curricular program reflects the worldview and the principles revealed in the Scriptures. Teachers and students believe that the same Holy Spirit that inspired the Bible writers will guide those who approach it with a teachable attitude.
- Jesus Christ and His teachings are accorded a position of privilege on campus. Youth are encouraged to accept Him as Creator, Savior, Lord, and coming King, and to commit their lives to Him. Establishing a friendly relationship with Him brings meaning and hope to our lives.
- Educators seek each student's balanced development in every dimension of life. Students are led to adopt a simple and healthy lifestyle. The ultimate goal is shalom, peaceful harmony with God, themselves, others, and nature.
- The main objective is to help students develop a solid Christian character, to realize their individuel worth as God's children, embrace Christian values, and learn to make principled choices. This goal is best reached in a context of responsable freedom and redemptive discipline.
- Teachers and students acknowledge that all truth is God's truth, and every field of study can broaden and deepen their understanding of truth as revealed in Jesus, the Bible, and nature. The curriculum favors interdisciplinary and practical learning.
- Service to fellow human beings, motivated by God's love, is the ideal purpose of life. Priority is given to the qualities of justice, active compassion, generosity, and honest work. School programs foster activities that alleviate human needs.
- Students are motivated toward informed, independent, creative, and responsible thought, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Instead of letting themselves be molded by the surrounding culture, they learn to approach it with critical discernment from God's perspective, learning to choose the true, the good, and the beautiful.
- Youth learn by experience to take an active part in God's plan of redemption. Acknowledging their roles as sait and leaven, they seek to bring this world into closer harmony with His original plan.
- Students discover their talents and vocation, and prepare themselves for a useful life of self directed learning. The ultimate goal is to help each of them to qualify as citizens of Christ s kingdom, where their education will continue throughout eternity with God.
Humberto M. Rasi February 1998