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Program Goals of Secondary Heritage Studies

Biblical Worldview

What Is a Biblical Worldview?

The BJU Press secondary heritage studies program is designed to teach students about history, geography, government, and economics from a Christian perspective. We want them to see the world through the same lens that God does. This lens is known as a biblical worldview. Our desire is for students to learn about God's creation, His attributes, and how to live in such a way that pleases Him and be good stewards of His creation.

Our Biblical-Worldview Objectives

Course By the end of the course, students should be able to...
World Studies
  • Trace the growth of Christianity and assess its impact on the cultures of the world.
  • Explain what roles Christians may play in a global society.
American Republic
  • Discern God's providence in any era by showing the impact of physical geography and circumstances on the course of events in U.S. history.
  • Use the Bible to evaluate social, economic, and political systems or philosophies in any era.
  • Identify challenges that Christians faced in each era and draw lessons for today.
  • Explain causes of historic crises, give biblical solutions, and find parallels to current issues in America.
Cultural Geography
  • Develop new appreciation for God's creation and the responsibilities of the mandate that God has given students to exercise dominion over it.
World History
  • Trace the roots of Christianity in Judaism, outline the growth of Christianity, and assess its impact on the cultures of the world.
  • Discuss what roles Christians may play in a global society.
United States History
  • Understand God's providence during the major periods of United States history.
  • Witness God's supervision of American church history as God's people have interacted with secular society.
  • Learn the consequences of past decisions, good and bad, that testify that Bible principles are true and that God oversees the course of U.S. history.
American Government
  • Explain why government is necessary and discuss the Bible's teaching concerning a Christian's relationship to government.
  • Discuss the impact of biblical values in early American society, education, and government.

How Do We Accomplish Our Objectives?

Instead of relegating a biblical worldview to margin notes, each student edition and teachers edition is written from an entirely Christian perspective. Students learn history from the very beginning—creation. They learn that such topics as history, government, and geography will help them to serve others and glorify God.

Developing a Christian perspective in students involves getting them to think proactively about how the Bible applies to life, what they would do in certain situations, and how they can be good stewards of what God has provided. Each course handles these issues in a different manner and with different exercises, but the following are a few of the methods we employ:

  • Each course in the secondary heritage studies line provides Chapter Review questions for the students that include a section called "Living as a Christian Citizen." These particular questions challenge students to respond creatively to the information in the chapter, getting them to think about what they would do in an ethical quandary.
  • Bible-study activities in each textbook provide discussion opportunities and enhance the students' decision-making skills.
  • In almost every chapter of Cultural Geography, students will find one or more special margin boxes titled "Through Christian Eyes." These boxes draw attention to a special topic or question that requires the students to think about the spiritual application of the information being read in the text. The questions can be used as class discussions or answered in written format.

Making Heritage Studies Meaningful

Giving students an in-depth knowledge of heritage studies is important, but many students are unexcited about the study. If you questioned them to find why they think it is boring, you will probably discover that they resent having to memorize mountains of meaningless facts from monotonous reading assignments. For these students, heritage studies has no life; it is simply a pile of dry, dusty skeletons that are better left buried.

How then do you show your students that history, government, economics, and geography are living, meaningful subjects that are relevant to their everyday lives? By making them active. Our product line provides the activities, mental or physical, to grab students' attention, sustain interest, and help them remember the subjects long after leaving your classroom. We want to give students not only an in-depth overview of each of the heritage studies subjects but also enjoyment in learning.

For your benefit, we have provided the following chart of the general course objectives.

Course By the end of the course, students should be able to...
World Studies
  • Explain why humans build cities and trace how cities have changed through the course of history.
  • Assess the role of other religions in human cultures, especially Islam, and evaluate each religion studied.
  • Analyze and evaluate how different cultures have viewed the importance of freedom, equality, justice, and citizenship.
  • Analyze the development of trade and explain its impact on human culture and economic growth.
  • Compare and evaluate various economic systems.
American Republic
  • See God's providence during the major periods of U.S history.
  • Identify continuity and change in the six spheres of human activity—politics, economics, religion, society, science, and arts.
  • Identify continuity and change in foreign relations, including past wars, and the roots of modern foreign policy.
  • Recognize major individuals of U.S. history, including their roles in the past and lessons for today.
  • Identify fundamental traits of Americanism—the American dream, limited government, popular culture, the free enterprise economy—and how they have changed over the nation's history.
  • Define and use basic terms from U.S. history that are essential in understanding and explaining God's providence.
  • Interpret historical maps.
  • Evaluate historical narratives and original documents for accuracy and historic perspectives.
  • Interpret common tools of historians, such as maps, timelines, graphs, charts, and primary sources.
Cultural Geography
  • Understand how physical geography affects the political and economic features of countries and the way of life of their peoples.
World History
  • Expand upon knowledge gained in the World Studies course.
United States History
  • Expand upon knowledge gained in the American Republic course.
American Government
  • Identify the basic differences in the major forms of government.
  • Distinguish between a republic and a democracy.
  • Discuss the historical circumstances surrounding the creation of the Constitution and the ratification process as well as the significance of the Constitution as a unifying document.
  • Explain how the Constitution has helped to preserve core values in the United States, restrain man's sinful nature, and limit government.
  • Discuss the development and organization of the political party system.
  • Give a brief explanation of the structure and powers of the three branches of government.
  • Summarize the historical and modern-day methods of carrying out America's foreign policy.

How Do We Make Heritage Studies Meaningful?

The following are some of the ways that BJU Press makes secondary heritage studies more meaningful and exciting for both the students and the teachers. These features may differ between courses.

  • Amazing color photographs and artwork throughout help the students "see" the sites, people, and events discussed in the text.
  • Margin-info boxes offer intriguing bits of extra information.
  • Terms in bold type draw attention to important facts ideas, people, or definitions.
  • Maps, charts, and diagrams help the students visualize geographic locations and information.
  • General feature boxes provide a deeper look at a person, event, or concept mentioned in the text.

Thinking Critically About Heritage Studies

Another way to make heritage studies truly meaningful is to get students to think critically about the topics they are studying. Through the text, class discussions, chapter review questions, and other activities, students will learn not only to understand what they are reading but also to evaluate it, discovering how dates and events are connected and how they can apply heritage studies to their lives.

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