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Konner Dent Journalism Portfolio


Professors, collegues, fellow colligues, and potential employees, thank you for finding your way to my portfolio. Included is a list of my work in journalism, and comunication. I also have experience in photography, film, and Adobe. I hope it aids in your decisions.

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-Cell: 269-529-0431 -Email: konnerdent@gmail.com -Instagram: /konnerocks -Facebook: /KonnerDent -YouTube: The Haystack Factory

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A Journey To Healign and Understanding

Lake Union Herald -November/December 2016 As part of the ongoing conversation on mission and culture, the Lake Union Conference hosted “Journey to Healing and Understanding,” a formal discussion about race relations within the Adventist church. The event, a follow up to Lake Union Conference President Don Livesay’s apology for the failings of the church, delivered at last year’s Lake Region Conference’s campmeeting, was held at the Village Church on Saturday, October 1. The opening panel, moderated by Livesay, included: Executive Secretary of the Lake Union Conference Maurice Valentine III, Lake Region Conference President R. Clifford Jones, and Andrews University President Andrea Luxton. An additional Q&A program also introduced Pastor Taurus Montgomery of the Harbor of Hope church; Andrews professors Hyveth Williams and Nicholas Miller; pastor of the Capitol City Church in Indianapolis William Lee; and Carmelo Mercado, vice president of the Lake Union Conference. During the first half of the program, Luxton apologized for the racism displayed at Andrews University in past years. “As an organization of Andrews university, we have been guilty of

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racial bias, of making African-Americans and minorities feel less than. We have not always listened well, we have not always been sensitive, and have not always taken action when action should have been taken. And for that, I’m very sorry.” She continued, “It’s not good enough to see ourselves mirroring the challenges and con-

flicts of society at our point in history. As Christians – as Seventh-day Adventists – we must always have greater expectations of ourselves. We never have an excuse to devalue or make assumptions of someone because of their race. We have no excuse not to be open to understanding of our own sinfulness and bias.” In the second half of the program, Nicholas Miller detailed Andrews’ history in segregation and times where the residual

effects of Jim Crow laws affected the campus, such as when black students were forced to wait outside the cafeteria until enough people had arrived to fill a segregated table. One moment that elicited thunderous applause and brought many in the congregation to their feet was when Montgomery said, “Black people did not create the race problem. I, speaking for black people in general, have some things that I need to repent of, but the conversation has to start with white male leadership…If the Seventh-day Adventist church is wanting to get to the place where they are experiencing true reconciliation, it starts with the people at the top.” In regards to continuing the discussion, Carmelo Mercado stated that four similar convocations were in development for Milwaukee, Chicago, Detroit, and Indianapolis. “The majority of our baptisms are multi-ethnic,” he said. “How do we learn about each other? We go and talk to, listen to, and embrace each other.” Overall, the response from the filledto-the-gills sanctuary was generally positive, punctuated with rounds of applause and standing ovations. The biggest audience concern seemed to be what was going to happen next. “Can we implement what we just talked about?” asked Clifford Allen, an attendee from the Niles Philadelphia Adventist Church, “And, what is the plan to move forward?”


Perspectives on Death Consiliar Post- 11/25/15

I got an email on night from a friend who ran an interfaith theology website. He told me that he was doing a special on how different denominations viewed death, and they didn’t have a Seventh-day Adventist perspective, and needed one quickly. This was my contribution. The Seventh-day Adventist belief on the soul’s actions after death is primarily characterized by its lack of action. The verse primarily referenced is Genesis 2:7, which states, “And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.” According to this verse, a soul is formed when dust is given God’s breath of life. God doesn’t give man a soul, but rather makes him one. Elihu seconds this motion by stating in Job 33:4 “The Spirit of God hath made me, and the breath of the Almighty hath given me life.” Conversely, when an individual dies – when the breath of life leaves them – they cease to remain a soul and return to dust.

To cite Seventh-day Adventists Believe… (the official compilation of beliefs accepted by its members),“Though the body returns to dust, the spirit returns to God. Solomon said that at death “the dust will return to the earth as it was, and the spirit will return to God who gave it” (Eccl. 12:7). This is true of all, both the righteous and the wicked. Many have thought that this text gives evidence that the essence of the person continues to live after death. But in the Bible neither the Hebrew nor the Greek term for spirit (ruach and pneuma, respectively) refers to an intelligent entity capable of a conscious existence apart from the body. Rather, these terms refer to the “breath”—the spark of life essential to individual existence, the

life principle that animates animals and human beings.Not surprisingly, the subject of the soul’s post mortem actions is largely tied with topics such as the state of the dead, and the processes of immortality. Seventh-day Adventists equate death with an unconscious sleep, which Christ referenced when referring to the state of Jarius’s daughter and Lazarus. The “Awakening” from this sleep at Christ’s return is best summarized by Paul in 1st Corinthians 15:51-54. “Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.”

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From Mission to Mission Envision (Submission) - 2016

“I was supposed to be a Canadian,” is not a phrase you often hear. Another phrase you don’t often hear is “but the birth records were destroyed in the war in Egypt.” This is the tale of pastor Glenn Russel, an Andrews professor with a proficiency and passion for mission work. Russel has been educating through Andrews for more than three decades, and is involved in mission fields across the world. Anyone going on a mission trip through Andrews should get to know Professor Russel, whether their trip is just for spring break or if colligate education being abandoned for a pursuit in a life of missions. Not surprisingly, Russel’s journey to Andrews was as sundry as his passport stamp collection. Lest it be assumed that even the most longstanding of Andrews professors grow on meticulously labeled trees, I give you the life and times of Glenn Russel. Conflicts surrounding the Suez war caused the Russel family to move from Cairo, Egypt to Beirut. With the documents displaced, Russel’s parents began working at Middle East College as deans and teachers, 6

while their children “technically” became American. “Lebanon was home” reflected Russel, “I viewed myself as an American who lived in Lebanon, and coming back to the states was just an extended vacation.” One might think that this cultural limbo would hinder adolescent social deviation, since latching onto negative American culture is kind of hard if you have only been their twice in your lifetime. However, being an American made the Lebanese party circuit was easily accessible. As spiritual progress was put on pause, the third-culture kid started searching for entertainment. “When I was fourteen [through] sixteen, I was already going to parties and clubs,” Russel reflected. “Lebanon had plenty of clubs… and being a foreigner, you could easily get in places [where] you were under aged.” “I struggled with faith,

[and] I wasn’t an atheist in the sense that I thought there wasn’t a God. I thought there was a God, I just didn’t want to be bothered.” An Adventist parent in the United States may threaten to ship their misbehaving offspring to the mission field, so what happens when a missionary child sparks parental chagrin? They move to Pennsylvania. “My mom and dad didn’t say it outright, but they did hint that, [I] was leaving that whole world, and that it would be a good time for a change.” Under the influence other missionary friends, spiritual interest was gradually rekindled until finally, it culminated into a classic conversion, as Russel recalled praying, “Lord I want to give you my life and want to start fresh.” It was then that the concept of being a pastor came into play as an occupational option. Being the son of a teacher and a pastor, Russel never wanted to be a teacher or a pastor. “I actually wanted to go into music, become a musician, and play in a band,” he recalled. “It’s probably good not to tell God what you won’t do, because he has a sense of humor.” However, music performance was still part of God’s plan, since while touring camps with a praise team, the soon-to-be pastor met his another camp staff which theology majors refer to as a “Proverbs 31 woman.” “Always marry someone that is better than


you. I married a woman whose spirituality I deeply admire. She had a strong devotional life and prayer when we met.” Russel happily recalled. “Marry someone who will help you get into heaven.” Following in the grand old tradition of aspiring pastors, Russel got engaged and became a theology major. After an upbringing in the mission field, a conversion after a party lifestyle, training in theology, and the all-important clerical accomplishment of promised matrimony, every box on the “perfect pastor” checklist had been marked. And so, a Russel began his career as a truck driver. “That forced some thinking,” recalled Russel, as he started asking God “Why did I learn all this Greek? Why did I learn all this biblical stuff when I’m driving a truck? I prepared to be a pastor and yet there is no job for me.” “As a result, the Lord lead me to this conclusion: I have called you, others haven’t seen it yet, so you just serve me now.” However, this did not relocate Russel to preaching for a congregation of windshield bugs. On off days he began leading Bible studies in his church, asking the pastor for any work that utilized theology and a willingness to witness. “As I started doing that, it started becoming clear that, even if I had to drive a truck for

five or ten years…sooner or later, [the] Lord would open the door for me to become a pastor. That was in mid-January and a week or two later, I got hired to be a pastor in the Potomac conference in Virginia.” So, in keeping of the second most infamous tradition of aspiring Adventist clerics, the newly-formed Russel family sojourned to Andrews University, returning four years later to Virginia to continue ministerial work. However, it should be noted that Virginia is not Michigan, which is where our story ends. It should be noted though, that the now-Pastor Russel had already contradicted his adolescent plan to not become a pastor, and God and irony both required that he become an educator as well. “When we left seminary, we pulled out of Maplewood and said, “we’re now leaving Andrews and we’re probably never coming back again.’ We now live on Maplewood drive, not far from the apartment we used to live in.” Apparently, Andrews Academy was in need of a bible teacher, and who better than a pastor conveniently on the other side of the country! Russel continued to be a Bible teacher at the academy from 1985-2000. One fateful day in the time of Vanilla Ice and JNCO jeans, the youth pastor of PMC poised the idea of a three-week, short-term mission trip. “That’s not a mission trip, that’s a vaca-

tion!” Russel remembered himself saying. “I thought it was a joke, but the more he talked about the philosophy of mission and how you do it makes a difference. You can do a mission trip that is leisure time, not making much of an impact, but if you have clear goals and purpose, it can become worthwhile.” And so began the first of many academy mission trips to Romania, right after the fall of communism. “It was rough. There was no email or phone system. We were gone from our kids and because of the infrastructure being damaged by communism, there were times we went 4-5 days without showers and hardly any water. The church in Romania taught us so much. The believers were strong after being persecuted.” Though that first trip involved putting on children’s camps and building, Russel admitted that “we were better at the camps.” Missions to Romania improved and continued until Andrews University called for a teacher, and Russel began short-term missions to Honduras with AU college students. If you happen to find yourself on a short-term mission trip with Pastor Russel, its unlikely that you will be doing much church building in the literal sense. Working with local aids and ministries, these trips focus primarily on witnessing and improving local facilities. “It may come as a shock, but 7


Andrews students don’t have a lot of money. Building costs a lot of money. They do have a lot of energy though, and all students have something they can teach, which is why we do camps.” A regular day camp involves campers pouring in from the streets to an Adventist locale, and filling an extremely old bus to the gills with anyone who whishes to attend. Aside from the huge language barrier and a ton of improvisation more flexibility, its just like any other day at camp! “I usually have very little discipline issues,” reflected Russel, “since at the end of the day, everyone is too tired!” This laid-back organization has an effect that drives students to perform their best by having a leader who is both relatable and trustworthy. “He is very detail-oriented and always has a plan, yet he’s also flexible and willing to consider any ideas anyone has,” recalled short-term mission veteran Eliana Iller a behavioral sciences major and member of the last mission trip to an orphanage in Honduras. “He’s more of a leader by example. He’s not afraid to stand up and do what is right, but he does it in a way with so much love. The best way I can describe it is how Christ wants us to handle situations.” Another Honduras trip member, Joses Ngugi, declared, “the biggest characteristic that that he had that made us feel like we were 8

in good hands, was his confidence in God’s providence. He never made a decision without praying first.” Looking around Russel’s office, the mutual impact between himself and individuals from every part of the globe is striking. No diploma is visible. Education was just a means to a better end. Every spare centimeter of shelf space has been converted into a veritable museum. An Egyptian boat painted with hieroglyphs sits next to pan pipes from Romania and a Zimbabwean elephant with its trunk raised “for good luck”. Muslim prayer beads from Lebanon sit next to a Kenyan combat club, all gifts small glimpses of relationships established and conquest over cultural barriers. However, these relationships cut deeper than daintily scrapbooked memories. They mean spiritual victories, but also the grim reality that must be faced when going “into all the world.” Eliana recalled a time when the mother

of a child in the orphanage was unable to communicate with anyone, until repeatedly prayed over. Last summer in Lebanon, a woman came to the short-term medical clinic, unable to remember how to take medicine capsules. After being assisted, the woman kept returning, claiming the same issue. After a while, it was revealed that she was in shock, after witnessing her family murdered in front of her during the war in Syria. “That is one of things I deeply resonate with in missions. You see the raw edge. You see sin as nasty as it is. You see the ugliness of this world, and it makes you get tired of it. But you can also see God’s grace and working though the Holy Spirit in mercy. Missions get you on the front lines. You can be happy with this world if you do missions. You can’t be happy going back to your same old life.”


Jason Miller Profile Student Movement - 10/27/15

It’s hard to find many Seventh-day Adventists making their careers in D.C. politics, with the exception of the occasional neurosurgeon. It’s uncommon to find them working as ground security for a papal partade, assisting with a 30,000 member mass, or “accidentally” showing up to a repeal Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell protest with Kathy Griffin, though that has its exceptions as well. As an Andrews alumnus, Jason Miller has gone where no Fountianviewgraduating, fundamentalist-article writing, vegetarian has gone before, and in the wake of the recent papal visitation, Miller offers an interesting perspective on what it’s like going form a conservative boarding school in Canada, to the Catholic University of America Columbus School of Law, establishing an identity at a school where Adventism is conceptually unheard of, and how Adventism and politics can successfully intersect. During the early Bush era when political motives were becoming more approved by Christian audiences, Miller

enrolled at Fountainview Academy in British Columbia. Though it sparked disputes with fellow students, his passion in political and legal matters resulted in a charge from his bible professor Olaf Clausen, who encouraged Miller to follow his governmental interests. “I know that you have this passion for politics and religious freedom and religious liberty,” Miller recalled his teacher saying. “We’re getting to the last days and we really need good people who understand these issues and care about these things to go into government, politics and law.”Graduation landed Miller at Andrews University as a political science major, where he began

interviewing senators and working as a research assistant for an international law course. After providing the weekly conservative opinion column in the Student Movement, running for class office, and a year-long mission trip in Honduras, he graduated from Andrews and heeded an acceptance letter to the Columbus School of Law in Washington D.C. “It made sense, because my profile is perfect for them” recalls Miller on the reasons behind his acceptance. “ I’m a Seventh-day Adventist, I’m a conservative, [and] my law-school personal statement was all about…coming from a society and religion where politics and law are… questioned.” “I’ve been using my story to prove that idea wrong. “ Interestingly enough, studying in an ocean of catholic scholars didn’t reveal any grand internal skepticism towards Adventism, but rather the lack thereof. “Most people don’t know anything about Seventh-day Adventism. What they know about [Adventism], they know from me.” Because of this type of influence, 9


standards have to be held tightly. “Most people know I don’t eat meat, and they defiantly know I don’t drink,” states miller. “There is a bifurcation between my social life which is Adventist, and my academic work life which is non-Adventist. One thing I did do, I put boundaries down pretty quickly on what I believed and what I was going to compromise on and what I wasn’t going to, and so I took a pretty firm stand on alcohol.” “With only a few exceptions, I would stay away from hanging out in a bar.” Being at a catholic university did place him in the middle of papal visitation, with the pope’s canonization of the 18th-century friar Junípero Serra, 10

the massive 30,000-member mass, and a close encounter with the pope during a parade. “That was one of the most insane experience of my life,” states Miller. “All of a sudden, the crowd starts cheering, and from around the corner comes the popemobile. My mouth was just agápe.” (As for the rally with Kathy Griffin, Miller said it happened while he was interning, and was completely accidental. “I was running around D.C., and I see all these people waving and cheering. Then I hear them yelling “Kathy Griffin! Kathy Griffin!” Some guy came up and asked, “Can I take your picture?” and as I was chatting with him, he told me that this was a protest for the repeal of Don’t

Ask, Don’t Tell. “) “In the world, not of the world” is a good description of Mr. Miller’s experience in Washington. Through political involvement, the alumnus has cultivated a very centered view of Adventism and politics. “I don’t encourage any Adventist to jump into the political world,” Miller concludes. “If we did get more involved, the level of tension in churches would increase tremendously, and you would have some literal splits in divisions.” “But there are certain people I have seen [whom] God is guiding, who have talents, skills, and understand what they believe, and to those people, I say go for it. [If] God is opening doors and has put you in a good position, take full advantage of it.”


Room 224

Andrews Univerity Campus News - 10/27/15

Interning is a confusing time period. As a student, you are hanging in the limbo between employment and scholastics, balancing classes with a new job and trying to ignore the fact that paying for internship credits appears to be a little worse than slavery. However, a recent development at Andrew’s School of Business is changing the internship game, by placing a paid, unaffiliated accounting internship right in Chan Shun Hall.

Since December, the accounting firm Crowe and Horwath has operated the paid, 3-month internship out of office room 224 in the School of Business. “We came up with this idea last fall,” states CPA advisor and Andrews alumnus Paul Smith. “My colleague who runs the group I’m in came up with the idea and we started reaching out to different universities last fall. I reached out to Andrews and they said, “We think we can give you some space.’” In the span of four months, the accounting internship had been established, with students working on campus instead of from Crowe’s South Bend office. “Obviously, Crowe is happy to be on campus and get the publicity of offering internships for recruiting purposes, but also it’s a win for the students as well because instead of having to commute into the office every day, basically they can walk across the room, go to class, and then come back and keep working.” Not only is the development of an on-campus, unaffiliated internship convenient, it also more closely resembles an accounting job in the digital age. According to Smith, Crowe imple11


mented a new mobility strategy, which allows employees to do work from their own locations and set up their client meeting locations in areas where office space would be at a premium. Students in office room 224 work on lower-risk accounting assignments for clients, while supervisors work beside to assist if needed. Along with setting up the on-campus office, Smith also negotiated a $10,000 donation to the school of business for the privilege of on-sight connections. “I wanted Crowe to make a donation and pay essentially for this privilege, because its putting us in a very good position in terms of recruiting students. I’m kind of first in line now, and I think that just being in that position Crowe need to acknowledge the benefit they are being given, and we are in your space, so we should be paying rent” Surprisingly, even inter-company networking hasn’t been hindered by the 27-mile separation from the South Bend Office. “I wouldn’t say we lost a lot of communication compared to when we were at Crowe, since everyone at Crowe instant messages each other anyway,” reflects accounting graduate 12

Abigail Tejeda, “I almost talk to them more now that I am away.” Melissa Ruhupatty, an international business major with a minor in accounting, expressed similar sentiments. “I like it better. At the office its so quiet all the time and everyone is in their cubicles. Here its less scary, more communal, and even though we are working here, we’re still talking to people outside. We still talk to field team people, which are crow employees out at the companies we are auditing, [and] we still talk to some of or supervisors which are back in the office.” Josh Stall, an accounting and communication management major, summarized his approval as well. “One of the things I really enjoy about this internship is that I am able to do it during school, and a lot of the focus in this internship is just building your experience and exposure to different processes you would encounter when working for a public accounting firm. It’s experiencing a typical day at work. I really enjoy it because it’s allowed me to get a lot of experience even when I’m in college because its something I can do during the school year instead of putting everything on pause until summer.”

In regards to the future of the program, School of Business dean Ralph Trecartin spoke positively and hoped that similar opportunities would develop in other fields of business. “Our job is to educate well, but also prepare students for the job market. The wave right now is to have a lot more internship and experiential learning, mixed in with academic learning. this is where we need to move, for all of our students, not just 2 or 3. It’s a little piece of something really big that needs to happen, but its still pretty big.”


The Christian Relationship to Fiction The Student Movement- 9/15/17 Fiction fits into that gray area of unanswered Adventist controversy that seemed super important in High School. An apparent brick in the dividing wall between conservative and liberal camps, the topic seemed to gain importance whenever a young adult novel got adapted into a movie, causing parents to remember that children can read. With the ever-polarizing Harry Potter series celebrating its 20th anniversary, it’s a good time to address the dividing topic of a Christian’s relationship to fiction, which starts with addressing the two differing sides. In one camp lies those who oppose fictional literature. Untrue stories, aside for the parables of Jesus, Bunyan, Aesop, and Uncle Arthur, are lies no matter how they are dressed up. Even though there may be a message or “lesson” found at the end of a novel, the end does not justify the means. This view is backed by Ellen White’s commentary in Messages to Young People, which declares, “Love stories, frivolous and exciting tales, and even that class of books called religious novels—books in which the author attaches to his story a moral lesson— are a curse to the readers. Religious sentiments may be woven all through a storybook, but, in

most cases, Satan is but clothed in angel-robes, the more effectively to deceive and allure.” (272) In approval of fiction, readers of differing opinion point to the portion not covered in the “in most cases” as a justification. Though mainstream fiction admittedly has its flaws, the lessons found in the aforementioned parables are available through other authors as well. The religious allegories of Narnia, good/evil dichotomy of Tolkien’s stories, and the contextual insight that historical fiction prove that the category of “fiction” isn’t all vampire romance and wizarding plot conveniences. Even darker and morally dubious pieces like The Hunger Games and Game of Thrones can be gleaned for their social commentary – warning readers of what not to do while illustrating why it might be tempting. The problem that both sides face in saying “fiction is good” or “fiction is bad” , is that it places a rule where a brain should be used instead. In her colorful warning against novels, Aunt Ellen doesn’t say that fiction should be avoided because it simply isn’t true and could be deceiving someone or braking the

9th commandment. Instead, her cautions are against the content of the stories and how they affect the devotional process. It could be that a fictional story like Pilgrim’s Progress or The Shack helps strengthen spiritual understanding, while a very true war story or Kardashian autobiography could to just the opposite. When it comes to literature, “good” does not mean “real” and “bad” does not mean “fictional”. However, there are fields of writing where such sentiments are true, as science, journalism, and theology. Here, things are good when they are true and bad when they are fictitious, and where the Christian’s focus eliminating them should be placed. No matter how problematic steamy pulp fiction or a novel about supernatural teenagers may be, a greater danger occurs when infractions on the truth infiltrate religious doctrine, scientific writing, historical analysis, and news reporting. I believe this is the Christian’s most important relationship to fiction – to spot its damage not only when it is marked in the “fiction” section of a bookstore or library, but also when it sneaks into things that are supposed to be. To quote Proverbs 14:15, “The simple believe anything, but the prudent give thought to their steps.” (NIV) As problematic as the Harry Potter series was for the Christian community, it pales in comparison to the damage done by “The Origin of The Species.” 13


The Writer’s Desk: True Education Envision 2017

On October 6, 2016, the Adventist News Network released a report, stating that General Conference leaders were considering voting Adventist Education into a spot as the 29th Fundamental Belief. Though it still remains unclear what power akin to that of the Creator – the institution of the proposed 29th individuality, power to think and to belief will look like, many members are do.” Education. For us, at Envision, on board with its inclusion. After all, if we feel like this quote sums up exact“true education” is such a pinnacle of ly what we think true education is. It the Adventist faith, why shouldn’t it be depends on that of the individual and written into its guidelines? there needs. Every person is creat At Envision Magazine, we as writ- ed unique. Some learn quick, while ers have a variety of school situations others take a little longer to grasp under our collective belts, including pub- certain ideas. lic high schools and colleges, Adventist There’s nothing wrong with equivalents, awkward homeschool years, that, we all learn at our own pace. We and wacky unaffiliated Adventist offfeel as though true education isn’t shoot institutions. With Adventist educa- based on a certain title, or religion. tion stepping into our faith’s limelight, True education is that which meets we found it necessary to sit down with the needs of the student, whatever “True Education” (the work by Ellen that may be. God imparts wisdom White) and figure out what “true educa- upon each individual. With that tion” (the concept) strives to be. knowledge, it helps mold and create “Every human being, created us into the person God wants us to in the image of God, is endowed with a be. He can teach us and mold us not just in school buildings, but any14

where He chooses. His wisdom doesn’t stop molding us if we decide to go to non-Christian school. True education can also be found outside the classroom. Some of the most useful things one can learn can’t be learned in a book. tReal world experience is a great form of true education in our eyes. Different experiences and


personalities will determine our needs as learners. True education is in the eyes of the learners. Every Adventist institution claims to institute “true education” – a term for holistic education coined in the Ellen White document of the same name. However, the variety found across different Adventist schools, outside different occupational training, communicates that there are many different ways to interpreted True Education. Is it more student freedom? Is it mandated exercise and worships? Is it diversity in opinion and lifestyle or unity in one goal? Both Conservative offshoots and affiliated schools will agree that most implementation of true education starts in the scholastic realm, and then radiates into the aspects of spiritual and physical education. So how do we interpret “True Education”? How is this fantastic document to be read so its not a veneer to advertise a school to Christians or a way bend students to a teacher’s lifestyle ideals? As an institution, this work should be read in favor of the students. When White says that True Education “strengthens the character, so that truth and uprightness are not sacrificed to

selfish desire or worldly ambition,” this isn’t for the sake of a teacher’s beliefs, a marketable strategy, or even in hopes of “God’s blessing.” True education is for the best of the student, while they are in school and when they leave. When reading the book by the same name, this outcome should be kept in mind. That is where the conflict lies. Though Adventist education should always strive towards true education, for some students, “true education” might happen at home or at a public school. Perhaps an alternative would be instituting true education as the 29th fundamental belief, or establishing Adventist education as family upbringing or religious education through the church. Though its interpretation and institution are, and may always be, under development, a literal equivalence between membership and school attendance seems to limit true education by mandating Adventist education.

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