Change in Adventist Education: The Costs, The Benefits, The Inevitability

Speaker: Categories: Mar 13, 1993


[1hr, 11min / 22min, 35sec]


Are you an alumnus/alumna of Adventist higher education? Did you ever attend an Adventist college or university? If not, do you wish you had? Would you (or did you) send your children to attend your alma mater or any other SDA institution of higher education? How about your grandchildren?

Dr. Fritz Guy, our March speaker, notes: "Every year Adventist higher education in North America (like higher education in general) gets more expensive. Every year other kinds of higher education (both private and public) look more like attractive options for Adventist students."

Funding, Dr. Guy observes, provided from the Union Conferences and from the General Conference for the operation of North American Adventist higher education is being diminished, making such education more exclusively tuition-based.

President Guy notes that the church confronts some tough decisions that need to be made by the end of the century! [That's less than seven years away!] "The basic question," he suggests, "is this: in what ways does the church want Adventist higher education to change? For it surely will change -- probably both for the better and for the worse."

Professor Guy has identified the following issues which must be addressed in the process of planning for change:

1. Is Adventist higher education worth it's cost? What is the North American SDA church paying for higher education?

2. What is the church getting for its money? What more does the church want in return for its investment? Is there more the church should want?

3. Is Adventist higher education essential to the church's mission? What makes higher education "Adventist"?

4. To what extent should Adventist higher education attempt to meet the needs of a constituency that is increasingly diverse in culture and ethnicity, in socioeconomic status, in academic interest and achievement, and in religious perspective?

5. Are there viable alternatives to the present forms of Adventist higher education in North America? (Theoretical possibilities might include encouraging institutional distinctiveness and specialization, reducing the number of campuses, eliminating graduate and profession education, substantially increasing the number of non-Adventist students, privatizing institutional ownership and control, [and/or] establishing residence halls and study centers affiliated with secular campuses.)


Fritz Guy who discussed "The Shape of an Adventist Future," with us in May, 1987, is a graduate of Cedar Lake Academy (1948), La Sierra University (BA, 1952), SDA Theological Seminary (MA, 1955), Andrews University (BD, 1961), University of Chicago (MA, in Christian Theology, 1966, and PhD in Christian Theology, 1971).

He has served as pastor-evangelist in Southeastern California, Assistant Editor, The Youth's Instructor, Instructor in Religion, La Sierra College, Assistant Associate Professor of Religion, Loma Linda University, Associate Dean and Dean, College of Arts and Sciences, Loma Linda University, Professor of Theology, Andrews University, Associate Pastor and Acting Senior Pastor, University Church, Loma Linda, and President and Professor of Theology, La Sierra University, 1990 - present. He has published nearly fifty articles, papers, and book reviews.

He and his wife, Marcia Specht Guy, have three adult children: Lind Davis, Longview Washington; Richard Guy II, Guam; and Susan Reeder, Garden Grove, California.

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