Seventh-day Adventist Higher Education in North America Issues Statement During COVID-19 Pandemic Closures

Seventh-day Adventist higher education prepares graduates to serve and lead in the 21st century by investing in the development of the whole person. Through rigorous academic study in healthy, faith-affirming environments, students develop their problem solving, creativity, judgment, character, ethical reasoning, and other skills that distinguish them in their careers and prepare them to be contributing members of the church and society. Such an education seeks to restore the image of God in humanity, foster wholeness and healing for people and planet, express the joy of Sabbath rest and hope of Christ’s return, and produce living testimonies to the love of God.

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Every crisis is an opportunity, a door opening to a new direction. What wasn’t done in time of plenty may (must?) be done out of necessity. Delivering quality remote learning now demonstrates that it can be done. The need for all these costly physical plants and traditional funding methods can (must?) be changed if Adventist’s higher education is be feasible in the future.
Sure some physical plants must remain for those classes and courses that need hands-on learning. Travel to certain hub schools for a quarter or a semester would certainly be less expensive than having all of them remain.
I am not saying anything that hasn’t been thought of and proposed years ago. But NOW, if action is not taken to reconfigure the traditional delivery of SDA higher education, we will watch as one by one they fail.
And the watching will be painful. As a graduate of two SDA higher ed institutions, nostalgia calls my heart to fight for my school to remain. But logic demands that change happens so there can be hope.
One last point–doesn’t Adventist eschatology foresee a world filled with chaos and disruption as the world grows old. Then doesn’t out belief also demand that we be light on our feet and be willing to change.

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