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our missionary societies at home and abroad, with the training schools and seminaries where our ministers and lay workers are trained. It would serve as a clearing-house for all interdenominational enterprises in religious education, and for those movements toward a closer correlation of religious and moral training with the public school system which are coming more and more into evidence. Your Commission, through its chairman, has been repeatedly called into consultation with educational secretaries of other denominations, with superintendents and boards of public and private schools, with legislative investigators, and the like -- all indications which reveal the broadening field and the very imperfect provision made for such objects in our denomination.
The ideas embodied in this scheme are not new; and much of the machinery involved in its execution is, of course, already in existence. The Sunday School and Publishing Society has been working toward some such end. It is equipped with a splendid corps of field workers who have put a high grade of talent into the development of our educational work. The Society was moving in the right direction when, six years ago, an educational secretary was appointed, whose function it was to direct the distinctly educational interests of the denomination in co-operation with the missionary extension department, so that the planting of Sunday Schools and the provision for adequate materials and processes in religious training might go hand in hand. Stimulated by this new development, the National Council's Committee on Religious Education, as then constituted, recommended at Boston in 1910 a plan which was well conceived to further consistency and continuity in the educational work of the denomination. (See Minutes of the National Council for 1910, pp. 293-4). This plan provided for a committee on religious education in each state conference and a corresponding committee in each local association, which should serve as channels through which approved methods and materials of religious education might pass from the Sunday School and Publishing Society to the local church. During the past five years efforts have been made in several states to put this plan into operation, largely through the active leadership of the educational secretary and the field men associated with the Sunday School and Publishing Society. Among the states in which the plan has been tried, Iowa may be noted as exemplary. Under the wise leadership of superintendent H. W. Tuttle, that state has put into operation a Department of Religious Education, Sunday Schools and Young Peoples' Work through which all the educational interests of the state are to be systematically developed. One of the notable features of this plan is the inclusion of young peoples' work as one of its distinct objects, a provision which is highly desirable. The Iowa plan is heartily commended to the attention of other states.
Much of the needed machinery, therefore, is already in existence, or is in process of development. Meantime, during the past year the Sunday School and Publishing Society has lost its educational secretary. The society is obviously hampered by a lack of ways and means to realize its full object. To provide for the fuller object, to carry out, in short, some such comprehensive plan as that sketched above, will require effective changes in the administration of our educational affairs. This is the earnest conviction of your Commission after the most thorough study it could give to the problem.
As to the details of the changes required, there will be varying points of view. For substance of opinion, your Commission is prepared to give its hearty support to the plan recommended by the Commission on Missions in that section of its preliminary report entitled “The Religious Education Boards." We approve it because we think it would meet the needs we have outlined, and because its provisions are substantially in line with developments already under way. We agree with the Commission on Missions that, as a denomination, we inherit peculiar responsibility for leadership in this field, and we wish to express our most emphatic assent to the statement "that this leadership can be adequately exercised only as we co-ordinate and unify our denominational agencies for religious education, and put behind them new interest and power in behalf of the principles we represent.” We therefore earnestly recommend the adoption of the proposed plan of reorganization, and chiefly for the following reasons:
1. Because it offers hope that the publishing interests of the denomination may be so adjusted that the editing, manufacturing and marketing of Sunday School helps and of all other required materials of religious education may be conducted in such a manner as to encourage and render possible the production and distribution of the best quality of literature without. undue restriction by purely commercial considerations.
2. Because the suggested functions of the proposed Education Society would enable the denomination to provide for a consistent and continuous scheme of religious education under expert leadership, reaching from the Sunday School of the local church to the college and the seminary, and to the world-wide operations of the church in its missionary enterprises.
3. Because the combined functions of the two proposed boards could be made to cover actually the total field of religious education, developing new materials and processes as new needs arise, without the danger of defeat through the technical limitations of function or authority which now seem to exist. We take it for granted that the functions, specified on page 8, section 4, of the preliminary report, could be enlarged to meet all legitimate needs that may arise in the whole field, reaching beyond denominational boundaries when necessary.
O. C. HELMING
F. J. ESTABROOK
Ą PROGRAM OF RELIGIOUS INSTRUCTION AND TRAINING IN THE LOCAL CHURCH
It is the purpose of this BULLETIN to offer some practical suggestions toward the formation of a unified PROGRAM OF RELIGIOUS INSTRUCTION AND TRAINING.
WHAT SHOULD GO INTO THE PROGRAM
The Program should include two things:
First, A clear statement of what is to be attempted by the local church in the community, through Christian nurture and training, i. e. the educational aims of the local church; and,
Second, An outline of the lesson material and a list of the agencies of instruction and training, i. e. the means, available for accomplishing this task. The suggestions in this BULLETIN will follow this order.
Details of curriculum or bibliography are not here offered but are reserved for a later BULLETIN. Neither is any attempt here made to outline the educational work for adults, except incidentally in connection with courses for parents to supplement the work of the church for the children
A. THE CHURCH'S WORK OF INSTRUCTION AND TRAINING
Aim and Scope of the Church's Instruction
I. Instruction. It is the duty of the Church to provide food for intelligent Christian thinking and to guide the minds of its children in their growth and development. The aim of the Church's instruction should be to lead them to assume a filial and reverent attitude toward God and his world, and to live in Christian relations of love and helpfulness among their fellow-men. To this end the Church should make its young people thoroughly familiar with the revelation of God as found in the Bible and in nature, acquaint them with the main facts in the history of the Christian church and Christian missions, help them to appreciate the religious customs, the religious beliefs and the religious needs of other peoples, and inform them concerning the history and distinctive characteristics of their own denomination as well as concerning the social and missionary enterprises in which it is now engaged. The courses of study; properly assembled and arranged in appropriate sequence, with the agencies of instruction clearly designated, constitute the Curriculum of Instruction.
Aim and Scope of the Church's Training II. Training. All thought is accompanied by feeling which tends to express itself in action. It is the duty of the Church to provide constant and appropriate opportunity for such expression, and thus to train in Christian conduct. The religious life comes to expression chiefly through two main avenues, worship and service.
A Program of Training in Worship Worship. It is natural for religious feeling to express itself in worship. The Church, however, should train its young people to worship spontaneously and intelligently. They need to become acquainted with the forms and language of worship, both private and public, but these forms which are employed by the Church in the training of the young should be suited to the experience of the worshipper. Little children, for example, require simpler forms, while adults may properly make use of those which are more complex. Moreover, the material of worship may be so related to the material of instruction as to serve as a medium for expressing the feelings and enthusiasm aroused during the teaching process. Thus, memory work, Psalms, proverbs, hymns, etc., required in the course of instruction, may find its place at once in the order of worship, or ritual, designed for use in the Sunday-school or Young People's Society, provided it is adapted to the pupil's experience. This Program of Training in Worship should be so presented as to indicate clearly its relation to the Program of Instruction.
A Program of Training in Service Service. The ultimate aim of instruction is to reach the Will and lead to expression in action. Through exercise the Will grows strong. In order that its young people may grow up to be efficient, as well as intelligent Christians, their wills need to be trained, through practice, to prompt and vigorous action. To provide opportunity for moral practice there should be a Program of Training in Service, suited to the varying powers of the growing life, and including not only such simple Christian duties as pertain to the home and the immediate neighborhood but more complex forms of community and social service and Christian missions. These acts of service suggested in the Program should be definitely related to the lessons in the Program of Instruction, in order that these lessons may habitually find expression in conduct. For some of this training opportunity will be offered through organized classes in the Sunday-school; in other cases special organizations will be utilized. All, taken together, will constitute the Curriculum of Training, parallel to the Curriculum of Instruction; both of which, together with the Program for Training in Worship, make up the complete curriculum of the CHURCH SCHOOL — this term being used to include not only the Sunday-school, but all other organizations in the local church whose purpose is teaching and training.