The Christian Educator was a monthly periodical devoted to the philosophy and methods of education in Seventh-day Adventist homes, elementary schools, academies and colleges. It was produced under the aegis of the General Conference Education Department and printed at the Review and Herald Publishing Company, Battle Creek, Michigan. On its masthead it carried the declaration, “The true object of education is to restore the image of God in the soul.” Frank William Howe served as its editor.1
The first issue of The Christian Educator was dated July 1897. Extant copies run to June 1899, but it may have extended further because the last available copy advertised articles planned for an issue in July 1899. The columns of the first ten issues are crammed with type and have virtually no illustrations. Most of these early issues contain sixteen pages. The annual subscription was forty cents.2 An improved format appeared in May 1898 with an attractive cover and some illustrations to break up the monotony of solid blocks of type. At the same time the size of the periodical was doubled to thirty-two pages and its annual subscription increased to fifty cents.3
Howe had attended Battle Creek College and was a bachelor at the time of his work as an editor. He showed a special interest in the role of agriculture in education, earning a Master of Science degree from the Michigan Agricultural College. Later in life he founded and became dean of the agricultural department of Syracuse University.4 Many articles in The Christian Educator advocated the value of agriculture in the school curriculum.5 He also invited specialists in other fields of study to contribute articles to the periodical, one example being Dr. David Paulson’s piece titled “How to Make the Study of Physiology Interesting.”6
One of the chief characteristics of the periodical was Howe’s survey of non-Seventh-day Adventist educational institutions where the classic curriculum was replaced with a balance of academic and manual training. One example was an article in June 1898 about the first established sloyd school, one located in Sweden that practiced the balance of work and study. At the time it was an unorthodox method of education.7 In December 1898 a similar article was published about a Jewish school in Chicago that followed the same work/study ethic.8 A further example appeared in February 1899 titled “The School of the Evangelists,” describing a private school in Tennessee initiated by Dr. Stanley Johnson for the express purpose of training young preachers who did not have funds to attend a regular seminary.9 Columns such as these served to endorse similar enterprises in the Seventh-day Adventist educational system when the schools were still in their experimental years.
The Christian Educator was eventually replaced by a regular column about education in the Advent Review and Sabbath Herald, beginning with the issue of December 3, 1903. The Education Department of the General Conference continued to carry the responsibility of supplying appropriate articles to promote Christian education and report news items from denominational schools and colleges worldwide.10 It proved to be an interim measure until periodicals devoted wholly to the Seventh-day Adventist educational system were revived later.
Griggs, Frederick. “The Educational Department of the Review and Herald.” ARH, December 3, 1903.
The Christian Educator, 1897-1899. James White Library, Andrews University, Michigan. Retrieved from https://adventistdigitallibrary.org/adl-404950/christian-educator?solr_nav%5Bid%5D=615be41e5a4edcffe1ba&solr_nav%5Bpage%5D=0&solr_nav%5Boffset%5D=0.
Simkin, H[enry] E. “Frank W. Howe.” ARH, March 31, 1932.
The Christian Educator, July 1897, James White Library, Andrews University, Michigan, accessed January 19, 2021.↩
The Christian Educator, May 1898, James White Library, Andrews University, Michigan, accessed January 19, 2021.↩
H[enry] E. Simkin, “Frank W. Howe,” ARH, March 31, 1932, 22.↩
E.g., “Agriculture in Education,” The Christian Educator, December 1897, James White Library, Andrews University, Michigan, accessed January 19, 2021.↩
David Paulson, “How to Make the Study of Physiology Interesting,” The Christian Educator, December 1897, accessed January 19, 2021.↩
E[mma] M. Long, “The Original Sloyd School,” The Christian Educator, June 1898, James White Library, Andrews University, Michigan, accessed January 2021.↩
E[mma] M. Long, “Chicago Jewish Training School,” The Christian Educator, December 1898, James White Library, Andrews University, Michigan, accessed January 19, 2021.↩
Frank William Howe, “The School of the Evangelists,” The Christian Educator, February 1899, James White Library, Andrews University, Michigan, accessed January 19, 2021,.↩
Frederick Griggs, “The Educational Department of the Review and Herald,” ARH, December 3, 1903, 21.↩