Some 40 million children, youth, and adults are receiving instruction in the Christian religion in Sunday Schools of America. What they are taught will largely determine what the Church of tomorrow will believe and be, and also the nature of its moral and social impact on American society.

What are these millions of pupils being taught? And who is determining the what?


In general, we have two types of curriculum materials in the Sunday School: Uniform and Graded Lessons.

Uniform Lessons are designed to provide every age group with lessons based on the same passage of Scripture on any given Sunday. These lessons have been set up in six year cycles, and though designed to provide for “the fruitful study of the Bible as a whole,” have also been arranged to give “larger place to those portions of the Scriptures which afford greatest teaching and learning values.” In each year’s lessons opportunity is given for the “consideration of some aspect of the life or teaching of Jesus and some challenge to the Christian way of life.” It is amazing how little of the total content of the Bible is studied during the entire course of two or three cycles; also which doctrinal passages are dealt with, and which are omitted.

Graded Lessons are designed to provide Sunday School pupils with lesson materials more suited to their particular age group than Uniform Lessons.

There are differences between Graded Lessons.

One example of solid Bible study, provided in a Graded Lesson Series produced by the Methodist Church, may be found in Unit III of the Adult Bible Course for April–June, 1959, on “The Book of Romans.” The treatment of Romans is not altogether satisfactory. It leans heavily on liberal commentaries, and too easily espouses ...

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