Moses was trained in the best universities of Egypt, the best academic institutions of the world of the time. He got the equivalent of master and Ph.D.’s degrees in fields such as history, philosophy, sciences and leadership. Like top ranked institutions of higher education today, the universities of Egypt were models of excellence in research and teaching. In spite of his experience at the finest universities, however, Moses was not prepared for his mission to lead the people out of Egypt. He had become just one more component of the system.
Jesus, on the other hand, grew up in a remote country town. He spent his youth in manual labor and poverty, far from the great academic centers of excellence. Instead, Jesus received his training from the greatest educators of mind and heart: the book of Nature, the Old Testament Scriptures and communion with God. Unlike Moses, Jesus was prepared to fulfill the mission given by his Father. Moreover, Jesus excelled spiritually, mentally, and physically, far better than what “the system” offered. He was definitely not one more part of the system.
Which path are Adventist universities following? Are we producing professionals only for the system, or are we producing professionals to work for the Kingdom of God, to make a difference in our world because they possess a Christ-like character?
Government and academic associations have established a system of standards that all universities are expected to attain. Adventist universities are not immune to this reality. Our universities invest a lot of time and resources to increase enrollment, develop strong research programs, improve teaching and be more effective and successful in the future. Our leaders work without respite to reach those standards and be part of the system.
It seems that Adventist universities sometimes try to follow the model of the greatest and most prestigious secular academic institutions. Our fear is that if we do not, we will not get grants and government financial support or our enrollment will decrease. We fear that we will not be considered a center of academic excellence, not be a member of academic associations, and be seen by our peer institutions as closed-minded. We think that if we please the system, our higher education institutions will have a better future. Thus, it is common to see Adventist universities organizing musical, sport, social and academic events that imitate the patterns of this world and do not conform to the principles in the Holy Scriptures.
Although Moses was trained in the system of his day, he was not prepared for his mission, so God took Moses to the University of the Sinai Desert. For forty years, God was his teacher and worked out to transform his character to become a man ready to work for God.
Are Adventist universities like the universities of Egypt pleasing the system and producing young people according the pattern of this world or like the University of the Sinai Desert being faithful and obedient to God and producing young people according to God’s heart?
Note: Article written and posted in English