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Ted Wilson’s Blueprint

On the day before his General Conference Session sermon, new denominational president Ted Wilson dropped by the Weimar College luncheon to praise and publicly pray for the school.

In a series of very theological and political references and nods—”when people mention Weimar, I’m gonna put in a good word”—Ted Wilson shows his preference for what Weimar College represents vis-a-vis institutional Adventist education. But beyond Weimar, the videoed remarks provide insight into understanding Ted Wilson’s agenda regarding Adventist education in general. Here, a clearly comfortable Ted Wilson declares what he values most in education, calling those gathered his “family” while holding up the currently unaccredited college up as a blueprint and a model for the rest of the church.

Wilson states:

You know, Weimar has a long history of being an example of how God wants to meld the true educational principles in training young people. . . . That it will truly become one of our models as to how the spirit of prophecy intended for God to prepare young people, especially, who will help finish this work.

He continues: “I just wanted to show up just to underscore that I believe in you. . .and that Weimar can in some way be a model and an instructional model that people can look to within the church.”

In his prayer, Ted Wilson says that Weimar is “built according to the blueprint” a loaded phrase that has plagued Adventist education, as noted in George Knight’s debunking of it in his book Myths in Adventism.

Of course Ellen White never used the term that Ted Wilson ascribes to her. As George Knight also points out in the section on “The Myth of the Blueprint”.

The fact is that Mrs. White’s concepts little resembled the notion of an educational blueprint that some claim for her.” In 1901 she penned that “the Lord has not designed any one, special, exact plan in education.“—3SM, p. 227 (Emphasis supplied by George Knight.) Again in 1907 she wrote regarding the Madison School, which was doing its best to follow the “pattern” under Adventism’s most zealous educational reformers, that “no exact pattern can be given for the establishment of schools in new fields. The climate, the surroundings, the condition of the country, and the means at hand with which to work must all bear a part in the shaping of the work.”—CT p. 531 (Emphasis supplied by George Knight.)

Knight concludes the paragraph:

These statements make it clear that her mind did not confuse blueprints with models. Her statements imply the opposite of unbending, mechanical rigidity. Unfortunately, some of her followers have never caught the breadth and balance of her perspective.

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