Institute of Christian Teaching

Education Department of the Seventh-day Adventists























Yona Balyage

Chairman, Department of Education

Bugema University

Kampala, Uganda






352-98 Institute for Christian Teaching

12501 Old Columbia Pike

Silver Spring, MD 20904 USA






Prepared for the 23rd  Faith and Learning Seminar

Held at the University of  Eastern Africa - Baraton,  Kenya

November 22 - December 4, 1998





This paper presents a contemporary issue in the teaching of Christian Religious Education in secondary schools in some African Countries especially in Uganda and Kenya.   It shows the origins and development of the syllabi used.  Their implications on the learner's faith in the Bible.  It also seeks to show the way these syllabi endeavor to undo some denominational philosophies and promote others.  The paper goes farther by proposing ways through which the Seventh-day Adventist Church could preserve their philosophy of Bible teaching in Secondary School without necessarily avoiding writing government examinations in Religious Education.

Current Secondary School Syllabi in Religious Education

The secondary school syllabi for Christian Religious Education in some African and Asian countries are said to have been conceptualized by Saint Ignatius Loyola the founder of the Jesuit Order of the Roman Catholic Church, and were later on put into practice by the Department of Education of the World Council of Churches (Girault, 1990:30) to work as a bridge across denominations for Christian unity  (Chaube, 1990/91:71,72 and Semlyen 199:3139).

According to Dian and Van Diepen,  (1972: X) the influence of the World Council of Churches (Ecumenical Movement) first entered in the East African Secondary schools in 1968 when a joint education panel for Catholic and Protestant schools and colleges was formed to formulate a transitional Religious Education syllabus, that could secure freedom of worship as contained in the Kenya Education act of 1967. This syllabus, which was based on St. Luke's Gospel, was first introduced in Kenya in 1972 and Uganda in 1974 under the East African Examinations Council.  It was commonly known as 224 Religious Education.

In 1974 an alternative to the Biblical syllabus 224 was launched.   This was syllabus 223 Religious Education also known as Christian Living Today.  It was based on socio-anthropology.  Similar syllabi were introduced in various countries of Africa and Asia.  In some countries the ideas reflected in these syllabi were incorporated in a course entitled Values Education.  In some countries values education has been introduced in colleges and universities as a degree course.

In the twenty-five years of the administration of Christian Religious Education syllabus several schools have shifted from 224, which is based on the Bible to syllabus 223 which is socio-anthropological oriented.   The reason for the shift was that the syllabus is easily taught, understood and passed with better grades than its counterpart 224, which requires a strenuous Bible reading.  Time may come when this syllabus will remain the only option since the number of schools registering for 224 is on the decline. In Uganda there are very few Protestant founded schools still teaching syllabus 224, and no school, which does not offer syllabus 223 to a group of students for one reason or the other.  Moreover the teaching of syllabus 223 poses a threat to the Protestant Philosophy of Education in general and the Seventh-day Adventist philosophy of Education in particular by putting less emphasis on Bible reading.


The Roman Catholic Church in the World Educational SystemFor any school program to operate there must be a philosophical screen, which suggests educational goals, and objectives against which its beliefs and values are validated (Palma, 1968:38).  This philosophical outlook becomes the basis of curricula planning which according to Palma (1968:30) and Glickman (1985: 307) determines the content of instruction that is intentionally taught to students in a school setting.  It also determines the selection and hiring of the teaching personnel, the purchase of text and library books and other instructional materials.  It is upon such a philosophical outlook that the total discipline of the educational program is analyzed and evaluated (Balyage, 1998).

Butler (1968:13) and Knight (1980:14-36) discuss three main problems that determine the content of philosophy: metaphysics, epistemology and axiology:

1.         Metaphysics is the study of questions concerning the nature of reality.  It seeks to ask and give answers to such questions as 'what is reality beyond reality?'  What lies beyond what we see, hear, touch and taste? Is what we see real or a manifestation of reality?  What is the nature of that Ultimate reality?

2.         Epistemology is the study of questions about truth and knowledge.  It also encompasses the area of ontology, which deals with how truth and knowledge come to be known.  The study deals with such questions as what is truth? How do we come to know it?  How can we know the Ultimate reality?  This question of knowledge is the most important factor in the study of philosophy.  It is what philosophers, educators, theologians, and clergymen always seek to explore.  The Bible also seems to support this idea by stating that people are destroyed because they either lack or reject knowledge (Hosea 4:6).

3.         Axiology is the study of questions about value and beauty.  Philosophers ask themselves such questions as what is of value?    Of what value is the knowledge of the Ultimate reality?  Does that knowledge of truth have any beauty?  What beauty are we looking for?

Adventist Philosophy of Education

As a Church, Seventh-day Adventists base their philosophy on the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy.    It is on the basis of these that they give answers to the study of the questions on the content of philosophy as follows:

1.         Metaphysics - Adventists believe that God is the Ultimate reality. He is the first cause of every thing in existence.  He created heaven and earth and all that are within.  Also His impress is seen upon all created things.  His hand guides the planets as they revolve around their orbits.  He sustains the unnumbered worlds in the universe and guides all lives (Nehemiah 9:6; and White, 1952:99).

2.         Epistemology - "The science of salvation, the science of godliness, the knowledge of which has been revealed from eternity..." (White, 1943:14) is the very knowledge that God desires the youth to acquire.   This knowledge can be obtained by "...diligent study of the scriptures..." (Ibid., 11) and "...enlarge the narrow confines of human scholarship, and present before the mind a far deeper knowledge to be obtained through a vital connection with God..." (Ibid., 13).   The Bible contains all principles that men need to understand in order to be fitted either for this life or for the life to come or both (White, 1952:123).

3.         Axiology - True education prepares its candidates for the joy of service in this world and for the higher joy of service in the world to come (White, 1952:13).  This type of education seeks to meet the greatest need the world is after.  According to (White (1952:57) the world is in need of people who will not be bought or sold; who are true and honest, those who can call sin by its right name, those who are as true to duty as a needle to the pole and those who are ready to stand for the right though the heavens fall.  It is such type of values that the Adventist system of education is endeavoring to inculcate in its students.

It is upon these philosophical premises that the Adventists look at education as a process of redemption (White, 1952:30) which gives students a hope of salvation, restoring in them the image of God, bringing them back to the perfection in which they were created and promoting the development of their body, mind and soul (Ibid, 15,16).  This philosophy of Education is based on the fear of God and giving glory to Him, and worshiping Him who created the heaven and the earth  (Revelation 14:5,6).

Under this philosophical thought, the teacher is seen as a co-worker with Jesus Christ and a laborer together with God (White, 1952:30) in the process of restoring the lost image of God in man.  The teacher is also a representative of God (White, 1952:287,288) to his/her students.  The learner is looked at as a son of God (Ibid.,29,79),  the purchase of the blood of Jesus Christ and a young  member of the divine family (White, 1968: 91). One with an intellect that needs to be directed through the process of self control (White, 1943:73).

The Philosophy of Ignatius Loyola

One of the ideas of the Roman Catholic Church is to control the educational system throughout the world. This philosophical outlook was conceived in 1540 by Ignatius Loyala the founder of the Jesuit Order (Chaube, 1990/91: 71 - 76).  The plan of Loyola's educational thought was finalized between 1586 and 1599 (Ibid. 71,72) soon after the Protestant Reformation.   Therefore it had to negate the reformation and its impact on the Roman Church.  It was in the light of this problem that Ignatius Loyola came up with his educational master plan to help the Church.  According to Chaube (73)  "…the main purpose of the Catholic education was to propagate the catholic faith..., to bring the Protestants back to their fold... to promote the development of character according to Catholic ideals and generate a feeling for propagation of Catholic religion and to strengthen it further. .."   Other methods the Catholic Church used to counter the reformation were the Council of Trent, the creation of a systematic inquisition, and the creation of the Dominican order.

 The Roman Church believes to be the only Church that is united as Jesus wishes his people to be.  It even feels mandated to carry out a holy objective of reconciling "all Christians in the unity of the one and only Church of Christ"  (The Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1995:223).

Referring to the encyclic of Pope Pius Xi on the education for the youth, and on the work of Loraine Boettner, Semlyen (1993: 108, 109) explains that the Roman Catholic Church believes to have been mandated to teach all nations through its educative mission which extends to all the people without boundary.   For this very reason it does not hesitate to claim openly that education is a function of the Roman Catholic Church, even in non-Catholic states, as it claims that both preaching and administration of the sacraments are functions of the Roman Church, and not any other denomination.

Pope John Paul II (1996: 215, 216) while talking about Christian unity quotes the Testament of Paul IV about ecumenism drives the point home by saying "let the work of drawing closer to our separated brethren be pursued with much understanding, with much patience, with great love, but without deviating from the true catholic doctrines." (Emphasis supplied).

The Philosophy of the World Council of Churches  (W.C.C.)

The philosophy of Ecumenical movement is quite different from the orthodox doctrines of the founders of Protestantism.  Martin Luther, the champion of Protestant reformation built his faith on doctrines whose precedent was salvation. It was for this truth that the Protestant champion stood and confessed that salvation is by grace alone (Sola Gratia), it is received by faith alone (Sola fides), and the scriptures alone (Sola Scriptura) are the authority upon which mankind has to base the knowledge of salvation,  (Girault, 1993:102).

Contrary to Luther's confession, one of the founding fathers of the World Council of Churches and former Archbishop of York and the much-respected Archbishop of Canterbury, William Temple, stressed a point, which was seen to be a condemnation of the Protestant reformation.  He observed the sin of Protestant Churches to be Christian zealousness.  He said that Christian zealousness makes one blind to supplemental truths,  (Semlyen, 1993: 21,22).

Archbishop Nathan Soderblom of Uppsala Lutheran Church made a similar statement in a congress of Life and Work Movement in Stockholm in 1925.  He said that since doctrines divide Christians, the ecumenical movement should seek to concentrate on actions that unite,  (Girault, 1990:25).  At the Faith and Order Congress of 1927 at Laussanne, Bishop Charles Brent appealed to members of the different denominations who were trying to forge unity to avoid doctrines but to work together in practical, educational, and social work in which everybody could cooperate without any difficulty, (Ibid.).   It should therefore be understood that the foundation of ecumenism is neither the word of God nor the church, but the sociological and philosophical ideas based on the construction of society through common understanding, (Ratzinger 1988:115).

In 1990, Semlyen (20) quotes Cardinal Hume as saying that we have to concentrate on what unites us - it is so simple and yet so profound - we have to concentrate on our own humanity.

Based on the recommendations of these churchmen the ecumenical movement has all along avoided anything doctrinal for the sake of unity.  Throughout the eight general assemblies of the World Council of Churches, the supporter of the movement has all along avoided discussing any doctrinal issue for the sake of unity.  Discussions have been centered on common statements that do not call for doctrinal commitment.    This is reflected in the themes of all the General Assemblies of the World Council of Churches held since 1948 as follows, ( Girault, 1990:30):

1.         Amsterdam (Netherlands) in 1948, whose motto was Human disorders and God's plan.

2.         Evanston, Illinois  (USA) in 1954, whose motto was Christ, hope of the World.

3.         New Delhi (India) in 1961, whose motto was Christ, light of the World.

4.         Uppsala (Sweden) in 1968 whose motto was Behold, I come to make all things new.

5.         Nairobi (Kenya) in 1975 whose motto was In Christ free and united.

6.         Vancouver  (Canada) in 1983 whose motto was Jesus Christ, the way for the world.

7.         Canberra (Australia) in 1991 whose motto was Come Holy Spirit, renew all creation.

8.         Harare (Zimbabwe) in 1998 which discussed social issues rather than doctrinal issues.

As it has been stated in this paper above, there are two predominant syllabi for Christian Religious Education, namely, 224 Religious Education (St. Luke's Gospel), and 223 Religious Education (Christian Living Today).

224 Religious Educations

This presents syllabus 224 Religious Education that is based on the Bible.  This syllabus has five papers.  Paper one, centers around the book of St. Luke and its relevance to Africa. It is compulsory for every student who registers for Syllabus 224.  It discusses the life and teachings of Jesus Christ and its application to modern African society.

Together with the book of Luke, the candidate or the school has to choose any one of the four remaining alternative papers.

1.         Paper 2  - The Old Testament: (Selected Themes).  This paper centers around the Biblical accounts of Abraham, Moses, David, Solomon, Ahab, prophets - Elijah, Nathan, Jeremiah and Micah.

 2.        Paper 3 - The Early Church: Its growth and expansion.  This paper centers around the early church from Pentecost to St. Augustine, A.D. 451 (UNEB, 1996:54).  It includes the book of Acts of the Apostles.  It depicts the Roman Catholic Church as the true Apostolic church whose leadership and ministry was passed on from Jesus Christ to St. Peter and then to the Bishop of Rome who keeps on passing it to his successors on the same Holy See.

3.         Paper 4 - The Church in East Africa. It traces the history of the Christian missionaries in various countries of Africa.  Their strengths and achievements and the role of the Christian Church in modern African society

.4.        Paper 5 - The African Religious Heritage with special reference to East Africa.  This option centers around African Traditional religious beliefs and practices before the coming of Christianity and Islam.  It discusses such areas as creation myths, African childhood, initiations, courting, work and leisure, the community, death and after death, spirit and ancestors, and duty.

As it has been already mentioned, this syllabus was a compromise alternative between Protestants and Catholics.  It has also served as a bridge between these two Christian ideologies in order to prepare the society for yet another alternative, namely 223.  Most of the diehard Protestants take papers 1 and 2 of 224, which are Biblical.

As we analyze syllabus 224 we need to look at its positive aspects:

1.         Papers 1 and 2 are Bible based.  They discuss the life and teachings of Jesus Christ as presented in the book of St. Luke, and God's search for humankind as presented in the Old Testament.  It also gives the practical application of the teachings of Jesus Christ and the Old Testament experiences to modern society.

2.         Paper 3 is partly Biblical and partly historical with much emphasis on the rise of the Roman Catholic Religion.  The Biblical part is on the Acts of the Apostles.  It seeks to link the Apostolic Church with the Roman Catholic Church and thereafter the supremacy of Rome and the Papacy.

3.         Paper 4 is purely historical.  It emphases the coming of missionaries to Africa and the development they brought with them in "civilizing" and Christianizing Africa.

4.         Paper 5 is centered around the African religious heritage.  It emphasizes the African Religious Heritage before the coming of Europeans and Asians.

5.         This syllabus gives some alternative papers for the school authority to choose from.  Two of its papers are purely biblical in approach, and are most preferred by Protestant oriented schools.

A Critique of Syllabus 224:

1.         If the school authorities are not well informed they may choose alternatives that will lead students away from the Bible.

2.         The events of Church history and African Heritage are taken to be God's revelations just as it is with the Biblical accounts.

3.         The syllabi (most especially the book of St. Luke and the Old Testament) are said to be hard for teenagers and teachers because they require a lot of Bible reading and explaining a lot of stories from the Biblical account.  Most people in society find it hard to keep on reading the Bible and reproducing the same stories.

4.         Most students who take this alternative do not pass with distinctions and super credits, compared to those taking alternative 223.  The exam is based on the Bible rather than the community.  This makes it harder to pass.

5.         It requires a lot of study, and acquainting oneself with scriptures.

223 Religious Education

This syllabus 223 Religious Education is also known as Christian Living Today.  It has only one paper in the final examination.  Students are required to discuss a question from each of the following five major areas:

1.         Man in a changing society.

This section explains changes that take place in society.  It also explains changes that took place right from the time recorded in the Bible to the present.  It points at changes that take place at work and in leisure. It describes the Sabbath day rest as a leisure activity.  It appeals to the child to get ready to accept changes that are constantly emanating within the society, (UNEB, 1996: 29 - 32; Christian Living Today, Bk. I, 4 - 79).

2.         Order and freedom in society

This area explains ways through which man has been trying to help himself to bring about justice in society, giving examples from both society and the Bible.  It explains how man frees himself from conflicting loyalties, (UNEB, 1996: 32 -35, Christian Living Today Bk. I, 80 - 145).

3.         Life

This section discusses avenues in modern society in African traditional society and in the Bible.  It also explains the nature of unending life as taught in modern society, African traditions, church history and the Bible.  It also presents a theme on success (Christian Living Today, Bk. I, 4 - 51).

4.         Man and woman

This theme presents family life as practiced in modern African society, African traditional society and the Bible.  It explains sex differences and the person, the aspects of courtship and marriage (Christian Living Today, 52 - 86).

5.         Man's Response to God through Faith and Love.

This section discusses man's quest for God, man's evasion of God and a Christian's involvement in the world, (Christian Living Today, Bk. II, 87 - 130).

The following are the factors in favor of Syllabus 223:

1.         One has to take only one examination paper answering 5 of 15.

2.         Most of the students who take this syllabus pass it with very high grades. Most of these grades fall in the bracket of distinctions, and supper credits.  This makes it possible for Religious Education to be the best class passed every year in most of the schools, and the teachers of the same are classified as either best or outstanding.

3.         It is easy to conceptualize, teach and pass, because questions are not based on the Bible texts, they are based on what is actually taking place in the current society.  The Biblical portions inserted in the textbooks hardly appear in the examination papers.

4.         One does not need to read the Bible in order to pass the examination in Religious Education, as long as he attends church services and observes what happens in the society.

5.         It is society based; therefore it is people oriented.  It discusses the current situation in the African world, in comparison with the historical and Biblical accounts.

6.         One can easily pass examination without attending class.  He can just read the textbook and newspapers, watch current events, and attend church services.  It does not require much strenuous reading.

A Critique of Syllabus 223:

1.         It gives students a hope of being good Christians without necessarily reading the Bible or attending church services.

2.         It puts much emphasis on passing of the exams rather than understanding Christian principles.

3.         It emphasizes change as the principle of Christian living.  Everything is changing therefore, Christians are also changing as the world changes,  (Christian Living Today, Bk. I, 29 Reflections).

4.         The Bible is referred to but is never taken seriously.  Even examinations hardly ask for Biblical information.  All the Bible passages needed are reproduced in the textbook.  Therefore one does not need to have a Bible of his/her own since he/she has all passages required for examinations in the textbook.

5.         It handles the Sabbath day doctrine under leisure activities (Christian Living Today, Bk. II, 56 - 790 and Sharkey, 117 - 125).  Sharkey describes leisure as:  "...the time we have at our disposal to use as we choose without being bound by any necessity.  Freedom is the essence of leisure,"   (Sharkey, 117).

6.         It describes Sabbath day rest as something that was begun by the Jews but not by God: "The Israelites set aside a special time for rest, prayer and joyful celebration: The Sabbath day.  In our study of Living and Working we looked at the Sabbath as an institution in Jewish Life…  Exodus 20: 8 - 12; 3: 17...,"  (Christian Living Today, Bk.   I, 72).

7.         On the topic of family the syllabus discusses polygamy in ancient and modern Society, (Christian Living Today, Bk. II, 54 - 56) but does not explain the ideal family pattern in our time.  When talking about monogamy, the syllabus describes it as if the practice was for the Jews only but not for all believers in God, (Christian Living Today, Bk. I, 64).

8.         The textbook talks of men who live in cities and prefer living with some young woman temporarily, after leaving their illiterate wives up country, (Christian Living Today, Bk. II, 56).  The textbook leaves this point hanging without explaining the Christian stand on the whole matter.

9.         The syllabus does not consider such topics as God, angels, sin, salvation, repentance, conversion,

temperance, heaven and the new earth.

10.       The traditional beliefs and church historical discussions overshadow the doctrine of death and resurrection and emphasize the immortality of the soul as the major issue, (Christian Living Today, Bk. II, 21 -254).

11.       The syllabus is good for socio-anthropological studies rather than Religious Education.

12.       Since teenagers tend to believe more in what they read than what they hear from other people, the teacher has very little impact on the students understanding of True Biblical Doctrines different from what is found in the textbooks.


In the Adventist system of education the Bible is the center of all the subjects taught in the school setting and the lifestyle.   The Code of Education (2,3) of the Eastern Africa Division points out that scriptures of the Old and New Testaments were guided by the Holy Spirit and express God's will to men.  This makes it the only rule of what we believe and live by.   Ellen G.  White has this to say about the Bible and the significant role it plays in our educational curriculum:

The Holy Scripture is the perfect standard of truth, and as such should be given the highest place in education.  To obtain an education worthy of the name, we must receive knowledge of God, the creator, and of Christ, the Redeemer, as they are revealed in the sacred word,  (White, 1952:17).

Throughout the divine plan of Education God has instructed His people to have the scriptures as the center of learning.  But these are not the only subjects to be studied.  In Eden school, where God and Holy Angels were teachers of Adam and Eve, nature was the main textbook.  Our first parents studied the leaves of the forest, the stones of the mountains and the shining stars.  They also studied the earth, sea and the sky, (White, 1952:21).

In the light of the Adventist philosophy of education syllabus 223 Religious Education (Christian Living Today) does not meet the criteria to be taught in our denominational schools because it does not meet church educational goals and objectives.  It is not fully Biblical in content and approach.


In the face of the problem discussed in the previous pages, which is real and existing in the Adventist schools in East Africa and elsewhere, we need to begin applying the appeal of Prophet Isaiah to the children of Israel to  "cry aloud, spare not; lift up your voices like a trumpet; tell my people their transgressions and the house of Jacob, their sins,..."  (Isaiah 58:1).  We need to tell teachers, school administrators and members of the boards governing our schools that this cry is not only needed but is over due. This calls for a reform in the school curriculum.   The following also need to be looked into:

1.         Strengthening the department of education at all levels (university, college, field/conference, union etc.) by looking into the problem seriously and providing an immediate solution.  Official circulars and institutional policies without action may not be effective methods of curbing the problem, since syllabus 223 has been used for many years and most of the teachers like it and praise it as the most appropriate one.  Even teachers born in the Adventist families are victims of the same.

2.         The church and its institutions should work hand-in-hand with the government and come up with a syllabus that is in harmony with what we believe and practice.  Meanwhile alternative 224 paper 1 and paper 2 could be used as we propose our own syllabus to the government: (a) The church needs to allocate money for this project.

3.         The church needs to continuously hold seminars exposing the weaknesses in the current syllabi and seek for alternatives.  Corresponding remunerations (in form of salary increase) and points counting towards the academic ranks should be awarded to those attending such seminars in order to encourage as many teachers as possible to avail themselves of this knowledge and attach value to it. This should be followed by periodic evaluation to crosscheck the extend to which the information studied is being implemented.

4.                  Employ Bible teachers graduating from Adventist institutions of higher learning and give them privileges given to pastors and other church workers.    Our College curriculum for education and religion also need to be periodically evaluated in order to counter-check whether they measure up to the expectations of the organizations and the countries where they are located.

5.         All teachers who take education outside denomination universities and colleges who would like to teach in church schools, even when they are church members in good and regular standing should be required to enroll for some courses in the fields of education and religion in our institutions, before employment. Corresponding remunerations (in form of salary increase) and points towards the academic ranks should be awarded to those attending such courses. This needs to be made mandatory in order to inculcate them with denominational philosophy of education.

6.         Our schools need to be helped in making a school curriculum with well defined: vision, mission, philosophy, goals, objectives, opportunities, obstacles, and strategies.  These aspects need to be well understood by every teacher in our schools.   It should be remembered that the governments only give the minimum syllabi but do not give out the defined curriculum for the total functioning of the school system.  We can only be able to evaluate our performance in relation to our curriculum planning and implementation of vision, mission, philosophy, goals and objectives. We need to develop specific either qualitative or quantitative indicators or both for this purpose. The curriculum and the evaluation instruments should be made available to all institutional employees for proper guidance.


7.         We need to simplify Adventist Philosophy of Education in relation to the teaching learning process, and avail it to the teachers and administrators so that they understand what they are standing for. The Church needs to offer training seminars to school administrators, and teachers about the Philosophy of Education in comparison with other philosophies, before and after employment for proper guidance.  Most of the time the church assumes that its philosophy of education as presented in the writings of Ellen G. White is so simple and well understood, while even the heads of the primary and secondary schools can not identify the aspects of teaching learning process as defined by those.  In most schools classroom teachers do not have copies of the Book Education by Ellen G. White, leave alone reading and understanding the same.

8.         There is a need to initiate a proper and serious periodic supervisory program to make sure that church schools are following the philosophy of education they stand for without ignoring the society under which they operate.

9.         Appointing the right people to the right office.  It is sad to say that most of the time the department of education at some levels of church administration is directed by graduates of theology/religion (pastors) with no training professional training in the field of education.  Little consideration is given to professional teachers.   When there is no professional teacher to man the department, the church organization needs to get one from other areas of the world.  They need to lay plans in training the personnel to man it.  It is quite obvious that untrained personnel manning the department of education at field level can not evaluate teacher's knowledge by performance and study programs directed by professional teachers, since the school administrators and the teachers under their supervision are professionally prepared than them.   For such reasons Adventist schools and their programs are never evaluated, assessed and upgraded.  Everything is taken for granted as long as students are passing and the schools are continuing to exist.  Whether these schools are meeting denominational educational vision, mission and objectives or not is no one's business.


The Adventist philosophy of education is a Bible based endeavor.  It seeks to train students at all levels in the fear of God, giving glory to Him and worshiping Him because He created the heaven and the earth and all their ingredients (Revelation 14:6,7).  These philosophy stresses that all truth is God's truth and therefore, God is the center of what we believe and thereafter practice.  It is through the Bible that we come to know Him and His Son Jesus Christ.  All true knowledge, both scientific and philosophical emanate from Him as revealed in His creation.  Therefore, when we deviate the religious instruction to any thing else we are running a way from His will.

It is for this vision that our schools exist and operate.  If this vision is lost, then there should be no reason for us to continue operating them.   Herein comes a need to stand with prophet Isaiah and evaluate whether our Bible teaching is in harmony with the law and the testimony  (Isaiah 8:20), otherwise we may be "...weighed on the scale and found deficient," (Daniel 5:27 NASB).  At that moment we may not escape.



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Work Book for the fifth Assembly of the World Council of churches.  Nairobi, Kenya, November - December 1975.