General Conference Education Department: Objectives - Outcomes - Activities

Overview

The General Conference Education Department staff is responsible for the supervision, coordination, quality control, and planning for the global Seventh day Adventist educational system, which includes 5,600 schools, academies, colleges and universities, with 51,000 teachers and 996,000 students. The Church operates the world's largest unified church related educational system.

The departmental staff consists of a director, three associate directors, and one assistant director/editor, supported by three secretaries.
 

Clientele

With counsel from a general vice president, the Education Department staff serves and supervises two main clienteles.

  • Directly: Division Education Department directors as well as boards, administrators, and the faculty of Adventist colleges and universities worldwide.
  • In cooperation with Division Education Departments: Educational leaders at union/conference/mission levels and educators in Adventist elementary and secondary schools around the world.


Organizationally, the GC Education Department works with the Division Education Departments in supervising Adventist colleges and universities, and ensuring that Union Education Departments achieve their objectives. In turn, the Division Education Departments work with the Union Education Departments in supervising secondary schools, and ensuring that Conference/Mission Education Departments achieve their objectives. On their part, Union Education Departments work with Conference/Mission Education Departments in supervising elementary schools and in promoting the objectives of Adventist education in local congregations.

Objectives - Outcomes - Activities

Objective 1

A strong global educational system with schools, colleges, and universities offering programs of recognized quality that reflect and convey the beliefs, values, and mission of the Church.

Evidences that this objective is being achieved:

  • Each Adventist college and university as well as its degree programs have received denominational recognition by the International Board of Education and have current denominational accreditation by the Adventist Accrediting Association.
  • Each Adventist college and university as well as its degree programs have obtained recognition from either government authorities or regional and/or professional accrediting associations.
  • An increase in the number of Adventist secondary schools, colleges, and universities that have developed and are implementing a spiritual malter plan, monitored by their governing board. Results of the plan are regularly shared with its constituency and are used to refine the plan.
  • An increase in the number of Adventist schools, colleges, and universities with significant numbers of non Adventist students that have developed and are implementing a plan, monitored by their governing boards, to effectively present the Adventist message to these students and their families.


This objective is pursued through the following activities and programs:

  • The International Board of Education (IBE), of which the Department serves as staff, coordinates the world system of Adventist education. It reviews proposals for establishing new Adventist institutions of higher learning and for initiating new degree programs. These proposais, received through the Division Education Departments, are evaluated by IBE committees such as Health Professional Education and Theological Education. Once approved, these new institutions and programs are granted denominational recognition and recommended to the Adventist Accrediting Association for candidacy status.
  • The Adventist Accrediting Association (AAA), of which the Department serves as staff, is the denominational accrediting authority for ail secondary, tertiary, and graduate educational programs and institutions operated by the Church. The AAA develops procedures and materials for institutional self assessment, organizes evaluation visits to colleges/universities leading to recommendations pertaining to the institutions denominational accreditation status. It also grants accreditation to secondary schools upon recommendation from the Division commissions on accreditation. It publishes a Directory of Accredited Colleges and Universities with a listing of their denominationally recognized and accredited programs.
  • Organization of international seminars and workshops designed to strengthen the leadership skills of educational administrators and leaders in Division/Unions and in Adventist institutions of higher learning.
  • Collecting educational statistics and interpreting trends for informed administrative decision making and publishing them in the World Report.
  • Other activities: Development of educational policies for the General Conference, supervision of Division wide educational surveys, advice to Divisions/Unions and institutional boards on educational matters, assistance in locating personnel to carry out the mission of Adventist education, and coordination of academic sessions and educational tours across Division boundaries.


Objective 2

Competent educators in Adventist schools who are qualified in their fields, know how to integrate faith and learning, and effectively transmit Adventist beliefs and values to their students.

Evidences that this objective is being achieved:

  • An increase in the number of teachers in each Adventist secondary school, college, and university who have obtained terminal degrees appropriate for their teaching level and have secured teacher certification from governmental, professional, and denominational authorities.
  • An increase in the number of Adventist colleges and universities whose students have a yearly opportunity to anonymously rate the quality of the instruction received from each teacher and also to rate the degree to which Adventist beliefs and values have been conveyed by each teacher.
  • An increase in the number of teachers in each world division who receive copies of the Journal of Adventist Education in either English, French, Portuguese, or Spanish.
  • An increase in the number of students in each Adventist secondary school, college, and university who have performed well in governmental and professional examinations.
  • An increase in the number of Adventist college and universities that survey alumni ten or more years alter completing their studies to determine the academic, professional, and spiritual effectiveness of their education and make appropriate institutional adjustments.


This objective is pursued through the following activities and programs:

  • Publication of the Journal of Adventist Éducation in English (now in its 60th year) and also in French, Portuguese, and Spanish, to foster the integration of faith learning and to provide continuing education to teachers.
  • Operation of the Institute for Christian Teaching, a service of the Department, which organizes interdisciplinary seminars for teachers on the integration of faith and learning, publishes relevant essays in the Christ in the Classroom series and develops curricular materials for secondary schools.
  • Coordination and support for the development of Bible and other textbooks, manuals, and materials for Adventist schools at various levels to enhance the transmission of Adventist beliefs and values.


Objective 3

Church members, pastors, and church administrators who value, plan for, and support Adventist education.

Evidences that this objective is being achieved:

  • An increase in the number of world divisions and unions that conduct regular demographic surveys to determine the number of qualified Adventist school age children, youth, and young adults in their territories. This allows educational leaders and administrators to know the percentage of Adventist students attending and not attending denominational schools, colleges, and universities, and to make appropriate plans.
  • An increase in the number of pastors and church administrators who have been exposed to reports on percentage enrollment trends in our schools, colleges, and universities as well as on the academic quality and the spiritual benefits of Adventist education.
  • An increase in the number of parents who send their children and youth to Adventist schools, academies, and colleges/universities.
  • $An increase in the number of baptisms of non Adventist students and their families
  • An increase in the number of schools, academies, and colleges/universities established in response to membership growth, demonstrated needs, and solid plans.


This objective is pursued through the following activities and programs:

  • Providing technical support to world divisions that conduct demographic surveys of school age children, youth, and young adults in their territories.
  • Coordinating and guiding the development of spiritual master plans for Adventist schools and holding seminars and workshops to intentionally transmit Adventist beliefs and values.
  • Preparation of articles, sermons, and presentations promoting the philosophy, objectives, and achievements of Adventist education
  • Compilation and publication of the World Report to monitor trends and develop strategies relating to Adventist education.
  • Increased utilization of Adventist schools and programs to establish an Adventist presence in unentered areas of the world in support of Global Mission.


Objective 4

Adventist students in public colleges and universities who are committed to the Church's beliefs and values, share their faith on the secular campus, and upon graduation support Adventist mission as professionals.

Evidences that this objective is being achieved:

  • An increase in the number of world divisions and unions that provide an effective ministry for Adventist students attending non Adventist colleges and universities, and that distribute Dialogue free among them.
  • An increase in the number of Adventist students in secular campuses who live and share their faith with their colleagues and teachers.
  • An increase in the number of Adventist students in secular campuses who, upon graduation, make their services available to Adventist organizations and support the Church with their talents and resources.


This objective is pursued through the following activities and programs:

  • Involvement in an inter departmental program (AMiCUS), with Adventist Chaplaincy Ministries and Youth Ministries, to support initiatives and activities at the division and union levels on behalf of more than 200,000 young adults whose schools and degrees are needed in Adventist colleges and universities as well as in other facets of Adventist mission.
  • Service as the editorial staff for the publication of College and University Dialogue in English, French, Portuguese, and Spanish editions as part of the AMiCUS program.