January 1977 · Vol. 6 No. 1 · p. 2 

In This Issue

Delbert L. Wiens

This issue of Direction is focused on Christian education in the local church. From one point of view, educational activities in conservative and evangelical churches have never been as varied and successful as at present. From another point of view, the proliferation of programs and curricula may be symptoms of ill health. Are we witnessing purposeful dynamism or unfocused feverishness? Have evangelicals escaped the decline that afflicts many main-line churches or are they only a generation or so behind them? The many new analyses, programs, and ideas do seem to promise a vigorous future. But would there be so much innovation if the old programs were thought to be healthy and productive?

Loyal Martin surveys what the experts think the future holds. Dennis Becker and John Unger report on trends in Mennonite Brethren churches. In an article that asks the church to deepen its emphasis on social justice, Al Dueck outlines a recent theory of moral development that is a significant challenge to the way both secular and religious educators have viewed moral training.

A number of Christian educators have recently begun exploring the integration of the educative efforts of the church and the home. Although Direction does not recommend his, or any other, curriculum, we have asked Lawrence Richards to outline the philosophy behind a new church/home educational system he has developed. Reports from two churches which are experimenting with his materials follow. The Koerner Heights (Newton, Kansas) report also outlines the rationale behind their use of a “learning center.”

The editors wish to thank Loyal Martin, former executive secretary of the Board of Christian Education and Evangelism (U.S.A.) and currently assistant professor of Christian Education at the Mennonite Brethren Biblical Seminary, for planning and helping to supervise the preparation of this issue as well as for writing two articles.

The President and Dean of the Mennonite Brethren Bible College, Winnipeg, Manitoba, discuss the educational philosophy of that school in a continuing series of reports from the schools which sponsor Direction.