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Keeping the Vision Alive: Oakwood University in the 21st Century

They’ve been called the “pen of inspiration,” “inspired writings,” lesser light,” “Spirit of Prophecy,” and depending on your age, “the little red or black books”—we are referring the writings of Ellen G. White. According to the November 17, 2014, issue of The Smithsonian, Ellen G. White was named as one of “the 100 Most Significant Americans of All Time.”

The importance of sharing the history of the Seventh-day Adventist Church can’t be done devoid of those who shaped it. James and Ellen White played a critical part in the creation, advancement, and guidance of the church through their preaching, teaching, and writings in the late 1800s and early 1900s. These facts can’t be ignored no matter how we feel about the counsel given in Ellen White’s writings; it is still our history.  Proverbs 29:18 says, “Where there is no vision, the people perish: But he that keepeth the law, happy is he.” (KJV) The vision is still alive at Oakwood University.

In the spring of 2017, Howard Weems, Ph.D., was named as Director of the Ellen G. White Research Center at Oakwood University. One of the missions of the center is to provide education to millennials in the relevance and inspirational components of the writings of Ellen G. White (EGW).  Also, to incorporate EGW’s writings into the academic curriculum in every department across the university.

In her book Life Sketches on page 196, Ellen G. White says this about our history: “In reviewing our past history, having traveled over every step of advance to our present standing, I can say, Praise God! As I see what the Lord has wrought, I am filled with astonishment, and with confidence in Christ as leader. We have nothing to fear for the future, except as we shall forget the way the Lord has led us, and His teaching in our past history.”

In fulfilling the school’s motto, “Enter to Learn, Depart to Serve,” students at Oakwood University will learn the relevance of Ellen G. White’s writings, the history of our struggles, facing our social issues in light of the Spirit of Prophecy, and how to apply the past principles to their lives today.


by Kenn Dixon, Director of Integrated Marketing and Public Relations

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