Jesus once asked in Luke 18:8, “When the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?” What if a similar question was asked today: “Will He find Adventist education in our Adventist schools?” Let’s take time to reflect on how we have implemented our educational philosophy.
Every Adventist school stakeholder needs to embody the Adventist education philosophy, which is Christ‐centered. We aim to restore human beings to the image of their Maker, cooperating with divine agencies in preparing learners for responsible citizenship in this world and in the world to come. Adventist education fosters the balanced development of the whole person. It seeks to develop a life of faith in God and respect for the dignity of all human beings; to build character akin to that of the Creator; to nurture thinkers rather than mere reflectors of others’ thoughts; to promote loving service rather than selfish ambition; to ensure maximum development of each individual’s potential; to embrace all that is true, good, and beautiful. What elements should we consider to ensure that we are implementing our education philosophy fully?
The Seventh‐day Adventist Church should make a commitment to provide a broad education and spiritual formation for its children, youth, and young adults within the context of the Christian worldview. The Church extends this same opportunity to other children and youth of the community who share similar values and ideals. The church should maintain academic excellence in all teaching and learning activities by providing financial support, facilities and ensuring that all church members have opportunities for contributing to the school.
Adventist teachers should be committed Adventist Christians and exemplary role models of Christian character. In addition to having extensive professional competencies in teaching, Adventist teachers should show love for their students. They should avoid favoritism, bullying, and any kind of harassment toward students. The purpose of Adventist education is to help students reach their highest potential and to fulfill God’s purpose for their lives. Students in Adventist schools should be loved, accepted, and treated as children of God no matter what their behaviors.
They must also have a spirit of evangelism, realizing that they are chosen and placed in God’s field to bring these young souls to Christ and prepare them to be heirs of the kingdom of heaven.
The Adventist school curriculum should promote academic excellence and include a core of general studies needed for responsible citizenship along with spiritual insights that inform Christian living and build community. A balanced, integrated curriculum will address the major developmental needs of students in the spiritual, intellectual, physical, social, emotional, and vocational realms. All areas of study will be examined from the perspective of the biblical worldview within the context of the Great Controversy theme.
The School Environment
The learning environment should be characterized by a blended emphasis on worship, study, labor, and recreation, with careful attention given to balance. The campus community will be pervaded by joyful spirituality, a spirit of cooperation, and respect for the diversity of individuals and cultures.
Read part 2 next week!