Are you interested in setting up a Through the Scriptures (TTS) school in your home congregation or community? Here are some ideas to get you started!
Starting a School in Your Community
How grateful we are that you are interested in starting an authentic Bible school in your area! Setting up a school where you are is probably one of the most significant things you can do to spread the message of the Bible throughout the world.
While “Through the Scriptures” is so designed that an individual is able to study at his or her own pace, setting up a school arrangement so that students can study together is probably the most effective way of studying the Bible. The school brings fellowship and camaraderie to the student, while the group dynamic encourages and motivates students to push forward in their study that individual study does not. Setting up a local school can provide togetherness and group encouragement that can make all the difference.
How do I put together a school?
We want you to serve as the group’s “principal.” That is, you will lead the school. You will be the one who organizes and brings together the school. Here are the steps you will need to take:
- Recruit a group of people (Christians and non-Christians) who want to be part of a school.
- Organize a meeting to explain to the students how the school will be conducted.
- Set a date for the school to begin.
- Help each group member create an account on ThroughTheScriptures.com.
- When the start date arrives, you will need to make sure that each student properly enrolls in the first course.
What comes with a course?
Each course comes with everything the student needs. The downloaded materials will be the student’s to keep after the end of the course. He or she will receive the following:
- A digital textbook written by academically prepared professors and scholars.
- A reading pace guide to help him stay on track.
- Five study guides to help identify key concepts.
- Supplemental materials such as maps, charts, videos, and more.
The student will be given six tests to ensure he works in line with a quality education in the Scriptures. The program will not allow the student to fail. If he scores below 70% on a test, he will be asked to reread parts of the assignment and will be given another test. He may retake the test as many times as he needs to in order to receive a passing grade. However, the transcript will have recorded the number of times he has taken each test. See the Semester Studies page for more information on the specific courses offered.
How do I recruit students?
Get the word out as quickly as you can. Make an announcement at the assembly of the church. Put up announcements that a school is being started so the public will see them. The most effective way to get people to become students is to talk personally with those who would potentially be interested.
Reach out to nearby congregations as well. You may want to help each church to set up a school. You may also want to consider inviting people outside the church. There may be many who would be interested in this kind of Bible study but are not members of the Lord’s church. This can be the perfect opportunity to get non-Christians into a thorough study of the Bible.
Once the students are recruited, then what do we do?
You will want to begin your study with “The Life of Christ, 1.” Arrange a particular day upon which everyone will begin the course so that you will all be able to study together. Make sure to explain how to sign up and help any of those who may have difficulty.
Arrange to have a weekly meeting with your students. Try to find a time and location that works well for everyone.
What do we do at the weekly meetings?
Your overall goal is to support and encourage your students in their studies. You may want to go over the study guides in preparation for the tests, helping each other understand topics that may have been difficult to grasp.
You may want to include a devotional message as you begin your weekly meetings. The devotional can be taken from something the students have studied that week from the course. In fact, different people can take turns presenting the devotional message each week.
One of the most important reasons for your weekly meetings is to encourage fellowship and camaraderie, so you may occasionally want to include other activities, perhaps even a celebratory meal following the completion of a course. Just be careful that these extra arrangements do not take away focus from the primary purpose of your meeting, the covering of the study guide for the approaching test.
Be sure to get your students on a reasonable schedule and keep them on it.
Other facts about setting up a school
- Set up a standard-pace school in which the students undertake to cover the whole Bible at the regular pace of 50 days per course. See the Semester Studies page for more information.
- Set up a full-time school in which students wholly devote their time to studying the Bible for a period of two to three years. Students can complete a thorough study of every book of the Bible in the future of the school.
- You can use the school as a contact point for local evangelism. Sometimes people would be happy to be a part of a “school” even if they would otherwise not initially be interested in a personal Bible study or in attending a particular worship service. In this way, they will learn the truths taught in the courses, engage in discussion during the meetings, and build rapport with others, which can lead to further study. Try to find people from the community who would be interested in in-depth courses of the Bible. Consider holding your meetings at “neutral” locations in public places to encourage people who might be apprehensive about coming to a specific church building.
- Our courses can also be used as a curriculum for supplementing other programs. For example, a preacher training program in a foreign country might require students to take certain of our courses to round out the total learning experience in that program.