Why operate Adventist schools?
The Adventist pioneers clearly believed their schools were to preach the third angel’s message and do the work of the church. According to Ellen White, the ultimate educational aim is “service.”
But being able to serve implies training in both the intellectual and moral realms. The early believers generally agreed that (1) character development was crucial, that (2) the common branches of study as well as the arts and sciences were important, and that (3) the biblical worldview must provide the matrix in which Christian understanding takes place.
Thus, although early Adventists largely agreed on the ultimate goal of Christian education as service and the instrumental aims as character development and acquiring knowledge from a biblical perspective, it was Ellen White who supplied the church’s educators with the primary aimof Christian education when she equated true education with redemption. In addition, she provided the denomination with the means to fulfill its ultimate aim of service to God and humanity in the modern world when she counseled the church to move in the direction of accredited programs.
The Adventist Church in the late 19th and early 20th centuries was repeatedly forced to clarify its educational goals. The Adventist Church in the 21st century needs to keep its eyes on those aims as it seeks to serve contemporary society.
The Journal of Adventist Education
Knight, George R., "The Aims of Adventist Education: A Historical Perspective" (2015). Faculty Publications. 74.
Retrieved April 12, 2016 from http://circle.adventist.org//files/jae/en/jae201577040404.pdf