Substantial Revision Strengthens Understanding the Times Curriculum


Jeff Myers Understanding the Times coverWhat Is Understanding the Times?

Understanding the Times, Summit’s classic invitation to the study of worldviews, is the ultimate guided tour to life’s most important questions. The digital, sequential, discussion-based curriculum introduces compelling and helpful ways to think about the world in which we live.

The curriculum, which has just been revised in order to reflect the most up-to-date arguments, is designed to launch discussions about ideas and their consequences. By introducing students to the five most prominent worldviews influencing our world today (Christianity, secularism, Marxism, new spirituality, and postmodernism) and examining their impact on key academic disciplines (theology, philosophy, ethics, biology, psychology, sociology, law, politics, economics, and history), Understanding the Times equips future Christian leaders with tools to actively champion the biblical worldview in a culture that is clouded by competing truth claims.

Going Digital

The digital version of Understanding the Times gives students and teachers access to the entire curriculum and offers an easily editable syllabus tool that keeps everyone on the same schedule. With the digital version of Understanding the Times, students will have immediate access to the textbook, discussion questions, supplemental materials, and videos, all of which can be updated instantly.

The Understanding the Times mobile app will allow students to complete readings and watch lectures at their convenience, allowing teachers to devote class time to activities, discussions, and debates. Since the syllabus assigns up to four days of classroom interaction, students will have an opportunity to meaningfully engage with the ideas posed by a host of worldview and apologetics experts. These in-class exercises will strengthen students’ familiarity with the course material, sharpen their critical thinking, and improve their communication skills.

The digital edition of Understanding the Times will be available for select schools in 2014. In August 2014, we will begin accepting pre-orders for the digital platform that will be released in June 2015.

A Sequential Curriculum

In 2015, Summit will publish a prequel and a sequel to Understanding the Times. While Understanding the Times can still be used as a stand-alone, single-year course offering, the other two volumes — which can also be used independently — are designed to supplement Understanding the Times by detailing the veracity of the Christian worldview and its practical outworking.

The new recommended sequence for our signature worldview curriculum is as follows:

Understanding the Faith (forthcoming 2015): This course will introduce students to the distinctively Christian worldview. Apologetics will be emphasized, and the following questions will be addressed: What does the Bible say about God? Is there evidence of the supernatural? Is Christianity anti-science? Why don’t people believe?

Understanding the Times: The same classic with the same goal: an introduction to the collision of ideas that is happening all around us. This thoughtful introduction will focus on the prominent worldviews and how they compare to Christianity.

Understanding the Cultural (forthcoming 2016): This course will encourage Christian students not only to think faithfully but also to live faithfully. How do we live out the Christian worldview, bringing restoration to creation, to our communities, to the poor, and to politics?

Our revision of Understanding the Times, which is the result of extensive research, writing, and editing, has significantly improved an already stellar curriculum. With the addition of two more volumes and the shift to a digital platform, we believe that Understanding the Times is the optimal tool for training up Christian leaders in the way they should go.