Providing hope for criminals, producing competent workers as well as preparing youth for service to God and mankind are among the objectives of Seventh-day Adventist Christian education, according Dr. Lincoln Edwards, President of Northern Caribbean University (NCU).
"Everybody ought to know who Jesus is," declared Dr. Edwards while delivering the sermon at the Central Jamaica Conference’s (CJC) Education Summit held on May 11, 2019 at the Family of God SDA Church in Spanish Town. Noting that “there are many people who are confused about the mission and identity of Jesus”, the NCU President stated that the SDA system of education was specially designed to tackle this issue.
In his presentation, Dr. Edwards shared his experience of meeting SDA teachers at a non-SDA school. He reflected on the fact that the teachers shared interest in, not only his academic development, but also his spiritual. They introduced him to God, and as a result of this, he became a missionary for Christ.
He recounted that among the first set of persons he evangelized was Mr. Robert Yee, who eventually became a pastor and has served the church in various capacities. He was in attendance at the education summit. Dr. Edwards’ experience is a sample of what Seventh-day Adventist Christian Education seeks to produce in the lives of the students who attend the church affiliated basic schools, preparatory schools, high schools and university.
In delivering greetings, Barrington Richards, Director of Regional Educational Services at the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information applauded the SDA Church for its work in education in Jamaica.
The theme of the education summit was “Seventh-day Adventist Christian Education: Transforming Lives for Time and for Eternity. Church administrators, government officials, educators, students and church members gathered to express gratitude and to reflect on the developments and achievements of all the Seventh-day Adventist educational institutions in the central region of Jamaica. The event featured a colourful parade of schools, with a sample of students of the schools in this region proudly donning their uniforms.
With twenty-eight institutions in Jamaica, the SDA Church’s education system is designed to do more than prepare individuals academically. According to Pastor Michael Henry, the Education Director of the Jamaica Union, salvation is taught first and everything else comes after. The sole SDA institution of higher learning in Jamaica, Northern Caribbean University is currently celebrating 100 years of service to Manchester, where it relocated in 1919 from its original home in Riversdale, St Catherine.