This site does not endorse the following Watchtower quotes.
They are simply presented to show what the Watchtower teaches regarding the following topic.
Although Jehovah's Witnesses are encouraged to do well at school, the Watchtower speaks against advanced education. It is described as a waste of time since the end is near, a place where dangerous ideas form, and pursued by people interested in power and wealth above spirituality. There has been some variance over the decades as to whether advanced education is acceptable, with a softening during the 1990's, but since 2000 it is once again spoken of disparagingly. A Witness will not be disfellowshipped for going to university, but will likely come under criticism. I went to university in 1987, whilst pioneering. Although I was not reproved for attending university, both myself and the body of elders received many complaints from other Witnesses.
If a Witness is not to gain a higher Education, from where do the Governing Body get it's legal team?
Watchtower 2012 Jun 15 p.23
"If you are approaching the end of the schooling required of you, you may find yourself in good health and with few responsibilities. Have you seriously considered entering the regular pioneer ranks? No doubt, school counselors sincerely believe that it is in your best interests to pursue higher education and to plan for a secular career. Yet, their confidence lies in a social and financial system that has no lasting future. On the other hand, by pursuing a theocratic career, you will be pursuing truly worthwhile and lasting goals. And you will be following Jesus’ perfect example. Such a wise decision will make you happy. It will protect you. And it will show that you are determined to live up to your dedication to Jehovah."
Watchtower 2011 Nov 15 p.19
“Vigilant Christians refrain from using the world to the full with regard to higher education. Many people in this world consider higher education an indispensable stepping-stone to prestige and an affluent life. But we Christians live as temporary residents and pursue different goals. We avoid “minding lofty things.” (Rom. 12:16; Jer. 45:5) Since we are Jesus’ followers, we heed his warning: “Keep your eyes open and guard against every sort of covetousness, be- cause even when a person has an abundance his life does not result from the things he possesses.” (Luke 12:15) Consequently, young Christians are encouraged to pursue spiritual goals, getting only as much education as is required to meet their basic needs while focusing on preparing themselves to serve Jehovah ‘with their whole heart, soul, strength, and mind.’ (Luke 10:27) By doing so, they can become “rich toward God.””
Watchtower 2011 Jun 15 p.6
"But there is danger in encouraging them to take up a life style centered on education and financial security instead of true worship.... Plans for a life that subordinates spirituality to worldly goals can snuff out a young person’s desire to serve God."
(The embedded video contains recordings taken from two Special Assembly Day talks by Governing Body member Anthony Morris - Not fashioned after the system of Things (2008) and Our Spiritual Paradise - Jehovah's Provision for Refuge 2011.)
Watchtower 2011 Jun 15 p.31
"Higher education: Jesus warned against ‘seeking your own glory.’ (John 7:18) Whatever you decide as to how much secular education you will obtain, have you ‘made sure of the more important things’?—Phil. 1:9,10.
Grzegorz, the computer programmer, made some changes in his life. He said: “Taking seriously the advice of the elders, I simplified my life. I realized that I did not need to further my secular education. That would only rob me of time and energy.” Grzegorz got more involved in congregation activities. In time, he graduated from what is now called the Bible School for Single Brothers. Yes, he ‘bought out the time’ to further his divine education.
If you have a means of supporting yourself, do you really need to spend time, money, and effort on further education?
To support yourself, is it really necessary to have a college or a university degree?
What would be the effect on your meeting attendance?
Have you ‘made sure of the more important things’?
Do you need to strengthen your confidence in Jehovah’s ability to provide for you?"
Watchtower 2008 Sep 1
2008 Circuit Assembly Talk - "Stand firm against the Devil's Crafty Acts in the Field of Education"
Watchtower 2006 Apr 15 p.27 "Do you not agree that to continue enjoying divine blessings, we must resist seeking things for ourselves at the expense of Jehovah's worship? That is so whether the activity or interest diverting our attention is the pursuit of wealth, get-rich-quick schemes, ambitious plans for advanced education to have a desirable career in this system, or programs of personal fulfilment."
Watchtower 1999 Sep 1 p.17 Youths-Train Your Perceptive Powers!
"Remember, too, that "the time left is reduced." (1 Corinthians 7:29) How much time will you devote to such education? Will it consume the bulk of your youthful years? If so, how will you apply the Bible's encouragement to "remember, now, your Grand Creator in the days of your young manhood"?"
Watchtower 1992 Nov 1 p.20 Education With a Purpose
"If Christian parents responsibly decide to provide their children with further education after high school, that is their prerogative. The period of these studies would vary according to the type of trade or occupation selected. For financial reasons and in order to enable their children to get into the full-time service as quickly as possible, many Christian parents have chosen for them short-term study programs in vocational or technical schools. In some cases youths have needed to be apprenticed to some trade but always with a full life of service to Jehovah as the goal. If additional courses are taken, certainly the motive should not be to shine scholastically or to carve out a prestigious worldly career. Courses should be chosen with care. This magazine has placed emphasis on the dangers of higher learning, and justifiably so, for much higher education opposes the "healthful teaching" of the Bible. (Titus 2:1; 1 Timothy 6:20, 21) Further, since the 1960's, many schools of advanced learning have become hotbeds of lawlessness and immorality. "The faithful and discreet slave" has strongly discouraged entering that kind of environment. (Matthew 24:12, 45) It must be admitted, however, that nowadays youngsters meet up with these same dangers in high schools and technical colleges and even in the workplace.-1 John 5:19."
Awake! 1989 May 8 p.13 What Career Should I Choose?
"A university degree may or may not improve your employment prospects. But one fact is indisputable: "The time left is reduced"! (1 Corinthians 7:29) For all its presumed benefits, would four years or more in a university be the best use of that remaining time?-Ephesians 5:16."
Our Kingdom Ministry 1969 Jun p.3
"In view of the short time left, a decision to pursue a career in this system of things is not only unwise but extremely dangerous… Many young brothers and sisters were offered scholarships or employment that promised fine pay. However, they turned them down and put spiritual interests first."
Watchtower 1969 Mar 15 p.171
"Many schools now have student counselors who encourage one to pursue higher education after high school, to pursue a career with a future in this system of things. Do not be influenced by them. Do not let them "brainwash" you with the Devil's propaganda to get ahead, to make something of yourself in this world. This world has very little time left! Any "future" this world offers is no future! Wisely, then, let God's Word influence you in selecting a course that will result in your protection and blessing. Make pioneer service, the full-time ministry, with the possibility of Bethel or missionary service your goal. This is a life that offers an everlasting future!"
Awake! 1969 May 22 p.15
"If you are a young person, you also need to face the fact that you will never grow old in this present system of things. Why not? Because all the evidence in fulfillment of Bible prophecy indicates that this corrupt system is due to end in a few years. Of the generation that observed the beginning of the "last days" in 1914, Jesus foretold: "This generation will by no means pass away until all these things occur."-Matt. 24:34. Therefore, as a young person, you will never fulfill any career that this system offers. If you are in highschool and thinking about a college education, it means at least four, perhaps even six or eight more years to graduate into a specialized career. But where will this system of things be by that time? It will be well on the way toward its finish, if not actually gone!"
Watchtower 1967 Feb 1 p.76
"Rather than being content with "sustenance and covering," those who devote themselves to getting a "higher education" usually want to be able to enjoy "the rest of the things" that money can buy."
What Pastor Russell Said (Leslie W. Jones Chicago 1917) pp.57,58 "My advice is, then, give your children an education up to public school limit, not even attempting to take them through high school, for they get plenty of Higher Criticism [sic] in the high schools, and it will not be long before they have it in the common schools also."