Faith for Life
Understanding the Times—now available in a digital format—examines the six most prominent worldviews influencing the world today (Christianity, Islam, Secularism, Marxism, New Spirituality, and Postmodernism), and it shows how their influence manifests in the key academic disciplines operating in America’s institutions of higher learning today (Theology, Philosophy, Ethics, Biology, Psychology, Sociology, Law, Politics, Economics and History).
Designed as a one- or two-semester course, the SummitU app offers a digital, sequential, discussion-based series of three curricula which introduce compelling and helpful ways of thinking about the world. It will launch discussions about how ideas become persuasive and how to identify patterns of ideas so we can understand the world around us.
Join with hundreds of classrooms and families across the country (and around the globe!) equipping students to Understand the Times.
Understanding the Times is a curriculum that functions more like a crash course in everything rather than a careful introduction to a few key things. In the revision and digitalization of the Understanding the Times curriculum, we want to maximize the opportunity that a 36-week course can provide.
To achieve that goal, we have taken most of the topics covered in past editions and laid them out across three, one-year or one-semester courses:
Understanding the Faith: A Survey of Christian Apologetics lays the groundwork for a Christian worldview. The first half of the book introduces students to some of the core beliefs of Christianity (God, Scripture, Creation/Fall/Redemption metanarrative, Loving God and Neighbor). The second half of the book is all apologetics. (How do we know that God exists? Did Jesus rise from the dead? What about evolution and science?).
Understanding the Times: A Survey of Competing Worldviews shows how Christianity compares with five other worldviews (Secularism, Marxism, New Spirituality, Islam, Postmodernism) in ten areas of academic discipline (Theology, Ethics, Philosophy, History, etc.). The goal is to help students see how Christianity is the worldview that really helps us make sense of the world.
Understanding Cultural Engagement: A Survey of Social Engagement challenges Christian students to give hands and feet to their understanding of the times—encouraging them to bring redemption to issues like poverty, community renewal, politics, creation care, and sexual brokenness.
While the volumes in this series support one another, they are not dependent on each other. Each of the three books also works well as a stand-alone course. It is not required that students complete or have already completed any of the other courses first. They can be reordered and used in whatever way best serves your students.
A Digital Platform Summit U is a digital platform that gives teachers, students, and administrators access to a unique learning environment. Learn more about how you can access a unique interactive textbook, student workbooks, supplementary readings, supplementary videos, and an editable syllabus all from your computer.
In order to use the course to its fullest potential you will need:
You will also have the option to add one textbook per digital license at a discounted rate at the time your order is placed. Textbooks ordered apart from digital licenses cannot receive discounted pricing.
This video will walk through the contents and purchase options for the digital curricula.
You can purchase all digital materials from our order page. Account creation, purchase, and setup are covered in the following walkthroughs for homeschool use and for classroom use.
Printed resources—including printed teacher and student manuals as well a textbooks purchased without a digital license—may be ordered through Summit’s online store.
You can sign up for a six-week trial of the digital course here.
The videos below will give you some starting points for different materials within the platform:
Introduction VideoSyllabus Tutorial VideoTextbook Tutorial Video
The Homeschool Version of each course in the Understanding the Times series includes all the same, great resources as the School version — tailored to fit a homeschool environment.
Each course comes pre-populated with a Weekly Syllabus. All assignments are arranged and distributed per week and intended to be completed by the following class period, when a test will be taken, assignments collected, and the next week’s coursework distributed. As always, the teacher has full ability to rearrange, remove, or add assignments to the syllabus.
Depending on the size of your class, the format you use, and the number of meetings per week, either the Homeschool or the Christian School may better meet your needs.
For Homeschool Co-ops: If you are part of a co-op with a more traditional-school layout (i.e., one teacher overseeing the course and 3+ students in attendance), multiple class sections, or 2+ class times per week, then the Christian School Version will serve you best.
For Single-Family Use: Pick the Homeschool Version. The material is the same for the teacher in both the Christian school and homeschool versions, but the school administrative set-up process is bypassed for homeschool use; just add your students and begin!
Check out this video for a helpful comparison.
If you have three or more students or more than one teacher, you should select the Christian school version.
Teacher and Student Licenses are valid for 350 days from your License Start Date (selected at check out). Teachers may access their materials prior to the start date to set up and prep for their classes.
Supported BrowserWe’re excited to release a reliable, easy-to-use platform for our teachers and students. Most devices running Google Chrome version 49 or higher will deliver a consistently stable experience.
Non-Supported BrowsersSummitU will not function properly on the following browsers:
Advanced Browser Check
An advanced browser check is offered for system administrators looking to confirm compatibility.
Device String: Mozilla/5.0 (Macintosh; Intel Mac OS X 10_15_7) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/126.96.36.199 Safari/537.36
Client IP: 188.8.131.52Mobile: false; Tablet: false
Apple iOS: falseGoogle Android OS: falseApple Mac OS X: true, Version: 10.15Microsoft Windows: falseAmazon Kindle: falseSamsung Device: falseBlackBerry Device: false
Chrome: true, Version: 184.108.40.206Safari: falseInternet Explorer: falseEdge: falseSilk: falseFirefox: falseOpera: falseSamsung Browser: falseUC Browser: false
Is App Accessible: true
NOTE: To confirm accessibility for a device, at the bottom of the print-out, “Is App Accessible” should read “True”
We offer a printed version of the curriculum with textbooks, student workbooks, and a teacher guide. The only online feature in the printed version is the online videos.
No. The text of the textbook sits inside the digital application and as such cannot be printed. However, printed textbooks will be available for purchase for $27.95. A print edition can also be added to a digital subscription during checkout for only $19.95.
No. The digital edition of the textbook is only available through the web application. However, print editions of the textbook are available for purchase through Summit.
Because both the Understanding the Times textbook and curriculum have gone through a major revision and the 4th edition materials will not have a natural place in the digital edition of either the textbook or curriculum. But may certainly be used as a supplement.
Summit Ministries has no remaining stock of any previous edition of Understanding the Times.
Yes! Sign in to your Administrative portal and head to “Course Management”. Click on “+ Licenses” to the righthand side of any licensed course.
Please ensure that you have clicked to send a welcome email to your student.
The syllabus editor is a powerful tool. This 5-minute video will give you a quick overview that will show you how to take advantage of these great features.
Click on the “Class Schedule” tab on the left-hand side; that will open your Class Schedule.
In the top right corner is a gearbox, tapping/clicking on that will open up the settings for the syllabus tool. Click the “Edit Schedule” button. That will give you the option of customizing your syllabus:
To add a custom assignment, click on the “Event + ” button and you will see this window:
That gives you the option of linking to an assignment. We don’t have the ability to upload one (yet), but an online storage program like Dropbox or Google Drive gives you the option of uploading a file and creating links to them.
There’s nothing worse than losing your changes, so once you’re finished updating your schedule, make sure to save your work by clicking on the gearbox again and clicking “Save Schedule”.