Dissertation Projects DMin

Date of Award


Document Type

Project Report

Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry


Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary


Doctor of Ministry DMin

First Advisor

Alfonso Valenzuela

Second Advisor

Ricardo Norton

Third Advisor

Harold Guizar


The Colombia Adventist University, UNAC, is an institution of higher education that belongs to the Seventh-Day Adventist Church. The philosophy of the institution comes from both the Bible and the writings of Ellen White, cofounder and ideologist of the Seventh-Day Adventist education. UNAC expects that its instructors develop their teaching work inspired and based on a deep knowledge of this philosophy. Due to its philosophical position, UNAC aims to educate students in all of the Human Being aspects: spiritual, intellectual, physical and social. These aspects are denominated by Adventists as holistic education.

In this paper, a bibliographical research was done about the biblical and philosophical precedents of the holistic education from the Adventist perspective. The education goes back to the creation of the human beings when God gave them, the Garden of Eden as home, which constituted man and woman’s first school. God assumed the teacher's role and nature was the classroom. The educational program provided all the needs of the Human Being. God gave them intellectual formation and spiritual communion. The job assigned to the first couple consisted of taking care of the Garden of Eden, which provided them with the formation of competences and physical development. The mutual relationship supplied the needs for their social development.

Sin modified God's plan and the Garden of Eden was no longer the educational venue of the Human Being. Then, families were assigned the responsibilities of educating children and young people. Later on, the schools of prophets were founded to offer hollistic education, by having a program that contemplated spiritual, intellectual and manual formation, in a social environment provided by a system of boarding schools. In the Bible, prophets Samuel and Elisha stand out like promoters and managers of these schools. The synagogues fulfilled a formative mission within Jewish people. Children and young people received instructions under the mentorship of a teacher, who also encouraged faith among his students.

Jesus was the teacher by excellence and He used as pedagogical resources such as nature, daily events, and prophets’ writings. His method was so deep that his influence lasts up to date. The first Christians used the synagogue and Jesus’ teachings to continue the educational work. Ellen White guided Adventists to establish elementary schools, high schools and Universities. Her writings on education have served as philosophical frame to the Adventist educational system in order to develop an holistic educational programs, with the purpose of develop all aspects of the Human Being. The Colombia Adventist University is an institution of the Adventist system and as such it aims to offer an holistic formation. That is why the Institutional Educational Project contemplates the inclusion of every aspect of the Human Being. To contribute with the fulfillment of this purpose, a course of holistic education was developed for the UNAC teachers, which lasted eighteen hours, distributed in six days. The course was evaluated by the participants who described it as a successful course in the fulfillment of its objectives.

Subject Area

Seventh-day Adventists--Education; Corporación Universitaria Adventista (Medellín, Colombia)

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.



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