Exemplary schools and educational systems have clearly defined reasons for existence. Those specific to Adventist education are found in the Philosophy, Goals and Essential Core Elements, that identify the high expectations of what students should know and be able to do. A renewed focus on these ideals for Adventist schools will energize educators, students, parents, and constituents.
The Seventh-day Adventist Church recognizes God as the ultimate source of existence and truth. In the beginning God created in His image a perfect humanity, a perfection later marred by sin. Through the guidance of the Holy Spirit, God's character and purposes can be understood as revealed in nature, the Bible, and Jesus Christ. The distinctive characteristics of Adventist education, derived from the Bible and the inspired writings of Ellen G. White, point to the redemptive aim of true education: to restore human beings into the image of their Maker.
While God presents His infinitely loving and wise character as the ultimate norm for human conduct, human motives, thinking, and behavior have fallen short of God's ideal. Education in its broadest sense is a means of returning human beings to their original relationship with God. Its time dimensions span eternity.
Adventist education seeks to develop a life of faith in God and respect for the dignity of all human beings; to build character akin to that of the Creator; to nurture thinkers rather than mere reflectors of others' thoughts; to promote loving service rather than selfish ambition; to ensure maximum development of each individual's potential; and to embrace all that is true, good, and beautiful.
An education of this kind imparts far more than academic knowledge. It fosters a balanced development of the whole person - physically, intellectually, socially, and spiritually. Working together, homes, schools, and churches cooperate with divine agencies in preparing learners for responsible citizenship in this world and in the world to come.