The Education Department exists for the purpose of promoting the cause of Christian education and to give counsel on the establishment, maintenance and operation of denominational schools, colleges and universities in the Inter-American Division territory.
The Seventh-day Adventist Church through its education programs proposes to help the young people to prepare for effective citizenship on this earth and for gratifying citizenship in the earth made new. The education program of the church places the utmost importance on building character and on the spiritual foundation of the lives of our children and young people. It also offers ample provision for the acquisition and interpretation of the skills necessary for the accumulation of knowledge and the acquiring of the common secular habits which help in the mental, social, vocational and physical development.
Elementary and Secondary Education: The Seventh-day Adventist Church wishes to provide for all its young people an education that is within the framework of the science of salvation. They will study the basics of the common branches of learning, in order to acquire skills and to maintain a high level of learning.
The elementary schools of the church will help each child to develop (1) love and appreciation for the privileges, rights and responsibilities that are guaranteed to each individual or social group, and (2) respect and a wholesome attitude towards society, the home, the church, the school, and the government. The elementary school will offer an organized program which will assure the adequate development conducive to spiritual, physical, mental and emotional health, providing a strong foundation of practical and intellectual knowledge for daily life.
The secondary school of the church will build on the qualities instilled in the students who attended the church’s elementary school. Its basic structure is building character by working in a realistic fashion to teach the students how to be healthy, how to strive for the mastery of the basic principles of learning, how to behave with dignity in the home, teaching them vocational skills, giving them civic instructions, teaching them to make good use of their free time and helping them to mature ethically. The secondary school as an instrument of the church’s philosophy will try to reach objectives of spiritual dedication, self development, social adjustment, civic responsibility and economic efficiency.
Higher Education: The Seventh-day Adventist Church runs institutions of higher learning with the purpose of providing special opportunities for the Seventh-day Adventist youth who have satisfactorily completed their secondary studies and who are desirous of pursuing further studies in arts and science in order to obtain a degree that can prepare them for life, or for admission in a post graduate institution.
These church institutions while doing the creative and evaluation work entrusted to them, will help the students to develop ethic, religious and social values that are compatible with the philosophy and teachings of the church, values that will prepare the student for office in his discipline or vocation within the organization or outside of the organization. These institutions also help to develop in their students a higher concept of service to God and man.
Post graduate education: Adventist education is holistic, that is to say, it embraces the life of man as a whole. Human works, institutions and the history of man, have all been contemplated from the point of view of the divine origin of man and his destiny, which is revealed in the Word of God. Human liberty, both academic and personal, demands progressive research and discovery of the truth which existed first in the mind of God, This search has allowed man to re-discover truth through revelation, study, reflection and research. The final product should be, not an isolated intellect, but a more mature and consecrated Christian.
The essential work of the Seventh-day Adventist universities is the mastery of critical evaluation, discovery and diffusion of knowledge and learning in communities of Christian intellectuals. The church supports the post graduate institutions with the view to making effective, both for the teachers and for the students, the intellectual dissemination of the values provided by faith in the Christian doctrines which constitutes the vertical dimensions in the study of arts and sciences, as well as the study of man and his institutions. To a greater degree than in secondary education, the schools of higher learning are concerned with discovery, critical evaluation and the application of knowledge to thought and human behavior.
In these intellectual communities special effort will be put forth to foster an inquiring spirit which is not satisfied with mastering knowledge, but will diligently explore the unknown. Adventist intellectuals participate in the aggrandizement of the islands of knowledge which exist in the immense oceans of the unknown which surround humanity. Higher education requires the application of research techniques and evaluation which exist in the law of evidence. Both Christian education and the advance student employ the system of evidence of reason and science, but also recognize the validity of divine revelation, which concedes that there is a Supreme Being.
In conclusion, the entire Adventist higher education system is dedicated to the promotion and preparation of leaders for the church and its institutions and for those offices and professions of service by which they can testify of God in an effective way and foster both the good name and the world mission of the church.