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Walla Walla, WA
Friday, December 8, 2023

What is Adventist Culture?

November 2, 2023
Noah Brown

The Traditions and Practices That Shape the Community

Noah Brown

Is there a tangible difference between Adventist culture and Adventist doctrine? Adventist culture is, as Professor Aimee Leukert put it, “a shared sense of belonging that transcends doctrine, practice, and all of the smaller parts.” [1] 

Leukert is an associate professor of curriculum and instruction at La Sierra University and did a study several years ago on the subject of Adventist culture. According to Leukert, the purpose of the study was to find if Adventists “have a quantifiable culture.” [2] Through this process of interviewing members of the church, Leukert was able to identify commonalities throughout the country related to Adventists. 

Some of these common practices included preparing for the Sabbath, staying active and healthy, dressing conservatively, community service, being immersed in an Adventist community throughout their life, and even an inclination towards music. [3] 

Part of the immersion in the Adventist community is through education, as many students went to an Adventist academy for their schooling, and then to an Adventist college. A benefit of this process is that your teachers share your faith and can help you grow both intellectually and spiritually. 

A big part of eating healthy in Adventist culture is a vegetarian or vegan diet. Another common part of this culture is haystacks, a dish commonly served for potlucks. These dishes are similar to a taco salad, containing chips, beans, cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, salsa, and other similar ingredients. 

A feeling expressed by many Adventists is that of living in a “bubble” surrounded by other Adventists in all settings. This is usually stated negatively but can have a lot of positives as well! Leukert has heard countless stories from Adventists who received a warm welcome and support from other Adventists across the country. 

An example of this community in action is the Best Adventist Recipe Swap, a Facebook group with over 40 thousand members. This group is dedicated to providing vegetarian, vegan, and plant-based recipes to both Adventists and non-Adventists. [4] One story that Leukert recalls is that of a member asking about a meal they had eaten at an academy over twenty years ago. Another member had responded that they knew so and so who had made that meal and was able to provide the recipe. [5] 

Even though Adventists may disagree on different things, their shared culture helps them to continue to maintain a strong feeling of community and family. 



  1. Interview with Aimee Leukert, on 10/23/2023. 
  2. Ibid. 
  3. Leukert, A. (2020). The culture of Adventism. Ministry Magazine. 
  4. Best Adventist Recipe Swap. (n.d.). Facebook. 
  5. Interview with Aimee Leukert, on 10/23/2023. 



  1. Aimee Leukert. Photo provided by Aimee Leukert.
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