Why the Catechisms?
An Ambrose Parent Education article by Carl Warmouth, Dean of the Grammar SchoolRecently I introduced you all to the idea of integration, and explained that in the grammar school we have a theme for each grade that is the primary focus for the year. Before I get into each of those themes, I would like to tell you about some support tools we use to help teach those themes, starting with catechisms.
Isn’t that a Catholic thing?Many modern Christians are only familiar with catechisms because of their association with the Roman Catholic Church, but catechisms are actually at the heart of the Protestant faith. In fact, an argument can be made that a form of catechesis was used by the apostles way back in the New Testament church. At their heart, catechisms give language to the Christian faith through a series of questions and answers that address questions about theology. Commonly used catechisms in Protestant churches (dating back to 1545) include The Short Catechism, the Geneva Catechism, the Heidelberg Catechism, the Westminster Shorter Catechism, Luther’s Small Catechism, The Baptist Catechism of 1689, the Catechism for Young Children, and recently The New City Catechism.
How does Ambrose use them?We wrote our own Grammar School Catechism designed to ask and answer questions about the grade level themes as well as the basic tenets of Christianity. Students memorize them throughout the school year to help them understand how their subjects relate to their theme and to reinforce the Gospel message. Each question and answer is supported (or proven) by scripture that the students learn throughout the year. Students and teachers frequently refer back to the catechisms as they work through the various subjects.
Partnering with parentsWant a classical Christian education for yourself? It’s never too late to learn. There are tons of things we do at this school that are designed to be replicated in the home. Reciting these as a family before dinner or at bedtime could become a meaningful tradition with generational benefits!
- All the catechism questions we use (document)
- Example of catechism in the classroom (video)
- Examples of how catechisms relate to grade level themes (video)