The Middle School religion program encourages each student's search for meaning and nurtures a personal relationship with God. The sixth grade course explores multiple religions of the world and builds religious literacy. The eighth grade course focuses on Biblical studies and encourages students to see the Bible's relevance in contemporary society and in their lives. The Middle School curriculum reflects the developing faith of the students, and the faculty respects the diverse religious backgrounds of the student body. A guiding principle of the curriculum and of our school's mission is to value all persons as children of God.
This course introduces students to multiple religions of the world primarily through the medium of food. Each unit will begin with an overview to develop a shared vocabulary and will move into an exploration of contemporary practice and identity. Students will examine food-centric themes including food restrictions, food offerings, food charity, and special religious occasions, and will study the meanings behind these practices. This course considers all expressions of religion to be equally worthy of attention as ways in which people make sense of their lives. Students are invited to share experiences from their own religious and/or family tradition(s) and raise questions about matters of faith in class discussions. In addition, the course emphasizes appreciation for people of all faiths or no faith, examines how faith can inspire action for social justice, and how religion plays a role in current events.
We explore the ancient notion that humans are spiritual beings who have sought out a higher power(s) from early stages of civilization. In addition, we explore the need for laws to regulate patterns of behavior. The course offers students a survey of key themes and ideas in the Bible. An examination of the Hebrew Scriptures and the geography of Israel lays the foundation for studying the New Testament. Major events and personalities are discussed, and the students are expected to practice skills in biblical interpretation, think critically, and interpret the contemporary relevance of the biblical material. A special emphasis is given to the parables of Jesus. The study of stories, fables, and wise sayings facilitates an ongoing discussion of morals and values. Students create multimedia presentations which enhance their learning, and films are incorporated to reinforce spiritual growth and the unique value of each person.