Our curriculum will be set up to utilize the “release time” hours allowed by the Minnesota Department of Education. Students can attend up to three hours per week of religious release time studies as allowed by Minnesota law. The curriculum we will offer is currently being developed and will be based on foundational Biblical principles and teach the truth of the Bible as it relates to their lives. We will teach critical thinking and encourage students to think through what they believe and to follow the truth no matter where the evidence leads.
2016-2017 Course Descriptions
NCA 101: Servant Leadership (Biblical Discipleship: How to live like Jesus.)
What does it look like to love my neighbor (those around me) as myself? How can studying the life of Jesus and learning how to serve my neighbor result in leading like Jesus in all environments?
It can be hard to understand the words Jesus spoke in Matthew 23:11, “Do you want to stand out? Then step down. Be a servant.” Stepping down, as Jesus commands, seems opposite to the perceived path to recognition and leadership. When we focus on Jesus’ life, we are brought back to the principles of serving, discipling and putting others’ needs in front of our own. So, what does it look like to live in this way, no matter our age or circumstances?
At its core, discipleship is a teaching method that helps us get at the heart of caring for, loving, and serving people with compassion. The course structure is centered on small group instruction and building relationships that go beneath the surface of everyday life. These interactions will challenge participants to grow deeper in understanding the value of serving others out of a Christ-like love.
Students will learn specific components of a servant leadership model. This model will promote accountability for becoming the servant-leader they are uniquely designed to be. Throughout this course students will:
- Demonstrate an understanding of the principles of servant leadership and how they impact leadership practices
- Create a personal purpose, vision, and values statement
- Form a leadership portrait and demonstrate an understanding of how this portrait will impact their future.
NCA 102: Understanding the Diverse World Around Me (a study of worldviews, world religions and current events)
How are people groups, cultures and religions different in their faith, worship and interpretation of world events? In light of the current state of the world, how can one make sense of the events unfolding around us?
The world is filled with billions of people who have different ideas on how to interpret the world. Yet there are identifiable lenses through which different people groups view the world. These are called worldviews.
One’s worldview has the potential to be a driving factor in that person’s life, and faith is a critical part of this. One’s religion and culture give definition to his or her worldview and religious practices.
Learning how to process current events through a Biblical lens will help students to navigate media and current events and stay on course with Jesus throughout life’s journey.
This discovery and discussion based class is geared toward giving students a firm understanding of all of major world views, as well as major world religions. These will be compared and contrasted with a God-centered worldview and the Christian faith. It is of utmost importance for students to know and understand various worldviews and what makes Christianity unique, viable and ultimately true. Students will also be challenged to spend time reflecting on current world events, and how the participants and outcomes compare with their own Biblically based worldview.
NCA 103: Tying Together the Bible & My Life
What does it mean to see the Bible as true? How can studying the Bible as complete and relevant help me connect the Bible to my life?
To some, the Bible may appear to be just a collection of random stories. But when studied more closely powerful connections appear. These connections create a meta-narrative. (Meta-narrative means the “Big Story”.) To examine this is important because meta-narratives point us to the truths of the Bible. Also, our ability to follow God is shaped by our view of God—which is best informed through the study of the Bible.
But the “Big Story” does not end with the Bible. It continues with the individual stories of our lives. Thus, examining the Bible’s individual stories as a meta-narrative and connecting it to our own story can have a huge impact on our understanding of God’s involvement in the past, present and future.
In this literature and writing-based course students will engage in Biblical study and reflective writing to explore, “What is the Bible all about and how does it connect with my life?” As a result, they will be able to come to a deeper understanding of the Bible as the culminating story of God’s plan to love and save them and the world. In so doing, students will be asked to reflect on the connectedness of the events and people that make up the Bible, personal stories of Christian authors, and the stories of their own lives. By the end of the course students will be able to better articulate their understanding of God’s “Big Story” and his involvement in the story of their own lives and the world around them.
NCA: 104 Perspectives on Genesis & Biology
The word Genesis means “origin” or “beginning”. This first book of the Bible describes the events of one of the most debated subjects of our day–the origin and purpose of life. This course will examine and discuss the beginning chapters of Genesis from a Christian faith perspective. It will survey the historical, theological, and scientific aspects of the origins of life to help students gain a better understanding of who God is and His plan for humanity. This course will also allow students to investigate the sophisticated and intricate biological construction from the molecular to ecological levels. Students will have the opportunity to critically analyze and discuss multiple viewpoints on the origins of life with the aim to apply the viability of Genesis to their own Christian journey.