For more than one hundred years the Seventh-day Adventist Church has operated a unique system of education. The Church founded its program on the premise that true education “is the harmonious development of the physical, the mental, and the spiritual powers. It prepares the student for the joy of service in this world and for the higher joy of wider service in the world to come.” (White, E.G., Education, p.13)
“To restore in man the image of his Maker, to bring him back to the perfection in which he was created, to promote the development of body, mind, and soul that the divine purpose in his creation might be realized… this is the object of true education.” (Ibid., pp.16-17)
Shenandoah Valley Adventist Elementary School endeavors to provide the setting and the opportunities for this philosophy to be implemented. All activities and instruction focus toward this end.
Adventist Education for the 21st Century
Our educational philosophy, though established decades ago, is more applicable today than ever. Consider this statement written in the 19th century:
Every human being, created in the image of God, is endowed with a power akin to that of the Creator—individuality, power to think and to do. The men in whom this power is developed are the men who bear responsibilities, who are leaders in enterprise, and who influence character. It is the work of true education to develop this power, to train the youth to be thinkers, and not mere reflectors of other men’s thought. Instead of confining their study to that which men have said or written, let students be directed to the sources of truth, to the vast fields opened for research in nature and revelation. Let them contemplate the great facts of duty and destiny, and the mind will expand and strengthen. Instead of educated weaklings, institutions of learning may send forth men strong to think and to act, men who are masters and not slaves of circumstances, men who possess breadth of mind, clearness of thought, and the courage of their convictions.
White, E.G., Education, p.17
The introduction of technology has connected humanity in an unprecedented manner. Our students are truly global citizens and must be equipped with the skills needed to meet the challenges of the 21st century. If our students are going to contribute to society in meaningful ways, they must be trained to persevere until problems are solved by thinking critically and creatively. They also need the ability to communicate very well–to express ideas clearly in their writing and to collaborate with others.
Shenandoah Valley Adventist Elementary School’s mission is to bring each student into a saving relationship with Jesus Christ. In so doing, and with Him as the Supreme Example, our aim is to provide our students with HOPE:
H—Healthy life choices
O—loving Obedience to God’s word as they develop a personal, saving relationship with Christ
P—Practical life skills, as well as superb academic skills
E – Encouragement and nurturing of the God-given potential in each child, while developing an appreciation for the uniqueness in others
We seek to fulfill our mission through careful, intentional planning in our overall school program. Please read more about our overall program to see what HOPE looks like at SVAE.
Train for life; prepare for Heaven
This vision recognizes the two-fold nature of Seventh-day Adventist Christian education. First, we intentionally educate students to become citizens of Christ’s heavenly kingdom, both now and at His second coming. Second, we simultaneously provide each student with the best tools possible to be successful in their earthly occupations, pursuits, and relationships. We do not see these two facets as being in competition with one another, but rather as complementary to and reinforcing of one another.
The achievement of this vision results from an intentional focus on the following areas:
Training for Life
SVAE students excel in a broad range of subjects. They become competent readers and enjoy reading on their own. They master the various subjects and apply them in numerous academic and real-life situations. They become independent thinkers and adept problem solvers. They also become literate in music, art, and technology. They develop practical life and social skills that will enable them to positively interact with others. SVAE students are physically fit and demonstrate at least the following: an understanding of their physiology and health principles; coordination; strength; agility; and good sportsmanship. They also develop health habits for life and are ready for an active life. Through an SVAE education, the children are ready to be positive contributors in high school and competent, productive members of the church and community.
Preparation for Heaven
At SVAE, students personally know Jesus Christ and daily choose Him as their Lord and Savior. They develop habits of regular, personal devotions and of making positive life choices. These students learn for themselves, live out, and share Bible truths; they are engaged in witness/outreach activities. In both word and behavior, they exemplify a Christian character and manners. They value people the way Christ does, treating others with love and respect. They are ready and eager to meet Jesus at His second coming.