The Adventist Advantage

Preparing young people for success in the 21st century and beyond—this is the mission of the Seventh-Day Adventist educational system.


Since 1872, we’ve practiced “whole person” education—teaching young people not only to excel academically, but to develop healthy bodies and thriving spiritual lives. Our teachers and administrators in the North American Division are dedicated to the success of over 55,000 students in nearly 1,000 Adventist K–12 schools and 15 colleges and universities in Bermuda, Canada, and the United States.



The aim of true education is to restore human beings into the image of God as revealed by the life of Jesus Christ.Only through the guidance of the Holy Spirit can this be accomplished. An education of this kind imparts far more than academic knowledge. It fosters a balanced development of the whole person—spiritual, physical, intellectual, and social-emotional—a process that spans a lifetime. Working together, homes, schools, and churches cooperate with divine agencies to prepare learners to be good citizens in this world and for eternity

  • The Purpose

    The CognitiveGenesis study, a project undertaken by La Sierra University and the North American Division Office of Education, set out to answer these questions:

    1. How well are students doing academically in the Adventist school system?
    2. How does academic performance in Adventist schools compare to academic performance in public schools and other private schools?
    3. What student, home and school factors are associated with higher academic achievement?
    4. What areas could be improved to provide the best possible education?

The CognitiveGenesis Study

From 2006 to 2009, the project gathered massive amounts of data about the academic achievement and abilities of 51,706 students in more than 800 Adventist elementary schools and academies in the United States. The students were in grades 3 to 9, and also in grade 11. Every conference and nearly every school participated.

The study was designed to show how well students are doing in the Adventist school system and how their academic achievement compares to the achievement of students in other school systems. Standardized Iowa achievement tests were given each year to gather this data.

In addition to measuring knowledge and skills with achievement tests, the researchers wanted to assess students’ ability to learn, adapt, solve problems and understand instructions—their aptitude. The Cognitive Abilities Test was used each year to gather this data.

Finally, students, parents, teachers and school administrators were surveyed to help identify factors that might influence academic achievement and thinking ability.