Loma Linda Messages

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Action of General Conference Committee

“The matter of broadening the scope of the school at Loma Linda was largely held in abeyance until the matter could be carefully considered by the General Conference. Feeling that the school should be general in its character, the Executive Committee of the Southern California Conference and the Board of Trustees of the Loma Linda Sanitarium met in March, 1909, and prepared a memorial to be presented to the General Conference which was to convene in May in Washington, setting forth in brief the steps that had been taken and the counsels that had been given. This memorial concluded the following request: LLM 10.5

“We respectfully ask the General Conference to recognize the Loma Linda College of Evangelists as an institution for the education and training of both nurses and physicians in harmony with the testimonies above quoted. Second, that it assist the management in arranging the curriculum, and planning for the future development of the school.” LLM 11.1

The Committee on Plans did not bring this memorial before the Conference, but left it in the hands of the Executive Committee, and at a meeting of this committee, held in June, a few days after the close of the conference, this matter was considered. The action taken by the committee at this time, and what was done in harmony with this action, are set forth in a letter from Elder J. A. Burden addressed to Mrs. E. G. White under date of Sept. 20, 1909. In order that Sister White's response to this may be fully understood, the letter is here given in full: LLM 11.2

Sanitarium, Calif.,

Sept. 20, 1909.

Dear Sister White,

“You will recall that at our last talk at the General Conference concerning the medical educational work at Loma Linda, you suggested that notwithstanding the failure of the General Conference to take any action encouraging us to go ahead with the advanced medical training, you advised us to go forward, following the instruction you had formerly given regarding the medical school. LLM 11.3

“The points that perplexed me at that time were, first, what liberties our students would finally have to do real medical work other than nursing or such work as could be carried on by nurses without the qualifications of physicians; second, what plans should we lay that our students might become recognized as physicians, qualified to practice our healing art. You stated that God would give us recognition when He saw it was necessary. Thus the matter dropped. LLM 11.4

“After this, ... The General Conference Committee met and considered at some length the question of the Loma Linda College of Evangelists, and passed the following recommendations. LLM 11.5

“‘The Loma Linda Sanitarium is an important institution, having a splendid location, and is capable of doing a great amount of good in the development of workers. It should be not only a sanitarium of the first class, but a training center for young people who can enter service for foreign fields. LLM 11.6

“‘While the General Conference is not in a condition to render financial aid to Loma Linda Sanitarium (beyond the salary of a Bible teacher), it is still in fullest sympathy with the principles for which it stands and the work which we believe it is appointed to accomplish; Therefore,— LLM 11.7

“‘We recommend, That the Pacific Union Conference cooperate with the trustees of the Loma Linda Sanitarium in carrying forward the work which the institution should accomplish. LLM 12.1

“‘(a) By helping along such financial lines as are mutually agreed upon the trustees of said institution and the Pacific Union Conference Committee. LLM 12.2

“‘(b) By aiding the institution to secure the best possible help in the way of teachers, and aiding in the payment of their salaries. LLM 12.3

“‘(c) By encouraging our young people to take training at this institution. LLM 12.4

“‘Resolved, that we recommend the Loma Linda College of Evangelists as a special training school for medical missionary workers for the world-wide field, and encourage it to maintain and strengthen its efforts to provide a course of study for the training of workers combining the qualifications of the highly trained nurse with those of the practical evangelist; and, further, that, before giving counsel as to the suggested plan of adding to their faculty and equipment so as to give one or two years medical study that would be accepted by a recognized medical college as a part of a regular medical course, we request definite information concerning the changes involved in adapting their course of study to this purpose, the requirements of such colleges as would affiliate on this basis, and as to what such a plan would involve financially.” LLM 12.5

“You notice there are four points in the above resolutions: First, the question of strengthening the faculty and equipment so that the work done by the college would be recognized in other medical schools, giving students who might want to finish their course of study in regular schools, advanced standing for (because of) the work done at Loma Linda. Second, the Conference desires to know what changes would be necessary in our present course of study to give students this advantage in entering other schools. (The following words, not on my enlarged photographic-print copy, probably due to printing difficulty, seem necessary: Third, Names of schools) that would recognize the education given at Loma Linda, if such change were made in its course of instruction. Fourth, What additional expense would be involved in fitting the Loma Linda College to do a complete work that would be recognized in other medical schools. LLM 12.6

“Since receiving the communication of the General Conference we have gone into the matter as fully as time and opportunity would permit, to obtain definite information on these four points. First, we find that the way is open for the students of Loma Linda College to take advanced standing in other medical schools, provided we secure a charter from the state, which would cost us about $75. Second, That in order for our students to enter other medical colleges after the charter is secured, we would need to strengthen our course of study in the first two years about three hundred hours, or one hundred and fifty each year. The students would have to meet the State requirements for entering the College, which is at present a high school education or its equivalent. Third, almost any regular medical college in America would receive our students for advanced work if these requirements were met. Fourth, in reference to the outlay financially, to do this work acceptably to the State, about $3000. Then, to meet what we feel is necessary to give practical work, we should have a small sanitarium, costing not more than $6000 or $7000. This would make an outlay of about $10,000. LLM 12.7

“Perhaps you are aware that our medical course of study covers three years. The medical schools used to require a three year course, but recently they have raised it to four years. Inasmuch as we give in our medical course not only the scientific training, but the Bible and our methods of treatment as well, we could not cover the first two years of a regular medical college course in the same time; but our three years course we find will be readily accepted for two years of a regular medical course. LLM 13.1

“Now as to the question involved. Would there be danger, first, in securing a charter for the school that would open the way for the Loma Linda students to secure this advantage in worldly schools of completing their course, and becoming accredited physicians? Would such a plan lead away from the purpose of the school—to qualify large numbers with the ability of physicians to labor as evangelists? The brethren generally seem to feel that it would be out of the question for us to think of equipping the Loma Linda College with facilities for giving a full medical course to qualify students to receive recognition by the State. Hence the suggestion of this compromise plan, which would keep the students under right influences for three years, while becoming well grounded in Bible study along with their scientific preparation. Then it is thought that if only the most capable were encouraged to go on and complete the full course as accredited physicians, and all others were encouraged to enter the work as evangelists, all might work out satisfactorily. LLM 13.2

“Without going further into detail, we desire to lay the matter before you for your consideration, to see if the Lord has any light for us. LLM 13.3

Yours truly,

J. A. Burden.

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