It’s commencement time as graduates gather in front Pioneer Memorial Church at Andrews University in Berrien Springs, Michigan, United States. At right is a statue of the school’s namesake, J. N. Andrews, who was the Seventh-day Adventist Church’s first overseas missionary. [photo courtesy AU]
While Adventists advocated primary education for children as early as the 1850s, it wasn’t until the 1870s that the then fledgling Adventist Church began to develop a denominationally-based school system. Adventists believe in the redemptive purpose of education. Adventist educators focus not only on intellectual growth, but also on mental, physical, social and spiritual health.
1.7 million students study in the Adventist school system
The church operates three medical schools in the United States, Mexico and Argentina
Brazil and Nigeria are home to the church’s two law schools
The church operates 112 colleges and universities, almost 2,000 secondary schools and about 6,000 elementary schools worldwide