Larry Richard's definition of Christian education is "the process of guiding the community of faith toward shared experience of revealed reality." This is consistently held throughout his writings. The community of faith, or the church, must be interacting with each other; that is, having shared experiences that revolve around God's Word. Some of Richards' methodology indicates that he is less adverse to formalized learning that might be expected from his writings. Further, there is a neglect on his behalf of practical ways of relying on the supernatural power of God.
Christian education has been a function of the church since the first century, yet it seeks a definition of its form in the contemporary church. Sensing the inadequacy of a program approach to Christian education, such theorists as Dr. Lawrence O. Richards and Dr. John H. Westerhoff III describe it as a process of transmitting the Christian faith. This process requires new methods, ones with a whole-person focus to encourage nurture through interpersonal relationships. The ultimate goal of Christian education is to stimulate and support the believer's growth in Christlikeness.
When questioned, many Christian education workers could identify the intended outcomes of their explicit curriculum. Some workers may even be able to recognize the more subtle "hidden" elements of the implicit curriculum. However, that which is rarely perceived by educators is the null curriculum, or material which is neglected in classroom instruction. Educational philosophies of Elliot W. Eisner, John Dewey, and Larry Richards are herein considered as their thoughts interface with these three emphases. Contemporary examples as well as a relevant, biblical text are cited in order to illustrate the significance of these curricula forms in Christian education today.
As with any other educational endeavor, certain 20th century sociology experiences with their prevailing attitudes have tended to "mold' adult Sunday School (for better or worse) into its present form and function. Since the formulation of goals and organizational principles for the adult movement are most appropriately designed when they arise out of an understanding of the movement's historical development, selected attitudes and social structures that have occurred up to this point in history are discussed with reference to their influence on adult Sunday School. In light of this historical panorama, suggested goals and organizational principles are given for consideration that should effectively facilitate the ministry of adult Sunday School throughout the remainder of this century and on into the next.
This article intends to challenge the Christian community to consider the possible riches embodied in our culture and make sure of them in our Christian activities. The programs discussed here are experimental in nature and have been tried in Christian education classes for testing and proper critical evaluation. They are meant to help generate more ideas on the kinds of programs suitable for Filipino churches especially in the rural areas.
The use of small groups for religious growth-support is not a phenomenon unique to our era. The early Wesleyan class meeting is an example of this type of clustering. This article maintains that the small group encounter of the class meeting was based solidly on theological bedrock. Four eminent truths are highlighted which enable contemporary churchmen to move toward a biblical theology of the small group experience. The organizational format, leadership tasks, and encounter dynamics of the class meeting are examined. Practical applications are high-lighted throughout the article. The article concludes by offering an administrative checklist for balanced growth-support groups in the local church.
The educational program of the church must include practical teaching which shows applicable ways for families to live in the way God designed for them. The article discusses what types of programs and topics can be used to instruct the families. Church programs for helping families include: "adoption" of troubled families by health families; social activities for both individuals and the family unit; counseling; food and clothing closets; mothers' day out, etc. There is also a section listing groups within the church, such as newlyweds, who need special help and ideas on how to minister to them.
In this article the author proposes to show that Horace Bushnell's nurturing model is not purely maternalistic, that the feminization of nurturing is a cultural bias, that nurturing is still a good model that is not distinctively maternal, and that an enlarged vision of nurturing would increase its value for theoretical and practical purposes.