Since its founding in Battle Creek 131 years ago, Andrews University
has embraced its institutional mission to educate students for generous service
to the church and society in keeping with a faithful witness to Christ and to
the worldwide mission of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. These are lofty and
challenging words on the page, but they can be found in action, in the people
and on the campus of Andrews University.
Educating for Generous Service
Andrews University honors the opportunity to educate bright, committed students
who share our interest in impacting the world. Today, more than 3,000 students
from nearly 100 countries study at our Berrien Springs campus, in five schools
and in 180 undergraduate and graduate programs. The university's educational
strength extends worldwide through affiliate and extension programs, in which
another 1,700 students are currently working toward Andrews undergraduate and
graduate degrees at 16 affiliated institutions on five continents. Andrews alumni
number more than 28,000. They work across the globe, and literally thousands
of them serve in the world church or in other Adventist leadership positions.
Andrews University boasts a diverse teaching faculty, dedicated
to academic excellence. Like our student body, our faculty members come from
around the world. In addition to teaching, Andrews faculty are challenged and
committed to scholarly research and publishing. Their work not only serves the
campus but provides vital scholarship for the church, the community, and the
world. We are proud of our faculty, who have made the commitment to our students,
understanding that during the few years our students are with us the interactions
in and out of the classroom will mold their decisions about career, friends,
and service to God and society.
Some of the educational success of our students is demonstrated
through national standards. Our undergraduate students are entering college
with scores consistently higher than national averages on standardized tests.
Our retention rates are nearly 15 percentage points higher than those of similar
private universities, reflecting a six-point increase since 1999, and demonstrating
our students' success and commitment to Adventist education at Andrews University.
The Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary, which recently
commemorated its seventieth year of training for ministry, had a record enrollment
in the fall of 2004 of 678 students. Andrews University Seminary students come
from all inhabited continents of the world to join one of the most ethnically
and linguistically diverse seminary campuses in North America.
Creating a physical environment that fosters learning and builds
community among students, faculty, and staff is an ongoing challenge in a time
of stretched financial resources. Thanks to the generosity of university friends,
who are also committed to education for generous service, we have completed
two major building projects during the past quinquennium. The facility that
houses the Theological Seminary underwent a much-needed renovation and expansion.
This project doubled the square footage to better accommodate the record enrollment,
and now provides fitting spaces that foster intellectual, spiritual, and social
community among the students, staff, and faculty of the seminary.
The second building project had remained a dream for more than
a quarter century--a dream that one day Andrews would have a first-class performance
hall on campus. To some, this may seem an extravagant dream for a small university
located in a very small village. But at Andrews there is nothing small about
the work we do or the people we serve. This dream became reality in large part
because of the generosity of a couple from the local area, who were not members
of the Adventist Church, but who had been blessed by the high standard of music
that Andrews has offered over the years to our local community. In October 2003
Andrews dedicated the Howard Performing Arts Center to the Giver who dreams
of a world filled with His song, healed by His music.
A global community of eager students, keen-minded faculty, and
improving facilities that foster a learning climate--these elements combine
to create a vibrant environment that lets the minds of our students soar--but
to what end? While we are confident that at the culmination of their degree
programs Andrews graduates are prepared for excellent service in their field,
we recognize that their desire to be of service cannot be met through theoretical
discussion in the classroom.
So "educated for service" is demonstrated creatively
and practically in various disciplines. For example, our music students and
faculty offer free lessons in their spare time to disadvantaged children; music
performance organizations spend their vacations bringing beautiful music to
inspire the hearts of those stricken with AIDS in developing countries; architecture
students serve the building needs of small communities in South America; biology
students tutor disadvantaged children in the local community; a potpourri of
students volunteer their time each Sabbath for street ministries in nearby Benton
Harbor; and hundreds more dedicate their varied talents and time for the annual
Easter weekend Passion Play, which ministers to more than 8,000 guests
to our campus.
Witness to Christ and to the Worldwide Mission
of the Church
Where do Andrews students get the energy and inspiration to serve? It is through
the freshness and energy of youthful enthusiasm--an element that brings great
joy to the educational work on campus. Students thrive in the Christ-centered
classroom and in the daily worship services expected on a Christian campus,
but Andrews students also take hold of their faith experience and live it out
in bold new ways.
While the secularism and materialism of the postmodern world
portend dismal projections for church attendance in North America, Andrews University
is defying the trend and experiencing a vibrant spiritual community. Every Sabbath
there are nearly 30 worship opportunities in our community, including eight
options right in Berrien Springs. Bible study in the tradition of Sabbath school
has enjoyed a revitalized interest through the grassroots initiative and leadership
of Andrews students with the support of their families in the community. Andrews
students are feeding on God's Word together, inviting the Holy Spirit into their
lives through creative expressive worship, and sharing their experience with
Legacy of Leadership
For nearly a century and a half Andrews University has provided higher education
to the Adventist Church. In 1960 that commitment was redoubled by the General
Conference, which established Andrews University as a comprehensive university
charged with serving the needs of a growing and changing denomination. Andrews
has faithfully nurtured Adventist higher education around the globe through
our affiliate relationships to sister institutions, and we have watched with
satisfaction as many of these colleges have outgrown the need for our name on
However, there remains a tremendous need for educated leaders
to support the church's expansion, to bring Adventist influence to various fields
in the public sector, and to provide faith-based education for the world Adventist
family. Andrews University stands on the cusp of a new era in Adventist education
and is uniquely prepared to serve the global needs of our worldwide church.
While we still count the years of the new century and the millennium
in single digits, Andrews is distinctly situated to draw on our legacy, our
leadership, and our substantial resources in developing future leaders during
this challenging time of earth's history. And we will strengthen our efforts
to inspire our students, graduate and undergraduate, to seize the opportunities
to fully participate in the culturally, socially, spiritually, and intellectually
rich campus community.
Andrews University looks to the future with confidence. With
God's guidance and grace we will strengthen the signature programs of the university
to make them responsive and adaptable to the needs of church and society. We
will nurture our outstanding faculty, who embody the academic excellence and
spiritual maturity that inspire students and prepare them for distinctive leadership
roles. And we will remain faithful stewards of the physical spaces of our campus,
and continue to develop and provide a physical plant that builds community and
supports educational values.
At Andrews we are stewards of a legacy of leadership that inspires
us to take seriously what Adventist education sets out to do. We are stewards
of resources measured in the lives of people and the walls of buildings. And
we are stewards of a mission, inspired by our namesake, John Nevins Andrews.