return to religion-onlineEducation in the Local Church
Amy Frykholm reviews a successful high school curriculum that teaches students how to build strong dating relationships in marriage preparation.
Using a Girl Scout survey of the moral and spiritual perspectives of American youth, Heischman cites data that indicate youth are quite religious and moral in outlook, but have difficulty connecting their faith with issues of character. He suggests churches need to help youth develop a moral language through discussions of character and more effective modeling directly with young people by youth leaders and especially pastors.
To a family and children inescapably caught in literalistic Biblical interpretation: Children are amazingly resilient, even to stories of violence, especially when from a secure home. Stories are part of our culture and need to be known -- especially Biblical stories -- even in their violence. Your (liberal) presence in such an environment will have an impact, even if totally outnumbered.
No longer can we assume that the educational understandings that have informed us, or the theological foundations that have undergirded our programs are adequate for today. The author suggests some major modifications in educational assumptions.
The Da Vinci Code -- both novel and the movie -- even though false, offer an exciting story which is a big help in understanding Christianity.
The consequences of much of theological education are found in the dispersion and fragmentation of the curriculum and an individualistic understanding of the ministry.
The authors provide a "work session" to help the reader identify what theology is, why it is important and how it is done. Case study illustrations.
The author hears in current serious fiction a whisper of that still, small voice for which our faith has taught us to listen.
We must help teens think about, practice and experience the theological details that make Christianity distinct. Living these details of the gospel is not supposed to be easy, or necessarily safe, but itís what Christians do.
The Sunday school must be freed from five stereotypes: 1. The Sunday school is an organism with a life of its own that cannot be changed. 2. “Sunday school,” is only for children. 3. The intellectual level of Sunday school content is superficial. 4. The Sunday school is characterized by the use of mindless methodology. 5. The purpose of the Sunday school is to teach the Bible.
The authors summarize the apologetic stories of a number of writers including Collins, DíSouza, Keller and Wright. These operate from very different disciplines and social roles, and in all of it, character precedes argument, for it seems all arguments fail if Christianity does not create generous-hearted people.
A Christianity without Christian formation is no match for the powerful social forces at work within our society. If it is to fulfill its function as the place where Christians are formed, the church must acknowledge its changed status and must now compete, in an open market, with other claimants for the truth.
The author shares vivid recollections of experiences in Vacation Bible School and Sunday School from her girlhood in a Methodist church.
It is wishful thinking to believe that the educational system can assume the responsibility of passing to the next generation the central and binding values, as well as the moral and ethical concepts, that set us free to be who we can be.
A new look at the purpose and method of confirmation, along with some appropriate suggestions that Willimon has put into practice in his own ministry.
Coming from the position that doing theology is not so much a matter of picking a system of thought as it is acquiring a way of life and a perspective for understanding all of life, Anthony B. Robinson reports on his experience of teaching a class on theology for his parishioners based on the idea that the main business of theology is to make sense of one’s life.
Truthiness Ė the notion that what "feels true" must be treatd as true Ė helps account for the extraordinary success of The Da Vinci Code.
Some educators think it is too late, that the church school is dead, that the church itself may be dying. Others are convinced that the positive signs point to a future of enormous potential. The question is not which point of view is true, but which one we should accept, and then, with Godís help, try to make it come true.
Youth ministry will become what it should be when the churches start asking what the gospel means in our time, in our own neighborhoods, and starts practices that build a distinct way of life.
ENTIRE BOOK The problem of communicating Christian teaching -- especially the use of language in bible study. How can we say what we mean about God so that our assertions will be understood, accepted, and responded to?
Despite all evidence to the contrary, the author does not see a place of significance for the Sunday school in the future. It is too bound to the past to meet the needs of a new age. He has a different vision of the future of the church and religious education.
If there cannot be three cheers for the Sunday school as a thriving institution, or two cheers for its record, let there be at least one cheer for the ways the grace of God lives on in it.
This article reviews three teaching orders: 1. Progressive Lectures and teaching materials by James Efird. 2. The Web-based curriculum, The Thoughtful Christian, written by an enormous diverse group of respected scholars. 3. The work of the New Monastics which cuts against the grain of conventional wisdom.
Education, like physical growth itself, is the product of two dissimilar aspects: 1. Experience -- in the form of words, actions, sights and sounds -- to be collected and funneled into an individual. 2. Time -- in which to sort out and reject and organize the information, to select and integrate what is significant and relate it to the previous integrations in one’s life.
That churches are not doing what it takes to make faith mature is the sobering finding of an important new study of mainline denominations. ĎNothing matters more than Christian education. Done well, it has the potential -- more than any other area of congregational life -- to promote faith and loyalty.