WHAT YOU WILL FIND ON THIS PAGE


Purpose Statement

While there are many things needed in the Lord's church, one of the most pressing needs is a Biblical curriculum. Writing teaching materials for every age, Cradle Roll through Adult has become "big business." It is one of the most difficult tasks one could undertake. Perhaps this is why so few congregations have tried it and why so many rely on some publishing house, somewhere to provide material for the Bible School.

However, it has become evident over the past half century that even some publishing houses do not write their own curriculum. They simply buy the "editorial rights" to denominational material and edit out unacceptable words or concepts and re-publish the material. You can be sure that this "warmed over," denominational material has no teaching regarding the undenominational nature of the Lord's church. Often, the plan of salvation taught is either out-right error or non-existent. Often these publishing concerns are able convince an unsuspecting Brotherhood that the material is actually written by members of the Lord's church.

We encourage elders to be very careful in the selection of Bible School curriculum. Enquire of the publisher as to whether or not they are re-publishing denominational material. Evaluate the material used in every classroom. Make sure you have a Biblical curriculum.

This page will be devoted to helping churches write their own curriculum or at least learn to evaluate curriculum and make sure it is educationally and above all, scripturally sound.

If you have any questions or if I can be of help to you in your efforts to teach God's word, please contact me via E-mail:

dan@christian-family.net


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What Is Curriculum?


Curriculum is the sum total of all that is taught in the Bible School. In includes methods of teaching as well as the actual lesson materials. A good curriculum will give attention to every aspect of Christian teaching. It should cover Biblical facts, Biblical motivation and Biblical application. It should be understood that the curriculum should take into consideration the age and experience of the pupils. A good Bible curriculum will include information that has particular significance and teaching value for each age group.

We encourage elders, deacons, preachers and educational ministers to give careful consideration to the development of a comprehensive curriculum for every age group: Cradle Roll, Pre-school, Primary, Junior, Teen-age and Adult. It is the opinion of this writer that the best curriculum is that which is designed and written by individuals in the local congregation. We plan articles in the future (to be published on this web site) that will go into detail as the why's and how to's of curriculum development. In this article we hope to give some general ideas regarding curriculum development.

Suggested Curriculum Areas

1. The Bible: The nature of the Bible, Old Testament Survey, New Testament Survey, methods of study and devotional use.

2. Doctrines: God, Christ, the Holy Spirit, the nature of man, sin, salvation, the Lord's church, obedience, judgment, the Christian world view, etc.

3. The Christian life: Worship, stewardship, evangelism, leisure, recreation, vocation, friendship, educational and cultural development.

4. Marriage and the home: the Christian family, communication, sexual love in marriage, permanence of marriage, roll of husband, wife and children.

5. The New Testament Church: Establishment, undenominational nature, organization, mission, worship, discipline, fellowship, history, etc.

6. Church life and outreach: Church history, personal evangelism, visitation, missionary outreach, service in and through the church.

7. Christian Ethics: Honesty, alcohol and drug abuse, gambling, race relations, etc.

8. Apologetics: Creation vs. Evolution; How We Got The Bible, Inspiration and Authority of the Bible, God Is, etc.

9. Leadership and service: Leadership training, teacher training, worship training, etc.


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BALANCE AND CORRELATION

Those who plan the curriculum in the local church must determine how much time should be given to each area of study. Here are some principles for consideration:

  1. The number of sessions assigned to each element and emphasis will reflect the importance of each judged in the light of other elements.
  2. The importance of each element will be judged in the light of its most effective contribution to the spiritual development of each pupil.
  3. The time assigned to any given subject should be consistent with the material available to support and enrich that area of interest.

  4. In a forty-five minute class, time should be give to the facts, motivation and application.


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    SCOPE AND SEQUENCE

In developing a good curriculum, care must be given in placing the various elements in the sequence that will contribute most to the overall scope of the curriculum. Since the overall objective of the Bible school is the development of Christian faith and character, the curriculum should seek, in the best possible way, to achieve this objective. Here are some basic considerations to keep in mind when planning the curriculum:

  1. Assume that progression will be made on the part of the learner and teacher. Therefore, it is not necessary to repeat everything at every age.

  2. Seasonal interests should be used to the best advantage. However, observance of religious holidays should be avoided.

  3. Variety and freshness of approach in the placement of units and courses will be helpful.
  4. Be aware of related matter so as to take advantage of cumulative learning.

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    Guidelines For Writing A Curriculum

An effective curriculum is one that meets the needs of the church in general and of the individual in particular. The basic function of the curriculum is to provide a road map with which to chart the progress for the study of the Bible. A curriculum is a plan for communicating the Gospel.

Consider these characteristics of a good Bible curriculum:

    1. Must be Bible based.

    2. Must view the Bible as inspired and authoritative.

    3. Must stimulate the pupil to use the Bible.

    4. Must show the unique nature of the Lord's church.

    5. Must consider learner's age and developmental level.

    6. Must contribute to instructional goals.

    7. Must allow for repetition and review.

    CURRICULUM PLANS

  1. Uniform Grading -- The same Bible portion is taught to each age group.

    (1) Positive aspects: (a) A small church can unite all pupils in a single lesson related worship. (b) All family members can discuss their common lesson at home.

    (2) Negative aspects: (a) Lesson are repeated on a 5 to 7 year cycle, provide limited Bible coverage. (b) Bible content often is not suitable for pupils of all ages.
  2. Unified Grading -- Different Bible content, related by a single theme, is taught to each age group.
  3. (1) Positive aspects: (a) Several age-groups can meet in a single theme-related Bible class. (b) The worship service can be related to the class theme. (c) At home discussion of the theme is possible.

    (2) Negative aspects: (a) A limited number of themes make it difficult to give complete Bible coverage. (b) Lessons taught in each department determined by theme, rather than pupils' developing needs.

  4. Department Grading -- Different Bible content is provided for each department group (Primary, Junior, etc.).
  5. (1) Positive aspects: (a) All activities are closely related to the Bible lesson in each department group. (b) Lessons can be geared to the social, psychological, emotional and mental level of all pupils. (2) Negative aspects: Common, at hom discussion is limited, since parents and children study different material.

  6. Close Grading -- Different Bible content is provided for pupils in each public school grade.
  7. (1) Positive aspects: Curriculum can be planned to fit the stage of development of pupils. (2) Negative aspects: At home discussion is limited.


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    HOW TO WRITE YOUR OWN YOUTH CURRICULUM

    Let's suppose you are responsible for writing a curriculum for the Junior and Senior High school department. How would you go about it? Here are some suggestions that will help you get started.

    First, remember that the curriculum is like a road map. It tells you where you are going. It also serves to tell you where you have been. As you "map out" where you want to go with the "Youth Department" you will also be able to see where you have been so as not to repeat the same subjects.

    Writing curriculum is really a group project. We suggest that you call a meeting of all teachers and parents of the young people in seventh grade through high school. Allow about two hours to discuss the need to develop a curriculum for your youth group. Give each person a "Curriculum Development Form." This form will have four questions to be answered by the group. The one leading the discussion should write these on the board or on an overhead transparency. The four questions are as follows:

    It may take more than one meeting to answer all of these questions. Remember: "Rome wasn't built in a day." It takes time to develop a good curriculum.

    Once you have a list of topics, you may begin arranging them in the proper sequence. For example, it would be logical to teach a survey of the Old Testament before the survey of the New Testament. It might be best to teach the Life of Christ before a study of the Book of Acts.

    Let us suppose we are working on a four year curriculum to cover four years of high school. We will need to work up a "form" with proper divisions on which to write the subjects to be taught. The form might look something like this:

    Quarter Sunday Wednesday
    Winter 2004 Old Testament Survey--Part 1 How To Study the Bible
    Spring 2004 Old Testament Survey--Part 2 The New Testament Church
    Summer 2004 New Testament Survey Christian Ethics for Teens
    Fall 2004 The Life of Christ How We Got The Bible
    Winter 2005 Old Testament Heroes The Bible & Evolution
    Spring 2005 New Testament Heroes The Miracles of Jesus
    Summer 2005 Why I Am A Christian The Parables of Jesus
    Fall 2005 The Book of Acts Respect For Authority
    Winter 2006 Denominational Doctrines The Law & the Gospel
    Spring 2006 Christian Stewardship Study of Heaven & Hell
    Summer 2006 Great Bible Doctrines Mission of the Church
    Fall 2006 NT Worship Study of Satan & Angels
    Winter 2007 Minor Prophets Bible Manners & Customs
    Spring 2007 Ezekiel & Daniel Marriage Matters
    Summer 2007 The Book of Revelation World Religions
    Fall 2007 The Christian Graces The Scheme of Redemption

    Your curriculum may not be the same as this one, but this will hopefully give you some idea of what it should look like. Once you have completed the task of selecting the subjects to be taught over a four year period, it now becomes necessary to look at each quarter individually. Each quarter will have thirteen lessons. Each lesson will need to be developed so as to fit the over-all scope of the unit.

    In our next lesson, we will discuss how to go about developing a lesson.

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    Please come back soon!


Email: dan@christian-family.net