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A Christian curriculum, by a standard definition, is a prescribed course of educational studies that are centered around and based on beliefs of the Christian religion. As a specific curriculum, it may define a set of courses or course offerings at a Christian school and is also made available by independent publishers for the purpose of homeschooling. In many cases, a Christian curriculum consists of basic educational concepts, such as math, literacy, science, and social studies, but in a way that approaches the material from a religious perspective.
Perhaps the biggest difference between a Christian curriculum and a traditional course of study is found in the subject of science. A Christian curriculum often focuses on science from a religious standpoint, disputing the theory of evolution in favor of creation. Though science is not the only subject matter that Christian concepts, values, and beliefs are incorporated into, it is the biggest controversy in subject matter for most parents and sometimes the sole reason they choose a Christian curriculum over public school.
In nearly all subject matters, a curriculum based on Christian beliefs will include Biblical references. Bible study may also be included in the curriculum, typically falling under literature as a subject matter. The other common factors of all subject matters are based on a Christ-centered approach to learning and living. In many Christian schools, religious practices are observed, including prayer, as part of the educational process, though these observances may or may not be considered part of the curriculum as a whole.
Rather than being a study of all religions, like one might take as a single college course or complete college major, a Christian curriculum is a variety of subject matters meant to teach students from a Christian perspective while still encompassing all areas of study. Publishers of Christian-based curriculum provide an array of materials and lesson plans to support all subject matters. Some subjects, such as math, can be provided by secular or traditional publishers and still be incorporated into a Christian curriculum.
Due to a conflict in beliefs between some Christian households and public schools, Christian curriculum is popular homeschooling material. Some homeschooling families choose to incorporate a blend of material from both secular publishers and Christian publishers into their homeschool curriculum. In addition to pre-K through 12 curriculum, some Christian colleges also use a prescribed course of subject materials for its course offerings and incorporate Christian beliefs into music theory, art, and other classes as part of its degree programs.
In public schools, the separation of church and state typically prohibit the use of curriculum based on a single religion as well as the observance of any religious practices. There may, however, be elective courses at the high school level that broach religious subjects, though they would be broad and cover a variety of religions and cultures.
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