Sunday School Curriculum Suggestions

Discussion in 'The Literary Forum' started by greenbaggins, Jun 7, 2018.

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  1. greenbaggins

    greenbaggins Administrator Staff Member

    I am only really familiar with GCP, and I am not very fond of it. Our church is about to start seriously looking at what we do in Sunday School, and I am wanting to know if there are any curricula out there with the following characteristics: 1. Reformed (including no representations of Jesus); 2. each year builds on the previous year; 3. K-12th grade; 4. substantive; 5. orderly in the presentation of the whole counsel of God, not flitting about from one subject to the next. 6. unified in its approach to the theological disciplines (not just exegetical, or just systematic, or just historical, or just practical, but including all four as inter-related and inter-dependent disciplines). 7. possibly classical in its approach of grammar-logic-rhetoric. 8. somewhat challenging, but not frustratingly so. Anyone know of anything like this out there?
  2. Cedarbay

    Cedarbay Puritan Board Freshman

    The PRC have schools and may be of help. The Reformed Free Publishing Assoc. lists curriculum.
  3. Hamalas

    Hamalas whippersnapper

    I don't mean to distract from your thread so feel free to PM me if it would be better, but what do you dislike about the Great Commission stuff?
  4. Gforce9

    Gforce9 Puritan Board Junior

    Some of Ligonier's conferences have been very good. The 2004, A Portrait of God is fantastic.... I've been through them about6x each myself. ~45 minute "lectures" on the character of God by Duncan, Ferguson, Godfrey & Sproul.....really good.
  5. JTB.SDG

    JTB.SDG Puritan Board Sophomore

  6. jwithnell

    jwithnell Moderator Staff Member

    Seems like GCP and others follow a "big story" approach which leaves out the "unimportant" stuff between the exciting stories.
  7. scottmaciver

    scottmaciver Puritan Board Sophomore

    Hi Lane,

    When I first taught I asked a few elders for suggestions and one of them suggested the Metropolitan Tabernacle curriculum (here). It's first rate.
  8. fredtgreco

    fredtgreco Vanilla Westminsterian Staff Member

    You may find something better, but I doubt it. There are always trade-offs in children's curriculum. You will notice that just in the fact that the recommendations you are getting above are mostly for young adults and youth. Grammar school age material is hard to find. I would not use materials from an explicitly baptistic perspective - that will cause way too much confusion for young minds. We have settled on GCP for 2-3 year olds through 5th grade (which we think is pretty good). We write our own 6-12th grade materials (mostly using PowerPoint).
  9. greenbaggins

    greenbaggins Administrator Staff Member

    Yeah, I take the middle and high schoolers myself in catechism class, and use my own materials. I'm looking for something for elementary school kids (maybe also including 7th grade), and I agree that baptistic stuff would be confusing.
  10. fredtgreco

    fredtgreco Vanilla Westminsterian Staff Member

    I understand. I'm just warning you that I don't think you are going to find something better.
  11. Jack K

    Jack K Puritan Board Professor

    Lane, it might possibly be worth your time to look at two baptistic publishers: Children Desiring God and Treasuring Christ. Both are quasi-Reformed (Calvinistic). You would have to go through the material and pull out Jesus pictures if you want to avoid those (they are occasional rather than constant), and you might find that some the of covenant theology distinctives you'd like to teach are missing. A careful fellow like you would probably find other concerns as well. But I still mention these publishers because they often offer more substantive theology than I find in GCP materials; they just go deeper that way, and are careful to be precise. They also come as print-at-home downloads, making it easier to eliminate a single page if it includes something you don't like.

    As for Presbyterian/Reformed resources, GCP is the gold standard. I doubt you will find anything better that meets all your criteria. If you do, I'd like to know about it. The Beeke books check all the right Reformed boxes, but for the substantial number of kids for whom a workbook is not their best learning style, Beeke is a difficult slog. His is a one-method approach, while GCP combines multiple learning methods.

    The best K-12, distinctly Reformed Sunday school materials I've ever seen were published by the CRC in the 1970s. If anyone has a set stashed away somewhere, or if we could somehow convince Faith Alive to reissue some of that curricula, we'd have a winner.

    But nothing will be perfect. A well-trained, discerning teacher is still the best way to make sure the kids are getting proper instruction.

    One more thought: Who might know about homeschool or Christian school curricula? Does any of that come from a Reformed perspective? Might it work in a church context?
  12. De Jager

    De Jager Puritan Board Freshman

    I bet there will be churches in Ontario who still have this. Maybe some URCs...or CRCs, stashed in a box somewhere.

    I went to a Christian Reformed school in for grades 1-8, It would be interesting to see what curriculum I was taught...because I don't remember at all!
  13. Doulos 2

    Doulos 2 Puritan Board Freshman

  14. Megs

    Megs Puritan Board Freshman

  15. Jack K

    Jack K Puritan Board Professor

    Ditto from me. I should have remembered those guys, since I actually know them a bit. The content is solid, so you should take a look and see if you like the material. It's another case where you have to like their particular teaching method, since there's really only one method in use.
  16. greenbaggins

    greenbaggins Administrator Staff Member

    Alan, I am operating currently on second-hand information, and I am trying to get to the bottom of this. In the meantime, I will hide the post about GCP, since I am not certain of the facts, and I would not want incorrect information about GCP to be out there.
  17. Alan D. Strange

    Alan D. Strange Puritan Board Junior

    Thanks, Lane, I appreciate it. I will await further developments. Please know that if these problems exist, GCP will want to correct them (or deal with any possible mis-perceptions).

  18. SavedSinner

    SavedSinner Puritan Board Freshman

    I remember seeing drawings of the second person of the godhead in the GCP SS material, but that was a long long time ago, around the turn of the century.
  19. Alan D. Strange

    Alan D. Strange Puritan Board Junior

    I've been on the Board of GCP since 1998. During that time, there have been no such drawings of which I am aware. The policy long predates my tenure and was, I believe, in place before the Joint Venture (1975), when the PCA joined the OPC to form GCP as the curriculum publisher of both denominations.

  20. Backwoods Presbyterian

    Backwoods Presbyterian Puritan Board Doctor

    For adult curriculum I can recommend the ARP Quarterly. Fits many of your requirements and I know many PCA churches that are using it.
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