Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


School of Education


Religious Education, PhD

First Advisor

George H. Akers

Second Advisor

Robert J. Cruise

Third Advisor

Kenneth A. Strand


In this developmental study, basic principles of curriculum development were utilized to prepare a rationale and teaching guide for a college-level religion course "Life and Teachings of Jesus."

In formulating the rationale for the course, current theories of learning and moral development were reviewed together with ideas drawn from Scripture and other sources. The rationale that was developed called for establishing clear objectives while recognizing that some of the most important goals of religious instruction may not be objectively or immediately verifiable. It calls for giving the student an active role in the instructional process, for stimulating his/her faculties for analytical and critical thinking and for emphasizing justification by faith and a trust relationship with God.

Based on this rationale a thematic cluster curriculum was developed in which instructional priorities were established through a computer-assisted thematic analysis of the Gospels themselves. To assist in implementing the curriculum, a teaching guide was prepared that includes the thematic analysis of the Gospels, together with various indexes, instruments, sample lesson plans and suggestions for strengthening student involvement.

After being conceptualized on paper, the curriculum was observed as it functioned in the press of actual classroom situations when it was implemented by two different professors. Six points were especially considered in this observation. The teachers were asked to report on the degree to which the plan (1) helped to clarify and achieve objectives, (2) secured student "involvement," (3) promoted emphasis on justification, (4) defined the Christian life as a relationship with Jesus Christ, (5) considered student reaction to the teaching plan, as well as (6) the practicability, that is, ease or difficulty of implementing it. Also studied were scores obtained on a pretest and posttest designed to measure standing of the learners in areas of religious knowledge, analytical thinking skill, religious attitudes and moral conduct.

Subject Area

Jesus Christ--Biography--Study and teaching, Bible. Gospels--Study and teaching

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

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