I have watched with a great deal of sadness in recent years as several Adventist schools have been closed. During my time in the conference work I had the unhappy task of closing several of our small elementary schools. More recently it has been the secondary boarding schools that have been forced out of service.

In response to this sad situation several Adventist educators have posed the question: How can we save our schools? Nobody seems to be asking why we should save our schools. The answer, of course, is that Adventist schools provide an important ministry to Adventist young people in nurturing them in the faith as well as preparing them for service in the cause of God.

From my perspective, the more important question we need to ask is: in the face of the closure of so many of our schools how do we best minister to Adventist young people? It is especially crucial that we face this question in the rural areas and among our smaller congregations. We dare not abandon our youth in these settings. If we are not to save our boarding schools and our small church schools we must find an alternative method of providing ministry to our Adventist youth. To date we have not done so.