Assignment Instructions – Developing a Biblical Studies program
Given a school’s vision/mission statement, (choose one from those given in part A Ch 4 or research another and state it in your document) develop the foundation statements for a one year biblical studies program. Include
- Assessment guidelines
- Criteria to evaluate the effectiveness of the program
Biblical Studies Program – Sample Paper
God’s Bible School and College is one of the best academic institutions that offer Christian education for students in Canada and in the United States. The institution’s mission statement reads, “God’s Bible School and College seeks to glorify God and to serve His Church by providing higher education centered in Holy Scripture and shaped by Wesleyan conviction, thus preparing faithful servants to proclaim Jesus Christ and spread scriptural holiness throughout the world (God’s Bible School and College).” Its vision is “To develop a spiritually vibrant institution that is academically excellent, growth oriented, student centered, and financially sound (God’s Bible School and College).” God’s Bible School and College aspires to produce students who have a passion for God and His holiness. As part of its commitment to the mission and vision statement, God’s Bible School and College has employed qualified staff to serve students and to help them grow socially, spiritually, academically, and psychologically (God’s Bible School and College). This paper outlines a one year biblical studies program that guides God’s Bible School and College towards realization of its mission and vision. The rationale, aims, outcomes, assessment guidelines, and criteria for evaluating the effectiveness of the biblical study program have been addressed in this paper.
Biblical studies sessions at God’s Bible School and College introduce students to the world of spirituality and religion and intend to help learners understand the power of God’s word. In order to assist students to become faithful Disciples of Christ, they must first be made to understand that the Bible talks about God’s people who are expected to be in fellowship with each other (Jericho, 2005). The Bible explains that human beings are expected to live according the will of God, their creator. Unfortunately, the world that God created sinless has decayed and people in it behave in a manner that does not please Him. One important thing that everyone must remember is the fact that God will come back to the world to take up the righteous, judge sinners, and make His creation holy. As it is written in the book of Matthew Chapter 28, verses 19 and 20, God gave the Church a duty to preach the Gospel to inhabitants of the earth, and to baptize, teach, and discipline believers (1984, NIV Bible).
This biblical study program should act as one of the ways through which God’s commands are fulfilled. The Holy Spirit plays a significant role in convicting people of their sin and to strengthen the faith of believers. This biblical studies program cannot play the same roles as the Holy Spirit, but teachers at God’s Bible School and College are expected to teach students how God’s Spirit works. Additionally, while teachers may guide students through Biblical values and give them instructions on how to live in this world, it is God’s Spirit that has the power of manifesting positive fruits within the believer. Therefore, the teacher only acts as an instructor and a mentor, who must enable the Holy Spirit to guide him or her to reach out to students and to challenge them to commit their lives to Jesus Christ (Reitsma and Renn, 2010).
With the help of this biblical studies program, the teacher will be able to assist his or her students to apply biblical precepts in their daily lives. The truth that exists in the Bible will become clear if the Christian teacher acts as a good role model to the students by exhibiting behaviors that are similar to those of Christ. The Bible is a very big book that needs to be taught as a specific area of learning, and this is the goal that this biblical studies program seeks to fulfill. Student must take their study sessions seriously because the biblical principles and values can be applied in all areas of learning. God is the creator and sustainer of all creatures, and he helps all people through His word (Reitsma and Renn, 2010).
The main aim of this biblical studies program is to enable learners to understand that God can help people through His word. Specifically, this program intends to assist students to know God as the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Additionally, this biblical studies program will assist the learner to see God as a Savior, Helper, and Guider. Moreover, this biblical studies program will assist student to understand that their God is a God of justice who requires his people to remain just and walk humbly with God, as it is written in the book of Micah, Chapter 6 verse 8 (1984, NIV Bible). God’s Bible School and College have laid down some life skills that learners must possess for the aims of this biblical studies program to be achieved. For instance, for the student to know God as father, son and the Holy Spirit, he or she must investigate Bible stories to see how God reveals Himself to His people. Again, the learner must explore both New Testament and Old Testament stories to see how God fulfills His promises to His people (Jericho, 2005).
This section describes what students should be able to do after they will have been taken through this biblical studies program. The outcomes of this biblical studies program are measurable and reflect the complexity of the syllabus. At the end of one year study, the student should be able to identify different interpretations and perspectives of biblical divinity. In addition, the student should be able to locate and select a number of sources that are useful in conducting biblical research. Again, at the end of this biblical studies program, the student should be able to effectively use both oral and written forms of communication to talk about the Bible. Most importantly, learners should be able to examine Christian beliefs bout God’s actions and determine their relevance to today’s life (Reitsma and Renn, 2010).
According to Jericho (2005), assessment refers to the process of gathering and analyzing evidence obtained from the work of a student to establish how he or she has demonstrated learning. The learning outcomes at God’s Bible School and College describe the learning components that are to be assessed. At God’s Bible School and College, assessment of outcomes involve interactive sessions between the teachers and students, and in the process, the teacher makes informed judgement on both current and future learning capabilities of the student. As the teacher collects evidence for assessment, he or she must focus on the scope and complexity of the study program, right from the beginning to the end of the year. The teacher will apply a balance approach to assessment that incorporates assessment of learning, assessment for learning, and assessment as learning. The teacher will gather evidence using a number of methods including self and peer assessment, consultation, focuses analysis and observation. Students can only achieve the learning outcomes if they clearly understand what they need to know (Reitsma and Renn, 2010).
Criteria to evaluate the effectiveness of the program
Evaluation refers to objective assessment of a completed program to find out whether the originally set objectives have been met. In this case, five criteria will be used to evaluate the effectiveness of the biblical studies program. These include relevance, effectiveness, efficiency, impact, and sustainability (United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, 2015). As far as relevance is concerned, the teacher will assess the extent to which program activities are consistent with the needs of the Christian students. Under effectiveness, the teacher will assess whether the originally set objectives have been achieved. Assessment of the cost-effectiveness of the whole program in relation to the output is referred to as efficiency evaluation. Impact evaluation concerns the positive and negative effects of the program, either intended or unintended. As far as sustainability is concerned, the teacher will assess the probability of gaining long-term benefits from the biblical studies program after full implementation. These five criteria will provide relevant information that will be used by the decision maker to determine whether any changes should be made to the program (United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, 2015).