As you are getting ready for the upcoming school-year, I want to take a big burden off of you: you don’t need to come up with all-new, original material for your biblical integration. Just as you don’t need to start from scratch in your content (you might use a pre-written curriculum, for example), you don’t need to start from scratch for your integration. Here are four simple tools that you can use to resource your well-integrated course.**
1) Subject Specific Books
I recommend the “Reclaiming the Christian Intellectual Tradition” series. There is something there for nearly everyone. They have low-cost, biblically-faithful books on most subjects. There is, without question, enough material in each of these books to engage a class for a year (or more).
You might also enjoy other books that relate to your topics. For example,I have been reading Undeniable: How Biology Confirms Our Intuition that Life is Designed by Douglas Axe. I could see it being helpful as a resource in high school biology classes — the teacher could quote from it to begin discussions, or assign different chapters to different students to present on, or simply read to privately help build up a more cohesive worldview.
There are numerous options out there in this category. If you search, you can probably find almost anything. But here are some that I engage with regularly:
The Briefing from Albert Mohler – daily news and events from a Christian worldview.
Help Me Teach the Bible from The Gospel Coalition – valuable interaction with numerous biblical topics
The Great Books Podcast from National Review– not explicitly Christian, but helps me regularly engage with great literature.
The World and Everything In It from World Magazine – a Christian news and society show.
Marketplace Tech from American Public Media – not Christian, but helps me understand what the world is thinking concerning digital and technological ideas.
One of the great things about a podcast is that there is a pipeline of new material. You can get to the end of a book, but many podcasts just keep going and going.
Books take a long time to write, edit, and publish. Magazines, on the other hand, are much more current and quick to press. Therefore, they can help us stay connected to current ideas, news, and questions in a helpful fashion.
World magazine stands alone (as far as I know) in terms of quality concerning biblical-worldview thinking. A subscription is worth getting, but it also has wonderful “Science and Tech” and “Business and Economy” sections online for free.
Christianity Today has a good topic list that can help you find Christian material in any number of areas.
4) Interaction with Experts
Have you seen elementary school kids get excited when the fire-truck visits the school? Well, this kind of thing can happen in other areas too. And it can make biblical integration come to life. Do you know Christian business-person that could visit your business class? What about a Christian engineer for physics, a writer/journalist for English, an immigrant or missionary for Spanish, or a musician for music? You don’t have to always be the expert. There is massive power in connecting students to people who are using the skills they are working on in class. There is even more power in showing students how an area of work is unique or important from a Christian worldview in real life.
I can foresee times where Christian experts and professionals share their testimonies, or do demonstrations, or engage in Q&As, or judge a competition, or lead a masterclass. All this to say: Why not bring in someone who lives out biblical integration in life? You and your class will benefit from their expertise.
So, what should you do now to help you develop a great class for this year?
First, explore a little bit. Next, pick a resource or two to use. Don’t try to do too much. Then, look at its contents and figure out how/when/what you will include in your class. Finally, note that in your syllabus or unit plans. This will help you in many ways. You’ll have an idea of what integration ideas to use, you’ll have a concrete plan for how to use them, and you’ll be free of the pressure of needing to come up with all of your own ideas.
**Please note that while I am pointing to what I believe are powerful resources, I am not endorsing all of the content you might find in each area.