The church’s education system has grown from a single Sabbath school to a global network of schools. Lisa Beardsley-Hardy has more on the scope and philosophy of Adventist education today.
In eighteen-sixty the new Seventh-day Adventist church formed and took the name Seventh-day Adventist and until 1872, the only school that it had was the Sabbath school, the Sabbath school was a place where old and young alike were inducted into present truth. In 1872, Ellen White had a vision and the next morning she got up and proclaimed, “we need a school” and that was the beginning of Battle Creek College, today, Andrew’s University. From that early beginning the system has grown to a global system of eight-thousand schools around the world, nearly 1.7 million students and about 90 thousand teachers. It goes all the way to the North in Finland, Toivonlinnantie, which I think is the northern most at 60 degrees and Tyrifjord in Norway – stretching down to Punta Arenas at the very tip of South America, that school had it first graduation this past year in 2011, 520 students study there and they are right on the Straits of Magellan, and yes, there are penguins there. This year the school was unable to accept any new students because everybody who had enrolled wanted to continue. Seventh-day Adventist schools – more about buildings, it is a philosophy of education.”