c) 2012' name='copyright'/>Michael DeShane Hinton: Philosophy

Friday, February 13, 2015



Anglican Life Curriculum

I came that they may have life and have it abundantly – Jesus


Our goal is to publish a curriculum that utilizes a working definition of spiritual formation, accounts for various learning styles, is developmentally age/stage appropriate, gender differentiating, and integrates liturgically with the whole Church. 

The means to achieving this goal is to solicit material from consortium partners, i.e., writers and illustrators, who shall submit work to be reviewed and put into a finished product by an editorial board. Once a product is deemed available for publication its author will have final approval. It will then become available to churches to purchase on line. 

Anglican Life Curriculum has inherited an entrepreneurial model for publishing curriculum.  That is, contributors will share in proceeds from sales subject to market forces but it is a non-profit religious, educational, and charitable organization. 

We seek to develop Sunday school curriculum systematically across several parameters that are represented by the following chart.  Each number represents a course:

Anglican Life Curriculum Course Chart

Season/Stage (Ages)

One (3-5)














































Ordinary Time














Within each course are lessons to fill the weeks.  Each lesson follows the Scripture readings for any given Sunday according to the Book of Common Worship of the Church of England.

Anglican Life Curriculum is based on the assumption that living things grow:
And when they had performed everything according to the Law of the Lord, they returned into Galilee, to their own town of Nazareth. And the child [Jesus] grew and became strong, filled with wisdom. And the favor of God was upon him. (Luke 2:39-40 ESV)
And some [seed] fell into good soil and grew and yielded a hundredfold.” As he said these things, he called out, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.” (Luke 8:8 ESV)
He said therefore, “What is the kingdom of God like? And to what shall I compare it? It is like a grain of mustard seed that a man took and sowed in his garden, and it grew and became a tree, and the birds of the air made nests in its branches.” (Luke 13:18-19 ESV)
No unbelief made [Abraham] waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised. That is why his faith was “counted to him as righteousness.” (Romans 4:20-22 ESV)
And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love. (Ephesians 4:11-16 ESV)

So put away all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander. Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation—if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good.

 As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. (1 Peter 2:1-5 ESV) 

Therefore, beloved, since you are waiting for these, be diligent to be found by him without spot or blemish, and at peace. And count the patience of our Lord as salvation, just as our beloved brother Paul also wrote to you according to the wisdom given him, as he does in all his letters when he speaks in them of these matters. There are some things in them that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other Scriptures. You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, take care that you are not carried away with the error of lawless people and lose your own stability. But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen. (2 Peter 3:14-18 ESV)
Living beings grow through identifiable stages.  This phenomenon has been demonstrated in the work of Jean Piaget, Lawrence Kohlberg, and others and provides the basis for our developmentally age/stage appropriate model of curriculum development.  The Biblical basis for it is found in the following passages:
22 But the Scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by the faith of Jesus Christ should be given to them that believe. 23 But before faith came, we were kept under the Law, and shut up unto the faith, which should afterward be revealed. 24 Wherefore the Law was our schoolmaster to bring us to Christ, that we might be made righteous by faith. 25 But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster. 26 For ye are all the sons of God by faith, in Christ Jesus. (Galatians 3:22-26 Geneva Bible)
In this passage schoolmaster means a child care worker, who in ancient times was responsible for the basic socialization process that any child must undergo before he could be publically presented as a full and responsible member of the community.  It is roughly analogous to another age/stage progression that we find in Scripture, the difference between carnal and spiritual:
But I, brothers, could not address you as spiritual people, but as people of the flesh, as infants in Christ. I fed you with milk, not solid food, for you were not ready for it. And even now you are not yet ready, for you are still of the flesh. For while there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not of the flesh and behaving only in a human way? For when one says, “I follow Paul,” and another, “I follow Apollos,” are you not being merely human? (1 Corinthians 3:1-4 ESV)
In his exposition of love Paul also spoke in developmental terms:
When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. (1 Corinthians 13:11 ESV)
John wrote of stages of spiritual growth:
I am writing to you, little children,
                        because your sins are forgiven for his name's sake.
            I am writing to you, fathers,
                        because you know him who is from the beginning.
            I am writing to you, young men,
                        because you have overcome the evil one.
            I write to you, children,
                        because you know the Father.
            I write to you, fathers,
                        because you know him who is from the beginning.
            I write to you, young men,
                        because you are strong,
                        and the word of God abides in you,
                        and you have overcome the evil one. (1 John 2:12-14 ESV)
The following basic descriptions of each stage in cognitive, moral, and spiritual development shall guide Anglican Life Curriculum.

Developmental Ages and Stages

Opportunity in Manifest Need
Felt Experience
Physical Consequence
Early Elementary
Role Stereotype
Older Elementary
Junior High
Rational Thought
High School
Social Contract
Universal Principle


In addition, Anglican Life Curriculum shall speak to the Three Main Learning Styles.
• Uses visual objects such as graphs, charts, pictures, and seeing information
• Can read body language well and has a good perception of aesthetics
• Able to memorize and recall various information
• Tends to remember things that are written down
• Learns better in lectures by watching them
• Retains information through hearing and speaking
• Often prefers to be told how to do things and then summarizes the main points out loud to help with memorization
• Notices different aspects of speaking
• Often has talents in music and may concentrate better with soft music playing in the background
• Likes to use the hands-on approach to learn new material
• Is generally good in math and science
• Would rather demonstrate how to do something rather than verbally explain it
• Usually prefers group work more than others
Granularity exists when the learning styles are expanded to seven but that often makes writing cumbersome.  The following are presented to augment those above by presenting more precise targets. One might use the principle articulated in shooting, “Aim small, miss small.”
  • Visual (spatial): learns by pictures, images, and spatial understanding; tend to have aesthetic sense and need for beauty and pageantry.
  • Aural (auditory-musical): learns by sound, music, and the spoken word; sensitive to tone and emotion in speech.
  • Verbal (linguistic): learns by words, both in speech and writing, though visual learners like to see written words.
  • Physical (kinesthetic): learns by doing; sensitive to the body, hands, and sense of touch.  Learns by making mistakes and reaping rewards.
  • Logical (mathematical): learns by logic, reasoning, patterns, consistency, and systems.
  • Social (interpersonal): learns in groups or with other people; likes people but sensitive to social and public behavior, and need boundaries.
  • Solitary (intrapersonal): learns by working alone and in self-study; needs time and space alone and are often sensitive to the environment.
Lastly, Anglican Life Curriculum shall address Gender Differentiation according to the following demonstrable traits based on physiology, psychology, and brain structure and chemistry.
Males are clinically characterized by:
  • Aggression
  • Gross motor skills
  • Larger size and stronger in comparison
  • Analytical skills
  • Verbally challenged until later in life
  • Visual-spatial perception
  • Will tend to be visual or kinesthetic learners
  • Late emotional bloomers
  • Willing to accept and deal out pain as necessary
  • Do not have babies
Females are clinically defined by:
  • Compliance with social norms
  • Fine motor skills
  • Smaller size and less strength
  • Relational skills
  • Verbal skills
  • Intuitive
  • Will tend to be relational learners
  • Oriented toward feelings
  • Avoid pain and conflict
  • Have babies
Anglican Life Curriculum was conceived in the days after Archbishop Foley Beach visited Plano, Texas, February 8, 2014.  At his reception, attended by 120 clergy and spouses at Maggiano’s, when asked about age-appropriate curriculum for our Church he replied, “Go for it.”  The next day, Michael Hinton, a mere aspirant at the time, asked his bishop, Bill Atwood, the same question and received the same response, an entrepreneurial challenge to go for it.  A few days later at Christ Church in Midland, Texas, Michael’s home church, and through and on line Facebook page, a group of writers came together agreeing that the vision was from God.  This Philosophy, the Working Definition, and Guidelines are rooted in the understanding that our Anglo-Catholic heritage provides a sure foundation for Christian education that is both theologically and didactically sound.
Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes has eternal life. I am the bread of life. Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. This is the bread that comes down from heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die. I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. And the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.”
      The Jews then disputed among themselves, saying, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?” So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him. As the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever feeds on me, he also will live because of me. This is the bread that came down from heaven, not like the bread the fathers ate, and died. Whoever feeds on this bread will live forever.” Jesus said these things in the synagogue, as he taught at Capernaum. (John 6:47-59 ESV)

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