What is the International Sunday School curriculum? I’ve always heard people talking about the International lessons for adults, but I didn’t really know what that meant. So today I decided to track it down on a whim. Here’s what I’ve found. Click here to leave your own comments or questions about this material.
Sunday School Lessons based on the International Uniform Series
The ISSL schedule is hard to track down. It created by a committee of the National Council of Churches called “Committee on the Uniform Lessons Series” and led by Dr. Tammy Wiens. The six year schedule if Bible readings provides the framework for lessons from various denominations.
Committee on the Uniform Series
Probably the oldest ecumenical committee in existence, the Committee on the Uniform Series celebrated its 130th anniversary in 2002. For a century and a quarter, Protestants of many traditions have worked together to create outlines for church school curriculum based on “the uniform principle,” meaning that everyone in church school on a given Sunday would study the same passage of Scripture. This ideal has motivated what is surely the most ecumenically and racially diverse group related to the NCC to work together faithfully on producing the most widely used approach to Bible study in the Protestant churches. A fascinating history of the Committee and of the Sunday School Movement in the United States, “Our Heritage in the Uniform Series,” may be requested from the committee’s administrator.
Twenty-two denominations and their representative staff form the committee which meets annually. They are working on outlines for the years 2004 to 2010 and will build that six-year cycle around several biblically rooted themes. Efforts are underway to adapt the outlines to a more Afri-centric approach for use in African American congregations.https://web.archive.org/web/20090902072115/http://www.ncccusa.org/elmc/curriculum.htm
Standard Lesson Commentary
The Standard Lesson Commentary is an annual book put out by Standard publishing. They have a few versions to cover major Bible translations. The design is to have 52 weeks of lesson plans all in one book. The primary aim is for adult Sunday School classes, although many teachers modify it for other age groups. The book is available on Amazon.com
If you’re looking for free Sunday School lessons, then you should browse our online resources.
There are websites that offer help and extrapolation on the printed book. One helpful example is a site called Jesus is All. They offer an email service based on the International Sunday School lessons.
You can also visit the official website from Standard Publishing to view samples of the printed book.