The value of Adventist education was on display two weeks in a row recently as Midland Adventist Academy and College View Academy held their beginning of the year high school retreats. Both schools started their year by focusing on community building and spiritual redirection. The value of a quality Adventist education means a commitment to making Christ the center of a campus. That center should influence and permeate every aspect of the campus.
Valuegenesis is a survey that studies the faith and values of young people attending Adventist schools in the United States. According to the latest update from Valuegenesis, one in five Adventist families is in the market for school enrollment, but only 30 percent of Adventist young people attend Adventist education. Why aren’t more Adventist kids in Adventist schools?
The Valuegenesis update says there are three “venues” that can predict long-term youth and young adult retention and involvement in the Adventist Church. Those venues are: 1) a quality Adventist home, 2) a quality Adventist church, and 3) a quality Adventist school. Beyond having an Adventist home, church and school, the key is also to be rooted in Adventist values.
Quality venues do make a difference. When considering the question of denominational loyalty, without a quality Adventist home, school or church there is a 45 percent chance a young person will remain loyal to the Adventist Church. Add just one of these venues-say a quality Adventist school-and it increases to a 64 percent chance. With two venues, it goes up to an 82 percent chance. Add all three venues and there is an 88 percent chance.
Ellen G. White wrote in Councils to the Church (p. 202) that Adventist education provides, “More than the perusal of a certain course of study. It means more than a preparation for the life that now is. It has to do with the whole being, and with the whole period of existence possible to man. It is the harmonious development of the physical, the mental, and the spiritual powers. It prepares the student for the joy of service in this world and for the higher joy of wider service in the world to come. In the highest sense the work of education and the work of redemption are one.”
Seeing Midland Adventist Academy and College View Academy train their young people to turn to Christ and model that through their curriculum, staff example, and priorities gives hope for the future of the church.
–Tim Floyd is the director for Youth and Young Adult ministries at the conference.