Archive for the ‘M. 13. Educating for Eternity’ Category

Lesson 13, Educating for Eternity

January 9, 2009


  • Identify key steps in developing the educational program of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.
  • Explore the reasons for establishing a school system separate from publicly funded schools.
  • Identify the special characteristics that Ellen white included in her comprehensive plan for Adventist education in 1872.
  • Analyze the potential personal and corporate benefits to be derived from a Seventh-day Adventist education.
  • Analyze how Seventh-day Adventist should relate to threats to religious liberty.
  • Steps in Developing Educational Program

    Goodloe H. Bell

    The earliest Adventist attempts to start schools all failed—were short-lived. Goodloe Bell started the first official Seventh-day Adventist school.

    Philosophy of Education

    The “essential qualities” for teachers, according to Ellen White are self-control, patience, gentleness, love, firmness of character.

    Ellen White recommended manual labor because it provides physical exercise, discipline, practical skills, and rest of mind.

    Battle Creek College, according to Ellen White, should facilitate practical training by providing manufacturing and agricultural industries.

    Ellen White did not agree with Battle Creek College in their teaching of the classics, little religion, no practical skills.

    The basic principle for how many academies were begun in the U.S.A. is one per conference.

    The volunteers of ’97 dropped out of Battle Creek College in order to establish church schools. In 1897, five Battle Creek students interrupted their schooling to start church schools.

    In the past when religious groups have been able to use political power there has resulted a decline in spirituality [among the favored group]; persecution.

    In the past, Seventh-day Adventists in the United States have been the victims of church-state alliances. Over a hundred had been arrested for breaking Sunday laws.

    To combat religious persecution, the Adventist church set up the International Religious Liberty Association [and General Conference Department Government Affairs and Religious Liberty].

    A major concern that led James White to urge Seventh-day Adventist parents to hire Adventist teachers for their children was that Adventist youngsters would learn bad habits from their schoolmates.

    When reporting her 1872 education vision, Ellen White mentioned the mental, moral and physical aspects of a well-rounded education. She did not mention the social aspect.

    Compared with students who receive most of their education in public schools, students attending Seventh-day Adventist schools are more likely to remain in the Seventh-day Adventist Church.

    The first Seventh-day Adventist college was located at Battle Creek, Michigan.

    It is always an appropriate time to teach one’s children about God.

    2 Corinthians 6:15, What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? 16 What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: “I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people.” 17″Therefore come out from them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you.”

    1 Corinthians 15:33, Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.”

    Battle Creek, MI is the location of the first official Seventh-day Adventist denominational school.

    Healdsburg, CA is the original location of the forerunner of Pacific Union College.

    Battle Creek College was moved to Berrien Springs, MI

    The key steps in the development of the educational program of the Seventh-day Adventist Church include the Review and Herald articles on the dangers of public schools then Ellen White’s vision on education in 1872 after which Battle Creek College started.

    Seventh-day Adventist education provides benefits for church as a whole and to the individual student in particular. Christian education is one of the most important factors in leading Seventh-day Adventist youth to becoming committed Christians and reliable members of the church. Thr individual benefits: Moral training is more important than intellectual development; the emphasis on manual labor.

    Ellen White included in her comprehensive 1872 plan for Seventh-day Adventist education: Moral and religious training; the character of the teachers; the need of manual labor.


    Lesson Ideas

    Listen to Pathways of the Pioneers, Discs 21 and 22.

    Examine the history of your school. Some schools have anniversary editions with stories, pictures, etc.

    Using Adventist Archives have the students find stories about their school from the documents.


    Further Reading

    Education by Ellen White

    The Broken Blueprint by Vance Ferrell


    1853, Martha Byington, first teacher



    Edson White meets Goodloe Harper Bell. Edson, 18 years of age. John Kellogg, young as well.