When the Lord Jesus was quizzed on Old Testament Law by the learned scholars of his day his answer was piercing. They were trying to trap him in his words and so they asked him a loaded question; "Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in The Law?" Matthew's Gospel records Jesus' response in chapter 22:37-39 where Jesus replied: "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind." 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: "Love your neighbour as yourself."
Verse 39 is thunderous in its application. To love your neighbour as yourself is akin to loving God. The Pharisees only asked for one answer and Jesus gave them two. Why? In the mind of Jesus it is fallacious to love God without also loving your neighbour. What does it really mean to love your neighbour? The Christian Studies Faculty exists to answer this very question.
Christian education at St Columba Anglican School is both a curriculum based subject (Christian Studies) and an educational endeavour to discover, understand and celebrate the world that God has made. Authentic Christian values underpin our philosophies of teaching and learning, while meeting for Chapel each week allows students to think about God and the big questions of life.
Christian Studies classes, taught from Kindergarten to Year 10, offer a structured forum for students to learn further about not only Christianity, but also broader ethical principles and other major faith systems, thinking critically about their role in modern societies. Christian Studies classes are specifically tailored in structure and content across different age groups to reflect the cognitive level of students and challenge them appropriately in their skills of higher order thinking. In earlier years, Christian Studies introduces students to the fundamentals of Christianity. As they progress into more senior years more sophisticated themes of ethics, alternate world beliefs and social justice begin to emerge, encouraging students to analyse issues of faith in the broader environment.
In the Secondary School, Christian Studies classes assume a more discussion-based structure, and encourage students to critique a range of ethical philosophies by using the Christian worldview in a modern context. The School environment brings a community together in a way that nearly no other scenario can. Implicit in this community is the concept of neighbour. In Christian Studies classes, students are taught to engage with the Gospel and then apply it to their lives. Units on Ethics, Morals, Anglican Ceremonies, Christian Foundations, Biblical overviews and Film reviews are all examined through the lens of Matthew 22:39. Each unit of work addresses one of five strands in the Christian Studies curriculum; Biblical Knowledge and Understanding, Christian World View, Biblical Skills, Christian Apologetics, Christian Living. Each of these strands interconnects to form a cohesive cord of understanding that grows stronger as the students progress through their years of learning. Underpinning every lesson is the goal that every student in every class will engage every time with the eternal message of the Gospel as enunciated by Jesus. The core principle underpinning Christian Studies at St Columba seeks to encourage our students to explore Christianity in the context of a fast-paced, multi-faith society.