School of the Prophets Curriculum
School of the Prophets is set up on a trimester schedule– three twelve week courses a year. One course from the second week of January through the second week of April, another from May through July, and then another from September through November. We have designed the curriculum as a two year process, in the effort to provide the training necessary for a student to:
- Teach and defend the present truth message of the hour.
- Teach, practice, and apply the principles of health reform for sanctified service to mankind, and as the entering wedge for the message of the hour.
- Obtain practical experience in agriculture.
- Obtain an understanding of practical labor that will allow the student to go forth as missionaries capable of supporting their own service for our Lord.
If you wish to be considered as a student, we encourage you to prayerfully seek the Lord in order to obtain His confirmation. If He directs you to do so, you should visit our Admissions page.
"In these days much is said concerning the nature and importance of "higher education." The true "higher education" is that imparted by Him with whom "is wisdom and strength" (Job 12:13), out of whose mouth "cometh knowledge and understanding." Proverbs 2:6.
"In a knowledge of God all true knowledge and real development have their source. Wherever we turn, in the physical, the mental, or the spiritual realm; in whatever we behold, apart from the blight of sin, this knowledge is revealed. Whatever line of investigation we pursue, with a sincere purpose to arrive at truth, we are brought in touch with the unseen, mighty Intelligence that is working in and through all. The mind of man is brought into communion with the mind of God, the finite with the Infinite. The effect of such communion on body and mind and soul is beyond estimate.
"In this communion is found the highest education. It is God's own method of development. "Acquaint now thyself with Him" (Job 22:21), is His message to mankind. The method outlined in these words was the method followed in the education of the father of our race. When in the glory of sinless manhood Adam stood in holy Eden, it was thus that God instructed him.
"In order to understand what is comprehended in the work of education, we need to consider both the nature of man and the purpose of God in creating him. We need to consider also the change in man's condition through the coming in of a knowledge of evil, and God’s plan for still fulfilling His glorious purpose in the education of the human race." Education, 14.
"And those who would be workers together with God must strive for perfection of every organ of the body and quality of the mind. True education is the preparation of the physical, mental, and moral powers for the performance of every duty; it is the training of body, mind, and soul for divine service. This is the education that will endure unto eternal life." Christ’s Object Lessons, 330.
One of the three core divisions of true education is that which involves a sound knowledge of the human body.
"Since the mind and the soul find expression through the body, both mental and spiritual vigor are in great degree dependent upon physical strength and activity; whatever promotes physical health, promotes the development of a strong mind and a well-balanced character. Without health, no one can as distinctly understand or as completely fulfill his obligations to himself, to his fellow beings, or to his Creator. Therefore the health should be as faithfully guarded as the character. A knowledge of physiology and hygiene should be the basis of all educational effort." Child Guidance, 360.
Knowledge, however, is worthless without action.
"The youth need to be taught that life means earnest work, responsibility, care-taking. They need a training that will make them practical–men and women who can cope with emergencies. They should be taught that the discipline of systematic, well-regulated labor is essential, not only as a safeguard against the vicissitudes of life, but as an aid to all-around development." Education, 215.
"But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves." James 1:22
School of the Prophets aims, not only to impart "a knowledge of physiology and hygiene", but also to put that knowledge into practice.
[The enemy] desires to enfeeble the body, knowing that it is the only medium through which mind and soul can be developed for the upbuilding of a symmetrical character. Habits which are contrary to the laws of nature, war constantly against the soul." Signs of the Times, April 4, 1900.
Obey the principles of health reform and educate others to do this. The health of the mind is to a large degree dependent upon the health of the body, and the health of the body is dependent upon the way in which the living machinery is treated." Mind, Character, and Personality, volume 2, 387.
The question naturally arises; what are “the principles of health reform"?
"Pure air, sunlight, abstemiousness, rest, exercise, proper diet, the use of water, trust in divine power–these are the true remedies. Every person should have a knowledge of nature's remedial agencies and how to apply them. It is essential both to understand the principles involved in the treatment of the sick and to have a practical training that will enable one rightly to use this knowledge." Ministry of Healing, 127.
Here the Spirit of Prophecy outlines exactly what we need for our bodies to prosper and be in good health. Sister White terms these "nature's remedial agencies" but note that she also says "if all would seek to become intelligent in regard to their bodily necessities, sickness would be rare instead of common. As the old adage goes, "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure."
School of the Prophets aims to train their students in both prevention and cure. However, our central thrust in regards to unhealthy habitual practices is total lifestyle reformation based upon the principles outlined in the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy.
We offer several health related courses each trimester as well as agricultural and manual training. In Special Testimonies on Education, May 11, 1896, Sister White states that "physical culture is an essential part of all right methods of education", she goes on to say that "The harmonious action of all the parts,– brain, bone, and muscle,– is necessary to the full and healthful development of the entire human organism." It is apparent that if our school is to act according to the testimony of Jesus Christ, then it is necessary that we practice the plain instruction given to God’s people.
Physical culture is practical labor. For his own sake man was to til the soil. It is intended that when the students of the prophets leave our school, it will be with useful skills, in both the garden and general construction.
The subject of the mind is one of utmost importance. According to the Word of God we are to have the mind of Christ (Philippians 2:5), what an attainment! School of the Prophets strives to develop the young minds of our students through the study of God’s Revelation to mankind; this is our primary textbook.
"In searching out the various parts and studying their relationship, the highest faculties of the human mind are called into intense activity. No one can engage in such study without developing mental power. And not alone in searching out truth and bringing it together does the mental value of Bible study consist. It consists also in the effort required to grasp the themes presented. The mind occupied with commonplace matters only, becomes dwarfed and enfeebled. If never tasked to comprehend grand and far-reaching truths, it after a time loses the power of growth. As a safeguard against this degeneracy, and a stimulus to development, nothing else can equal the study of God's word. As a means of intellectual training, the Bible is more effective than any other book, or all other books combined. The greatness of its themes, the dignified simplicity of its utterances, the beauty of its imagery, quicken and uplift the thoughts as nothing else can. No other study can impart such mental power as does the effort to grasp the stupendous truths of revelation. The mind thus brought in contact with the thoughts of the Infinite cannot but expand and strengthen." Education, 124
There is more than knowledge in the Word of God than finite minds could possibly exhaust, and for this reason our primary text book is the Bible; more specifically the King James Version of the Bible (click here to see why).
Let it be noticed from the following quote, that though study, compilation, and time spent in the Bible all lie at the foundation of true education, they are not the only advantages that the Word of God offers to the earnest seeker. Through the imparting of the wonderful truths which God bestows, in the knowledge of Jesus Christ, comes another blessing of great magnitude.
"Bible study is to lie at the foundation of all true education: but more, far more than a mere theoretical knowledge of Bible truth is required. It is not enough to fill minds of the students with precious lessons of the deepest importance, and then leave lesson after lesson unused. Missionary work should be done by suitable ones, that they may learn to impart that which they have received. Those to whom light has been given are not to seal up the precious ointment, but are to break the bottle and let the fragrance be shared by all around. There are those among the students who have precious talents. Our counselor says, "Let the talents be put out to usury."
"It is necessary to the best education that we give the students time to do missionary work, time to become acquainted with the families among whom they live. They should not be loaded down with all the studies they can carry, but should be given time to use the knowledge they have acquired. They should be encouraged to do faithful missionary work, by becoming interested in those in the darkness of error, taking to them the truth where they are. With all humility of heart seeking knowledge from Christ, praying, and watching unto prayer, they may make known to others the truth that is placed before them day by day." Spalding and Magan Collection, 125.
As students of prophecy we strive to impart the precious gems of truth gifted to us by the Holy Spirit and we aim to teach our students to do the same. This however, can only be done by earnest effort and close communion with the great Teacher:
"Far more might be accomplished in the work of self-education if we were awake to our own opportunities and privileges. True education means more than the colleges can give. While the study of the sciences is not to be neglected, there is a higher training to be obtained through a vital connection with God. Let every student take his Bible and place himself in communion with the great Teacher. Let the mind be trained and disciplined to wrestle with hard problems in the search for divine truth.
"Those who hunger for knowledge that they may bless their fellow men will themselves receive blessing from God. Through the study of His word their mental powers will be aroused to earnest activity. There will be an expansion and development of the faculties, and the mind will acquire power and efficiency." Christ's Object Lessons, 335.
It is our objective to prepare the minds of the youth to stand strong in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior and be "watchful unto prayer" that they might be delivered from the snares of Satan.
"God requires the training of the mental faculties. He designs that His servants shall possess more intelligence and clearer discernment than the worldling, and He is displeased with those who are too careless or too indolent to become efficient, well-informed workers. The Lord bids us love Him with all the heart, and with all the soul, and with all the strength, and with all the mind. This lays upon us the obligation of developing the intellect to its fullest capacity, that with all the mind we may know and love our Creator.
"If placed under the control of His Spirit, the more thoroughly the intellect is cultivated, the more effectively it can be used in the service of God. The uneducated man who is consecrated to God and who longs to bless others can be, and is, used by the Lord in His service. But those who, with the same spirit of consecration, have had the benefit of a thorough education, can do a much more extensive work for Christ. They stand on vantage ground.
"The Lord desires us to obtain all the education possible, with the object in view of imparting our knowledge to others. None can know where or how they may be called to labor or to speak for God. Our heavenly Father alone sees what He can make of men. There are before us possibilities which our feeble faith does not discern. Our minds should be so trained that if necessary we can present the truths of His word before the highest earthly authorities in such a way as to glorify His name. We should not let slip even one opportunity of qualifying ourselves intellectually to work for God." Christ’s Object Lessons, 334.
If you have read the two sections that are intended to precede this one–The Physical and The Mental–then you may well have a good understanding of how we view the relation of the body and the mind to the soul. The soul is the character, and as can be seen from the Bible and the writings of Sister White, it is the only thing that we will be able to take with us to Heaven. It is absolutely imperative that we achieve perfection of character through the study and practice of the Word of God.
As seen in the previous sections; the study of the Bible increases the intellectual capacity and overall ability more than "any other book, or all other books combined." This coupled with the "doing of the Word" is the means by which character is perfected. "[Satan] desires to enfeeble the body, knowing that it is the only medium through which mind and soul can be developed." Furthermore, he tries to divert the mind from spiritual things with his hellish sophistries so that even if the body is taken care of according to the laws of nature the mind is unprepared to receive spiritual nutriment, and thus the character remains in a deplorable condition.
Though the Spirit of Prophecy is far from silent on the subject at hand, for our purpose we will select but two of the many powerful quotes that show us our need to come up higher in striving for the mastery over our lower nature:
"A noble character is not the result of accident; it is not due to special favors or endowments of Providence. It is the result of self-discipline, of subjection of the lower to the higher nature, of the surrender of self to the service of God and man." Prophets and Kings, 488.
"The highest evidence of nobility in a Christian is self-control. He who can stand unmoved amid a storm of abuse is one of God's heroes. To rule the spirit is to keep self under discipline; to resist evil; to regulate every word and deed by God's great standard of righteousness. He who has learned to rule his spirit will rise above the slights, the rebuffs, the annoyances, to which we are daily exposed, and these will cease to cast a gloom over his spirit." Reflecting Christ, 292.
We need but quote from one very frequently mentioned, yet not so well known chapter in the Bible to establish the School of the Prophets‘ outline for character (soul) development:
- "Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
- Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath,or that is in the water under the earth: Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.
- Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain; for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.
- Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.
- Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.
- Thou shalt not kill.
- Thou shalt not commit adultery.
- Thou shalt not steal.
- Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.
- Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour's. And all the people saw the thunderings, and the lightnings, and the noise of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking: and when the people saw it, they removed, and stood afar off." Exodus 20:3-18.
"The essence and flavor of all obedience is the outworking of a principle within—the love of righteousness, the love of the law of God." Our Father Cares, 123.
The Lord commanded us to do all these statutes, to fear the Lord our God, for our good always, that he might preserve us alive, as it is at this day. And it shall be our righteousness, if we observe to do all these commandments. Deuteronomy 6:24, 25.
"Happiness must be sought in the right way and from the right source. Some think they may surely find happiness in a course of indulgence in sinful pleasures or in deceptive worldly attractions. And some sacrifice physical and moral obligations, thinking to find happiness, and they lose both soul and body. Others will seek their happiness in the indulgence of an unnatural appetite, and consider the indulgence of taste more desirable than health and life. Many suffer themselves to be enchained by sensual passions, and will sacrifice physical strength, intellect, and moral powers to the gratification of lust. They will bring themselves to untimely graves, and in the judgment will be charged with self-murder.
"Is this the happiness desirable which is to be found in the path of disobedience and transgression of physical and moral law? Christ's life points out the true source of happiness and how it is to be attained. . . . If they would be happy indeed, they should cheerfully seek to be found at the post of duty, doing the work which devolves upon them with fidelity, conforming their hearts and lives to the perfect pattern.
"Upon obedience depends life and happiness, health and joy, of men, women, and children. Obedience is for their well-being in this life and in the life to come.
"Where can we find a surer guide than the only true God?...Where is a safer path than that in which the Eternal leads the way? When we follow Him we are in no cheap, tangled bush path.
"The path of obedience to God is the path of virtue, of health, and happiness." My Life Today, 162.
"Prayer is the opening of the heart to God as to a friend. Not that it is necessary in order to make known to God what we are, but in order to enable us to receive him. Prayer does not bring God down to us, but brings us up to him.
"When Jesus was upon the earth, he taught his disciples how to pray. He directed them to present their daily needs before God, and to cast all their care upon him. And the assurance he gave them that their petitions should be heard, is assurance also to us...
"The darkness of the evil one encloses those who neglect to pray. The whispered temptations of the enemy entice them to sin; and it is all because they do not make use of the privileges that God has given them in the divine appointment of prayer. Why should the sons and daughters of God be reluctant to pray, when prayer is the key in the hand of faith to unlock heaven's storehouse, where are treasured the boundless resources of Omnipotence? Without unceasing prayer and diligent watching, we are in danger of growing careless, and of deviating from the right path. The adversary seeks continually to obstruct the way to the mercy-seat, that we may not by earnest supplication and faith obtain grace and power to resist temptation...
"There is necessity for diligence in prayer; let nothing hinder you. Make every effort to keep open the communion between Jesus and your own soul. Seek every opportunity to go where prayer is wont to be made. Those who are really seeking for communion with God will be seen in the prayer-meeting, faithful to do their duty, and earnest and anxious to reap all the benefits they can gain. They will improve every opportunity of placing themselves where they can receive the rays of light from heaven." Review and Herald, December 8, 1904.
As we can see from the Word, obedience and prayer are indispensable to the Christian. We must obey implicitly every word that comes form the Father above, and we must pray fervently for the strength necessary to overcome the flesh and walk in the Spirit. At School of the Prophets we realize that without prayer it is impossible to overcome sin, thus we can never truly obey the commands of our God– "sin is the transgression of the law [disobedience]."
School of the Prophets offers many tools to help our students overcome the wiles of the devil by teaching them to be sober, and to watch unto prayer. Sister White has stated the following concerning true education:
"Education means much more than many suppose. True education embraces physical, mental, and moral training, in order that all the powers shall be fitted for the best development, to do service for God, and to work for the uplifting of humanity." Fundamentals of Christian Education, 387.
This being said, we would have the reader understand that at School of the Prophets our curriculum is unique from any that exists in the world today, in that we are both teaching and learning twenty four hours a day, seven days a week, and three-hundred and sixty-five days a year. Obviously we are not literally, in the sense of lecturing, teaching and learning. What we mean is that some education cannot quite be standardized. How could one list the countless lessons of everyday interaction with God fearing and loving brothers and sisters? How could we number the wonderful blessings bestowed upon the earnest seeker for truth on the Holy Sabbath day, or in the weekly prayer meeting, or in the morning and evening group worships?
It is our school's mission is to produce wise virgins to proclaim the message of the soon coming of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ– first to God's denominated people, and then to the world. This calls for a total character transformation. We must have the mind of Christ, we must attain spiritual perfection. In this respect, we must all "come up higher."