1. Philosophy and Goals


The Seventh-day Adventist Church operates a system of schools across North America. Its unique philosophy of Christian education is based on Scripture and the writings of Ellen G. White.

“I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth” (3 John 1:4).

Thus, for Christian teachers, their “first effort and . . . constant aim” should be (1) to aid “the student in comprehending these principles,” and (2) to enter “into that relation with Christ which will make [these principles] a controlling power in the life” (The Journal of Adventist Education, Summer, 1994).

The “all-important thing” in education “should be the conversion” of students (Fundamentals of Christian Education, p. 436).

The primary purpose of Seventh-day Adventist education is to provide opportunities for students to:

  • accept Jesus as their Savior.
  • embrace a life of service to others.
  • develop as a whole person.
  • prepare academically to fulfill God’s calling.
  • commit to the lifestyle and beliefs of the Seventh-day Adventist Church by becoming a member.
  • achieve spiritual, mental, and physical balance.
  • become workforce-ready.



Each school should be guided by a statement of distinctively Seventh-day Adventist philosophy. Philosophies are benchmarks by which opinions are formed about schools.  Unique philosophic positions in local schools should be guided by:

  • Holy Bible
  • Education, by Ellen G. White
  • Fundamentals of Christian Education, by Ellen G. White
  • Conference and union Education Codes
  • North American Division Working Policy
  • NAD Certification Manual
  • School board manuals (conference, union, NAD)
  • The Evaluative Criteria for SDA Schools

The superintendent of schools should encourage each school board to periodically review its philosophical position to ensure alignment with the desired spiritual, academic, social, and physical expectations of the conference and local constituency/community. A school’s philosophy is a major component of school-wide evaluations.