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Ellen G. White - Establishment of schools

Ellen G. White - Establishment of schools 

Establishing schools for the burgeoning movement grew out of Ellen White's vision for education. If learning was " to be the work of redemption," as she wrote in Education1, then there had to be a place where such redemptive work could take place.

In March of 1873, James White, Ellen's husband, stressed the need for a facility where workers for the Adventist cause could be trained: "I know of no branch that needs our attention so much at the present time as a denominational school. … There is no people on earth better situated to insure patronage and success to the school."2

With that declaration, the Battle Creek College became a project of the Adventist movement, supported by the Church organization. The path to a fruitful operation was not without problems however: By 1881, Ellen White was concerned enough to tell denominational leaders, "There is danger that our college will be turned away from its original design. Our college stands today in a position that God does not approve. … A more comprehensive education is needed."3

The Battle Creek College experiment ended in 1882, but its successor, Emmanuel Missionary College — known today as Andrews University, the Seventh-day Adventist Church's flagship university — has gone on to train scores of church leaders and thousands of members for a lifetime of service to humanity.

Ellen's passion for education led to the establishment of what is today's Pacific Union College in California, Avondale College in Australia, and the "College of Medical Evangelism" which today is known worldwide as Loma Linda University, among other institutions.

These early efforts were not without difficulty, as seen in the case of Battle Creek College. Yet through perseverance and the application of the educational principles that Ellen developed and expounded upon, today's Adventist educational system is truly a modern wonder.

At last count there are Seventh-day Adventist schools in nearly 150 countries. Comprising 85,000 teachers, 1.5 million students, and 7,500 schools. The Adventist school system is one of the largest Protestant educational systems around.4 In nation after nation, Adventist schools — particularly colleges and universities — are among the most sought-after venues for learning because of their quality and value delivered to students.
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1. White, Ellen G., Education, p. 15, para. 2.
2. White, James, "Conference Address," Advent Review and Herald of the Sabbath, May 20, 1873
3. White, Ellen G., quoted in Douglass, Herbert E., Messenger of the Lord, p. 354, para. 5
4. "About Us", Adventist Education website

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