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The following staff teach Christian Studies in the Senior School:
Rev Anthony Benn
Mr Ben Gibson (Head of Christian Studies)
Mr Cameron Burke
Rev Paul Dudley
Mr Robert Hughes
Mrs Emily Murray
Dr Timothy Petterson
Mr Werner Pienaar
Ms Rachel Pickering (Master Assisting)
Years 7 and 8
The syllabus in Years 7 and 8 introduces the boys to the various themes of the Old & New Testaments, with a focus on the importance of Jesus Christ in understanding both. Year 7 includes an introduction to basic skills in using the Bible and living in relationship with Christ. The study of Mark’s Gospel follows with an emphasis on the important questions of the Christian message:
Who is Jesus Christ?
What was the purpose of his death & resurrection?
Year 8 includes a survey of the major events of the Old Testament and its fulfilment in the New Testament. The novel, “The Victor” is studied which examines the impact of Jesus on a small Gentile boy in first century Palestine. The final term involves a study of the ways in which the Gospel came down to us over the centuries, with a focus on the early church and the Reformation.
Years 9 and 10
In Year 9 boys examine the “Two Ways to Live” model, involving the choice ‘Christ as King’ or ‘Self as King’. The emphasis is on the death & resurrection of Christ as our means of acceptance by God. Second semester involves a study of The Sermon on the Mount in Matthew’s Gospel from the perspective of manhood including issues such as anger, revenge, lust, marriage, prayer, money anxiety and trust in Christ.
Year 10 presents apologetic issues such as evidence for the Bible’s reliability, the identity of Jesus Christ, the nature of Science and Jesus’ resurrection. The course also includes a look at Christian attitudes to Life and Death, sexuality and addiction. These areas are examined with reference to both popular media attitudes and Biblical understanding.
This course has been endorsed by the NSW Board of Studies and a grade will be recorded on each boy’s School Certificate.
Years 11 and 12
The aim of the Senior Christian Studies syllabus is to engage boys in a study of wider culture outside Christian thinking in order to understand the philosophical underpinnings of our society.
This subject will involve a study of 1 period per cycle in both Years 11 and 12. In Year 11, boys will be studying the major religious traditions of the world such as Islam, Buddhism, Judaism and Hinduism as well as the characteristics of cults. The aim will be to take a comparative approach with a view to identifying the distinctive teaching of the Christian faith. We will complete the year with an overview of the book of Revelation with a focus on Jesus Christ as the vital key to eternity.
In Year 12, the boys will study major worldviews within Australian society such as Humanism and Post-Modernism. The aim will be to understand the threads of thinking that they may identify in their own experiences and relate it to contemporary issues. The boys will be challenged to grapple with the distinctive nature of a Christian worldview. Their study at the school will conclude with a discussion of the parables of Jesus with a view to reiterating the major themes of Christian thought.
The assessment program will continue throughout these years culminating in a review of a youth service at a local church that the boys will attend in their final Term at Shore.
Studies of Religion has been an HSC subject since 1992 (first examined 1993). It currently has the fifth largest candidature for NSW. It is the only surviving 1-unit course and, as such, can be a handy addition to a student’s workload.
Boys will study:
Two major religious traditions in depth
Aboriginal beliefs, culture and spirituality
Changes in the post-WWII religious culture in Australia
The aim of the course as stated in the syllabus is to “promote an awareness, understanding and critical appreciation of the nature of religion and the influence of religious traditions, beliefs and practices in societies and on the individual, with an emphasis on the Australian context.” (Stage 6 Studies of religion syllabus document 1999, p.8). It is therefore an academic course with a comparative approach. Christian Studies at Shore Years 7-10 has the purpose of educating the boys “for faith” but this course has the aim of teaching “about faith”. Every effort is made to ensure that the boys understand that they are to present as neutral observers of different faith backgrounds.
As might be expected, there are many opportunities to expand the study with special guests and visits to significant places.