Why Our Schools were Established

 Seventh-day Adventist schools are to be different than all the rest of the world. Both our homes and our training centers are to be as islands of Godliness and obedience by faith to the laws of God, in the sea of rebellion and apostasy that surround us. We are to provide an education for our youth that is far in advance of that which can be obtained in the educational institutions of the world. And this education is to be founded on the Word of God. The inspired Statements given us by Heaven are to form the basis for all that is taught and practiced in the classrooms and on the campuses of each school that we operate.

Not to do so is reason enough to close them down, for they have no other reason for existence.

Both the teachings and the standards are to be representative of the highest levels of Christian living, in thought, study, and action we are to show forth to all the world that the final message for mankind is to be found with Seventh-day Adventists. Neither conformity nor compromise are to mar our clear presentation and personal living of truth.

Consider the following statements. They will briefly place in focus before you both the purpose and the result of our educational work. Our schools are to contrast strongly in objectives, methods, and content with those of the world.

When you have completed this study, read "Education," "Counsels to Parents and Teachers," and "Fundamentals of Christian Education" for a far more complete understanding of what is involved here. They are written in simple language and their meaning is unmistakable.  vf

"Our school was established, not merely to teach the sciences, but for the purpose of giving instruction in the great principles of God's Word, and in the practical duties of everyday life." Counsels to Parents and Teachers, page 88.

"The great reason why so few of the world's great men, and those having a college education, are led to obey the commandments of God, is because they have separated education from religion, thinking that each should occupy a field by itself." Testimonies, Volume 5, page 503.

"The Lord would have our primary schools, as well as those for older persons, of that character that angels of God can walk through the room, and behold in the order and principles of government, the order and government of heaven. This is thought by many to be impossible:but every school should begin with this, and should work most earnestly to preserve the spirit of Christ in temper, in communications, in instruction; the teachers placing themselves in the channel of light where the Lord can use them as His agents, to reflect His own likeness of character upon the students." Church Schools, pages 7-8.

"In our institutions of learning there was to be exerted an influence that would counteract the influence of the world, and give no encouragement to indulgence in appetite, in selfish gratification of the senses, in pride, ambition, love of dress and display, love of praise and flattery, and strife for high rewards and honors as a recompense for good scholarship. All this was to be discouraged in our schools." Fundamentals of Christian Education, page 286.

"There should be unselfish, devoted, faithful teachers; teachers who are constrained by the love of God, and who, with hearts full of tenderness, will have a care for the health and happiness of the students." Testimonies, Volume 6, page 152.

"The unselfish life, the generous, self-sacrificing spirit, the sympathy and love of those who hold positions of trust in our institutions, should have a purifying, ennobling influence which would be eloquent for good." Testimonies, Volume 6, page 148.

"The world's maxims, the world's customs and practices, are not the teaching they [the students in our schools] need: but they are to see that the teachers in the schools care for their souls, that they will take a decided interest in their spiritual welfare, and religion is to be the great principle inculcated." Christian Education, page 47.

"Wise teachers should be chosen for our schools; those who will feel responsible to God to impress upon minds the necessity of knowing Christ as a personal Saviour. From the highest to the lowest grade, they should show special care for the salvation of the students, and through personal effort seek to lead their feet into straight paths." Testimonies, Volume 6, page 153.

"The teaching in our schools is not to be the same as in other colleges and seminaries. " Counsels to Parents and Teachers, page 539.

"Those who attend our colleges are to have a different training than that of the common schools of the day." Christian Education, page 47.

"Were this principle [of not appealing to pride and emulation] given the attention which its importance demands, there would be a radical change in some of the current methods of education. Instead of appealing to pride and selfish ambition, kindling a spirit of emulation, teachers would endeavor to awaken the love for goodness and truth and beauty, to arouse the desire for excellence. The student would seek the development of God's gifts in himself, not to excel others, but to fulfill the purpose of the Creator and to receive His likeness. Instead of being directed to more earthly standards, or being actuated by the desire for self-exaltation, which in itself dwarfs and belittles, the mind would be directed to the Creator, to know Him, and to become like Him." Patriarchs and Prophets, page 595-596.

"God has revealed to me that we are in positive danger of bringing into our educational work the customs and fashions that prevail in the schools of the world . . The plan of the schools we shall establish in these closing years of the message is to be of an entirely different order from those we have instituted." Counsels to Parents and Teachers, page 532.

"Let us determine that we will not be tied by so much as a thread to the educational policies of those who do not discern the voice of God, and who will not hearken to His commandments." Counsels to Parents and Teachers, page 255.

"We are not to institute schools of scholastic philosophy or for the so-called higher education.'  Our greatness consists in honoring God by simple, practical experience in every-day life." Testimonies, Volume 8, page 305.

"An education amid such surroundings [out in the country as God has directed] is in accordance with the directions which God has given for the instruction of youth; but it is in direct contrast with the methods employed in the majority of schools. . The minds of the young have been occupied with books of science and philosophy, where the thorns of skepticism have been only partially concealed; with vague, fanciful fairy stories; or with the works of authors who, although they may write on Scripture subjects, weave in their own fanciful interpretations. The teaching of such books is as seed sown in the heart. It grows and bears fruit, and a plentiful harvest of infidelity is reaped." Counsels to Parents and Teachers, page 187.

"It is the boast of the present age that never before did men possess so great facilities for the acquirement of knowledge, or manifest so general an interest in education. Yet despite this vaunted progress, there exists an unparalleled spirit of insubordination and recklessness in the rising generation; mental and moral degeneracy are well-nigh universal. Popular education does not remedy the evil. The lax discipline in many institutions of learning has nearly destroyed their usefulness, and in some cases rendered them a curse rather than a blessing." Fundamentals of Christian Education, page 64.

"How few schools are to be found that are not governed by the maxims and customs of the world! There is a deplorable lack of proper restraint and judicious discipline." Patriarchs and Prophets, page 594.

"It is difficult to depart from old customs and established ideas. But few realize the loss that is sustained by many [students] in long courses of study. Much that is crowded into the brain is of no value, yet students suppose this education to be all-sufficient, and after years of study they leave school with their diplomas, believing that they are men and women properly educated and ready for service. In many cases this preparation for service is nothing more than a farce, yet it will continue until teachers receive the wisdom of heaven through the influence of the Holy Spirit." Counsels to Parents and Teachers, page 392.

"How often the supposed deductions of science are revised or cast aside; with what readiness the assumed period of the earth's development is from time to time increased or diminished by millions of years; and how the theories advanced by different scientists conflict with one another, considering all this, shall we, for the privilege of tracing our descent from germs and mollusks and apes, consent to cast away that statement of Holy Writ, so grand in its simplicity, God created man in His own image, in the image of God created He him?" Education, page 130.

"The garden of Eden was the schoolroom, nature was the lesson-book, the Creator Himself was the instructor, and the parents of the human family were the students." Education, page 20.

"We need to study the working of God's purpose in the history of nations and in the revelation of things to come, that we may estimate at their true value things seen and things unseen; that we may learn what is the true aim of life; that, viewing the things of time in the light of eternity, we may put them to their truest and noblest use." Education, page 184.

"Neither are we to follow the routine [in curriculum and practice] of worldly schools. The instruction given in Seventh-day Adventist schools is to be such as to lead to the practice of true humility. In speech, in dress, in diet, and in the influence exerted, is to be seen the simplicity of true godliness." Counsels to Parents and Teachers, page 56.

"The plan of the schools we shall establish in these closing years of the message is to be of an entirely different order from those we have instituted." Counsels to Parents and Teachers, page 532.

"The work of our schools must bear a different stamp from that borne by some of our most popular schools [in the world] ."   Fundamentals of Christian Education, page 516.

"The youth should be educated by precept and example that they are to be agents for God, messengers of mercy, ready for every good word and work, that they are to be blessings to those who are ready to perish . . The schools established by us should have in view this object, and not be after the order of the denominational schools established by other churches, or after the order of worldly seminaries and colleges. They are to be of an altogether higher order, where no phase of infidelity shall be originated, or countenanced. The students are to be educated in practical Christianity, and the Bible must be regarded as the highest, the most important textbook." Fundamentals of Christian Education, page 231.

"Many have so far shown their lack of wisdom from above as to join with the enemies of God and the truth in providing worldly entertainments for the students."   Testimonies, Volume 6, page 143.

"It would be impossible to avoid these things [ten errors of worldly education], and yet send them to the public schools, where they would daily be brought in contact with that which would contaminate their morals." Fundamentals of Christian Education, page 286.

"In order to give them [our youth] instruction in regard to the claims of Jehovah, it is necessary that we separate our children from worldly associations and influences, and keep before them the Scriptures of truth." Fundamentals of Christian Education, page 288.

"What shall be the character of the education given in our schools? Shall it be according to the wisdom of this world, or according to the wisdom which is from above? . . Teachers are to do more for their students than to impart a knowledge of books. Their position as guide and instructor of the youth is most responsible, for to them is given the work of molding mind and character." Counsels to Parents and Teachers, page 65.

"A comprehensive education is needed an education that will demand from parents and teachers such thought and effort as mere instruction in the sciences does not require. Something more is called for than the culture of the intellect. Education is not complete unless the body, the mind, and the heart are equally educated. The character must receive proper discipline for its fullest and highest development. All the faculties of mind and body are to be developed and rightly trained." Your Home and Health, page 72.

"The education needed is that which will qualify students for practical service, by teaching them to bring every faculty under the control of the Spirit of God. The study book of the highest value is that which contains the instruction of Christ, the Teacher of teachers." Counsels to Parents and Students, page 389.

"Often students spend many years in study that is conducted on wrong lines and to useless ends. The mind is trained to think in a wrong channel, taught to grasp those things that are not only utterly worthless, but an injury to the physical and mental health. The student obtains a slender store of information upon many subjects that are of little value to him, a limited knowledge along many lines that he will never use, when he might obtain knowledge that would be of the highest service in practical life, and which would be a store house of wisdom from which to draw in time of need." Counsels to Parents and Students, page 391.

"A more comprehensive education is needed, an education which will demand from teachers and principal such thought and effort as mere instruction in the sciences does not require: The character must receive proper discipline for its fullest and noblest development. The students should receive at college such training as will enable them to maintain a respectable, honest, virtuous standing in society, against the demoralizing influences which are corrupting the youth." Counsels to Parents and Teachers, page 87-88.

"We desire that our children should study to the best advantage. In order to do this, employment should be given them which will call into exercise the muscles. Daily, systematic labor should constitute a part of the education of the youth." Testimonies, Volume 6, page 180.

"True education includes the whole being. It teaches the right use of one's self. It enables us to make the best use of brain, bone, and muscle, of body, mind, and heart. The faculties of the mind, as the higher powers, are to rule the kingdom of the body. The natural appetites and passions are to be brought under the control of the conscience and the spiritual affections." Your Home and Health, page 72.

"Morality and religion should receive special attention in our educational institutions. " Testimonies, Volume 3, page 24.

"The natural and the spiritual are to be combined in the studies of our schools." Fundamentals of Christian Education, page 375.

"The general method of educating the youth does not meet the standard of true education. Infidel sentiments are interwoven in the matter placed in schoolbooks, and the oracles of God are placed in a questionable . . light . . [and] doubts entertained become to those who entertain them, assured facts, and scientific research is made misleading on account of the way its discoveries are interpreted and perverted." Medical Ministry, page 90

"To learn science through human interpretation alone is a false education; but to learn of God and Christ is to learn the science of heaven. The confusion in education has come because the wisdom and knowledge of God have not been exalted." Counsels to Parents and Teachers, page 447.

"Men take it upon themselves to rein up the Word of God before a finite tribunal, and sentence is pronounced upon the inspiration of God according to finite measurement, and the truth of God is made to appear as a thing uncertain before the records of science. " Medical Ministry, page 90.

"What a fraud is that education obtained in literary or scientific lines, if it must be stripped from the learner before he is counted worthy to enter upon that life which measures with the life of God, himself saved as by fire. God has given us a probation in which to prepare for the school above. For this our youth are here to be educated, disciplined, and trained. In the lower school of earth they are to form characters that God can approve. They are to receive a training, not in the customs and amusements of worldly society, but in Christ's lines, a training that will fit them to be colaborers with heavenly intelligence's." Counsels to Parents and Teachers, pages 392-393.

"Learned men have given lectures in which have been mingled truth and error; but they have unbalanced the minds of those who leaned toward error instead of toward truth. The nicely woven sophistries of the so-called wise men have a charm for a certain class of students; but the impression that these lectures leave upon the mind is that the God of nature is restricted by His own laws." Medical Ministry, page 91.

"Too often the minds of students are occupied with men's theories and speculations, falsely called science and philosophy. They need to be brought into close contact with nature. Let them learn that creation and Christianity have one God. Let them be taught to see the harmony of the natural with the spiritual." Christ's Object Lessons, page 25.

"Through false teaching, the minds of men had long been turned away from God. In the prevailing systems of education, human philosophy had taken the place of divine revelation." Education, page 74-

"The Lord opened before me the necessity of establishing a school at Battle Creek that should not pattern after any school in existence. We were to have teachers who would keep their souls in the love and fear of God. Teachers were to educate in spiritual things, to prepare a people to stand in the trying crisis before us" Fundamentals of Christian Education, page 221.

"The educational advantages offered by our schools are to be different from those offered by the schools of the world. We are rapidly nearing the final crisis in this world's history, and it is important that we understand that the educational advantages offered by our schools are to be different from those offered by the schools of the world." Counsels to Parents and Teachers, page 56.

"Our school is to take a higher position in an educational point of view than any other institution of learning, by opening before the young nobler views, aims and objects in life, and educating them to have a correct knowledge of human duty and eternal interests. The great object in the establishment of our college was to give correct views, showing the harmony of science and Bible religion." Life Sketches, page 220.

"The Lord never designed that our college should imitate other institutions of learning. The religious element should be the controlling power." Testimonies, Volume 5, page 14.

"Our college stands today in a position that God does not approve. If its responsible men seek to reach the world's standard, if they copy the plans and methods of other colleges, the frown of God will be upon our school." Testimonies, Volume 5, page 27.

"Intellectual power, natural abilities, supposed excellent judgment, will not prepare the youth to become missionaries for God. No one who is seeking an education for the work and service of God will be made more complete in Jesus Christ by receiving the supposed finishing touch at [a college in her day that had a worldly curriculum] in either literary or medical lines. Many have been unfitted to do missionary work by attending such schools." Counsels to Parents and Teachers, page 374.

"Any man who seeks to present theories which lead us from the light that is come to us on the ministration in the heavenly Sanctuary should not be accepted as a teacher." Life and Teachings, page 49.

"None should be allowed to pursue a course of study that may in any way weaken their faith in the truth and in the Lord's power, or diminish their respect for a life of holiness." Fundamentals of Christian Education, page 347.

"No education can be called higher education' unless it bears the similitude of heaven, unless it leads young men and young women to be Christlike, and fits them to stand at the head of their families in the place of God." Fundamentals of Christian Education, page 467.

"What need is there for students to bind off their education by attending at Ann Arbor [an outside university for a doctoral degree] to receive the finishing touch'? It has proved to be the finishing touch to very many as far as spirituality and belief in the truth are concerned."  Fundamentals of Christian Education, page 451.

"Christ's life on earth teaches that to obtain the higher education does not mean to gain popularity, to secure worldly advantage, to have all the temporal wants abundantly supplied, and to be honored by the titled and wealthy of earth. His life rebukes all self-seeking."  Counsels to Parents and Teachers, page 34.

"I am so glad that we can have institutions where our youth can be separated from the corrupting influences so prevalent in schools of the present day." Fundamentals of Christian Education, page 89.

"Many who are seeking efficiency for the exalted work of God by perfecting their education in the schools of men will find that they have failed of learning the more important lessons." Counsels to Parents and Teachers, page 410.

"Our educational facilities must be purified from all dross. Our institutions must be conducted on Christian principles, if they would triumph over opposing obstacles. If they are conducted on worldly-policy plans, there will be a want of solidity in the work, a want of far-seeing spiritual discernment. " Testimonies, Volume 6, pages 145-146.

"Those who seek the education that the world esteems so highly, are gradually led further and further from the principles of truth until they become educated worldlings." Fundamentals of Christian Education, page 535-536.

"There is an education which is essentially worldly. Its aim is success in the world, the gratification of selfish ambition. . Much of the education at the present time is of this character. The world may regard it as highly desirable; but it increases the peril of the student."   Counsels to Parents and Teachers, page 64.

"There is danger that our college will be turned away from its original design.."Students are sent from a great distance to attend the college at Battle Creek for the very purpose of receiving instruction from the lectures on Bible subjects. But for one or two years past there has been an effort to mold our school after other colleges. When this is done, we can give no encouragement to parents to send their children to Battle Creek College. " Testimonies, Volume 5, page 21.

"Learned men have given lectures in which have been mingled truth and error; but they have unbalanced the minds of those who leaned toward error instead of toward truth. The nicely woven sophistries of the so-called wise men have a charm for a certain class of students. " Medical Ministry, page 91.

"The customs and practices of Battle Creek school go forth to all the churches, and the pulse heart beats of that school are felt throughout the body of believers." Fundamentals of Christian Education, page 224.

"To restore in man the image of His Maker, to bring him back to the perfection in which he was created, to promote the development of body, mind, and soul, that the divine purpose in his creation might be realized, this was to be the work of redemption. This is the object of education, the great object of life." Education, page 16

This is another in the "True Education Series" of studies, monographs and compilations. Over 150 similar studies along various lines are also available. God bless you as you study God's plan for your life and seek to place yourself more in harmony with it. There is only a little time left. Use it carefully.                                                       vf, for Pilgrims' Rest