Why Knowledge, Faith and Service Matter

April 10, 2024

KEENE, TEX. – Why does Adventist Education matter, particularly at Southwestern Adventist University (SWAU)? In the United States, we believe that education is the key to our democratic system because our form of government depends on having a well-educated populace that understands the issues, advocates for their beliefs and votes based on that well-educated stance. 

Within the Seventh-day Adventist Church, we also have specific missions (such as the health ministry, to name but one) that require an educated workforce with excellent critical thinking skills and required abilities to promote God’s work. Three SWAU students share how they practice the university's tagline of knowledge, faith and service.

Haley Seidel, a biochemistry major, shared, “Knowledge is the basis of all education. In Adventist education, this knowledge is supplemented by an understanding of God and His role in the world around us. My favorite part of Adventist education at SWAU is the opportunity to increase my knowledge through classes and independent projects. Through the honors program at SWAU, I am able to complete an original research project (mine is on diabetes education in Johnson County) that highlights a specific issue in the world and points to solutions and strategies that utilize a Christ-centered approach. Being able to discover new insights, from a Christian perspective, is one of the many things that makes SWAU’s education valuable to me.”

“As a first-generation Adventist, I have realized that faith has taken on a completely new meaning for me,” shared Reese Gallant, English major. “My faith has not only flourished due to the university’s Christian environment, but also because of the intentional effort that is put into creating a curriculum that fosters spiritual development. At SWAU, the Christian atmosphere extends beyond mere religious practice; it infuses every aspect of academic life. The classrooms themselves are imbued with a sense of Christian values, creating an environment that nurtures not only intellectual growth but also spiritual development. This holistic approach to education has deepened my understanding of faith, showing me that faith is not just a personal belief system, but also a communal experience.”

“At the end of knowledge and faith comes service,” said Madison Clements, biology major. “One thing that has stood out to me is the campus-wide dedication to service through school-funded mission trips, service day, honors projects and more. SWAU has embedded service into its curriculum. Each year SWAU has a service day where the entire campus is closed for classes, and students are encouraged to join one of the outreach groups. Because of my interest in biology, I enjoyed the opportunity to serve at the Fort Worth Nature Center. Further, last summer I was fortunate enough to join the Kinesiology Club and athletics department on a mission trip to Puerto Rico. While there, we led a worship service at the Seventh-day Adventist church and had many opportunities to reach out to the communities, through fixing roofs, cleaning houses, landscaping for the elderly and for the hurricane survivors. I came back from the trip on a spiritual high and with a better understanding of what “service” really means. Service should become a part of our character, which enables us to show the love of Christ to our communities near and far.”

By Renard Doneskey, Ph.D.

English Professor and Honors Program Director