* Mrs. Conklin, formerly a field Bible instructor, here provides some remarkable facts on the growth of the Faith for Today Bible school, now grading half a million Bible lessons by a self-grading system. We rejoice with our Bible school workers when we get occasional glimpses of what the plan means for teaching our message. New York is a vast metropolis, and Faith for Today's twenty-two consecrated workers, who serve thousands of students each year, reveal a larger ministry in this great city. Ten thousand completing their courses and gaining certificates in one year shows that many in the New York area are constantly coming in touch with our doctrines. These are not the casual students but are those who continue to manifest interest. We look forward to the day when many of them will be gathered into our fellowship. The reaping will follow the sowing!—
A PROJECT begun eight years ago to better acquaint people with the Bible has now become a major operation that requires a full-time staff of some twenty-two people serving thousands of students each year.
The project is the Faith for Today Bible Correspondence School, which is a part of the international Faith for Today telecast, located in New York City. The pastor of the Bible school ministry of Faith for Today, which provides its educational services without cost to students, is a 60-year-old minister and author named Leonard C. Lee. Pastor Lee has been a minister since 1927, and is the author of scores of articles published in some of the nation's leading religious journals.
Statistics of the Bible school read like those of a super university. For example, in 1959 diplomas were issued to 10,000 students who graduated from the Bible school after completing one or more courses. A total of more than half a million Bible lessons were corrected. Some 100,000 people applied for the courses during the year.
Pastor Lee says the Bible school aims to "give people a thorough understanding of the grand themes of the Bible."
This is being done through such courses as the adult Faith for Today Bible course; the junior "Adventures in the Holy Bible" course; "Drama of the Christian Faith"; "Adventures in the Prophecies," based on the books of Daniel and Revelation; and a Life of Christ course.
Grading a half million Bible lessons could be an almost impossible task except for a system of self-grading inaugurated by the school in 1958. A sealed key accompanies each three lessons, which are graded by the student himself with the key. This not only eases the huge task of serving such a large number of students, but also helps the student immediately to recognize any errors he might have made and learn the correct answer on the spot.
How do students like the self-grading method? A woman writes:
"I enjoy this method of study. When I have answered all the questions, my husband opens the sealed key and my young son joins me in grading the lesson."
Another student comments:
"I especially like the fact that the student can see immediately any mistake that has been made."
Unlike many schools where grades are the important thing, Faith for Today Bible school stresses the retaining of knowledge by the students.
"We are not concerned with the grade the student gets, but rather with how much practical Bible knowledge students acquire," says Pastor Lee.
Just how much Bible knowledge are students retaining? Letters indicate that students are doing a good job. A student in Minnesota writes:
"I want you to know of the peace and joy and understanding which has come into my life since I have been studying the Bible through your systematic course."
An Illinois student says:
"Never before in my life have I understood the teaching of the Bible as plainly as I do now. ... I must say that it is a wonderful feeling living for Jesus Christ."
We have every reason to thank God for these productive schools, of which Faith for Today, begun eight years ago, is an example. Let our Bible instructors and ministers throughout the field diligently help in producing a rich harvest of souls from these Heaven-ordained media.