Distinctive Features of Seventh-day Adventist Education
SDA Education is a unique system with distinctive features. These features should be studied prayerfully and carefully to understand how to properly implement them in SDA schools today. Their incorporation into the school program should be hastened that God may bountifully bless the administration, staff, and students with unprecedented spiritual and educational progress. While many of these features have been included in SDA schools, others are not really apparent.
The following is a partial list of the unique features of SDA Education:
1. Recognition and welcome will be given to the Holy Spirit in each classroom and assembly CT 363-368.
2. Students will be taught their relationship with God through learning:
a. how to pray
b. how to approach their Creator
c. how to exercise faith in Him
d. how to understand and obey the teachings of His spirit CT 594
3. The fruits of the Spirit will be manifested in the students by evidence of honesty, kindness, courtesy, obedience, and respect. 6T 174.
4. The curriculum will reflect divine structure by giving emphasis to courses in:
a. Denominational literature, Biblical literature and sacred poetry. PP 593.
b. Missionary geography. Ed 269.
c. History with divine interpretation. Ed 173-184.
d. Study in agriculture and vocational lines.
e. The study of the function, dietary needs, mental attitudes and care of the body as the temple of God. Ed 195-206.
f. Creationism and geology. Ed 128, 129.
g. The study of nature as the second book of God. Ed 119, 120.
5. The scholastic program will be designed to challenge the individual to develop his/her potential and avoid competition and rivalry between individuals. CT 270; Ed 226; FE 288.
6. Emphasis will be given in the educational program to meet the final events of the impending conflict by preparing the students.
a. to witness in legislative halls, before rulers, councils and kings. Ed 262.
b. to relate themselves properly to Sunday legislation and consequent problems. CT 551.
c. to survive the wilderness. GC 626.
d. to understand the qualifications for being a recipient of the latter rain. EW 71, 271.
e. to face resolutely spurious movements and spiritism. Ed 227, 228; GC 58, 559; TM 61.
7. Because the Sabbath will become a special identifying mark of God’s people in the last days, special emphasis will be given to proper Sabbath observance. Ed 250-252.
8. Since Christian service links us to Christ and is the light of the Christian life, students will participate in ministry to the spiritual needs of fellow students and the community. CT 546.
9. The social life will fit the students for membership in this society of heaven by:
a. freeing the entire school life, including the recreational program, from unwholesome competition.
b. planning well-supervised group association with de-emphasis on personal boy-girl relationship. CT 88, 100; FE 62.
c. encouraging dress and personal grooming that will encourage the companionship of angels. CT 302, 303.
10. Music will be used to uplift the thoughts to high and noble themes and to inspire and elevate the soul. Ed 167.
11. A recognition of God’s ownership and man’s ownership will be developed among students by a training adapted to eliminate all narrowing selfishness and to cultivate breadth and nobility of character through a systematic giving of tithes and offerings. Ed 44.
12. The true dignity of labor will be taught through teacher-student participation in the daily work program CT 211, 289, 6T 179.
13. Schools, whenever possible, will be located in areas that provide freedom from residential or commercial congestion and afford a natural setting conducive to inspiring a better relationship among the students and between a student and his God. 6T 137; FE 320
14. The cleanliness and beauty of the campus and building will attract the angels and point the students to the beauty and order of heaven. 6T 170
15. All social gatherings, all school programs, and all student publications will reflect themes that are sensible, sober, and ennobling. CT 543.
16. Students shall be taught the language of heaven. CT 548; FE 811.
The foregoing list only identifies certain key areas of educational practice. The listed references are but samples of the buried treasure that awaits diligent study. Implementation of these principles will bring great blessings in restoring Christian education to its rightful position before the world. Students enjoying an experience in this setting will not find themselves strangers in the School of the Hereafter. (Evaluative Criteria, SDA Supplement, p.7)