June 15, 2010



C. Garland Dulan, Director reports dulan capThe education program of the Seventh-day Adventist Church continues to grow at a rapid pace, demonstrating that Adventist education is alive and well. The most recent statistics1 show that the church operates 7,598 schools, employs more than 80,000 teachers, and has 1,545,000 students enrolled. Last year alone, the church’s education program grew by 65,000 students. The four divisions with the largest number of students enrolled are the East-Central Africa Division (371,000 students), the West-Central Africa Division (250,000 students), the South American Division (224,000 students), and the Inter-American Division (169,000 students). The church now operates 112 universities and colleges, with another 30-40 extension campuses and distance learning centers.

Education and Redemption
“The mission of the Church . . . to communicate to all peoples the everlasting gospel of God’s love in the context of the three angels’ messages of Revelation 14:6-12, as revealed in the life, death, resurrection and high priestly ministry of Jesus Christ, leading them to accept Jesus Christ as personal Savior and Lord and to unite with His remnant church . . . in preparation for His soon return,”2 continues as the stabilizing influence in the church’s educational program. The redemptive aim of true education, derived from the Bible and the writings of Ellen G. White—to restore human beings into the image of their Maker3—sets the stage for all that is taught in our schools.

Despite greater governmental regulation and greater growth in the number of students of other faith traditions attending Seventh-day Adventist schools, there are important elements that provide encouragement as we look to the future. We believe that the emphasis our teachers place on whole-person development—spiritual, mental, social, physical, and moral learning—will continue to contribute to the more than 30,000 baptisms that annually take place in our schools around the world. Despite the distinctive differences in the Seventh-day Adventist philosophy of education from that offered by other education systems, students from other faith traditions continue to arrive in large numbers to enroll in Adventist schools. Thus, we believe the opportunities for evangelism within our schools will continue to grow as enrollment grows. Our challenge is to find more dedicated Adventists who will commit themselves to teach in our schools.

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Scripture is central for students at River Plate Adventist University, Argentina.

In the book Education, Ellen White wrote: “The greatest want of the world is the want of men—men who will not be bought or sold, men who in their inmost souls are true and honest, men who do not fear to call sin by its right name, men whose conscience is as true to duty as the needle to the pole, men who will stand for the right though the heavens fall.”4 Within Adventist schools the emphasis placed on our values—character development, a sense of honesty and integrity, knowing and practicing right from wrong—that are critical to Christian living and essential in preparation for God’s kingdom will continue to provide a shining light to those parents and students seeking a quality educational program. This is what Adventist education is all about.

New developments within the Adventist education program worldwide suggest that the future holds promise for the development of carefully monitored early-childhood education programs, an increased emphasis on distance education, and an increased number of professional schools such as in medicine, dentistry, allied health professions, and even law. In tarrying until the Lord comes, education will continue to hold forth the banner of promoting redemption as its core value. We welcome your support.

1 World Report 2008: Adventist Education Around the World (General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, Department of Education, Dec. 31, 2008).
2 General Conference Working Policy 2008-2009, p. 29.
3 Ibid., p. 239.
4 Ellen G. White, Education, p. 57.