Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Religious Education, PhD

First Advisor

John V. G. Matthews

Second Advisor

Jerry A. Moon

Third Advisor

Larry D. Burton


Problem. Ellen White’s image-of-God motif and its influence on Seventh-day Adventist educational philosophy has not been examined thoroughly by thesis, dissertation, or other academic research. This dissertation is a significant effort toward fulfilling this need by examining and contextualizing White’s writings on the image of God as well as examining the educational ramifications of the motif.

Method. This is a historical/analytical investigation involving a search of Ellen White's writings to locate, identify, and examine passages that refer to the image of God, especially as it relates to education. These passages were then contextualized and studied to determine how White used the motif in her writings. The historical chapters of this dissertation examine the context of her image-of-God motif while taking into consideration earlier and contemporary writers who might have utilized a similar concept.

Conclusions. White’s image-of-God motif is not original with her. However, her combination of the concepts relating to restoration of the image of God, holistic education, and a great controversy theme does appear to introduce a new approach. Adventist educators can build on this unique blend of concepts to develop an educational system that integrates directly the physical, mental, and spiritual dimensions in a distinctive manner.

Subject Area

Image of God, Education--Philosophy