Next Sunday morning will find seven-year-old Johnny with a new teacher—she is a Methodist. Johnny’s last Sunday School teacher, who has just been transferred, was a Presbyterian. The department head is a Baptist. At a previous base where he lived, Johnny was taught the lesson by a Lutheran lady.

Somehow Johnny just doesn’t understand things like communion and baptism (his parents send him to Sunday School), for his is the lot of a military dependent, the child of a career serviceman. For years the Protestant military chaplains have battled inadequacies in their 180,000-member Sunday School systems. The inadequacies stemmed from these factors: (1) Protestants lumped together; (2) rapid turnover of teachers and scholars; and (3) lack of continuity in the curriculum.

In a bold effort to cope with the peculiarities of military Sunday Schools, ranking chaplains have been quietly promoting a unified curriculum which may raise more problems than it solves. The plan was worked out by the Armed Forces Chaplains Board, which invited the Protestant Church-Owned Publishers Association to administer it.

The program works this way: Each year a team of chaplains and denominational consultants meet and preview Sunday School materials planned by PCPA members. From these materials they select those which they feel are best suited to use in the armed services. The unified curriculum is therefore merely a composite subject to annual change. Only one selection is made in each category of need. The materials are the same as those used within the denominations that produce them. Cover imprints identify the materials as belonging to the “Unified Protestant Sunday School Curriculum for Armed Forces.”

The unified curriculum was first made available in ...

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