SILVER SPRING, Md. — The Adventist Accrediting Association has decided to require minimum academic requirements of students applying to Adventist universities. The historic move is sure to strike fear into the hearts of academy students hoping to attend Adventist universities this fall.
In a statement titled “We are More than Glorified Academies,” US-based Adventist universities have announced that new student applicants to each institution will be required to be “at least vaguely literate” and that no school will accept anything below a 0.5 GPA.
“Used to be, we just had applicants sign a slip that said they promised to pay tuition and avoid cow-tipping,” said an enrollment officer speaking under the condition of anonymity. “I don’t know how we are going to recruit new students to our schools with these harsh new academic standards.”
Students that are already enrolled at Adventist universities are safe for now although administrators are toying with the idea of a strict ban on pillows in class.
Common consensus among analysts is that Adventist universities are struggling to shake their image of being the least challenging schools in America. Although she claims the schools have financially benefited from a steady stream of academically-challenged students over the years, Sally Rembrandt of the North American Division Education Department said that having a reputation for easy A’s isn’t a long-term strategy for Adventist higher education.
“As much as most students at our schools have historically begged to differ, college really is supposed to be about learning,” said Rembrandt.
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I will say this: as a convert to Adventism from Atheism, I am frequently shocked by how very little education has occurred for lifetimers (those who grew up Adventist and attended Adventist schools from cradle to university). I have numerous colleagues who don’t know what organelles are, have no clue how cellular biology functions (not even a basic understanding), who think DNA is some mystic contraption that magically runs the cell. But it’s not just the sciences. Most of my Adventists friends have never read classic literature like Brave New World, Animal Farm, 1984, Once and Future King, Beowulf, Treasure Island, etc.
It’s like we get SO fixated on ensuring that our kids are well-versed in the Bible that we don’t teach much of anything else. But the thing is, most of our kids don’t emerge from Adventist education well-versed in the Bible! I have heard the statistics about how our kids apparently out-perform the national average (although our national average is pathetic, so that’s not really saying much), but the fact is, when I talk to Adventists my age and older, I am frequently shocked at the general atmosphere of ignorance about virtually anything other than Fox News, ESPN, and church-related functions. I’m not exaggerating either.
We need to fight the notion that is rampant in Adventism that to be Christian and holy, you have to distance yourself from math and science (or just education in general). There is nothing at all wrong with having a knowledge of science. Indeed, true science reinforces the Bible.
To complete a credential I started at Pacific Union College, I attended CSU Northridge. To my relief I found that I was completely capable of following the graduate level of academics seamlessly from an SDA institution to a secular institution. With all due respect to you Beowulf is actually high school literature and is taught at many of the academies as part of the AP curriculum. I am sorry that your experience has not been a favorable one, but mine has been one that sees a high level of academics in the the SDA culture and no less than the secular public. I have taught an equal number of years in the SDA system and in the public school system. Both systems of education were rigorous in academics as I saw it.
As a soon to be post-septuagenarian let me say that the academic standards of the classes I took at Newbury Park (Adventist) Academy and Pacific Union College prepared my nicely for graduate school in biochemistry at the University of Utah. What was left out to my continuing distress was any perspective on the history and development of Christian thought. As a perhaps trivial example, how many SDAs know that numbers 2-5 of our 29 Fundamental beliefs are an expanded paraphrase of the Apostle’s Creed?
How many Adventists know that 99% of the Roman Catholic Catechism is pretty much identical to Adventist doctrine?
The big differences are the importance of the Saturday Sabbath, the state of the dead, the intercession of the saints, and the authority, or lack thereof, of the Pope and of Ellen G. White.
Of course, in the Ten Commandments, while the first four are about mans’ relationship with God, the last six are just elaborations on the Golden Rule . . . treat others as you wish to be treated.
The Adventists schools don’t want to go into the history and development of Christian thought, because most of the history and substance of Christian thought is Catholic.
But for the 1500 year leadership of the Catholic church, creating, defining, and preserving the Christian religion, Christianity as we know it today would not exist, neither the Adventist nor any othe protestant church would exist, they’re all “offshoots” of Catholicism.
What, pray tell is a 0.5 gradepoint average? 4.0 is straight As… 3.0 straight B… 2.0 straight C… 1.0 straight D… 0.5 would be either D- or F+… Someone with a GPA THAT low shouldn’t have graduated highschool!! How is that any sort of a standard…much less “harsh”? What’s happened to the excellent SDA elementary and highschool system that I, my siblings, my aunt and uncle and parents and even grandparents graduated from over 50 years in the mid to late 20th century? Something seems suspicious about this article…
This MUST be spoof or satire…a practice piece for The Onion… No?
Oh good grief folks …. Everything posted on barelyadventist is SATIRE. Read the disclaimer!!! It’s meant for us to laugh and chuckle, not get all uptight! Smh 🙂
Not sure ‘CSU’ or Univ. Utah are the high academics to which we ought to aspire….
Anyone heard of Ivy League? For decades we’ve reassured ourselves that mediocre is OK, and that truly high academic achievement isn’t a worthy goal, which explains why most Adventists haven’t attended top flight universities, and most top flight universities haven’t heard of Adventist schools.
Guys…….. Hello? DID YOU READ THE TITLE OF THE WEBSITE BEFORE YOU READ THE ARTICLE?
By the way, I know quite a few students who attended SDA schools and then did very well in graduate programs at places like Harvard, Yale, Columbia, Berkeley, UCLA, Georgetown, Vanderbilt, et al. No need to disparage the quality of SDA schools or the students who attended those schools. I personally believe that I received a superb education from first grade through college at SDA schools. Best. Charles Pereyra-Suarez. Bachelor of Arts, Pacific Union College, 1970; Juris Doctor, UC Berkeley, 1975.