Our Core Value

June 24, 2014 | Max Torkelsen

Adventist education is a core value of the Seventh-day-Adventist Church. From our very beginnings, we have recognized that education must be key in our strategy to minister to the whole person: physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. This understanding has led us to develop a seamless system from preschool on through graduate levels of higher education. Our relatively small denomination supports the largest Protestant parochial school system in the world.  

Recent research confirms that our students score significantly higher than national norms in every subject at every grade level across the board.

Why would this be so? The first reason is that a faith-based system enjoys the blessing of God in a special way that cannot be duplicated. Every school and every teacher is prayed over on a daily basis. Students have the privilege to begin and end the day with God. The added value of this spiritual emphasis goes well beyond academic achievement. Our Christian worldview seen within the context of the Great Controversy affects everything we teach and study, in every subject of the curriculum. We recognize that every student is created by God with unique potential and a particular place to contribute to God's plan.

Nowhere in public education is the worth of an individual recognized as originating from the hand of a beneficent Creator God, that we were born with a reason for our existence, and that there is a work for us to do — one that no one else was created to fill!

Adventist education prepares young people to become pastors and teachers, doctors and nurses, engineers, IT professionals, and almost any career you could think of, who can provide the leadership the church needs to fulfill its mission. This Adventist perspective can be learned in no other environment than in our school system, which, by the way, is fully accredited, offering credible degrees accepted by all organizations.

Finally, Adventist education is deserving of our full support. The subsidies provided by the church at every level are investments in the future of our mission. They are dollars well-spent.

I began my Adventist education in a one-room school in North Dakota, in the basement of the Jamestown Adventist Church. I was one of 20 children in that eight-grade school. Mrs. Rau, our teacher, skillfully managed the challenge and set the tone for the rest of my academic life. I never felt disadvantaged because I went to a small school. In fact several years later I gave tribute to Mrs. Rau as part of the valedictory address to my academy class.

Adventist education costs. It costs a lot. But it pays so much more. May God give us the heart to send our own children to His schools and to support those who are struggling to do the same.