Adventist Education has come a long way since 1853 when Martha Byington opened the first known church school for Sabbatarian Adventists in Buck's Bridge, New York. Today you'll find Adventist schools in nearly 150 countries. 85,000 teachers, 1.5 million students, 7,500 schools—the Adventist school system is one of the largest Christian educational systems in the world.

The Approach and Philosophy of Adventist Education

The Seventh-day Adventist Church recognizes God as the ultimate source of existence, truth, and power. In the beginning God created in His image a perfect humanity, a perfection later marred by sin. Education in its broadest sense is a means of returning human beings to their original relationship with God. The distinctive characteristics of this Adventist worldview, built around creation, the fall, redemption, and re-creation, are derived from the Bible and the inspired writings of Ellen G. White.

The aim of true education is to restore human beings into the image of God as revealed by the life of Jesus Christ. Only through the guidance of the Holy Spirit can this be accomplished. An education of this kind imparts far more than academic knowledge. It fosters a balanced development of the whole person—spiritual, physical, intellectual, and social-emotional—a process that spans a lifetime. Working together, homes, schools, and churches cooperate with divine agencies to prepare learners to be good citizens in this world and for eternity.

Core Curriculum Goals

  1. Learners will choose to accept God as the Creator and the Redeemer.
  2. Learners will grow in their knowledge and understanding of God’s creation.
  3. Learners will creatively apply their spiritual, physical, intellectual, and social-emotional knowledge.
  4. Learners will demonstrate their commitment to the Creator through service to others.

Implementing the Philosophy

The Adventist curriculum development process, defined by the Adventist worldview, includes four overlapping stages with accompanying essential questions.

Note that the four stages of the curriculum development process align with the four stages of A Journey to Excellence: Purpose > Worldview, Plan > Curriculum, Practice > Instruction, Product > Assessment.

Learn more about Core Curriculum Development — the process of applying the Adventist Education philosophy.