Adventist education prepares people for useful and joy-filled lives, fostering friendships with God, whole-person development, Bible-based values, and selfless service in accordance with the Seventh-day Adventist mission to the world.
The Education Department of the General Conference provides - in collaboration with division education directors - overall coordination and supervision of (1) the philosophical priorities, (2) quality control, (3) strategic planning, (4) leadership training, and (5) promotion of the global Adventist educational system, in support of the mission of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.
Though primary education for children was advocated by Adventists during the 1850s and 1860s, it was not until the early 1870s that the Adventist Church began to develop a denominationally-based school system. The Adventist interests in propagating education was founded upon the philosophy that students at all levels of schooling possess individuality and should be educated to use their God-given capacities to become individuals of character, qualified for any position of life. Education was to begin in the home where the basic values of redemptive discipline and mental and physical health were to be balanced with the importance of work. The church and the school should complete the important task of education, at their respective levels of responsibility.
Since these early days Adventists have embraced the philosophy that education should be redemptive in nature, for the purpose of restoring human beings to the image of God, our Creator.
Mental, physical, social, and spiritual health, intellectual growth, and service to humanity form a core of values that are essential aspects of the Adventist education philosophy.
To ensure that the church gives appropriate and professional approach to the church's education interests, the Education Department was established on all levels of the church's administrative system, with responsibility to ensure that the Adventist philosophy of education and the principles of faith-and-learning are integrated into the life of each of its more than one million students in its 5,600 schools, colleges and universities around the world, in 145 countries.
Working closely with the education office of the corporate world headquarters, and with the offices of the other 12 world divisions (geographical regions) of the church, the Euroafrica Education Department operates in this part of the world, with its basis in Bern, Switzerland. Its staff is there to serve our communities and schools, and to help to ensure the quality of the global Seventh-day Adventist educational system. Its work also includes collaboration with other ministries of the church to help nurture the faith of Adventist students attending colleges and universities outside of the denomination system worldwide.