What is Scripture Union?
Scripture Union is an interdenominational voluntary organisation with over 145 years’ experience in Christian work with children, youth and families, and is well known for producing educational material and Bible resources for churches and individuals. In co-operation with local churches, Scripture Union South Australia (SUSA) conducts classroom and seminar programs in primary schools, as well as voluntary student groups during lunchtimes or after school for both primary and secondary schools. It also runs ever popular holiday and camping programs for families and young people.
It is a founding member of the Schools’ Ministry Group (SMG), established by the Heads of Churches in South Australia. This group co-ordinates the Christian Pastoral Support Program in schools throughout South Australia.
Scripture Union in South Australia is affiliated with Scripture Union organisations in each Australian State and Territory, and in over 120 other countries. Scripture Union in SA is run by a small professional team working with volunteers from all major church denominations.
What are Scripture Union’s aims?
Working with the churches, Scripture Union aims to make God’s Good News known to children, young people and families; to encourage people of all ages to meet God daily through the Bible and prayer.
Scripture Union Programs in schools
Scripture Union has been a leading voice in providing age appropriate Christian programs in South Australian classrooms since 1984. Our School Programs are designed to help school students understand the basic teachings of Jesus. They aim to broaden students options as they consider the major questions of life in an informative and educational way.
These programs are designed to fulfil the provision of the Education Act, which provides for ‘a maximum of one half day in each term to be set aside for the churches desiring to participate to hold seminars or gatherings’
[Regulations 192 (2)]
Our programs are fast moving and highly interactive, overflowing with activities purposefully designed to stimulate the many different learning styles of children. They’re made up of 3 x one-hour sessions, one class at a time, and provide great opportunities for small group discussions. A child’s attention is continually engaged throughout the program. They’re never dull, nor boring.
Why have Scripture Union Programs in schools?
Today, the vast majority of Australian children grow up biblically illiterate, and ignorant of the basic teachings of the Christian faith. Often they have a totally distorted picture of what Christians believe. While it is not appropriate to use government schools to proselytise for a particular religion or ideology, it is quite appropriate that students, as part of their ordinary schooling, learn who Jesus was, and what he taught. With more accurate knowledge of the Christian faith, students are in a position to see that faith as a credible life option for themselves.
The role of the local churches
In a school context Scripture Union Programs are presented on behalf of the local churches. To this end, Scripture Union always works very closely with the local minister’s association, inter-church council or their equivalent. Our programs enable the local churches by ministering in their local school, with Scripture Union uniting parishioners and providing resources in the form of curriculum material and expertise, as well as the covering of a long-established program accepted in a wide variety of government primary schools across the state.
We fight a spiritual battle with spiritual weapons. While the programs stand on their own as worthwhile experiences in education, it is important that local churches be consistent and persistent in their prayer that the Holy Spirit may allow those taught to see that the teachings of Jesus open for them a whole new way of life and relationship with God.
It is important that Scripture Union Programs be seen to have the strong, united support of the local Christian community. Schools are requested to be responsive to their local community. It is appropriate that the Christian churches, as part of that community, affirm with sensitivity (to principals, staff and school councils) the value of these programs as a contribution to the school’s educational program. An educational rationale for schools is produced by Scripture Union. It is crucial that there be no sense that the program will create sectarian divisiveness between Christian groups, or between Christians and others in the community.
Some comments from teachers
“The leaders engaged the students well and had a good mix of activities to hold the interest of the children.“
(Teacher, Cowell Area School)
“As a teacher I value anything which enables students to debate, discuss and evaluate life issues.“
(Teacher, Clapham PS)
“The students enjoyed the interactive educational components where they were personally involved.“
(Teacher, Highgate PS)
“I value the contribution that it makes to the curriculum.“
(Teacher, Seacliff PS)
“Students were engaged…and discussed issues that were contemporary and relevant to adolescents today.“
(Teacher, Highgate PS)
“The program is very valuable and links to our values.“
(Teacher, Flinders Park PS)
“The format, organisation and quality of delivery is top class – congratulations. The rapport and interaction with the students is fantastic!“
(Teacher, Fulham North PS)
“They are very valuable lessons because students are starting to value their friends and respect one another more. They are starting to build up a better character because they are made aware of moral values.“
(Teacher, Berri PS)
“It was a program that gave students a choice without pressure. I really like the way it is aimed at the students’ level and that they can discuss ideas in a non-threatening environment. It is also fantastic that there are so many volunteers to allow for such small group work…thought it was excellent.“
(Teacher, Hallett Cove East PS)
Some comments from students
“You made learning about God fun and easy.“
“The interesting bits were finding out what I believed about God and Jesus because I have never thought about it before.“
“You’re all cool. Thank you for coming. I hope we see you another time.“
“Thank you for taking the time to come and tell us about God and Jesus.“
We thank you for taking an interest and for visiting our site.
Please read the more commonly raised questions (FAQ) we receive. It is our hope that any questions you may have are answered. If not, please contact us with your question.