Chapel curriculum

Below is a sketch of my college’s “Chapel Curriculum” for 2012-13.  Leaving alone for now the question of what the chapel tradition is supposed to be — and yea, whether there should be a curriculum at all (making it thus a human, academic enterprise and not as much of a Kingdom one) — let’s have a look.  This plan is conveniently, if not properly, structured in three “God” categories and one human category.  

GOD THE FATHER

  • Who God is
  • Attributes of God
  • Salvation history; relationship of old & new covenants
  • Creation
    • nature/environment
    • humans created as sexual beings
    • art/music  – art
  • Provision:  Deus absconditus: God’s hidden work
  • Intelligence

GOD THE SON

  • Teaching of Jesus: ethics; kingdom of God; imitation of Christ
  • The “work” of Christ: death and all its significance for our redemption; resurrection and all its significance; soteriology

GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT  

  • Spirit-inspired service
  • Sanctification; role of Spirit in the Christian’s maturing, growth in love
  • Discipleship
  • Interpersonal relationships
  • Eschatology/Judgment/Resurrection
  • Church:
    • Ecclesiology
    • Christian Community; purpose & identity of the church

ANTHROPOLOGY (theological)

  • Humanity in image of God
  • The Christian and politics
  • Common grace
  • Civic justice
  • The Christian’s vocation
  • Business:  work and the kingdom of God, wealth

As I read over that list, I find an attractive depth and scope.  My questions, though, are many — too many, I think.  Although I might have offered to contribute to the “curriculum” with a speech on one of the topics listed, I’m afraid my views in a few areas would prove too divergent.  Every third item seems either miscategorized or ill-conceived or unclear.  I’ll offer six representative questions, using “the number of man,” because this whole curricular list, like me and like you, is human and imperfect.

  1. For instance, why are discipleship and interpersonal relationships under the “God the Holy Spirit” heading and not under “God the Son” or “Anthropology”?  I suppose that in a sense, we follow the essence, the indwelling part of God; but large, significant portions of NC scripture pertain to following Jesus, leading me to the conclusion that He is the crux for humans in terms of discipleship.
  2. What is “common grace,” and why is it under a human heading rather than a God one?  (Maybe I’m just ignorant of orthodox thought.)  (Don’t say anything!)
  3. In my particular milieu, I think any messages in the “Christian and politics” category will likely be balanced and non-partisan, but I worry in every election year that folks will assume that every right-thinking person should be engaged in the process — when such involvement must not be cajoled, since political involvement is not required in scripture.
  4. “Civic justice” is always safe … or is it?  On one hand, I affirm a mantra that goes something like this:  “Socially/humanly liberal; morally conservative.”  But, like it or not, there’s a politically liberal agenda attached to the words “civic justice” that appeals to some, but not to all.
  5. Why is Eschatology/Judgment/Resurrection under the Holy Spirit heading and not the Father or Son ones?
  6. Perhaps most significant:  why, in a Christ-ian college, is the “God the Son” category so brief?

Some topical areas seem skeletal — why are there only one or two sub-topics under “church” and “creation,” for instance?  And another example:  I do think human sexuality deserves a solid berth in considerations of what it means to be human, but there’s much more to say about God’s human creation, isn’t there?  I think I remember hearing — but don’t know for sure — that a four-year curriculum exists, designed to touch on four times this many areas during a student’s time in college.  Perhaps this list is only one-fourth of the whole, designed in order to provide thoroughgoing balance over a period of years.

How about you?  Care to pick an item or two and query it, or comment on it from a Christian education standpoint?

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