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are two conspicuous examples of what an institution can do for its own community, and by correspondence for a constituency much larger, in the work of Union Theological Seminary and in that of the University of Chicago. At twenty different centers in and around New York, Dr. Richard Morse Hodge, director of the extension work, President Charles Cuthbert Hall, and other members of the faculty of Union Seminary, are conducting community classes in Bible-study and religious education, and are directly reaching four hundred persons. This year they have introduced a course on "Religious Education in the Home," and a Sunday afternoon class for children on Old Testament History. This same thing is being done by other seminaries and colleges to a greater or less extent, and invariably results in community Bible-study. The American Institute of Sacred Literature, under the direction of President Harper of the University of Chicago, offers forty-seven Biblical correspondence courses. These courses are inductive, and assume the soundness of the historical method. There are six hundred local clubs at work on them today in all parts of the country. They are made up of members of all denominations. It is community Bible-study. But to speak of the clubs alone is to leave half the story untold, for a large part of the work is done with individuals. A letter received from the secretary, within a week, states that about 10,000 persons are connected with the institute at the present time. This is a vast force in the religious education of America.

Many other kinds of extension work are being done. President. Booker T. Washington writes that two nights each week the farmers and local preachers, from miles around, gather at Tuskegee to study the Bible, under the direction of Tuskegee Institute. And then, in connection with this, that the study may be taken back to the people in the region in its strength and purity, sermons are preached by the local ministers and criticised.

The dining-room Bible-class work of the Bible Teachers' Training School in New York is based on the principle that if the people won't come to us, we must go to them with the Bible. Take the programme for Monday evening, any Monday evening, and you will have the plan in a nutshell. The evening begins in the parlors of the Calvary Baptist Church (chosen because of its location). A great class, most of them students, gather. An early supper is served, after which Dr. Wilbert W. White teaches the Bible lesson for the day. At half-past seven the class breaks up and scatters in all directions. Within half an hour forty Bible classes, gathered about forty different din

ing-room tables, are at work upon that same lesson. The classes often start with two or three members of one family, then the family that lives across the hall, or on the floor above or below; other neighbors come in, till the classes sometimes number twenty-five or thirty.

As to the summer institutes and assemblies, there are about one hundred and twenty-five that make Bible-study a part of their regular work, but many of them are not strictly undenominational, and may not be considered.

Another unusual form of community Bible-study is that being done by hundreds of the Woman's Clubs of the country. It is very popular, and is being rapidly extended, though accurate statistics are not available.

The facts, already given, have revealed an unusual and rapidly increasing interest in the study of the Bible, some of it devotional and evangelistic, more of it inductive and scholarly, but all of it bearing fruit in life and character. The most extraordinary and interesting facts, however, are those connected with individual classes and detached community movements that have sprung up in almost every state in the Union. These cases cannot be spoken of in detail, for they are numbered by the hundred. But while they vary in size, they show many common characteristics. Let me name a few of the larger


There is a great union class of five hundred in Dallas, Texas. In Providence there are two important groups, one a union of the churches of the city, in what were called "Gospel of John Conferences." These were addressed by various pastors and seminary professors, in order "To concentrate the thought of the church on the most spiritual of the gospels, and to bring churches and seminaries closer together." The other is the Providence Biblical Institute, with two hundred members. With this, the Rhode Island Woman's Club has come into affiliated relationship, having as its object to increase interest in the study of the Bible, particularly in its literary and historical aspects.

The Bible Lectures Committee of the Twentieth Century Club is doing similar work for Greater Boston. The high-water mark this year was reached in the course of morning lectures by Professor Richard G. Moulton, which repeatedly packed the Colonial Theatre. The Club's popular classes have about three hundred members.

The returns show a great increase in the number of communities with union Bible classes for Sunday school teachers. To the International Sunday School Association is largely due the credit for this

work. I venture to say that it is doing more to promote broad, undenominational co-operation in religious education to-day than any other religious organization. We do not often think of that side of its work, but we must not let its uniform lesson idea blind us to the real greatness of its work.

Then last, but by no means least in significance, are the great numbers of smaller community classes that have sprung up without connection with any outside movement, sometimes originating with a pastor, who is an enthusiastic Bible student, sometimes with the superintendent of public schools, with the men's class in one of the Sunday schools, with the teachers' meeting, with a college boy at home for vacation, and in countless other ways.

The reports show that nine tenths of these community classes are enthusiastically studying the Bible as literature and the results of historical Bible-study. The membership is remarkable, enlisting the strongest and best people in the communities, large numbers of public school teachers, large numbers of business men, and society and club women.

Now, what does it all mean? What explains it? Why this interest in Bible-study on the part of hundreds and thousands of people who have fought shy of it before? Let me suggest but a few of the many things that combine to explain the condition:

(1) First may be named the emphasis that has been laid for the last ten years on the fact that, whatever else it may be, the Bible is a great literature.

(2) A desire to know the results of the literary and historical study of the Bible. People have had their eyes open. They have discovered that higher criticism is not an emanation from the pit, as they were once led to believe; that it is never sneered at by the most intelligent ministers, and is taught in almost every seminary of any standing in this country. Curiosity? Perhaps, but interest is a better word, and, whatever it is, it is leading people to forget their differences and their prejudices, and study the Bible as it is.

(3) Another thing that helps explain the change is, that to undertake a course of Bible study now does not mean what it once did. It used to be a pious act, and involved a certain set of beliefs about the Bible, a certain humbling of one's intellectual self before it. That, many people could not honestly do. It was a confession of faith; now it is a confession of a desire to know. The confession of faith comes after the study now, not before. This is the true order. And so, many of the more intellectually self-respecting people in these com

munities-not church members-are uniting with church people and others in a genuine inductive study of the Bible.

(4) The faith we are showing in our own great Book makes a tremendous appeal, especially to young men and women. We ask no favors for it. We urge the fullest and freest investigation of it. What people find to be true, that they are to believe. The Christian scholar's profound faith in the Bible, then, is proving contagious.

(5) It is being studied in a thorough and scholarly manner. Most of the study is not called devotional, but, for all that, life and light and salvation are in the Book, and the people know it. They know, somehow, that in the Bible there is a revelation from God for them, and they are hungry for it. Many of the people whom we are so surprised to see in these community Bible classes have for a long time come "to Jesus by night," at least in their hearts. They are simply coming to him in the daytime now.






The instructions issued by the Sunday school section of the Religious Education Association to the committee for which we now report were: "To prepare a descriptive bibliography of the various lessons and books bearing upon Sunday school methods, without commendation or indorsement."

We respectfully report that such publications may be classified as follows: 1. International Lesson Helps, by denominational publishing societies and by independent publishers. 2. Denominational Graded Lessons. 3. Manuals and Text-books for Graded Lessons, by committees and associations. 4. Books containing Suggested Courses of Study for Graded Bible Schools. 5. Book with Lessons suited to the Individual Departments of the Graded Bible School. 6. Graded Courses, by private and independent publishers. 7. Books on Methods of Sunday School Work, Pedagogy, and Psychology. 8. Miscellaneous Sunday School Papers.

I. The detailed features of the International Lesson Helps are tabulated in the addendum of this report. The arrangement of material in these Helps is, for the most part, in traditional form. But there are notable exceptions in leaflets and quarterlies for varying grades, which are often provided material in addition to the International Lessons, and with Lesson Helps, which show a thorough appreciation of the principles and value of modern pedagogy. But such editorial attitude cannot be said to apply to any one of the publications as a whole, while with some it is entirely wanting. In others, the improved methods are in name only, which emphasizes the care required in the selection of a lesson system. One series on the International has a department miscalled the "Graded System," which is nothing more than a church catechism; and the whole series of lessons. gives no indication of an appreciation of the new thought and method. On the other hand, the almost universal emphasis on teacher-training, the adaptation of lessons to certain grades, and the various provisions of graded Supplemental Lessons indicates a cordial if conservative attitude toward the demand for a better pedagogy.

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