pi-dee-ah: Greek for "paideia" - to teach, instruct, guide, train and nurture
In every public high school in all 50 states, it is absolutely legal to offer academic, elective Bible classes!
In 1963, the Supreme Court ruled in Abington v Schempp that public schools may not require devotional use of the Bible, however, the Court explicitly acknowledged that the academic study of the Bible in public schools is clearly constitutional, and is a critical part of a solid education.
If you live in North or South Carolina and would like to see your public high school offer an elective, academic Bible class, please contact us. We will partner with you and your local school and community to help implement these classes. Please note that in an academic Bible class, each student will utilize both the course textbook, The Bible and Its Influence, and their personal copy of the Bible. This is an accredited textbook that fully upholds the First Amendment.
"This book (The Bible and Its Influence) splendidly illustrates the importance of the Bible for understanding western culture. It does so in a way that is respectful towards Jewish and Christian tradition and that also appreciates the light shed on the Bible by modern historical study. It takes an ecumenical approach that avoids confessionalism but is appreciative of the positive role that the Bible can play in our society. It is an excellent illustration of the way the Bible can and should be taught in American public schools." John Collins, Ph.D, Professor Yale Divinity School
A 2005 Chicago Tribune op-ed concluded: "It makes no sense to starve our public school students by eliminating the Bible and religion from the curriculum, given overwhelming interest of students in the subject and the legal and academic support for it. How can we be truly multicultural, in the best sense, if we do not understand our own culture? It is impossible for us to evaluate other ways of life without some strong understanding of the roots of our own." (Elshtain, 2005, p. 27) A second Chicago Tribune editorial noted, "When [public schools] decline to impart knowledge about such an important subject [the Bible], they are not doing anything to preserve the separation of church and state. They are merely failing their students." ("Biblical Ignorance," 2005, p. 22) To offer a rigorous elective course about the Bible affords students a significant advantage in current and future classes and in college preparation, provides them with the keys to understanding history and culture, and helps equip them for the working world and for empowered citizenship.
Read more about the constitutionality of academic Bible classes at The Bible Literacy Project.
To create elective, academic Bible classes in public high schools across the Carolinas
view of self and others
"Our students have received effective tools to enhance their literary studies in my class that alludes to biblical themes, figures, and patterns. Students have a greater chance of identifying and interpreting various points of view and perspectives as a result of using The Bible and Its Influence. I thoroughly enjoy teaching this class!" English teacher, Rocky Mount, North Carolina
"Before I took this class, I did not realize how integrated the Bible was in modern history, culture and the world I live in. Knowing the background of the Bible has opened my eyes to so many new ideas and ways of thinking." M.M., age 18, Texas
"Taking this course made me pick up the Bible and really read it and learn what the words mean." C.D., age 17, Georgia
"This class has brought things to my attention that I never noticed and never understood." C.B., 17, Missouri
"It has caused me to want to read my Bible." J.A.B., age 17, Tennessee
"This course is a great eye-opener for naive people that say the Bible is irrelevant in everyday life." L.W.K., age 19, Georgia
"It has taught me more than I knew and surprised me with how much I enjoyed it. This class has made me want to read the Bible more to find different stories." N.N., age 17, Tennessee
"In a world of negative influence and pressure, it is important to have a class that will have a positive impact on the students, such as Bible Lit."L.M., age 17, Indiana
"Absolutely my favorite course in all of high school." K.O., age 18, California