Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


School of Education


Educational Psychology, Ed.D.

First Advisor

Merle A. Greenway

Second Advisor

George R. Knight

Third Advisor

Edward A. Streeter


Problem. Warren Eugene Howell served the Seventh-day Adventist educational system as an administrator and teacher for thirty-four years. He pioneered in two important Adventist educational institutions and led the General Conference Education Department during a critical period in the history of Seventh-day Adventist education. Notwithstanding Howell's contribution to Adventist education, no comprehensive study of his administration has been attempted.

Method. In this study a historical-documentary method of research has been used. Correspondence collections; minutes of boards, committees, and faculty meetings; church periodicals; transcripts of lectures; and miscellaneous archival materials have provided primary source materials. These sources may be found in the Adventist Heritage Center and Andrews University, Berrien Springs, Michigan; the Ellen G. White Research Centers in Washington, D.C., and Andrews University; the archives of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, Washington, D.C.; and the archives and special collections of the Loma Linda University Libraries, Loma Linda, California.

Conclusions. During Howell's thirty-four years in Seventh-day Adventist education, he served as academy principal, president of two colleges, founding principal of the Fireside Correspondence School, and assistant then executive secretary of the department of education of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. As academy principal, Howell faced the challenge of introducing Christian values to a non-Christian student body in a mission school setting. He promoted school growth, planned new facilities, supervised the faculty, and developed programs. In his role as college president, he fought to prevent the financial collapse of Healdsburg College, then presided over its demise. Following this experience, he pioneered in establishing the College of Evangelists, which later became Loma Linda University, one of the leading institutions in the Adventist educational system. While assistant secretary and executive secretary of the department of education, Howell promoted Adventist education, encouraged greater professional development of teachers, stimulated enrollment growth in Adventist schools, wrote prolifically for Adventist publications, and struggled with changes brought by shifting societal values and rising standards of education. As an administrator, Howell's strengths were in his abilities as a promoter and builder. His greatest weakness lay in his relationships with strong subordinate administrators. Howell's administrative style tended to be authoritarian but was often indecisive and hesitant, qualities which annoyed his subordinates and eventually contributed to his undoing. While Howell led the educational program of the church during a critical period of consolidation, he has been almost forgotten in the chronicles of its development.

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