“Now as never before we need to understand the true science of education. If we fail to undersatnd this we shall never have a place in the Kingdom of
God.” ~ Ellen White, True Education, p 8
The Adventist church has long sought for the ideal in education. The current three-part focus of mind, body, and spirit that Adventist Education has embraced comes from the large body of material that Ellen White wrote on the subject of education. Some would argue that while Adventist education has outpaced the public system it has done so at the cost of "true education." In other words, the willingness to be compared with the public education system has brought us closer to that system we are suppose to be challenging.
Throughout history the great movements of ideas in politics and religion have been established by education, and overthrown by education. The reformation of the 16th century was promulgated by Melanchthon's schools which rejected the education model of the Catholic church. It is said that the Lutheran church absorbed the majority of the Catholic members in Germany by teaching their children the principles of the reformation in their schools.
"Melanchthon steadily directed his efforts to the advancement of education and the building up of good Christian schools... In the spring of 1525, with Luther’s help, he reorganized the schools of Eisleben and Madgeburg.” He declared, “The cause of true education is the cause of God.” (Melanchthon, p. 81)" ~ E. A. Southerland, Studies in Christian Education, p 9
After Melanchthon's death his ideals for education were abandoned in favor of a more classical education model (a model the Catholic church designed), and the Catholic church quickly reclaimed over 50 percent of those who had left. The model of education will make the nation, the church, the person. How we are educated is just as essential to our outcome as what we are learning.
"True education means much more than many suppose. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. By some, education is placed next to religion, but true education is religion." Ellen White, Review & Herald, June 6, 1899
Derek Sivers, founder of CD Baby, stated in a review of Better than College, “A brilliant and important proposal. The unquestioned college path deserves to be challenged, and this is the right book to do it."
"A survey conducted by Bloomberg in 2010 show that the school of hard knocks was the number one source (tied with the University of California) for CEOs of S&P 500 companies. Harvard was the #3 source (along with the universities of Texas, Missouri, and Wisconsin). The school of hard knocks features CEOs who never graduated from college" (http://collegedropoutshalloffame.com). These highly influential people include S Daniel Abraham, Billionaire founder of Slim Fast, Paul Allen, billionaire co-founder of Microsoft, Rocky Aoki, multimillionaire founder of the Benihana chain of restaurants, and Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple. This list doesn't prove you shouldn't go to college, but it does bring the difference between success and a classical education into a stark contrast.
That brings us back to Melanchthon's declaration that "the cause of true education is the cause of God." There's something extremely enticing about being a multimillionaire or a billionaire, but is that what God's cause needs in these last days of Bible prophecy? We believe that God is calling His people to something higher than worldly attainments.
"In true education the selfish ambition, the greed for power, the disregard for the rights and needs of humanity, that are the curse of our world, find a counter influence." ~ Ellen White, Education, p 226
The True Education Model
- The central theme is an experiential knowledge of God that restores man to his original position with God
- The purpose is to develop men and women to be good citizens of heaven, and earth
- The outcome is that the gospel will be preached in all the world and then the end will come
- The main textbook is the Word of God—everything is filtered through it's authority
- It develops the student to be an independent thinker who takes action
- It is holistic (addressing the whole being of a person, not just the mind)
- It is service oriented
- It is practical and applicable to real-life
- It molds the character as much or more than the intellect
True education is the science of salvation, which can and does include science, creative expression, manual labor, healthcare, and service to others. True education doesn't limit the scope of what you can do with your life, it focuses your attention on the One who gives you purpose, and choreographs your life to match His goals to reach the world.
SOULS Northwest exists to fill a gap in the Adventist education system by training leaders who can raise up gospel workers in the local church. The school is needed because Adventist colleges and high-schools have missed a fundamental component of education—training gospel workers for house-to-house work and outreach leadership in the local church. SOULS is not intended to replace an undergraduate degree, but to supplement it. Maybe you're thinking you'd like to be a nurse. SOULS can give you the skills to be a medical missionary nurse; using your profession to support your calling—taking the gospel to the world. Maybe you're interested in being a lawyer. SOULS can give you the knowledge you need to lead in your local church and support religious freedom in your profession. Maybe you're an entrepreneur. SOULS can help you weave the gospel calling into your business endeavors so that all you do can bring glory to God. Most SOULS graduates will complete an undergraduate degree in a non-ministry field of study. 30 to 40% pursue a life of full-time ministry.
SOULS' goals are aligned with true education, and so are our teaching methods. Our classroom instruction is designed to be holistic, practical, and immediately applicable. Homework assignments encourage independent study and thinking. More than half of the student's experience brings them in close connection with the staff as they work to spread the gospel in house-to-house ministry.