SDA Education: Can It Survive?

Speaker: Categories: Aug 09, 1986


[57min, 45sec / 33min, 49sec]


Many readers have been concerned about Adventist education. Whether it was the financial struggle of getting together the entrance fee and first month's tuition in an Adventist elementary school, the more demanding finances of the academy, or the apparent impossibility of affording four years at an Adventist college -- most FORUM attenders have been over this particular ground -- or -- are now experiencing what Christian education, ala SDA, really requires in dollars. Some, who sit on church boards, are also aware that churches may be "contributing" as much as 40% to 50% of all local church funds to support education through school subsidies -- an amount in excess of the actual tuition/fee costs for which individual families are responsible.

The July 10 Adventist REVIEW, with its attention-getting front cover showing a young man carrying a very large one-hundred dollar bill toward the Religion Center on one of our Adventist college campuses, visually and verbally depicted this growing financial concern. Though annual costs for an Adventist college are slightly less than the median for private colleges in the western states, according to the article, such information provides little solace for the typical Adventist family having to make some major financial, and perhaps religious, decisions.

And with the public elementary, high school, community college or university within walking, biking, or driving distance, one must ask whether the end result, the actual education received, makes the additional financial effort and the likely need for one's son or daughter to live away from home really a rational choice.

These are personal choices -- choices which affect the family. But more recently, some hard questions and choices are being addressed by the members of the Seventh-day Adventist denomination and, especially, by its leaders. "Adventist Education: Can It Survive?" is more than a catchy title for a FORUM presentation.


When invited to return to San Diego as a FORUM speaker, Dr. Knittel very quickly suggested the topic of Adventist education. He is particularly knowledgeable in this area. His entire professional life has been devoted to secondary and post-secondary education.

His career includes working as Dean of Men at three different institutions: Enterprise Academy, Campion Academy, and at the University of Colorado.

In Adventist higher education he has served as: Vice-President for Student Affairs, Andrews University; Academic Dean, Southern College; President, Southern College; and Chairperson, Department of English, Loma Linda University.

Though Frank Knittel is a California native, claiming Bakersfield as his birthplace, his formal education experiences have taken him to Southern College for the academy years, to Union College for his baccalaureate degree, and to the University of Colorado for his doctorate in medieval languages.

Frank's debut with the San Diego Chapter of the Association of Adventist FORUMS occurred in February of 1984 when he discussed the topic: "The Truth Shall Make You Free," a topic which raised a number of questions about intellectual, theological and academic freedom.


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