When I was growing up in Scotland, I was frequently told that a Scottish Education was superior to an English Education because it took a broader range of subjects to a slightly lower level, SCE Higher Grade than the English A Level in school.
This was supposed to give a more rounded person on leaving school and one who was better able to appreciate all aspects of life rather than only be tightly focused on the subject one read if one went to university, or to be better equipped to deal with all human life if one left school and went straight into the workplace.
When I left school, it was possible to start work in a bank and earn the ACIB qualification in part time education, an entry level that is now reserved for graduates. One could train as a registered nurse ‘on the job’ but now one needs to complete a university degree.
But always, divinity, or theology was a university subject.
I can remember teachers in the upper school telling us that at university we would be treated as adults and would not be spoon fed for our degrees, we would have to ferret out all the information for ourselves.
In the 1960s, when children left school, even without qualifications, they could, for the most part, read, write and count. Neither my children nor the children of some of my friends could correctly calculate the change they ought to receive when making simple purchases from a shop.
Yet today I read an article by Rev Dr.Jules Gomes about the course “Creation to Apocalypse: Introduction to the Bible (Level 1) which horrified me. The course has warnings for students that some of the content is more than a little graphic.
I would imagine that most of the students reading this course would be intending to go into some sort of full time Christian work. That is something that, to use an Americanism, almost always involves heavy lifting. It does not matter whether this work is a pastorate, a chaplaincy, counselling or whatever, but most of those students will face some fairly traumatic circumstances in a few short years.
If you need a trigger warning before you read about the flood, or about the destruction of Sodom, let alone the killing of Goliath, how are you going to cope when dealing with some of the sorts of situations that you will face, like performing the funeral service for a child who had died in a tragic accident, whose parents are distraught.
It is clear that if the entrants to university are not adults if they need these sorts of warnings. What is happening in our schools these days if at the age of 17 or 18, students who have left school are unable to cope with the Bible without such warnings. Go back some 50 or 60 years and young people not much older were getting married, setting up home together and starting to have a children.
After all this time are we really creating a society where a significant minority, if not a majority of the young people are unable to cope either intellectually or emotionally with life?