Bible Placement, Yay or Nay?


At Christian High School, Bible class is a mandatory part of a student’s daily life.  However, students don’t get to decide what classes they take, but rather follow a certain track from freshman to senior year. However, should this be the deciding factor in what Bible classes students take?

When I entered this school, I had to take a basic placement test for math, science, English, and reading. These tests place students in either honors, regular, or remedial classes. It makes sense to test for this, because someone who is struggling in Pre-Algebra shouldn’t automatically go into Geometry just because they are in a certain grade level.  However, when it comes to Bible classes, there is no entrance test for the class; it is simply based on what grade the student will be entering. For instance, if you are a freshman, you will automatically be enrolled in New Testament despite the prior knowledge you may have.But should this really be the case?

Many students have never taken a Bible class prior to CHS. This is a different type of class than others, because it requires students to study the Bible, recall facts, and memorize verses every week. For some, this can be a difficult adjustment, causing their grade to plummet, not because they don’t understand the material, but because they don’t understand the concept of the class. In these circumstances, it would be beneficial for new students to start at a basic level of Bible class, such as New Testament and not just get thrown into Mr. Conover or Mrs. Lackie’s upperclassmen classes.

On the other side of the spectrum, there are students who have attended a Christian school for a while, or have a good knowledge of the Christian faith. When I entered freshman Bible, it was like repeating 5th grade Bible all over again, because I had already studied everything covered. Some of these students should be placed in a higher-level class so that they do not get bored, or can grow stronger spiritually, instead of remaining in stagnation.

By implementing a Bible placement test or survey, this would offer students the opportunity to take a class that is more in line with their spiritual level of maturity. Instead of forcing the students into the class that is based on their grade level, this would give students the chance to deepen their spiritual convictions and grow their faith. This would ensure that the most students are able to learn and develop a good understanding of the Bible without being hindered by a lack of knowledge or too much knowledge. In addition, it could allow for a greater variety of Bible course offerings.

People might argue that by putting students in classes with different grade levels that they would not be able to connect with their classmates, or feel discouraged if they are with younger students. However, if the students are better able to comprehend and enjoy what they are studying, then they can overcome this issue. Also, some students get along better with students older or younger than them, so it would not be a true problem. It would also be another opportunity to unify the classes, as most courses separate students according to grade.

Ultimately, if the point of Bible class is to train students and grow their faith, being placed in a class that does so will be more beneficial to them. Christian High School should definitely implement Bible placement tests or surveys for new students in the upcoming years in order to better teach students to think, learn, and lead from a Biblical worldview.

By: Carolyn Deal