Subject: Christian Catechesis
For almost two thousand years, the Christian Church has used systems of instructing youth and adults in the teachings of the Bible. Most of them make use of a series of questions and answers, where students learn standard answers to questions that summarize the whole scope of biblical teaching. The name for this, coming from the Greek language, is catechesis. (pronounced kat-uh-key-sis)
At Columbia, we include a catechesis course for seventh and eighth grade students. This is the culmination of the Bible history, memory work, and worship instruction that takes place from the earliest grades onward. We use the Small Catechism of Dr. Martin Luther, requiring students to know the six chief parts of the basic text by heart. Those who have applied themselves to their memory work through the prior grades will find this easy, but students recently transferring from the public school system may discover that their memorization skills are in need of practice.
Parents are strongly encouraged to help their students by having them recite memory work, and discussing the content of the classes at home. Families that are not also members at Bethany or Concordia may not agree in all points with the religious instruction, but students are still expected to learn it for the course. This provides an opportunity for those families to examine and perhaps strengthen their own beliefs together.