Imagini ale paginilor

To make public opinion sensitive to all immoral influences which tend to neutralize the work of the home, the Church and the public school.

To make a survey of the community and determine its moral and religious needs.

To help solve all problems of correlation between public schools and the Church schools.

To conduct Week-Day Schools of Religious Education and also, where necessary, to assist each church in having a Daily Vacation Bible School.

To train Christian leaders for the work of teaching and organization. Each church should have its own teacher training classes. The community school is to train teachers of these classes and to provide highly specialized training which is be yond the power of the average church.

To enable the churches coöperatively to undertake, in the community, a program of practical Christianity which will be to the youth of the community the moral equivalent of war.

To enable the churches the better to spiritualize the forces and institutions in the community that make for democracy.

The idea of the Community Schools of Religious Education can be so adapted as to be made available for rural districts. In fact we know of no better method of rehabilitating country life than a comprehensive program of religious education adapted to the needs of rural life.



If the work of religious education is the foundation upon which all of the boards and agencies of the Church must build, and we believe it is, then the Department of Religious Education of any denomination should be so organized that all the boards and agencies of that denomination will function through this department as far as the work of religious education goes. At present, in most of the denominations, the Board of Foreign Missions, the Board of Home Missions, the Board of Education, the Temperance Board, the Sunday School Board, and other agencies are all engaged in some phase of religious education and are seeking entrance into the Sunday school and the local church generally, without that close correlation which is so necessary if the Church is to have any semblance of an educational system. A more unscientific system of religious education can hardly be conceived of. There is but one remedy, and that is a complete reorganization whereby there will be a Department of Religious Education in each denomination which will so represent in its management all of the agencies of the Church that it will become their instrument for all of their educational work. This same principle should be applied interdenominationally. The very nature and greatness of the task requires not only reorganization but new organizations and every denominational agency should be willing to say, “We are ready to place our organization upon the table along with all other agencies and leave it to the wisest statesmenship of the Church to determine what fundamental changes are necessary.



If the Church has any hope of meeting the full moral and religious challenge of our day it must respond more quickly to the demand for a sufficient, well-trained and well-organized educational field force. It is this intensive type of trained supervision brought down and applied to small sections that will accomplish the required results.

One of the most promising movements of our day is the plan now being formulated whereby the International Sunday School Association and the Sunday School Council of Evangelical Denomi. nations will be merged and a more compact field force made available for all of the denominations. This merger, however, does not lessen but rather increases the importance of each denomination hav. ing a trained educational representative in every State and large city center. One more step needs to be taken in this direction. The religious educational work of the Christian associations and the whole task of missionary education now chiefly under the direction of the various missionary boards should be closely articulated with the work of the above agencies so as to make possible a single edu

[ocr errors]

cational program and a unified coöperating field force.

Single institutions and separate denominations working alone cannot solve the religious educational problem and meet the rightful demand of the coming generation. Each one of these bodies must first aim at their own internal efficiency. They must then coöperate in the organization of that type of community and State Council which will take into consideration all of the various elements involved and which experimentation will prove to be best adapted to meet the situation. Religious education is a local problem for which the denominations and interdenominational agencies in any given section and community must be responsible both for organization and direction. The work will never be accomplished, and all of the children and youth of any given State, synod, conference, or community reached until the educational work of the denominational boards and agencies is decentralized and reorganized and unified upon the field. In every State there should be a denominational Council of Religious Education composed of representatives of all of the agencies of the Church. Selected members of these denominational councils should form a State Interdenominational Council with power to unify the work both in respect to the program, the curriculum and the field force. Such a council would also aim to bring about complete coördination with the State educa. tional agencies, and with other interdenomational church agencies—such as the Young Men's Christian Association and the United Society of Christian Endeavor. All of these agencies should have actual representation upon the council. This same plan of organization should be applied to the large cities and to counties or communities.

Intensive work in every State and community under local direction is the only thing that will really count. This will call for a greatly increased number of trained, educational field workers and consequently a vastly larger State and local budget for the work of religious education. It is now estimated that the world war cost $217,000,000,000, à staggering sum, a cruel, pitiless burden fastened upon the coming generation of children. The war has revealed the tremendous power of education to shape and mould national life. Moral and religious education is the one effective instrument by which the Church can train children for Christian citizenship, spiritualize modern democracy, make possible and permanent a League of Nations and bring the world under the sway of Christ. Here is an investment that will pay one hundred per cent. dividends and every public-spirited citizen should welcome the opportunity to invest large sums of money.


What is possible in the United States in the way of a program of religious education is possible in every nation. The war has brought about an internal revolution in almost every country in every

« ÎnapoiContinuați »