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Title: Organizing and Building Up the Sunday School - Modern Sunday School Manuals
Author: Hurlbut, Jesse Lyman, 1843-1930
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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Edited by Charles Foster Kent in Collaboration with John T. McFarland





          Copyright, 1910, by
          EATON & MAINS


     I. The Historic Principles Underlying the Sunday School
           Movement                                             7
    II. The Constitution of the Sunday School                  14
   III. The Necessity and Essentials of a Graded Sunday
           School                                              21
    IV. The Grading of the Sunday School                       30
     V. The Departments of the Graded Sunday School            37
    VI. The Superintendent                                     46
   VII. The Superintendent's Duties and Responsibilities       53
  VIII. The Associate and Department Superintendents           63
    IX. The Secretary of the Sunday School                     69
     X. The Treasury and the Treasurer                         75
    XI. Value of the Sunday School Library                     81
   XII. The Management of the Library                          91
  XIII. The Teacher's Qualifications and Need of Training      98
   XIV. The Training and Task of the Teacher                  105
    XV. The Constituency of the Sunday School                 113
   XVI. Recruiting the Sunday School                          122
  XVII. The Tests of a Good Sunday School                     129
        Appendix                                              135


IN the preparation of this volume the purpose was to supply a convenient
handbook upon the organization, the management, and the recruiting of
the Sunday school, to be read by those desiring information upon these
subjects. But after the larger part of the work had been prepared a
desire was expressed that the method of treatment be so modified that
the volume might be employed as a text-book for classes and individual
students in the department of teacher-training. It has been the aim of
the author not to alter the work so materially as to render it unfitting
for the general reader; and with this in view the series of blackboard
outlines for the teacher, and the questions for the testing of the
student's knowledge, have been placed at the end of the book. In the
hope that both the reader and the student may receive profit from these
pages the book is committed to the public.

                                           =JESSE LYMAN HURLBUT.=



1. =Magnitude of the Sunday-School Movement.= At the opening of the
twentieth century the Sunday school stands forth as one of the largest,
most widely spread, most characteristic, and most influential
institutions of the Anglo-Saxon world. Wherever the English race is
found the Sunday school is established, in the Mother isle, on the
American continent, at the Cape of Good Hope, and in Australasia. In the
United States and Canada it has a following of fourteen million members,
representing every religious denomination. Its periodical literature has
a wider circulation than that of any other modern educational movement.
It touches every class of society, from the highest to the lowest; and
its largest membership is found among the young, who are of all ages the
most susceptible to formative forces. It is safe to say that this
institution has exerted a powerful influence upon the majority of the
men and women of to-day, and is now shaping the character of millions
who will be the men and women of to-morrow.

2. =A Modern Movement.= Great as it appears in our time, the Sunday
school is comparatively a modern institution. Undoubtedly, the germ of
it can be traced back to that source of all the religious life of the
civilized world, the Hebrew people. The elemental principle of the
Sunday school is possibly to be found in the prophetic guilds before the
Exile, and the schools of the Jewish scribes after the Restoration. The
great Bible class of Ezra (Neh. 8) was not unlike a modern Sunday
school. Yet as an organized institution the Sunday school began with
Robert Raikes, the philanthropist of Gloucester, England, who on one
Sunday in 1780 called together a group of street boys in a room on Sooty
Alley, and employed young women to teach them the rudiments of reading
and religion. If Raikes had not happened to be the editor of the town
newspaper, and in constant need of copy, his Sunday school might soon
have been forgotten. But from time to time he published concerning it
paragraphs which were copied into other papers and attracted attention,
so that the Sooty Alley Sunday school became the parent of a vast
progeny throughout the United Kingdom and beyond the seas. No
institution then in existence, or recorded in church history, suggested
to Robert Raikes either the name or the plan. Both arose out of his own
good heart and active mind. But since his day both the name "Sunday
school" and its plan of working have been perpetuated, and every Sunday
school in the world is a monument to Robert Raikes, the editor of

3. =A Lay Movement.= It is a significant fact that the first Sunday
school was established not by a priest, but by a private member of the
Church of England, that its earliest teachers were not curates, nor
sisters, but young women of the laity, and that throughout its history
the movement has been directed and carried forward, in all lands and
among nearly all denominations, by lay workers.[1] This is noteworthy,
because in the eighteenth century, far more than in our time, the
teaching of religion was regarded as the peculiar function of the
clergy, and lay preaching was frowned upon as irregular. The earliest
Sunday school may have been preserved from churchly opposition by its
own insignificance; or it may have won the favor of the clergy by the
fact that all its pupils at the close of the morning session were
regularly marched to church. Whatever the cause may have been, it is
certain that under a providence which we must regard as divine, both in
its beginning and throughout its history, the Sunday school, although a
laymen's movement, has received favor, and not opposition, from the
clergy and the Church.

4. =Unpaid Workers.= It has been stated that Raikes paid the young women
who taught in his Sunday school a penny for each Sunday. But as the
movement went onward the conductors and teachers were soon giving their
service freely; and this has been the prevailing rule throughout the
world. There are a few Sunday schools wherein a curate or assistant
pastor is the superintendent, and a few mission schools that employ a
salaried teacher who works through the week as a visitor; but it may be
asserted that the world-wide army of Sunday-school workers lay upon the
altar of the Church their free-hearted, unpaid offering of time, study,
and effort. This has been and is a noble, a self-denying, a splendid
service; but it has also been a potent element in the progress of the
movement. Those who would establish a school, alike in the city and on
the frontier, have not been compelled to wait until funds could be
raised for the salary of a superintendent and teachers. If only churches
rich enough to pay for workers had established Sunday schools in our
country, the Sunday school as an institution would not have advanced
westward with the wave of population. And not only has the unpaid
service aided the growth of the movement, it has also added to its moral
and religious power. The pupils and their parents have recognized that
the teachers were working not for pay, but from love for their scholars
and their Saviour; and that love has imparted to their message a power
all its own.

5. =Self-supporting.= The Sunday school has been from the beginning and
even now remains in large measure a self-supporting movement. It
everywhere involves expense for furniture, for teaching requisites, for
song books, for libraries; but for the most part the money to meet these
expenses has been contributed in the school, among its own members, and
not by the church. Instances are on record, even, where the church, in
former times, charged and received rent for the use of its property by
the Sunday school! Such short-sighted practice has been rare, but
multitudes of churches have found the Sunday school a source of far
greater profit than expense. In other words, those who have done the
work of the school have also paid its bills, and many families that have
received its benefits have been exempt from its burdens. It is
noteworthy, however, that this condition is passing away, that churches
are awakening to their responsibility and opportunity, and are giving to
the Sunday school that liberal support which its work requires and
deserves. In the ratio of investment and return, no department of the
church costs so little and rewards so richly as an efficient Sunday

6. =Self-governing.= As a result of being self-supporting, the Sunday
school has also been a self-governing institution. Paying its own way
and asking no favor, it has been almost everywhere an independent body,
accepting no outside authority. It has grown up almost unrecognized and
unnoticed by the churches. Fifty years ago scarcely one of the
denominations, great or small, gave the Sunday school recognition as an
integral part of its system. Little attention was paid to it in the
ruling body of the local church. It chose its own officers, obtained its
own teachers, made its own rules, and for its teachings was responsible
to no ecclesiastical authority. It was generally an ally to, but
independent of, the church. In this respect a gradual change has taken
place. Its relations are now much closer, its position is defined; and
the institution is sanctioned and supervised by the church.

7. =Self-developing.= The system of the Sunday school has been evolved
without guidance or control from any human authority. It has been from
the first self-organizing, and has been also self-developing. Some might
consider the form which it has taken accidental; but it is better to
regard it as providential. The men and women who laid the foundations
of the Sunday school were building under a divine direction of which
they were unconscious. Working apart from each other, on both sides of
the sea, and separated by wilderness and prairie, everywhere they
established an institution under the same general principles, and with
substantial unity in its plans. Perhaps one cause for its unity of
method is that it arose in the midst of the Anglo-Saxon race, a people
which has instinctive tendencies toward law, system, and organization.
If it had started among a Latin people, where men, and not systems,
rule, there might have been a different form of organization, with
different aims, with different titles for officers, in every province.
But throughout the English-speaking world, which is the habitat of the
Sunday school, the institution bears the same name. Its principal or
conductor is called a superintendent--cumbrous though the title may
be--and its working force are known as teachers.

8. =Bible Study.= The most prominent trait in the Sunday school of the
present is that it has become the most extensive movement for
instruction in the Sacred Scriptures that the world has yet seen. All
these millions of members, young and old, are engaged in the study of
one book--the Holy Bible. Many of these millions, indeed, study the
Bible superficially, unintelligently, with narrow interpretations and
crude methods; yet in the Sunday schools of the lowest type as well as
of the highest some portion of the Bible every week is brought to the
scholars' attention. That the Bible is so generally known and so widely
circulated, that the demand for this ancient book warrants the printing
of more than ten million copies every year, is due more to the Sunday
school, with all its defects of method, than to any other institution.
This concentration of attention upon the Bible has grown gradually in
the Sunday school. In the eighteenth century Sunday school, both of
England and America, religious instruction was only one of its aims; and
it was instruction in the catechism and forms of worship rather than in
the Bible. But by slow degrees the Bible came more prominently to the
front, until now the Sunday school is everywhere the school with one
text-book. He who surveys the Sunday school through the inner eye
beholds it on one day in each week covering the continent with its
millions of students, all face to face with some portion of the great
text-book of religion. The thoughtful observer will reflect that a
people whose children and youth come into weekly contact with the living
word will not wander far from the path of righteousness.


[1] An exception is to be noted in the Sunday schools of the Roman
Catholic Church, where most of the teachers belong to religious orders.



The general characteristics of the Sunday school, as they have gradually
developed during its long history, must be considered in any plan for
organizing and conducting an individual school. The institution should
be studied both ideally and practically: practically, to ascertain what
the Sunday school has been and is now; yet ideally, with a view to
developing its highest efficiency and largest usefulness. Such a plan
for the specific Sunday school may be called its constitution. It is
desirable to have the constitution in written or printed form, but it is
not necessary. There is no more complete system than the government of
Great Britain, yet it has no written constitution; and Mr. James Bryce
has shown us in America that the instrument known as the Constitution of
the United States by no means represents our own actual method of
government. In every nation there is an unwritten law, wrought out of a
people's consciousness, which is more imperative and enduring than any
parchment scroll or printed form.

The general principles to be maintained in establishing and developing a
Sunday school are the following:

1. =Aim.= The primary aims of the Sunday school are religious
instruction, character-development, and effective service. It is not to
teach history, nor science, nor sociology, but religion; and not merely
to impart a knowledge of religion to the intellect of its pupils, but,
infinitely more important, to make religion an effective force in the
life of the individual scholar. As a Christian institution, in the
definition given by one of its greatest leaders,[2] "The Sunday school
is a department of the Church of Christ, in which the word of Christ is
taught, for the purpose of bringing souls to Christ, and of building up
souls in Christ." If it be in connection with a Jewish synagogue or
temple--as are some of the best Sunday schools or Sabbath schools in our
land--it is for the purpose of instruction in the faith of the ancient
fathers, and of making their teachings live again in the men and women
of to-day. A true religious education, such as the Sunday school seeks
to give, will include three aims: (1) knowledge, (2) character, (3)
service. There must be an intellectual grasping of the truth; a
character built on the truth, out of faith in God, and the life of God
inspiring the human soul; and service for God and humanity. The Sunday
school seeks to develop not only saints in fellowship with God, but
workers for God, who shall strive to realize on earth the kingdom of
God, not seeking to be ministered unto but to minister. There have been
centuries in the past when the Christian ideal was the cloistered saint,
living apart in communion with God. But that was a pitiably incomplete
conception of the perfect man. In our age we have the larger ideal of
saintliness with service; and to promote this should be the aim of every
Sunday school.

2. =Method.= To attain its aim the Sunday school employs the teaching
method. The Sunday school is not, as some weak-minded people have called
it, "the nursery of the church." Nor is it, as it has been named, "the
Bible service"; for, although it holds a service, it is more than a
service. It is not--or should not be--a gathering of groups, large or
small, where silent hearers listen to sermonettes by little preachers,
miscalled teachers. It holds a service imbued with the spirit of
worship, yet worship is not its central purpose. It should have music,
but it is not primarily a service of song. It should be pervaded by an
atmosphere of happiness, but mere enjoyment is not its object. The
Sunday school is a _school_: and the very word shows that its aim is
instruction and character formation, and its method is that of teaching.
For the work of a Sunday school the essentials are three:

(1) There must be the living teacher who is fitted to inspire, to
instruct, and to guide. His part is not merely to pour knowledge into
his pupils, but to awaken thought, to guide the search for truth, to
call forth expression in character and in action.[3]

(2) There must also be the scholar who is to be taught. It is his part
in the process of instruction not merely to listen and to remember, not
merely to receive impressions, but to give expression to the teaching,
in life, in character, in influence, and in service. The true
effectiveness of the teaching in the Sunday school will be shown by the
reproductive power of the truth in the life of the scholar.

(3) There must be a text-book in the hands of both the teacher and the
pupil. In any school for religious instruction one book will of
necessity stand prominent, that great Book of books which records the
divine revelation to man. The Sunday school may teach history,
geography, institutions, doctrines, literature of the Bible, but these
only as a framework or a foundation for the education of the heart into
a personal fellowship with God. This character-molding, faith-impelling
force is the divine truth taught in the Bible through the experiences
and teachings of patriarchs, prophets, priests, psalmists, sages, and
apostles, and above all by the words and life and redemptive work of the
Master himself. And the subjects of study in the Sunday school need not
be limited to the text of Scripture. There may be extra-biblical
material for the teaching of character and service; and all this should
be open to the Sunday school.

3. =Relation to the Church.= However independent of the church
organization the Sunday school may have been in its beginnings, and
however self-dependent some union Sunday schools may of necessity be in
certain churchless regions, the general fact is established that the
Sunday school as an institution belongs to the church, is under the care
of the church, has a claim upon moral and financial support by the
church, should be a feeder to the membership of the church, and should
gratefully accept the supervision of the church. It should regard itself
and be recognized by all as in many ways the most important department
of the church.

4. =Government.= All power must be under direction, and the mighty
energies of the Sunday school especially need a wise, strong guidance.
In the general management of the Sunday school two elements should be
recognized: (1) the rights of the workers and (2) the authority of the

(1) It must ever be kept in mind that the Sunday school is an army of
volunteers. Its workers are men and women who of their own accord give
to the school without compensation their gift of service. Those who make
such a contribution to the success of the Sunday school should certainly
have a voice in its management.

(2) But it is not to be forgotten, on the other side, that the Sunday
school is not superior to the church, nor independent of it, but
subsidiary to it; hence the church should be able to exercise some
control over the school if such control shall ever be needed. For
example, in the choice of a superintendent, who is the executive officer
of the school, the ruling body of the local church and the working body
of teachers and officers should unite. No one should undertake to
conduct a church Sunday school unless he thus has the definite assurance
that his teachers are with him, and that his church is officially
supporting him.

5. =Officers.= Little need be said here on this subject, for it is one
with which every worker is familiar.

(1) There must be a leader, or manager, the executive head of the
school, who is universally styled the superintendent. If we were
organizing a new institution, and not describing one already world-wide
and with officers already named by common usage and consent, we would
prefer that the executive of the Sunday school receive the title of
Principal or Director; but the somewhat awkward word Superintendent is
settled upon him, and will remain.

(2) There must also be an assistant superintendent, or more than one, as
the size of the school may demand. The better title is associate
superintendent, as is now given in the larger number of well-organized
schools. The superintendent should have the privilege of nominating his
own associates or assistants, the nominations to be confirmed by the
board of teachers and officers.

(3) There will be a secretary, with such assistants as he may require,
to be nominated by the secretary and confirmed by the teachers.

(4) There will be a treasurer, to care for the funds, and to disburse
them as ordered by the board of teachers, or the Sunday school as a

(5) Lastly, but most important of all, there must be the working force
of instructors, the faculty of the institution, its teachers, who should
be carefully chosen. The pastor, as well as the superintendent, should
have an active voice in their call, since they are his coworkers in the
religious instruction of the congregation.

6. =Membership.= In the conception of a Sunday school, both ideal and
practical, the constituency for which it is established must be
considered. As has been noted, it was originally for children only, and
only for children who were destitute of home training, and outside of
church relationship. The earliest Sunday schools were what are called
in England ragged schools, and in America mission schools. But in the
noble evolution of the movement the Sunday school constituency has been
vastly enlarged; and now it is recognized that the Sunday school is for
all ages and all classes. It should embrace the young and old, the
ignorant and intelligent, the poor and rich, the sinner as well as the
saint. The Sunday school which fulfills its mission to society will
welcome all the world.


[2] Bishop John H. Vincent.

[3] For qualifications and functions of the teacher see Chapters XIII
and XIV.



1. =The Necessity of Grading.= As the result of the gradual and unguided
evolution of the Sunday school through a century or longer, most schools
are now divided in a vague way into certain departments, generally known
as the Primary, or Infant Class; the Youths Department, or Boys and
Girls; and the Adult Department, or Bible Classes. Many who have charge
of schools such as these regard them as graded, and so report them. But
the mere naming of departments does not constitute a graded school.
Whoever studies the ungraded or loosely graded Sunday school will
perceive in it certain evils which can be removed only by a thorough
system of grading, maintained faithfully through a series of years. Some
of these conditions which make the graded Sunday school an absolute
necessity are the following:

(1) _The School as a Whole._ The close observer, looking at the entire
school, notes first of all that its gains and its losses in membership
are at the extremes of its constituency. It is the normal condition for
the gains to come in the Primary section; for the little children in
families are attracted to the school or brought there by older children.
There is almost invariably a constant increase in this department,
requiring frequently the organization of new classes in the grade
above, among the younger boys and girls. But, on the other hand, there
is a constant loss of older scholars. In most schools, at the age of
fourteen, in what is known as the early adolescent period of life, the
pupils, for one reason or another, begin to drop out, and few enter to
take their places. Almost every school is thus growing at the bottom and
dying at the top. The Primary classes are full, but the classes of those
above fourteen years are usually small--two large boys here, three
yonder. And although girls continue in the school more frequently than
boys, there will appear the same conditions--some large classes of girls
and young women, but others where discouraged teachers are sitting down
with one, two, or three pupils. Six or eight years ago these same
classes came out from the Primary Department, each with eight or ten
pupils; now they are mere skeleton classes, barely alive, and threatened
with dissolution. Every earnest, thoughtful superintendent would rejoice
to find some plan that will guarantee large classes of young people
between sixteen and eighteen years of age, for this is the most vital
period in the life of the individual. Such a plan is proposed in the
graded system.

(2) _The Condition of the Classes._ Fixing the attention upon the
several classes, the critic of the school system notes three unfavorable

(a) There is the inequality in the size of classes, to which reference
has already been made. When classes come together by accident, pupils
bringing their friends, or new members joining whatever classes they
please, some classes of boys or girls will inevitably be too large for
good government or good teaching, and others will be too small to
create any enthusiasm, either in the teacher or the pupils.

(b) There is also an inequality in the ages of pupils in the same class.
A class may include one pupil or two pupils sixteen years old, and
others as young as ten, or even nine years; some who during the week are
in the high school, and others who can scarcely read the verses assigned
to them.

(c) Where these inequalities of numbers and ages exist there is a lack
of that class spirit which is an essential element of power in a
well-ordered Sunday school. Every class should be a unit, with a strong
social bond; but this ideal cannot be realized when there are in the
class two or three youths in the noisy, assertive, self-conscious stage
of early adolescence, and others who are several years younger. Nor can
there be a proper social bond in a class with only two or three members.
They are likely to be irregular in attendance, to find excuses for
absence or for leaving the school, until at last the discouraged teacher
and the listless scholars together drop out of sight.

For the correction of these evils of inequality in numbers and in ages,
and of this lack of class spirit, the only successful method is to grade
the school, and resolutely to keep it graded.

(3) _Difficulties of Administration._ The difficulties which confront
the superintendent in the management of an ungraded school are many and

(a) The first and ever-present difficulty is in obtaining teachers for
new classes. The constant growth of the Primary Department is his
perennial perplexity. To relieve the congestion in the crowded Infant
Class its older pupils must be brought into the main school, and
teachers must be found for them. The superintendent is always seeking,
and often seeking vainly, for new teachers.

(b) Another difficulty is found in the attempt to transfer scholars from
one class to another. No matter how much out of place a pupil may be, it
is almost impossible to transfer him to another class without incurring
the displeasure of the teacher, the scholar, or the scholar's family.
And however overgrown or ill-assorted a class may have become, to divide
it is a delicate task, almost sure to cause ill feeling. Also, when
there arises the need of a teacher for a new class just emerging from
the Primary Department, the natural plan would be to combine some of the
skeleton classes in the other departments, and thereby release a teacher
for service with the new class. But the superintendent who attempts this
plan finds that almost invariably it results in some of the older
scholars leaving the school because their teacher is taken from them.

2. =The Essentials of a Graded School.= Briefly stated, the essentials
of a graded Sunday school are the following:[4]

(1) _Departments._ The graded Sunday school is organized in certain
distinct groups, of which the most important, for our present purpose,
are the Primary, Junior, Intermediate, and Senior Departments. To these
will be added the Beginners and Adult Departments when the subject comes
up for a complete treatment. Each of these departments should have, if
possible, a separate room; but if these rooms cannot be provided in the
building, the pupils should be seated by departments in the different
parts of the one room. Perhaps it may be assumed that there is a
separate room for the Primary Department; then let those who have most
recently come from the Primary be seated on the right block of seats;
the Youths or Intermediate in the middle; and the Senior classes on the
left block, or vice versa. The younger classes of the department should
have the front seats, the older those in the rear, in regular gradation.
The school may be arranged in the order shown in this diagram:

    |+-----------+  +------------+  +------------+|
    ||  OLDER    |  |FOURTH YEAR |  |FOURTH YEAR ||
    |+-----------+  +------------+  +------------+|
    |                                             |
    |+-----------+  +------------+  +------------+|
    ||   OLDER   |  | THIRD YEAR |  | THIRD YEAR ||
    |+-----------+  +------------+  +------------+|
    |                                             |
     +-----------+  +------------+  +------------+|
    |                                             |
    |+-----------+  +------------+  +------------+|
    |+-----------+  +------------+  +------------+|
    |                                             |
    |         +-----------------------+           |
    |         |        PLATFORM       |           |

(2) _Classes._ The number of classes should be fixed for each
department, and their relationship established, so that when a group of
scholars is promoted to a higher grade in the same department, or in the
next department, they do not enter as classes, but as individuals; not
to form new classes in the department, but to be placed in classes
already formed. This plan will keep the classes in the Senior Department
always full, and avoid the unfortunate skeleton classes of the ungraded
school. It will also impress upon the pupils the importance of faithful

(3) _Promotions._ There should be annual and simultaneous promotions
throughout the school. One Sunday in the year should be set apart as
Promotion Sunday; and on that day all promotions should be made. Those
who are to be advanced from the Intermediate to the Senior Department
are called out by name and placed in their classes, which are not new
classes, but old classes replenished with new members. These promotions
will vacate the seats of the Fourth Year classes in the Intermediate
Department. But these seats will at once be filled by the Third Year now
becoming the Fourth Year, and taking their seats; the Second Year pupils
becoming the Third Year; and the First Year the Second Year. The First
Year of the Intermediate Department will be left vacant, to be filled by
promotion of the Fourth Year in the Junior Department, and the moving up
of classes to the year above in the same department; and the First Year
of the Junior Department will be filled by promotion from the Primary

(4) _Teachers._ As groups of scholars pass either from one grade or from
one department to another there must also be a change of teachers. This
constitutes the crux of the entire system, and in its inception is apt
to prove the most formidable obstacle in grading the school. The pupils,
however, are accustomed to a system of promotions in the day school, and
expect to leave their teachers when they change their grades; but many
of the teachers in the Sunday school, not being trained under the
system, dislike to lose their scholars, and show their dissatisfaction
in ways that affect their pupils. This difficulty must be overcome by
tact and an appeal to unselfish motives; teachers must consent for the
sake of the common good to give up their old classes and take new ones
which begin in the department. The teacher may remain in the grade and
receive a new class each year as his pupils advance to a higher grade;
or he may remain with the class and advance until the pupils pass from
their former department to a higher one, as from Primary to Junior, from
Junior to Intermediate, and from Intermediate to Senior. He should then
return to a new first year's class in his own department and lead it
through the course. If any teacher asks, "Why cannot I go with my class
into the Senior Department?" the answer is that if the plan be permitted
for one it must be recognized for all; and in the Senior Department
there will follow an increasing number of classes, with a relatively
diminishing membership in each class. The scholars also need the
inspiration of contact with different teachers. Furthermore, the teacher
who is adapted to the Junior or Intermediate Department is rarely a
suitable teacher for Senior scholars. Hence there is need of a careful
assignment of teachers no less than of pupils. Therefore, to maintain a
graded school the pupils must change teachers when they change

(5) _Lessons._ There should be graded lessons for each department. If a
graded system be followed in the school, as it should be, with different
subjects, text-books, and lessons for each department, giving to the
entire school a regular, systematic, progressive curriculum, this
requisite will be met. If, however, the uniform lesson for all the
school be followed, as at present is still the case in many Sunday
schools, the graded teaching must be given in the form of supplemental
lessons, taught by the head of the department where it has a separate
room, or by the teacher if the departments must be assembled in one
room. In some form the graded teaching is an absolutely essential
requisite of the graded school. Most schools, when once thoroughly
graded, will realize the need of the next step in the evolution of the
institution--lessons graded in subjects as well as in methods for the
several departments.

(6) _Basis of Promotion._ The question is often asked, "Should
promotions be made on the basis of age, or as the result of
examinations?" The examination system may be regarded as desirable in
the Sunday school, but there are as yet few schools where thorough
examinations can be rigidly insisted on as a part of the school system,
and promotions invariably made to depend upon standing. A school which
meets only once a week, for a session of less than an hour and a half,
and with but one lesson period of forty minutes or even less, cannot
maintain the same strictness in its standards as the public school.
Moreover, new scholars are continually entering the schools, and, while
most of them begin at the foot of the ladder in the Primary Department,
yet others enter at various ages and in various grades. Any system of
promotion based merely upon acquirement attested by examination is sure
to become in many instances a meaningless form when applied to the
Sunday school. Yet acquirements and examinations need not be ignored in
the graded Sunday school. There may be certain ages at which the pupils
shall by right pass from a lower grade to a higher. But it may also be
arranged that pupils who are exceptionally bright, well-informed, and
studious can be promoted a year in advance of their classmates by
passing examination. Let the examination be given in writing to all the
pupils, and let all be urged to take it; with the promise that those who
pass will be promoted, even though they be less than the required age.
But let it also be understood that failure to pass the examination will
not keep the student for more than one year from promotion. In other
words, the examination may well be made the door through which earnest
students may pass on, and so keep abreast of their equals in training
and ability.


[4] For a more complete statement, see the volume of this series on The
Graded Sunday School in Principle and Practice, by Dr. H. H. Meyer.



The question is often asked, "How may an ungraded Sunday school be
placed on a graded basis?" The work may seem simple, and easy of
accomplishment, but when it is undertaken difficulties arise which must
be intelligently and tactfully met.

1. =The Difficulties.= If all our Sunday-school teachers were trained
educators, accustomed to the methods of the public school, they would
see at once the advantages of the graded system, and heartily enter into
it. But most of our teachers are untrained, and their range of vision
often fails to reach beyond their own class and their immediate
environment. The relation between teachers and scholars is personal
rather than official; and on both sides the personal equation often
complicates the problem. In every school there are a few teachers who
are so strongly influenced by their feeling for their pupils that they
fail to recognize the needs of the school. There are also scholars,
especially in the sentimental early adolescent age, who are unwilling to
leave their teachers when promotion is offered to them. But unless the
change of teachers is maintained the graded system will utterly fail to
benefit the school; it will be graded in name only, and not in fact.
This part of the program must be carried through, even though it may
cost the school the loss of a teacher or two teachers and their

2. =The Remedy= for this difficulty is only to be found in carefully
considered action by presenting the necessity and value of the plan so
clearly that the teachers as a whole will fully understand it,
appreciate its importance, and heartily accept it. The grading should
not be attempted upon the mere fiat of the superintendent, nor on the
vote of a bare majority of the workers. The teachers must recognize the
self-sacrifice which it requires, and must make that self-sacrifice
generously, giving up their scholars for the general good. The possible
objections of the scholars are more easily overcome, for they are
accustomed in the public schools to promotions with change of teachers,
and readily accommodate themselves to the same system in the Sunday
school. Thoughtfulness and kindness, with time, will soon remove the
hindrances from the path of the graded school.

3. =The Method of Grading.= The school may be graded in either of two
ways, the gradual or the simultaneous method.

(1) In the gradual method the superintendent, with the concurrence of
the teachers, may announce that after a certain date all promotions will
be made in accordance with the graded system, leaving the classes as
they are until the time for promotion arrives. Then promote from Primary
to Junior, from Junior to Intermediate, and from Intermediate to Senior,
according to the principles of the graded school; and in four or five
years, if the system be maintained, the result will be a school fully
graded in all its departments.

(2) In the simultaneous method of grading, the plan must be carefully
matured, and general coöperation of all assured. The following plan has
been tested in more than one school, and found to work successfully:

(a) Let a careful committee be chosen to arrange the details of grading.
The committee should consist of teachers acquainted with the scholars as
far as may be practicable, and should, of course, include the
superintendent. They should also take an abundance of time for their

(b) Obtain the ages of all the scholars between eight and eighteen years
of age, and, approximatively, the ages up to thirty. Let this list be
made quietly by each teacher for his or her own class. It may be
desirable not to inform the pupils for what purpose the enrollment is
made. Instances have been known where scholars have understated their
ages, hoping thereby to remain with favorite teachers.

(c) Let the committee go over the lists and assign the scholars to
classes according to age and acquirement. In some degree social
relations should be considered, so that each class may be as far as
practicable a social unit. In the Intermediate Department boys and girls
should be in separate classes, and not more than six or eight pupils
should be placed in one class. No announcement of the assignment of
scholars to classes should be made until the day fixed for the
reorganization of the school. It will be a good plan to prepare a map or
chart of the schoolroom, with the place proposed for each class
indicated upon it.

(d) On the day appointed, after the opening exercises, first let the
seats or rooms set apart for the Senior Department be vacated; and then
let the roll be called according to the new list. "Class No. 1, Senior
Department. Mr. A----, with the following scholars." As their names are
called let them take their places, until the list of classes and
scholars in this department is filled. Next vacate the seats assigned to
the Intermediate Department, and let these teachers and pupils take
their places; then the Junior Department, according to the same plan.
The Primary Department can be graded by its superintendent or teacher
without aid from the committee.

Let it be understood that every scholar must take the place assigned to
him at the time when his name is called; and that only for an important
reason can an assignment, when once made, be changed. In a large school
there will be found a few cases where the committee has made a mistake,
even with the greatest care; and these mistakes should be rectified, but
not until the pupils have taken their new places temporarily in the
scheme of the school.

4. =Advantages of Thorough Grading.= Many benefits will follow from the
proper organization of the school; and their value will be increasingly
apparent as the system is maintained through a series of years.

(1) _Appearance._ It is the testimony of every superintendent and pastor
who has graded his Sunday school that the appearance of the school is
greatly improved by the graded system. The older scholars are assembled
in one body, instead of being scattered throughout the room; scholars
of the same size and age are brought together in classes. The school
will also actually seem larger than it was before the grading.

(2) _Order._ The order of the school will be more easily maintained. The
big boys and the giggling girls, both at the self-conscious, awkward
age, will be in a new environment, no longer the leaders over smaller
and younger pupils, but in classes by themselves, and with
responsibilities appealing to their self-respect.

(3) _Social Relations._ It will be a benefit to the scholars of each age
to be associated in groups of the same period in life, with the same
interests and similar mental acquirements. Many scholars will find their
new associations more congenial than their former ones in the ungraded
classes, where older and younger people have been brought together. The
class will now become, far more than it was before, a social power.

(4) _Teaching Work._ In the ungraded class, with older and younger
pupils together, the teacher met with his greatest difficulty in finding
a common ground of interest. In the graded class, with pupils of uniform
age and equal intellectual understanding, the teaching can be better
adapted to the needs of the pupils.

(5) _Incentive to Interest._ The prospect of promotion awakens an
interest in the classes. Each scholar looks forward to the time when he
will attain to a higher grade with its enlarged privileges.

(6) _Obtaining Teachers._ The grading of the school greatly aids in the
solution of the ever-present problem of obtaining new teachers, (a) The
graded school requires a smaller number of teachers than the ungraded
school, since it provides for the consolidation of skeleton classes in
the Senior Department. This sets at liberty a number of experienced
teachers for service in other grades. (b) Whenever a new class comes
from the Primary Department, a teacher is already at hand in the Junior
Department whose class at the same time has advanced to the Intermediate
Department. The teacher goes year by year with his class until it leaves
the department, and then he returns to a new class beginning the studies
of the same department. (c) After the results of a teacher-training
class are available there will always be trained teachers waiting for

(7) _Leakage Period._ The young people between fifteen and twenty years
of age constitute the "leakage period,"[5] when they are in great danger
of drifting away from the school. They will be held to the school far
more firmly if they have before them the prospect of membership in large
classes of young people, with social opportunities, and club life, so
popular with youth at the early adolescent age. It has been clearly
shown by practical experience that an organized Senior Department, with
large classes kept full by regular reinforcement from the Intermediate
Department, will maintain itself and hold its members, while skeleton
classes of the young people constantly tend to disintegration.

The well-organized, completely graded Sunday school possesses such
evident and great advantages that it is certain to be established
wherever thorough and efficient religious instruction is sought. The
sooner it comes, and the more faithfully it is maintained, the better it
will be for the church of to-day and to-morrow, and the more quickly and
effectually will the grave problems of our modern civilization be


[5] Dr. A. H. McKinney, in After the Primary--What?



=General Scheme.= The four departments essential to a graded Sunday
school, whether large or small, have already been named by anticipation.
But it is necessary to give to the subject a closer consideration, and
to add the names of other departments which are needed either as
departments or subdivisions in the school. Following the analogy of the
secular schools, the great divisions of a Sunday school may be named as
Elementary, Secondary, and Advanced or Adult. The Elementary Division
will include the Cradle Roll, Beginners, Primary, and Junior, taking the
scholar up to twelve years of age. The Secondary Division will include
the Intermediate and Senior Departments, also the Teacher-training
Class, and will embrace the scholars between twelve and twenty years of
age. The Advanced or Adult Division will include all the classes wherein
the average age is above twenty years, including the Home Department.
Beginning with the youngest children, the departments of a thoroughly
organized school are the following:

1. =The Cradle Roll.=[6] This should include all the little ones in the
families of the congregation who are too young to attend the school.
Their names, in large lettering, in plain print rather than script,
should be recorded upon a list, framed and hung upon the wall in the
Primary room. A separate card catalogue should be kept of the names
alphabetically arranged, with ages, birthdays, parents' names, and the
street address of each family. Every effort should be made to keep the
list complete; children should inform their teachers of new little
brothers and sisters for the Cradle Roll; the pastor in his visitation
should take their names and report them; and the teacher or conductor in
charge of the Cradle Roll should occasionally visit every family on the
list. Whenever gifts are made to the pupils of the school, as at
Christmas or on birthdays, toys and dolls for the little ones of the
Cradle Roll should not be forgotten. In a small school the care of the
roll and the visiting of the families may be assigned to the Primary
superintendent; but in a large Sunday school it will call for a special
conductor, and recognition as a separate department. Let no one suppose
that this is an unimportant, sentimental matter. The Cradle Roll,
maintained as it should be, will awaken interest in every family having
a name inscribed upon it, and in due time will lead many little feet to
the Sunday school.

2. =The Beginners Department.= At about three years of age the little
children should be brought to the school, and be regularly enrolled as
attending members, their names being now taken from the Cradle Roll.
They should remain in the Beginners Department from the age of three to
that of six years--the Kindergarten period in the public school. Here
they should be told simple Bible and nature stories, without effort to
place the stories in chronological order; for children of this age have
only a faint conception of the sequence of events. They may be taught
simple songs, marching exercises, etc. It is a mistake, however, to give
them much, if any lessons, to tax the memory, beyond a few short
sentences of the Bible and verses of children's songs. If they can meet
in a room by themselves, with their own teacher, it will be better than
to have them in the Primary room; for the work in this grade should be
constantly varied, and the stories very brief, in order not to weary the
little ones. If they must meet in the room with the Primary children,
they should sit by themselves as a separate section, and not with their
older brothers and sisters.

3. =The Primary Department.= This department should be the home of
little children between six and eight or nine years of age. They should
remain in it until in the day school they have begun to read. Boys and
girls may be placed in the same classes, which should be for those six
years old, seven years old, and eight years old, respectively. With each
year their seats should be changed, indicating their promotion from the
lower to the higher classes. In this department the simpler stories of
the Bible and other helpful stories adapted to the grade should not only
be told but taught, and the children expected not only to learn but also
to tell them. The Twenty-third Psalm, the Lord's Prayer, the Ten
Commandments, a few other selected passages of Scripture, and some
standard hymns of the Church should be memorized.

In many well-organized Sunday schools both the Cradle Roll and the
Beginners class are recognized as subdivisions of the Primary
Department, and are under the direction of the Primary superintendent.

4. =The Junior Department.= This department will care for the children
from the ages of eight or nine until the full age of twelve; except that
boys or girls who are especially advanced in intelligence may be
promoted upon examination at eleven years. In a very small Sunday school
all the pupils of this department may form one class, provided they can
have a room by themselves. If they must meet with the rest of the
school, they may be organized either in two classes, one of boys, the
other of girls. If, however, the number of scholars will admit, it is
far better to place the pupils in separate classes for boys and girls,
with different classes for each year of the period. To scholars of the
Junior grade the great characters and events of Bible history should be
taught in their order; also the most important facts about the Bible,
and in a simple form the lands and localities of the Bible. In churches
which use a catechism this should constitute a part of the teaching in
the Junior Department, for at this period the child's verbal memory
attains its greatest strength.

5. =The Intermediate Department.= Here the pupils are from twelve to
sixteen years of age. The classes should be small, generally of six boys
or girls, never more than eight. This period in life is known as early
adolescence, and calls for careful direction by wise teachers. In the
Intermediate Department the great biographies of the Bible should be
studied, either as the regular or the supplemental lessons; also the
heroic lives of leaders in the history of the Church, of foreign
missionaries, and of men and women who have labored in the home fields.
Boys and girls in this stage of life are instinctively hero-worshipers,
and before them should be set high ideals of character and service.
Special effort should be made in leading the scholars to personal
consecration to Christ and to union with the Church; for if the great
decision be not made before the age of sixteen is reached, there is
great danger that it will never be reached. But that decision should
include more than a formal profession. It should embrace a full
surrender to the will of Christ, an inward, conscious spiritual life, an
aim for completeness of Christian character, and especially a
willingness to work for God and humanity. Youth is a season of ardor and
of energy, a period of lofty ideals and noble endeavor. All those active
powers of the youthful nature should be guided into channels of
usefulness. The true twentieth century disciple of Christ is not one who
lives alone feasting his soul on God, but one who stands among his
fellow-men, eager to aid in the world's betterment.

6. =The Senior Department.= This is the preferable title, although some
organized schools call it the Young People's Department, and restrict
the word Senior to the classes of fully adult age. Still others call it
the Assembly, and give it an organization independent of the Sunday
school.[7] The age of entrance should be sixteen, except with some who
in stature and mind are mature beyond their years. It is imperative, as
we have already seen, that at the door of this department the young
people should leave their former teachers, and should not form new
Senior classes, but as individuals enter classes already established.
This department includes the members of the school between sixteen and
twenty years of age; not that members of classes must necessarily leave
them at twenty, but that men or women above that age entering the school
should rather join the Adult Department. The classes may be as large as
the arrangement of rooms will allow; larger where each class can have a
separate room, which is the ideal plan. Generally, young men and young
women should be in separate classes. The teacher of a young men's class
should be a man whose character will inspire the respect and win the
fellowship of his class. The teacher of the young women's class will
generally be a lady, although often men have been successful teachers of
young women.

In this department the classes should be organized, each with its own
officers, chosen by the members; and the class should be consulted when
a teacher is to be appointed, although the voice of the class in the
decision should be advisory and not mandatory. Especial attention should
be given to the social activities of this department. Each class should
have its own gatherings, classes of young men and women should meet
together occasionally, and a Senior Reception should be held at least
annually to promote acquaintance among the members. The interest of the
young people should also be enlisted in some definite form of service
for the church or the community.

7. =The Teacher-Training Department.= The most promising young people,
both men and women, should be selected at sixteen years of age--the time
of promotion into the Senior Department--and should be organized as the
Teacher-training or Normal Class. The best teacher obtainable should be
assigned to this department. Often in the high school or some near-by
college, a scholarly, Bible-loving instructor may be found who is
willing to give a part of his time to the equipment of teachers for the
coming generation. A text-book should be chosen from among those
approved by the International Teacher-training Committee. No person
should be admitted to this class who is not willing to give some time
during the week to the study of the course. While the rest of the school
may be studying the regular lessons, whether graded or uniform, this
class should be at work with the teacher-training text-books. There
should be thorough instruction with examinations looking toward a
certificate of work done, such as the International Teacher-training
diploma.[8] The course may cover two, three, or four years; and new
members may be placed in the class at the opening of each year, to begin
at the point where the class is studying, and to remain until they shall
have completed the entire course. In a properly graded school after a
few years there will be a class graduating from and a class entering the
Teacher-training Department each year.

This department should also include a Reserve Class, consisting of those
who are ready to act as substitutes for absent teachers. If the uniform
lessons are followed, the Reserve Class should study the lesson a week
in advance of the school. Into this class the graduates of the
Teacher-training Class should be placed, to remain until classes are
ready for them in the school.

In some schools the Teacher-training and Reserve Classes do not form a
separate department, but are two classes in the Senior Department. But
it is the better plan in a large school to establish the
Teacher-training Department, with its own officers, thereby adding to
its prestige in the school.

8. =The Adult Department.= This will include all who are above the age
of twenty years. It is the judgment of advanced leaders in Sunday-school
work that at twenty years those who have belonged to Young People's
classes in the Senior Department should leave them for the Adult
Department. Otherwise, the Senior Department in a few years will cease
to be a place where young people of sixteen and eighteen years feel at
home. In the Adult Department men and women may meet together as members
of the same class, unless there arise a demand for separate classes and
the numbers enrolled justify the division. In conducting these classes
two forms of instruction have been found to be successful: (1) the
colloquial method of teaching, the class studying and discussing the
lesson together under the guidance of the leader; and (2) the lecture
method, the teacher being the principal speaker, but always admitting
questions and answers on the subject suggested by the lesson. Classes in
this department may be allowed to choose their own courses of study,
provided (1) that the subjects and methods are in line with the general
aim of religious education, and not merely secular science or history;
(2) that the courses of successive years have some sequence, and are not
chosen in a haphazard, accidental manner. The Adult Department under
wise direction should promote a large, intelligent, broad-minded,
philanthropic type of Christian character in the church and the

9. =The Home Department.= This department, like the Cradle Roll at the
other extreme of the Sunday-school constituency, is composed of people,
both young and old, who cannot be present at its sessions, but are
interested in its work, and willing to give some time to its studies. In
every community there are such people--aged or infirm men and women,
invalids, mothers unable to leave their offspring, commercial travelers,
and people who live too far from the school to attend it. These are
organized into the Home Department, furnished with the literature of the
school, study its text-books, make their report of work done, and send
their contributions to its support through the Home Department
superintendent or visitor.[9]


[6] This department is now named in Sunday schools of the Protestant
Episcopal Church, and some others, the Font Roll, or Baptismal Roll.

[7] Suggested by Dr. J. H. Vincent.

[8] For full information concerning Teacher-training, courses,
examinations, and diplomas, write to the State Secretary of Sunday
School Work, or to the office of the International Sunday School
Association, No. 140 Dearborn Street, Chicago.

[9] For plans of the Home Department, address the Secretary of the State
Sunday School Association, or Dr. W. A. Duncan, Syracuse, New York, who
is recognized as the founder of this system.



1. =His Importance.= Several years ago, the president of the New York
Central Railway was called upon by a legislative committee to explain
the system of signals employed upon the railroad for the protection of
passengers. He gave a detailed statement, answered every question, and
then made this remark: "However perfect the system may seem to be, there
must always be a man to work it; and in the final analysis more depends
on the man than on the plan."

That which is true in every human organization is especially true in the
Sunday school: its success depends not on a constitution, whether
written or unwritten, but upon a man. In the Sunday school that man is
the superintendent, who not only works the plan, but also generally
plans the work. Given an efficient superintendent, an efficient school
will usually be developed; for the able man will call forth or will
train up able workers. Hence the first and greatest requisite for a
successful Sunday school is that the right man be chosen as

2. =His Appointment.= The selection of the superintendent should be the
task not only of the officers and teachers in the Sunday school, but of
the entire church, for every family in the congregation has an interest
in his appointment. The pastor should be consulted, and should give
diligent attention and time to the search for a superintendent, not
merely because he may be presumed to know his constituency, but more
especially because out of all the church the superintendent is to be his
most important helper. The election of the superintendent should be made
by the workers in the school, its board of teachers and officers, and
its action should be formally confirmed by the ruling board of the local
church. No man should hold the office of a superintendent who fails to
receive the approval of the church of which the school is a part. He
should know that in his appointment the school, the church, and the
pastor all unite.

3. =His Term of Office.= He should be chosen for a term of one year; but
may be reëlected for as many terms as appear expedient. Frequent changes
in the management of the school will tend to destroy the efficiency of
its work. But whenever the great interests involved in the religious
education of an entire church or community require a new superintendent
the change should be made, even though sympathy be felt for the one set
aside. The institution must not be sacrificed to save the feelings of
the man.

4. =His Qualifications.= It is important to consider the qualifications
of an ideal superintendent, remembering, however, that all these
qualities are rarely to be found in one man. We must set before us high
ideals, not expecting that they will always be fully realized, yet ever
seeking to attain them as far as may be possible in this imperfect
world. The following are the most important qualifications for a
superintendent; some of them are essential, all are desirable:

(1) _Moral Character._ The Sunday school undertakes to train the young
in character; therefore he who stands as its responsible head must
possess a character worthy of admiration and imitation. His life must
honor, and not dishonor, his profession. It is possible for a man whose
work for an hour on Sunday is in behalf of the gospel so to live in his
family, in business, and in society as to work for six days against the
gospel, and more than undo all his efforts for good. The leader in such
an uplifting movement as the Sunday school must have clean hands and a
pure heart. What Saint Paul wrote of a bishop he would have written of a
Sunday school superintendent: he must have "a good report." In the
well-known painting of the Emancipation Proclamation may be seen
standing at the right hand of President Lincoln the Secretary of the
Treasury, Salmon P. Chase, who once said, "A man in my position must not
only seem right, but be right; and not only be right, but seem right."
So will every one say of the Sunday-school superintendent.

(2) _A Devout Believer._ The superintendent's character should be
irradiated with the fine glow of a Christian faith. He should be one who
has seen the heavenly vision and unto it has not been disobedient; one
whose spirit has been kindled by the Divine Spirit burning like a fire
within; one who is himself a Christian man, longing to lead other men
into fellowship with the Father through Jesus Christ the Son.

(3) _A Working Church Member._ We have already learned that the Sunday
school is not a society or an institution standing alone. It is a
branch of the church, and one of the most important branches. The normal
growth of the church depends in large measure upon the Sunday school,
and the support of the Sunday school comes, or should come, from the
church. The superintendent who endeavors to do his duty to his scholars
will strive to lead them to Christ and into active membership and
service in the church. Therefore, he himself must be a professed, loyal,
and effective member of the church. His name should not only stand upon
its roll, but his heart should also be enlisted in its behalf.

(4) _A Bible Student._ The Sunday school is the school with one
preëminent text-book; and of that Book the superintendent should be a
diligent student. His work is executive and not instructional; yet he
must supervise the teaching, and this supervision he cannot rightly give
unless he is familiar with the course of study. He should study the
lesson of each department, perhaps not as thoroughly as the teachers in
the department, but sufficiently to maintain acquaintance with their
work. And he should master not only the specific lessons of the
immediate course before his school, but also the Book as a whole.

One successful superintendent gave as a secret of his power to make his
school, both teachers and scholars, willing to do whatever he asked, "I
never expect my teachers or scholars to do anything that I am not ready
to do myself. Before I ask them to bring their Bibles I bring mine. When
I asked my school to be ready on the following Sunday to repeat in
concert the Nineteenth Psalm, I committed it to memory during the week,
and when the time came spoke the words with the school." Only that
superintendent who himself loves the Bible, and studies it, can have a
true Bible school.

(5) _An Able Executive._ The Sunday school is like that vision seen by
the prophet Ezekiel, a system of wheels within wheels, all endowed with
life; and the master of the mechanism directing its motion is the
superintendent. Moreover, each of these living wheels in the
Sunday-school machine is a volunteer worker, who may at any moment drop
out of his orbit. To hold together these varied elements, to combine
their movements, to guide each in his own sphere, to compass the common
purpose through all the forces working as one, requires a wise brain and
a skillful hand. The superintendent should have a plan for the school,
with details throughout for every emergency; he should be ready to
assign to every worker the task for which he is best fitted; he should
be able to work with others, not merely to command others; and he should
be a leader whom others will follow, not by the might of an
overmastering will, but by the magnetism of an attractive personality.
He should never forget that with others as well as with himself service
in the Sunday school is not compulsory but voluntary, that his
associates lay on the altar their free-hearted, unpaid labor; and that
such workers cannot be commanded, although by tact and wise generalship
they may be led to accomplish the most difficult tasks.

(6) _Sympathy with Youth._ The superintendent's office will bring him
into relations with youth during all its stages, from early childhood
through the entire adolescent period. He must be able to see life and
the world through the eyes of a little child, of a growing boy, and of a
young man. The sympathy which he needs is not a compassionate feeling
_for_ youth, but a feeling _with_ youth, an ability to put himself in
its place; to feel as young people feel, and to understand why they act
as they sometimes do. This sympathy will impart a love for young people,
such a love as will enable him to be patient with their foibles and
faults, to exert a powerful influence over them, and to keep before them
noble ideals of character and service.

(7) _Teachable Spirit._ No matter how much the superintendent knows, or
thinks he knows, he should hold his mind open to new knowledge. He
should be on the alert for new ideas, from the periodicals, from books,
and from his fellow workers, in conversation, at conventions and
institutes; not that he may inflict every new method upon his school,
but that out of many methods he may select the best. When Michael Angelo
was past eighty-five years old, and almost blind, he was found one day
beside an antique torso which had recently been dug out of the ground,
bending over it, and carefully pressing his fingers upon its surface.
When asked what he was doing, he answered, "I am learning"! The masters
in every department of work are never too wise nor too old to learn.

If a man can be found who possesses all these seven traits of character
and temperament, the school which can secure him for its superintendent
will be fortunate indeed. And the superintendent who thoughtfully reads
the catalogue of qualifications, and feels that in some of them he is
lacking, may by divine grace and his own will working together make
progress toward the goal of becoming an ideal superintendent.



The superintendent has been found, has been chosen, and is in his
place--what are the prerogatives and the duties of his office? These may
be considered under three classes: (1) His general duties. (2) His
duties during the week. (3) His duties in the session of the school.

1. =General.= (1) _Supervision._ It is his right to supervise and direct
the work of the school without interference as to details from the
teachers, the officers of the church, or the pastor. The pastor may be
the admiral of the fleet, directing the general movements of the sea
campaign; but the superintendent is the captain of the ship, through
whom orders are to be given to all on board.

(2) _Selection of Teachers._ He should have the chief word in the choice
and appointment of teachers, but in the choice he should obtain the
concurrence of his pastor; and their election should be made upon the
superintendent's nomination by the teachers and officers.

(3) _Assignment of Scholars._ He should possess the final authority in
the assignment of scholars to classes, in any changes from class to
class, and in promotions from lower to higher departments. In these
responsibilities he may be greatly aided by an associate superintendent,
to whom his authority may be delegated.

(4) _Program of Services._ It is the superintendent's prerogative to
plan and direct the services of the school session. It may be the part
of wisdom for him to consult with the musical director or organist in
the selection of hymns, but it is the superintendent's right to choose
and to announce them, in common with all parts of the program.

(5) _Support._ He is entitled to a loyal support from all his fellow
workers; but if he is tactful he will take them into his confidence,
will present his plans for their consideration, and will not attempt
important reforms or changes without their concurrence.

2. =Week-day Work.= He is the superintendent of the Sunday school for
seven days in every week; and will find much work to be done between the
sessions. His week-day duties will include some that have already been

(1) _Program._ Before he comes to the school he should invariably
prepare a well worked out program for each session. It is a good plan to
have a large blank book, in which two pages opposite each other are
assigned to the session for the day. Every hymn should be selected in
advance and noted in its place; every announcement to be made should be
written; the outline of a lesson review, if one is to be given, should
be indicated; and space should be left for memoranda of miscellaneous
matters which may need attention. This program should be laid upon the
desk, so that if for any reason the superintendent should be out of his
place upon the platform an associate can go forward without delay.

(2) _Lesson Study._ In schools where the uniform lesson is still
followed in all or most departments, the superintendent should make
himself thoroughly acquainted with the lesson for the coming session. As
has been intimated, he should be prepared for any work expected of his
teachers and scholars. He should be ready after the class study to give
a practical summary of the teachings in the lesson, in a crisp,
well-outlined talk, which will be aided by a blackboard illustration.
And in the increasing number of schools which are employing graded
lessons, not uniform in the departments, the superintendent should have
at least a general knowledge of the subjects studied in each department.
The more thoroughly the superintendent fills his own mind and heart with
the truth, the more efficiently will the truth be taught in his school.

(3) _Social Duties._ The superintendent should know all his teachers,
and, as far as possible, his scholars also. If it be practicable for him
to visit teachers at their homes, the visitation will greatly increase
his influence and his usefulness. If in his own home, or in the parlors
of some family in the congregation, a social gathering of the teachers
and officers can occasionally be held, it will add to the social power
of the school. And in the social relations much can be accomplished
before and after the church service, the school session, the prayer
meeting, and the other gatherings of the congregation. There are
superintendents who keep before them up-to-date lists of the classes,
and by study of faces during the school session, with judicious inquiry,
are able to call large numbers of the scholars by name. Such greetings
will strengthen the superintendent and heighten the loyalty of the

(4) _Seeking Workers._ In nearly all Sunday schools there is a constant
need of helpers, to fill the places of withdrawing or absent teachers;
and the work of supplying the demand generally falls upon the
superintendent. He may find relief in the work of an associate
superintendent, as will be seen in the next chapter. Both the
superintendent and his associate should always be on the alert for new
teachers and for new scholars. As the builder in stone looks at every
fragment of rock, to see where it will best fit into his wall, so the
whole-hearted superintendent studies every individual in the parish, to
find exactly the place he may fill in the school, as an officer, a
teacher, or a scholar; and not infrequently his search will be rewarded
by a treasure.

(5) _Cabinet Meetings._ The superintendent should confer frequently with
the several heads of departments, and with all the officers; talking
with them freely about his own plans, and learning theirs, for the
welfare of the school. It is not necessary that these cabinet meetings
should be formal, having a secretary and a record. They may be held
occasionally, for a few minutes after the session of the school, or as a
social evening at a private house.

(6) _Special Days._ He should keep a calendar of special occasions in
the school year, such as the Sundays set apart for temperance and for
missions, Easter, Children's Day, Rally Day, Decision Day, Christmas,
Promotion Day, and other notable events. Weeks in advance of each
occasion--in the case of some of them even months in advance--he should
begin to consider what special exercises should be held, what
preparation is needed, and who can best supervise the plans. For a
fortnight before Children's Day or the Christmas celebration, many
Sunday schools are in a turmoil of confusion, and lessons abandoned,
simply because the superintendent did not take thought in sufficient

(7) _The Convention._ The Sunday-school work of the Christian world is
now thoroughly organized in international, state, county, and town
associations. Each school finds itself a part in a mighty movement; and
it is the duty of the superintendent to see that his school takes its
place in the Sunday-school army. He should see that in the institute and
the convention his school is well represented; and if at all possible he
should attend these gatherings, and be active in them. Many a worker who
for most of the year is alone, burdened with perplexities, has been
refreshed, has found his vision enlarged and his plans improved, by
conference with other workers, and by listening to experienced

3. =His Duties in the School Session.= (1) _Present Early._ He should be
at his post, if possible, from twenty minutes to half an hour before the
opening of the school. However early he may arrive, he will probably
find a group of children there in advance of him; and they will behave
better if his eye is on them, especially if his glance is kind, and with
it is a hand-shake or a word of recognition. The early superintendent
will often be surprised to find how much business in the interest of
the school can be transacted before the session.

(2) _Open Promptly._ With his program ready, he should begin the session
exactly on the minute, and should carry out every item according to the
plan. If for any reason the superintendent is not at the desk when the
moment for the opening arrives, the associate or first department
superintendent should be empowered to call the school to order and begin
the opening service.

(3) _Conduct Program._ The superintendent should conduct the general
program of services; although it is advisable to recognize the associate
and others, by calling upon them to take some part in the opening or
closing services. A superintendent whose methods were always well chosen
was wont once in each month to invite some official or prominent member
of the church, who was not an attendant upon the school, to be present,
sit upon the platform, and offer the prayer at the opening of the
session. This kept the leading members of the church in closer relation
to the school.

(4) _During the Lesson._ As a general principle, the superintendent
should remain at his desk during the lesson period; but to this rule
frequent exceptions will be made. The supply of substitutes for absent
teachers, and the assignment of new scholars to classes, belong to the
field of the associate superintendent.

(5) _Lesson Review._ In the Sunday schools which still follow the
uniform system of lessons, studying the same portion of Scripture in
all, or nearly all, the grades of the school, the superintendent should
give a brief practical summing up of the practical points in the lesson;
but this review should not exceed five or six minutes in length. If the
pastor possesses the gift of terse, crisp speaking, this practical talk
may be given by him. In the schools adopting the graded courses of
lessons this review should be given in each department by the department
superintendent. Here again the adaptation to the point of view and needs
of the pupils of each grade can be made much more effective than in the
ungraded school.

(6) _Closing._ The superintendent should so carry out the program as to
close the session at the time appointed. An hour and a quarter is as
long as is profitable for the school; and everything that needs to be
done can be brought into that space. Often much time is lost by
unnecessary delays between the numbers on the program.

4. =Miscellaneous Duties.= Here are a few general suggestions, hints,
and "don'ts" for the superintendent, briefly stated:

(1) _Notebook._ Let the superintendent remember to obtain that notebook,
to keep it at hand, and to make use of it. Some pages at the end of the
book might be reserved for special suggestions gathered from books,
periodicals, and meetings.

(2) _Quiet._ Let him be careful not to make much noise during the
session, but to set an example--which will soon be felt--in favor of
quiet and orderly conduct. It is not at all certain that he needs a bell
for calling attention; but if he uses one, let it be a little, gentle,
quiet bell, held in the hand as a signal, and never rung vociferously
or repeatedly. Said a new superintendent as he tested the bell on
Saturday before assuming office, "What a magnificent bell this would be
for calling missionaries home from India!" But he never used it in the
school. One of the best superintendents of a generation ago was widely
known as "the silent superintendent." He was not deaf nor dumb, but his
manner was noticeably quiet, and his large Sunday school was always in
perfect order.

(3) _Early Lesson._ Let the opening service be short, so that the lesson
period--which is the important part of the program--may be reached while
the teachers and scholars are fresh and the air of the room is pure.

(4) _Use the Bible._ If a Scripture lesson is read by the superintendent
and school responsively, it should be from the Bible upon the desk or in
the hand of the leader, and not from a lesson quarterly. Encourage the
use of the Bible as a text-book and for reference. If the superintendent
always brings his own Bible, he can appeal to his teachers and scholars
to follow his example. With regard to the Scripture reading in the
opening service, it is the judgment of many thoughtful superintendents
that even in a school following uniform lessons the reading should not
be the lesson for the day, but a devotional portion of Scripture,
perhaps a selection from the Home Readings of the week. It is a good
plan for the first reading of the lesson for the day to be by the
teacher and the class together.

(5) _Lesson Period._ No interruption should be allowed to break into the
time assigned for class study, except under imperative necessity. The
teacher and the class should hold that period sacred to united study,
without being diverted from their task by secretary, librarian,
superintendent, or pastor. Said Bishop Vincent once, "I would like to
have suspended from the roof of the Sunday-school hall a series of great
glass half-globes, one for each class, to be dropped down over the
class, and kept there during the time reserved for the study of the

(6) _Speakers._ A visitor should rarely be invited or allowed to address
the school; never, unless the superintendent has sufficient knowledge to
be sure that he will speak briefly, interestingly, and pointedly. Before
the uniform lesson concentrated the studies of the Sunday school it was
the custom to invite almost any visitor to speak to the school; and many
were the wrongs inflicted upon the boys and girls in those good old days
by dull, loquacious Sunday-school orators. But almost everybody now
understands that the Sunday school is a working institution, and its
work must not be interrupted.

(7) _Self-control._ There will be times when the superintendent will
need to be on guard over himself; times when he feels depressed, or
melancholy, perhaps a little cross. If he yields to his natural
impulses, the school will soon perceive the state of his nerves, and
some scholars may even endeavor to add to his trials. At such times, let
him watch over himself mightily, and resolve, no matter how he feels, to
"keep sweet," to speak gently, and to look cheerful.

(8) _The Aim._ Lastly, one purpose should ever stand before the
superintendent, and should be the constant object of his endeavor--to
lead all his scholars into a personal, vital relation to Jesus as the
Christ, to bring them into union with the church, and to inspire them to
enter upon active Christian service.



1. =The Necessity.= In every Sunday school there is need of an officer
to aid the superintendent and to take his place when absent. Even in a
small school the supervision can be more thorough and the teaching more
efficient, if some one is at hand with authority to relieve the
superintendent of minor details, and give him freedom for the general
management. And in a large school assistants to the superintendent are
an absolute necessity, for each department becomes in itself a school.
There is need, therefore, of a general assistant to be the chief of
staff to the superintendent, and, in a large and well-organized school,
of a special assistant in each department.

2. =Titles.= Until recently, the assistant superintendent in most Sunday
schools was merely one of the teachers named to take the place of the
superintendent when absent, but with no duties when the head of the
school was present. In the complete organization that is now becoming
general, the office has been renamed, and its functions distinctly
assigned. The chief assistant to the superintendent is now generally
called the Associate Superintendent, a higher title for his important
and regular duties. The chief of each department in the Sunday school is
generally called Department Superintendent, that is, Primary Department
Superintendent, Senior Department Superintendent; and each department
superintendent has the same relation to his department that the
associate superintendent holds to the school.

3. =Appointment.= The associate superintendent should be nominated by
the superintendent and confirmed by the board of teachers and officers.
When two candidates are nominated for the office of superintendent, and
one obtains a majority, it is not wise to elect the minority candidate
as associate superintendent, unless he is entirely acceptable to the
newly chosen superintendent. The chief executive of the school should
not be compelled to find next to him a rival, who may be an uncongenial
worker, to carry out plans with which the latter may not be in accord.
In order to possess freedom in his policy the superintendent should
choose his own chief helper; but he should receive the confirmation of
his choice from his fellow workers in the school. The same plan of
nomination and confirmation should be followed in the choice of the
department superintendents. The associate and the department
superintendents should constitute the superintendent's cabinet, to be
called together often for consultation upon the interests of the school.

4. =Duties of the Associate Superintendent.= (1) _Not a Teacher._ Unless
the school be small, with less than a hundred members, the associate
superintendent should not at the same time be the regular teacher of a
class. He will find other work to occupy his time, both before and
during the session of the school. He may, however, hold himself ready to
act as substitute for an absent teacher.

(2) _Deputy Superintendent._ If for any reason the superintendent is
absent, his place should be taken promptly by the associate
superintendent. It should also be understood that if at the moment of
opening the school, or at any point in the general service, the
superintendent is not on the platform, the associate shall act as his
representative, without the slightest reflection upon the
superintendent's administration, the two being regarded in their work as

(3) _Providing Substitutes._ One definite duty of the associate
superintendent should be to provide substitutes for absent teachers,
relieving entirely the superintendent from that burdensome and
perplexing task. The teachers should permit no ordinary hindrance to
keep them from their classes, for no one can fully supply the place of a
true teacher in the regard of the scholars. But when a teacher finds it
necessary to be absent he should make strenuous endeavor to find a
substitute; and if unable to secure one, should notify, not the
superintendent, but the associate; and before the lesson period the
associate should have a supply ready.

If the school has been properly graded it will include a
Teacher-training Class; but under no circumstances should the associate
take one of its members as a supply teacher, even for one Sunday. This
class should remain untouched by the demand for teachers until its
members have completed the prescribed course. If there is a Reserve
Class, substitutes should be called from it in some order, preferably
alphabetical, so that the same members will not be taken too

Where the Sunday school is held in the afternoon or at noon, the
associate can generally provide for needy classes by watching at the
morning service for possible teachers. If he is compelled to look for
them in the Adult or Senior classes of the school, he should be present
early, and if possible obtain his supplies before the opening of the
school. If the associate superintendent has done his work, when the
lesson begins, every class will have a teacher seated before it, ready
for the Bible study. He should never wait until the time for opening the
lesson to see what classes need teachers, and then undertake to obtain
them by interrupting the teaching in three or four classes and calling
for volunteers, while the classes without teachers are listlessly
waiting, and valuable time is lost from the half-hour of the lesson
period. All this work should be done before the lesson, and, if
possible, before the opening of the school.

(4) _Assignment of New Scholars._ Another duty of the associate
superintendent is to meet new scholars and assign them to classes. For
this work he should be present early, meet the scholars as they come,
learn who the new scholars are, write down names, places of residence,
ages, parents' names, why they come; and prepare material for the card
catalogue under the secretary's care. Scholars bringing new members, and
teachers into whose classes they may come, should introduce them to the
associate superintendent, who should at once take charge of them. No new
scholar below the grade of Senior should choose his own class, although
his desire to be with friends should be considered, so far as it will
not interfere with the established system of classification. Some large
graded schools have a temporary class to which new pupils in the
Intermediate and Junior grades are assigned for a few sessions until
their permanent place can be fixed.

(5) _Detailed Supervision._ There are also minor duties wherein the
associate superintendent can be of great service. While the
superintendent is at the desk directing the general exercises, his
associate may be upon the floor, quietly observing the condition and
needs of the school. He can note where Bibles, song books, or lesson
quarterlies are needed, and can see that they are distributed without
interrupting the service. He can also give quiet attention to the order
of the school, calling to their duty boisterous, talking, or inattentive
scholars. For the superintendent to stop in announcing a hymn or reading
the Scripture, to rebuke some disorderly or thoughtless pupil, breaks
into the service and mars its dignity. The associate superintendent can
accomplish the desired result at the right moment by a light step and a
gentle word.

(6) _Chief of Staff._ In a word, the associate superintendent should be
the chief of staff to the executive head of the school, his eyes, ears,
and hand; possessing full acquaintance and accord with his plans, and
carrying them out in his name; informing and advising him, yet careful
of criticism; avoiding all that would hinder, and aiding in all that
would make his management successful. He can divide the labor, and
relieve his chief of some of the most perplexing and trying details,
leaving him free to watch over the general interests of the school.
Whoever can fulfill such a service is an invaluable worker, and should
be held in high honor.

Many of the duties named above may be in the sphere of the department
superintendent, who should be in his section what the associate
superintendent is to the school.



1. =Importance.= The secretary of the Sunday school is an officer of far
greater importance than is generally supposed. In too many schools some
youth in the adolescent period is made secretary, merely to keep him in
the school, without consideration of his capacity and adaptedness to the
office. As a result of an unsuitable appointment, the minutes of the
teachers' meetings are incomplete, the registry of the classes is
neglected, and the true condition of the school cannot be ascertained.
If by any good fortune or by a more careful choice an able and faithful
secretary takes his place, at once a new impulse is felt by the school.
The superintendent, the teachers, and even the scholars will realize
that energy, accuracy, and thoroughness count for much in the work of
this department. They will appreciate faithful service, and will
themselves respond to its influence.

2. =Qualifications.= The ideal secretary of a Sunday school should
possess the following characteristics:

(1) _A Business Man._ He should possess the instincts of a man of
business, being willing to work, systematic in method, and thorough in
care of details.

(2) _Regular in Attendance._ He should make the Sunday school his
business on Sunday, with a fidelity equal to that which he manifests
toward his vocation through the week. His regularity should also
embrace promptness, coming in advance of the hour; for much of the
secretary's work may be done before the opening of the service.

(3) _Good Writer._ He should be able to write legibly, and possess skill
in framing sentences correctly, and in writing them plainly, without
unnecessary flourishes.

(4) _Quick Mental Action._ His mental processes should be sufficiently
rapid for him to set down an ordinary motion, presented in a public
meeting, without requiring it to be repeated or written out by the
mover. An able recorder will promptly express in the minutes the form of
a motion or the spirit of a speech, thereby saving much time in the
meeting and much space in the report.

(5) _Quiet Manner._ The secretary should watch the program and do his
work without interrupting it. He should never appear among the classes
during prayer, during the reading of Scripture, or while a speaker is
addressing the school. Only under urgent necessity should he come to a
class in the lesson period, and in that case only at its beginning.
During intervals in the service, or during the singing, he may find it
needful at times to pass among the classes; but he should do this
necessary work quietly, without distracting the attention of the school.

(6) _Courteous Conduct._ His bearing should always be that of a
gentleman, refined and courteous, thoughtful of others and patient
toward all; a manner enabling him to win the friendly aid of every
teacher, upon whom the accuracy of the class record must depend.

Whoever can be found, in the school or the community, possessing these
qualities, or approaching them, should be chosen as secretary of the
Sunday school, whether man or woman. Often a young woman, accustomed
through the week to business methods, becomes an efficient secretary of
the Sunday school.

3. =Appointment.= The secretary should be elected by the board of
officers and teachers. As he is not merely an assistant to the
superintendent, but an officer of the school, it is not necessary that
he should receive a nomination from the superintendent. His term of
office should be one year, with as many reëlections as will promote the
good of the service.

4. =Assistants.= In almost any school the secretary will need an
assistant, whom he should nominate, subject to confirmation by the board
of teachers and officers.

5. =Department Secretaries.= In a graded Sunday school there should be
an assistant secretary for each department, who may be one of the
teachers, or in the Senior and Adult grades, one of the scholars. He
should take the records of the classes in the department and transmit
them to the secretary of the school. But the secretary is responsible
for the records of the entire school, and should see personally that the
record of each department is complete.

6. =Duties.= The work of the secretary may be classified as follows:

(1) _Record of Meetings._ As secretary of the board of teachers and
officers, he should be present at all business meetings and make a
careful record. Every motion should be stated clearly, with the names
of its mover and its seconder, and the action taken. A statement should
be given of every committee appointed, its purpose, and the names of its
members. All committees should be expected to present written reports,
however brief. A concise summary of each report, in a few sentences, or
a single clause, should appear in the minutes of the meeting at which
the report is presented; and the report itself should be filed for
reference in case it should be needed. A committee once named is on the
minutes, and cannot be ignored nor forgotten until its report has been
presented and adopted, and the committee has been formally discharged.
For example, it is not sufficient for the committee on the Christmas
entertainment to hold the entertainment; it must afterward report that
the entertainment was held on a certain date; must have its report
adopted, and receive its discharge. It should be the duty of the
secretary from time to time to call for reports of committees named in
the minutes of previous meetings, to insist that a report be rendered,
and that some action be taken upon it.

(2) _Record of the School._ In every well-ordered Sunday school the
secretary summarizes in writing the attendance in each department, the
total attendance, the number of new scholars, and other items to be
preserved, including the weather, which may sometimes account for a
small attendance; also a comparison with the record of the same Sunday
last year. This report should be read to the school by the secretary at
the call of the superintendent, or posted before the school; and it
should also be recorded in a book which will contain the statistics of
the school through a term of years.

(3) _Records of Classes._ The secretary and his assistants should
prepare the books in which the class record of attendance is recorded.
The name of each scholar should be given correctly and fully (for
example, not "F. Jones," but "Frederick Jones"). The secretary should
see that the record of attendance for each Sunday is accurately kept. He
will need to give special attention to classes where substitutes take
the place of absent teachers, and to see that the record for the day is
not neglected. As often as the arrangement of the class books requires
the rewriting of the names of the scholars, he should transcribe the
list, always writing every name in full. In looking through the class
lists he should note the names of those who have been absent for a
series of sessions, and should report them to the superintendent, for
consideration and for investigation of every habitual absentee. If these
scholars can be visited, many of them may be retained in the school.

(4) _Records of Scholars._ In addition to the record in the class books,
another record should be kept of every member of the school, including
every officer, teacher, and scholar; a card catalogue, each name upon a
separate card, and all the cards filed in alphabetical order. The card
for each scholar should give besides his name the date of his entrance
to the school, either the date of his birth or his age at
entering--approximative, if above eighteen years; his residence, with
street and number in a city; parents' names; class to which he is
assigned; his relation to the church or congregation, and any other
important facts. The card should contain the record of every promotion,
and its date; of any changes in residence, and other details, so that it
becomes a reliable and complete history of each individual in the
school. In many schools the birthday of each member is kept upon the
record, and is recognized by sending a birthday card. If a scholar or
teacher leaves the school the fact is recorded, and the card is then
taken from the regular catalogue and filed permanently in the list of
"former members."

(5) _Literature of the School._ The secretary should be in charge of the
literature used by the school, its text-books, lesson-quarterlies, and
other periodicals. He should see that the literature is ordered in full
time, should receive it, keep it in his care, and attend to its
distribution. The particular text-book for each grade is fixed by the
superintendent; and the secretary should receive from him direction as
to the lesson helps for each grade.

(6) _Correspondence._ The secretary should conduct all correspondence in
behalf of the school or of the teachers as a body, unless for a special
purpose the chairman of a committee be in charge of correspondence
relating to his work.

The secretary who with the aid of his staff undertakes to do all the
work that rises before him will not find his task a light one. But his
department carried on with vigor will greatly promote the success of the
Sunday school.



1. =In the Early Sunday School.= A study of origins has shown that in
the earliest Sunday schools in America, as in England, provision was
made for the payment of officers and teachers. In the first schools
established in and near Philadelphia, each paid teacher had charge of
what would now be considered a department, and the practical teaching
was given under his direction by scholars, who were called monitors. But
in a new country, where the settlements were small and the people mostly
poor, the system of paid teachers soon passed away, and the schools were
carried on by voluntary and unpaid workers. It was fortunate for the
American Sunday school that in its beginnings it required but little
money. For the place of meeting any chapel or schoolhouse or settler's
cabin would serve. The literature was exceedingly meager--a few
Testaments and spelling books, and generally these were brought by the
teachers and scholars. When the earliest lesson books were published,
they were not quarterlies, nor annuals, to be thrown away after one
using, but were studied year after year. The largest item of expense was
the library; and as this was an institution for the entire neighborhood,
the families willingly contributed toward it. Not until the Sunday
school had become thoroughly founded did the question of its financial
support arise as a problem.

2. =In the Modern Sunday School.= As the Sunday school advanced in
position, in influence, and in better methods of work, its expenses
naturally increased. Now, in the opening of its second century, its
financial requirements are far greater than they were even a generation
ago. It asks for special and suitable buildings, with rooms and
furnishings adapted to the educational needs of its several departments;
for a periodical literature suited to teachers and scholars of every
grade, and requiring to be renewed every year; for an organ or
piano--often for several, with an orchestra added; for an equipment of
song books different from those in the church service; for
entertainments and gifts at Christmas, and a day's outing for all in the
summer; for libraries containing popular books for the scholars and
helpful works for the teachers in their work. The demands of a large and
growing Sunday school, in city or country, are great, but in nearly all
congregations the funds for the support of the Sunday school are
obtained with less effort than those for any other department of church
activity, and in this liberality the Christian people show their wisdom
and insight.

3. =Practical Ways and Means.= The methods of financial support for the
Sunday school are exceedingly varied. The simplest plan is through a
regular weekly contribution in the classes. Where attention is given to
the collection, and an appeal is occasionally made in its behalf, the
school will generally obtain the funds needed for its own support. When
the special need arises for the purchase of a piano or a library, some
entertainment may be held which will by its profits swell the receipts.
The objection to these methods, which are almost universal, is that they
appeal to self-interest, and fail to educate the members of the school
in true liberality. It is for _our_ school, _our_ piano, _our_ library,
that the appeal is made and the money is contributed. The scholars
should be taught to give to the cause of Christ and his gospel, and not
merely to interests from which they themselves are to receive a reward.

4. =The Ideal Way of Giving.= The more excellent way is for the church
in its annual estimate of expenses to include a fair, even liberal,
allowance for the Sunday school, and at intervals through the year pass
over to the treasury of the Sunday school the funds appropriated, to be
expended according to principles and regulations provided. Then let
every officer, teacher, and pupil in the school, from the Adult
Department to the Primary, and even to the Beginners, make his own
weekly offering to the church. Most church schools contribute to the
cause of foreign missions; but there is equal reason why they should
give to all the general benevolent objects for which the church receives
an annual collection. This plan would unite the church and the school
more firmly, would avoid multiplying and conflicting objects for which
funds are raised, and, best of all, would train every child in the
Sunday school to systematic giving upon the true gospel principle, which
is "not to be ministered unto, but to minister."

5. =The Sunday-School Treasurer.= The work of the treasurer is very
different from that of the secretary; yet the two offices are often held
by one person. In that case they should be regarded as distinct
positions; the election to the two offices should be separate, and not
at the same time for one person as secretary and treasurer. At every
business meeting a separate report should be presented for the two
departments, and the treasurership should not be regarded as a branch of
the secretary's work. If the plan outlined in the last paragraph be
adopted as the method of providing for the financial needs of the Sunday
school, it might be well to choose the treasurer of the church as
treasurer of the Sunday school, thus giving unity to the financial
administration of the entire organization.

6. =The Treasurer's Work.= This will require a person who is known as
careful in accounts, as well as honorable in all his dealings.

(1) _His Charge._ All the funds of the Sunday school should pass through
his hands. If money is raised for any purpose, or a money-making
entertainment is held, the treasurer should take charge of the receipts
and pay the bills. For this purpose he should be ex officio a member of
all committees required to receive and disburse funds.

(2) _Bank Account._ Except in small and remote places, the treasurer
will find it desirable to keep an account with a bank in behalf of the
school, and deposit therein all moneys received. Under no circumstances
should he deposit Sunday-school funds as a part of his own private
account, but should keep separate accounts as an individual and as

(3) _Reports and Vouchers._ At each meeting of the governing board of
the school he should present a statement of the condition of the
treasury, with exact mention of all moneys received and paid since the
last meeting; and for every payment he should show a receipt or voucher,
and on it the "O. K." or approval of some qualified person who knows
that it is correct.

(4) _Bills._ He should receive all bills against the school, and should
inform himself concerning them, in order to be able to answer any
questions raised by members of the board. He should present at the
meeting a statement of all the unpaid bills on hand, with a forecast of
bills expected, and obtain a vote of the board upon each bill that is to
be paid.

(5) _Checks._ It is desirable to pay bills as far as possible with
checks, as the check will often serve as a receipt; and the receipted
bills should be filed together for reference.

(6) _Audits._ An Auditing Committee should be appointed, to examine the
accounts of the school from time to time, and always when the treasurer
completes his term, alike whether he is reëlected or gives place to a
successor. This committee should either present a written report, or
should sign their names to the treasurer's report, with the indorsement,
"Audited and found correct."

Most of the above recommendations, perhaps all of them, state the
methods that would be followed by any intelligent, businesslike
treasurer. But in the continent-wide area of the Sunday school, of
necessity, not all treasurers are intelligent or experienced in business
methods; and there are doubtless many who may profit by these

(7) _Study of Benevolent Interests._ One of the most important duties of
a treasurer in a modern Sunday school is to study the different
charitable objects that present themselves to the school, decide upon
their merits, and then present them understandingly to the members of
the school, with a view to eliciting their interest and training them in
the spirit and habit of intelligent giving. This important task raises
the treasurership out of mere mechanical service, and constitutes it one
of the directing forces in the school.



1. =The Library of the Past.= Until quite recent times the Sunday-school
library was understood to be a collection of books, mainly of an
entertaining character, kept in the school, distributed at its sessions,
and read by the scholars, for enjoyment rather than for instruction.
Such a library was regarded as an essential of the Sunday school.
However small or however poor the school, it must have a library. Books
were scarce, and desirable books were high in price. There were no free
public libraries, and few circulating libraries. The library was
regarded as the principal attraction of the school, and it drew the
scholars. Many children attended two Sunday schools in order to obtain
each week two library books. The books were read by all the family; and
in many homes the Sunday-school library furnished most of the reading
matter. The literature may not have been of the highest grade, but, with
all its defects, the Sunday-school library of the past was a useful and
valuable institution.

2. =Its Decline in the Present.= In recent times, and especially in
well-settled and cultured communities, the Sunday-school library has
lost much of its importance. Very many schools have closed their
libraries; and in the schools continuing their use only a small
proportion of the scholars obtain books. Inquiry has shown that in
cities and suburban towns a school of two hundred members will include
not more than thirty who make use of the library. When the library is
closed scarcely any complaints from the scholars are heard; nor is the
closing of the library followed by a loss of scholars. Publishing houses
which formerly issued fifty new books each year, especially for
Sunday-school libraries, have entirely abandoned this branch of
business. It cannot be maintained that the Sunday-school library for the
entertainment of the scholars now holds a prominent place, or is a
factor of success, in the best American Sunday schools.

3. =Causes of Decline.= It is not difficult to find reasons for this
present lack of interest in the Sunday-school library. Books are now far
more abundant than they were formerly. They are sold cheaply, and are to
be found in almost every home. The periodical literature in circulation
to-day is apparently a hundredfold greater than it was two generations
ago. Every city and almost every town has its public library. Many
schools are furnished with free libraries. Readers can scarcely find
time for the books and magazines that are open to them. Moreover, the
Sunday school now stands in such recognized honor and power that it no
longer needs the old-time library as a bait for scholars. The library
for mere recreation does not readily fit into the general scheme of
education in the modern Sunday school. Then, too, the educational work
of the school demands such an outfit of books and periodicals, renewed
each year, that the additional expense of the library is a heavy burden.
Sharp criticism is passed upon the quality of the books in most
Sunday-school libraries, as being almost wholly stories, and stories of
a cheap and commonplace character, many of them absolutely injurious.
The conducting of the library is often found to interfere with the order
and work of the school. These are among the causes which have led to
disuse of the library in many Sunday schools.

4. =The Uses of a Good Library.= Notwithstanding the objections to the
Sunday-school library, its neglect by many scholars, and its abolition
in many schools, the fact remains that the majority of Sunday schools
still retain the library, and claim that it is needed. There are even
places where the Sunday-school library holds its own constituency in
competition with the town library; and in small villages the Sunday
school supplies most of the books in circulation. The principal claims
made in behalf of such a library are the following:

(1) _Family Needs._ Every family needs good reading matter. The books
that interest the young generally interest the old also. People who
would be at a loss to select a book from the shelves of a public library
will read the book brought to them from the Sunday-school library. The
reading of the library-book fills leisure time on Sunday afternoons and
on long winter evenings.

(2) _Moral Influence._ While most Sunday-school books as literature are
open to criticism, yet in the realm of ethics they generally present
high ideals. The characters depicted in them may not be symmetrical, but
on the whole they are earnest and upright. Youth admires heroism; and
the personalities portrayed in popular Sunday-school books are
generally heroic, even though they may be unduly emotional. The boys who
are picked up by the police in railroad centers, armed for fighting
Indians or robbing trains, generally carry an assortment of cheap
novels, but they are not from Sunday-school libraries. If the criterion
be ethics and not literature, most Sunday-school books will stand the

(3) _Aid to the School._ As has been already suggested, the original aim
of the library was to attract scholars to the school. In many places
this influence is no longer needed; but there still remain communities
where scholars are obtained and families are interested by means of the
library. And it is an open question whether if the library had advanced
step by step with the other departments of the school, if the same
attention had been given to the supply and management of the library as
has been given to the educational work, if the right books had been kept
upon its shelves, and advanced methods had been sought in their
distribution, the library of the Sunday school might not still be a
vigorous and successful institution.

5. =Principles of Selection.= If the governing board of the school
decides that a library for general reading by the scholars is desirable,
the question at once arises as to what principles shall determine the
selection of books. A few of these principles may be stated:

(1) _Variety._ The library should represent more than one department of
literature. So general is the taste for stories that the tendency will
be inevitable to overload the library with works of fiction. Therefore
special care should be given to include in it the lives of great and
good men--heroes, statesmen, explorers, leaders of the church, and
missionaries. All of these present life on its romantic side, and may be
found written in an entertaining manner. Upon the shelves should also be
placed history and science--not in many-volumed treatises for scholars,
but in popular books for young people. In fact, there are few
departments of a good public library which may not properly be included
in the library of the Sunday school, especially in places where the
school is expected to supply the reading matter for the community.

(2) _Popularity._ Merely to place books on the shelves of a
Sunday-school library will not insure the reading of them. This library
aims to be emphatically a circulating library. Its books are not for
show, but for use; and their place to be seen is not on the shelves of
the library-room, but in the homes of the scholars and teachers. It is
absolutely essential that no book be placed in the library unless it is
sufficiently interesting to be taken out and read, for an unread book is
worse than useless in the Sunday-school library. Although its principles
be as sound as the Ten Commandments, if it be dull it must be condemned.
Students may be willing to plod through an uninteresting book because it
is profitable, but ordinary readers, especially youthful readers, will
turn from it. Books should not be purchased because they are good, or
because they are cheap; nor, on the other hand, should they be chosen
only because they are popular; yet an interesting, popular quality
should be an absolute requirement in every book placed upon the library

(3) _Literary Quality._ Books are influential teachers, and a style like
that of Hawthorne or Eliot will unconsciously mold the language of those
who read it. On the other hand, the habitual readers of the slang in the
comic paragraph of the newspaper will talk in a careless and inelegant
manner. Of course, all books should be excluded from the library which
deal in low, profane, or immoral language, without regarding the
specious plea that such describe life as it is. We do not need to learn
the language of the slums to know life; and, as one writer has said, we
do not want a realism that can be touched only with a pair of tongs. The
best pirate story in the English language is one that is without an oath
from cover to cover,[10] and we would not exclude it from the
Sunday-school library. Let us seek for writers whose expression is
direct, smooth, and cultured. The Sunday school in its literature as
well as its teaching should lead upward toward refinement of taste.

(4) _Moral Teaching._ The ethical standard of every book in the
Sunday-school library should be of the highest. Not that every paragraph
should end with the application like the _Hæc fabula docet_ of Æsop's
fables, or that the characters in a story should be of a "goody-goody"
kind, or that none but good people should appear upon the page. There
must be some shadows in the perspective that the light may stand in
contrast. But in no case should wrong, or sin, or the doubtful
moralities of modern society be made attractive. Moral problem stories,
in which the boundary lines of right and wrong conduct are crossed and
re-crossed until right seems wrong, and wrong seems right, should have
no place. "Should love stories be admitted?" Not if the element of love
enters as the dominant thought of the book. A story should not be
forbidden because there is a pair of lovers in it; but it should not be
accepted if the book shows no higher motive than to set forth their
passion. Books should be sought that will inculcate a noble manliness
for young men and a noble womanliness for young women, and there are
such books in numbers sufficient to fill the library shelves.

(5) _Christian Spirit._ It is not required that every book should set
forth and illustrate a spiritual experience. It may be religious without
preaching religion. But the morals it inculcates should be founded upon
the gospels and inspired by faith. It should be reverent in its
treatment of the Bible, of the church, and of the ministry. A book or a
story designed to weaken belief in the Scriptures as records of the
divine will, or holding the church up to scorn, or showing a minister as
its villain, should be kept out of the Sunday-school library. Criticism
or discussion of the Bible, of the church, and of the ministry has its
place, but its place is not in the Sunday school. The Sunday school is
distinctively a religious and a Christian institution, and the
atmosphere of the Christian religion should pervade its library.

6. =The Coming Sunday-School Library.= Another library of a higher type
than that designed for the reading and recreation of the scholars is now
arising to notice in many advanced Sunday schools, and is destined to
become the Sunday-school library of the future, either supplementing the
library of the past or taking its place. It is the library which is to
the Sunday school what the college library is to the college, a workshop
equipped with tools for the use of the teacher and the scholar. It will
be at once a reference library, containing the best Bible dictionaries,
cyclopedias, expository works, and gospel harmonies, open at certain
times for the use of students; and also a lending library of books upon
the Bible, upon the Sunday school, upon teaching, upon religion, upon
character, and upon the varied forms of social service which are now
calling for workers, and will call yet more imperatively in the coming
years. The books for this library must be chosen with wisdom; for they
should represent the results of the best scholarship, yet be expressed
in language that the nonprofessional reader can understand; and many of
them must be for the scholars, who are of all ages and all degrees of
intelligence. Those of the Primary Department should be able to find in
such a library the stories of the Bible told in such a fascinating
manner that a child too young to read them may listen to them with
interest, and picture-books illustrating the events, the people, the
dress, and the landscape of the Bible. It should be planned to meet the
needs of every grade in the Sunday school, and to aid every teacher and
every scholar; and when established it should be made effective in the
educational work of the school. Just as in the secular school and the
college students are sent to the library with directions as to the books
they will need, so in the Sunday school teachers will be able to counsel
their scholars and to give them week-day work, so that the teaching will
be more than the talk of the teacher; it will embrace the results of
searching on the part of the scholar. Under the system of uniform
lessons the use of such a library was well-nigh impracticable, because
every class would need the same books at one time. But the uniform
lessons are being rapidly displaced by the graded system, giving to each
grade its own series of lessons; and this method, requiring different
books for each age in the school, will open the way for reference work
and study in the library. The time is at hand when such a working
library will become a necessity in every well-organized school.

7. =The Public Library and the Sunday School.= It would seem that
wherever the public library is free, available, and well conducted some
arrangement might be effected whereby the Sunday-school libraries could
be united with the public library. This would lessen expense and
difficulty in management, would avoid the unnecessary reduplication of
copies of the same books, and would give to the scholars at once a wider
selection and the advantage of the open shelf. In more than one town
this has been accomplished. The Sunday schools have transferred all
their libraries to the public library, to its enlargement, and with no
loss of members to the schools. Some Sunday schools in cities have been
recognized as branch stations of the public library, giving them the
benefit of frequent changes in the equipment of books, which at regular
intervals are selected from the store of the public library by the
library committee of the school. The working library for teachers and
scholars, proposed in the last paragraph, in many places might be
established in the public library, wherever the schools in the community
will unite to show that it is needed, to name the books required, and to
make it practically useful.


[10] R. L. Stevenson's Treasure Island.



1. =Library Committee.= For the selection of books, whether in the
reading library for scholars or the working library for teachers and
scholars, a wise, intelligent, and careful committee should be chosen,
and should be maintained in permanent service. The pastor and the
superintendent should be ex-officio members of this committee, but it
should also include some other persons sufficiently acquainted with
books to pass upon their merits, and willing to give time, inquiry, and
thought to the library. There may be schools fortunate in possessing
librarians who devote themselves to the selection of books, as well as
to the care of them; and in such schools the library committees will
find their labors lessened. No book should be admitted to the library
without examination and approval by the committee.

(1) _Purchase of Books._ The simplest method for finding books is far
from being the best method. It is to have a quantity of books--a hundred
or more at one time--sent by booksellers on approval. This method
involves hasty examination, and generally results in obtaining many
useless, worthless books intermixed with a few good ones. The better
plan is for the committee, first of all, to be supplied with catalogues
from reputable publishers of books for children and young people, and
also books on religious and biblical education; next to read carefully
the reviews of books in these departments as given in the best literary
and religious periodicals; then, to send only for such books as they
judge will be desirable, receiving them on approval. Every book should
not only be looked at, but read; and if at all doubtful read by more
than one member of the committee. In some Sunday schools there is placed
at the door a library box, in which may be deposited the names of books
desired by members of the school. Lists of approved books are published
by various houses and societies; and the catalogues of a few good
Sunday-school libraries will aid committees. The library committee must
scrutinize closely all donations of books offered to the library, and
resolutely decline every book that is unsuitable, even at the risk of
offending the donor. The Sunday-school library room must not be turned
into a mausoleum for dead volumes. The committee must also beware of
bargains offered by some booksellers who would unload upon Sunday
schools their left-over and unsalable stock. That which costs little is
generally worth less. The Sunday school must obtain only books that will
be read and are worth reading.

(2) _Frequent Additions._ The usual method is to use the old library
until its best books are either worn out or lost, and then to make a
strenuous effort at raising money for the purchase of an entirely new
collection. But the better plan is to add a few carefully selected books
each month to the library. To examine at one time two hundred volumes is
an impossibility, and in so large a purchase many undesirable books are
sure to be included. It is not difficult to select after careful
examination ten books each month, and thereby keep the library always at
a high grade of excellence. With each purchase a slip describing the new
books might be printed, and distributed to the school, thus keeping the
library constantly before its patrons.

2. =The Librarian.= There is a close analogy between the work of the
librarian in the public library and that in the Sunday school. For the
public library everywhere a specialist is sought, one who knows books,
can select them wisely, and can aid seekers after literature in their
reading. The Sunday school needs just such a librarian, and all the more
because the scholars cannot select from the open shelf, but must guess
at the quality of a book from its title in the catalogue. It has been
noticed that wherever a Sunday-school library is successful in holding
the interest of the scholars there is found with it a librarian adapted
to his work and devoting himself to it. We notice the characteristics of
a good librarian in the Sunday school:

(1) _A Bookman._ He is a lover of books, acquainted with them, and
interested in good literature. His work is more than to distribute
books: he should aid, sometimes supervise, their collection.

(2) _A Business Man._ He is practical, orderly, and systematic in his
ways of working; with a plan for his task, and fidelity in accomplishing

(3) _Gentle in Manner._ Opportunities will be frequent for the librarian
to clash with the scholars on the one hand, or with the superintendent
upon the other. With one he may appear arbitrary, with the other
disorderly, his work sometimes breaking into the program of exercises.
He should be pleasant toward all, uniform in his dealings, and attentive
to the general order of the school.

3. =His Assistants.= In most schools one assistant, in large schools
several assistants, will be required by the librarian. He should
nominate them, subject to the approval of the governing board of the
school; and should require of them regular and prompt attendance, and
attention to their work in the library. It is very desirable that the
business should be so arranged as to allow the librarians to take part
in the opening devotional service with the school, and not to be at work
arranging books while others are at prayer.

4. =The Management of the Library.= This involves four processes: the
collection, the assignment, the distribution, and the return of the

(1) _The Collection._ The books can easily be collected without
interfering with the order of the school, if the library window is near
the entrance to the building, and the scholars as they enter leave their
books at the library. This is the method employed in most schools.

(2) _The Assignment._ How to enable each scholar to choose his book
introduces one of the three problems in library management. The plan
generally followed is to supply each scholar with a card bearing a
number which represents the scholar. He selects from the catalogue a
large assortment of books, and writes their numbers upon his card: the
librarian assigns the scholar any one of the books selected, crosses it
from his list, and upon another list marks the number of the book
opposite the number of the scholar. The weakness of the plan is in the
fact that the scholar has no means of learning from the catalogue what
books are desirable; and a book desired by one may be entirely
undesirable to another. Theoretically the scholar has the whole
catalogue from which to choose; practically he has no choice, except the
suggestion in the titles of the books. The open-shelf plan cannot be
established in the Sunday school, for the room is usually too small, the
time of the session is too brief, and the work of the school too
important to allow interruption.

In some graded Sunday schools another plan is pursued, taking from the
scholar all choice, but assigning to each grade books of certain
numbers, all printed upon the card of the scholar, any one of which
books he may receive at any time during his stay in the grade, but each
of which will fall to his lot but once. This plan demands a library of
books carefully selected, and as carefully fitted to each grade in the
school. But this method is apt to be unsatisfactory to the scholars, who
have their own preferences among the books. The difficulties in
assigning books, and disappointments of scholars in failing to obtain
the books desired, is a frequent cause for the disuse of the library;
and this problem has not as yet been fully solved.

(3) _The Distribution._ This takes place at the close of the school, and
brings in the second problem of library management. The books may be
brought to the classes by the librarians, and distributed by the
teachers; each scholar's book being indicated by his card placed within
it. This method often causes confusion; scholars being dissatisfied
with their books and leaving their classes press around the library.
Sometimes they exchange books with each other. This is a simple plan as
far as the two scholars exchanging are concerned, but sure to make
trouble in the record of the librarian. Or each class may be dismissed
in turn, and obtain its books at the library window while passing out.
But this plan causes a congestion of scholars at the library, and also
requires much time. To manage the distribution of books demands a strong
will, coupled with a gentle manner in maintaining the library rules.

(4) _The Return._ The theory of the Sunday-school library is that each
scholar will bring his book back after a week or two weeks. But boys and
girls--sometimes older scholars also--are apt to be careless. Books are
exchanged between scholars, are loaned from one home to another, are
forgotten, and are lost. And the books lost most readily are frequently
those that are most sought for by the scholars. How to induce scholars
invariably to return their books constitutes the third problem of
library management. In many schools the percentage of lost books is
exceedingly large. The librarian should do his utmost to reduce the loss
to a minimum. To this end a few suggestions may be given:

(a) Record of Scholars. Every scholar's name and address, with his
library number, should be kept on record in the library; and every
effort should be made to make the record conform to all changes in

(b) Record Sheet. The library should contain a record sheet, showing
the number of every book issued, and the number of the scholar receiving
it; to be canceled when the book is returned. This will show who is
responsible for every book out of its place from the library.

(c) Fines. A fine should be assessed upon the scholar for every book
kept over time; and notice sent to the scholar at his home when a fine
has become due.

(d) Rewards. Scholars should be paid a reward, perhaps of ten cents for
each book, if they can succeed in tracing and finding any book which has
been out of the library two months or more. These plans, or others, may
lessen, but no plan will entirely remove, the evil of books lost to the
library through neglect or a worse crime.



While the superintendent in the school is the moving and guiding
intelligence, the pulse of the machine, the teacher in the class is the
worker at the anvil, or the loom, or the lathe, for whom all the plans
are made, and upon whom all the success depends. In the warfare for
souls he is on the picket line and at close range, fighting face to face
and hand to hand. The sphere of his effort is small, that group gathered
around him for an hour on Sunday, but in that little field his is the
work that counts for the final victory. His task requires peculiar
adaptedness, supplemented by special training.

1. =His Qualifications.= There are on the American continent not less
than a million and a half Sunday-school teachers, who give to the gospel
their free-will offering of time, and toil, and thought. They are not
like civil engineers or the majority of public-school teachers,
graduates of schools that have given them training for a special
vocation. In every respect they are laymen, engaged for six days in
secular work, and on one day finding an avocation in the Sunday school.
Yet there are certain traits, partly natural and partly acquired, which
they must possess, if they are to find success in their Sabbath-day

(1) _A Sincere Disciple._ The Sunday-school teacher must be a follower
of Christ, not merely in profession but in spirit. He is one who has met
his Lord, has heard and has obeyed the call, "Follow me." He enlisted in
the grand army of which Christ is the Commander, before he received his
assignment to the army corps of the Sunday school, and his fidelity to
the department is inspired by his deeper loyalty to his Lord. It is
eminently desirable that the Sunday-school teacher should be a member of
the church; but it is imperative that he should be a disciple of Christ.

(2) _A Lover of Youth._ By far the largest proportion of scholars in the
Sunday school, perhaps nine tenths, are under twenty-five years of age.
Therefore, with few exceptions, the teachers must deal with young
people; and youth at all its stages is not easy to understand and to
manage. Moreover, the fact that not only the teachers, but to a large
extent the scholars, are volunteers enters into the problem. Pupils
attend the week-day school and submit to a teacher's rule because they
must, whether their teachers are acceptable or are disliked. But the
rule in the Sunday school is not the law of authority; it is the law of
persuasion. The teacher who cannot draw his scholars, but repels them,
soon finds himself without a class. In all teaching sympathy, or the
coördination between the interest of the teacher in the pupil and of the
pupil in the teacher, is a strong factor in success; but in the Sunday
school it is an absolute necessity by reason of the voluntary element in
the constitution of the Sunday school. That mystic power which will
combine uncongenial spirits, and fuse the hearts of teacher and scholar
into one, is love. Let the teacher love his scholars, let him see in
each pupil some quality to inspire love, and the battle is half won.
Love will quicken tact, and love and tact together will win the complete

(3) _A Lover of the Scriptures._ Whatever the Sunday school of to-morrow
may become, the Sunday school of to-day is preëminently a Bible school.
There are tendencies in our time which may in another generation render
the Bible less prominent, and introduce into the Sunday school studies
in church history, in social science, in moral reform, in missions,
perhaps in comparative religion, or in some other departments of
knowledge. But as yet the great text-book of the school is the Holy
Scriptures. The volume should be in the hand of every teacher and of
every scholar during the school session; and the teacher, especially,
must study it during the week. If all of the Bible that he knows is
contained in the paragraphs assigned for the coming lesson, and the rest
of the book is sealed to his eyes, he will be a very poor teacher. He
needs to have his mind stored with a thousand facts, and to have these
facts systematized, in order to teach ten; and the nine hundred and
ninety which he knows will add all their weight to the ten which he

(4) _A Willing Worker._ The teacher's love for Christ, for his scholars,
and for his Bible is not to expend itself in emotion or even in study;
it is to find expression in efficient service. A task is laid upon him
which will demand much of his time and his power of body, mind, and
spirit. He must be ready to meet his class fifty-two Sundays in the
year: on days of sunshine and days of storm; when he is eager for the
work, and when he is weary in it; when his scholars are responsive, and
when they are careless; when his fellow workers are congenial, and when
they are anti-pathetic; when his lesson is easy to teach, and when it is
hard. He must be regular in his service, not turned aside by
opportunities of enjoyment elsewhere; and he must give to it all his
powers and all his skill. Work such as this can be sustained only by an
enduring enthusiasm, a devotion to the cause; and therefore the teacher
must have his heart enlisted as well as his will.

As a Sunday-school teacher, then, four harmonious objects will claim a
share in his love: his Lord, his scholars, his Bible, and his work.

2. =His Need of Training.= For two generations it was supposed that any
person fairly intelligent, without special equipment, was fitted to be a
Sunday-school teacher. There are found no records of training classes in
Sunday-school work earlier than 1855, when the Rev. John H. Vincent
began to gather young people and train them for service in his Sunday
school at Irvington, New Jersey. The seed of his "Palestine Class" grew
into the "Normal Class"; and by 1869 there were in a few places classes
for the teaching of teachers in the Bible and Sunday-school work. It is
not remarkable that Sunday-school teacher-training should be delayed so
long after the organization of the first Sunday school, when it is
remembered that in America the first Normal School for secular teachers
was not founded until 1839. The Chautauqua movement, begun in 1874, gave
a strong impetus to Sunday-school teacher-training; the state
associations and denominational organizations took up the work; and now
teacher-training classes are to be found in every state and province on
the American continent. The thoroughly graded school includes in its
system a class for the training of young people who are to be teachers.

It is late in the day to inquire why the Sunday-school teacher needs
training; but the question is often asked, and the answers are ready:

(1) _The General Principle._ All good work involves the prerequisite of
training. Especially is this true of teaching; and there is a reason why
the principle holds with regard to the Sunday-school teacher even more
directly than with the secular teacher. While the subjects of teaching
are vitally important, relating to character and efficient service, the
time for teaching is short, less than an hour each week, in contrast to
the twenty or twenty-five hours in the week-day school. To make an
impression in so short a teaching period, with such long intervals
between the lessons, demands that the teacher be one who possesses
exceptional fitness for his work, and this superior fitness cannot be
obtained without special and thorough training.

(2) _The Teacher's Responsibility._ All-important as is the work of
religious teaching, for which the Bible is the chief text-book in the
church, there is but one institution in our time charged with that
mighty duty, and that is the Sunday school. The Bible is rarely taught
in the home, which should be the first place for teaching it; it is only
incidentally taught in the pulpit, of which the aim is not so much
instruction as inspiration. Practically all the teaching of the Bible
now devolves upon the Sunday school, and the Sunday school only. If the
Sunday schools of the world for one generation should fail to teach the
word of life, the knowledge of that word would well-nigh cease. And the
one person charged with that task, the one on whom the responsibility
rests, is the Sunday-school teacher. He who is intrusted with so great a
work, and upon whose fidelity the work depends, must have a proper
equipment; and that equipment presupposes training.

(3) _The Demand of the Age._ We are living in an intellectual age,
unparalleled in the history of the world. The boundaries of knowledge in
every direction have widened, and in each realm the search is deeper and
more thorough. Such wealth has been added through recent investigations
to the store of Bible knowledge that most commentaries, expositions, and
introductions of the past have now but slight value. Another exceedingly
important realm that has been added to the domain of knowledge is that
of child study, but recently an unexplored field, now open to every
reader. In such a time as this the teacher who would impart the contents
of the Bible to the young must have eyes and mind opened. He must know
the results of modern investigation in the Scriptures and in the nature
of those whom he teaches. His pupils are under the care of trained and
alert specialists through the week; they must receive instruction from
well-taught minds in the Sunday school.

(4) _The Teacher and His Class._ The peculiar relation already referred
to as existing between the Sunday-school teacher and his class presents
another incentive to training. His relation is not like that of the
secular teacher, who speaks with authority, and can command attention
and study. The teacher in Sunday school cannot require his scholars to
learn the lesson; the authority of the parent is rarely employed to
compel home study; and as a result most of our scholars come to the
Sunday school unprepared. This is not the ideal or the ultimate
condition, but unfortunately it is still the real condition in at least
nine out of ten Sunday-school classes. This condition makes the demand
upon the teacher all the greater. Because his scholars are unprepared he
must be all the better prepared. He must be able to awaken and arouse
his pupils; he must inspire them to an interest in the lesson; he must
so teach as to lead them into knowledge of the truth and a desire to
seek it for themselves. Anyone can teach the scholar who is eager to
learn; but to teach those who come to the class unprepared and careless,
to send them away with a clear-cut understanding of the lesson, and an
awakened intelligence and conscience--all this, under the conditions of
the Sunday-school teacher's task, and in his peculiar relation to his
scholars, requires not only ability, but also thoroughly trained

In view of all these considerations, it is not surprising that at the
opening of the twentieth century the demand of the Sunday schools
everywhere is for better teaching, and for teachers who have themselves
been taught and are able to teach others.



1. =The Training Needed.= Many faithful workers in the Sunday school
realize their need of preparation; but, while conscious of unfitness,
they have no clear conception of the equipment which they require. What
are those fields of knowledge which should be traversed by one who has
been called to teach in the Sunday school? They comprise four
departments: (1) the Book, (2) the scholar, (3) the school, and (4) the

(1) _The Book._ We have already noted that the Sunday school is
differentiated from other systems of education in the fact that it uses
mainly but one text-book, the Holy Scriptures. For that reason the
teacher must first of all acquaint himself as thoroughly as possible
with the contents of that wonderful volume. He should be a twentieth
century Bible student; not a student or a scholar according to the light
of the Middle Ages, or the seventeenth century, or even of the first
half of the nineteenth century; for in all those periods the aims, the
methods, and the scope of Bible study were different from those of the
present time. He who is to teach the Bible successfully to-day must have
some knowledge of the Bible in the following aspects:

(a) Its Origin and Nature. He must have a definite idea of how the
sixty-six books of Scripture were composed, written, and preserved;
and, as far as may be known, who were their authors.

(b) Its History. The Bible is, more than anything else, a book of
history, containing the record of a people who received the divine
revelation and preserved it. The divine revelation cannot be taught nor
comprehended unless the annals of that remarkable people, the
Israelites, be first read and understood. Therefore biblical history
should be the first subject to be studied by the teacher in the Sunday
school. The leading facts and underlying principles of that unique
history must be understood; not in an outline of minute details, but as
a general landscape, in which each lesson of the Bible will take its

(c) Its Geographical Background. The Bible brings before us a world of
natural features which remain--seas, mountains, valleys, and plains; a
world of political divisions which has passed away; its empires,
kingdoms, and tribal relations; and cities and towns, some of them now
desolate, others in poverty and in ruin. The teacher who is to instruct
his pupils must be able to see those abiding elements, and by the aid of
his historical imagination to reconstruct those that have changed. He
must make that ancient world of the Bible roll like a panorama before
the eyes of his mind.

(d) Its Institutions. Upon every page of the Bible are stamped pictures
of manners, customs, institutions, forms of worship, that are unfamiliar
to our Christian, Anglo-Saxon, modern world. The teacher must become
familiar with this local color of another civilization, and enable his
class to see it through his eyes.

(e) Its Ethical and Religious Teaching. In the past, and until a
generation ago, the Bible was studied only for its doctrines. It was
generally treated as one book, all written at once and by one author;
its history, biography, institutions, were passed over as unimportant;
while every sentence was searched for some light upon theology. From the
Bible, by assorting and grouping its texts out of every book, a system
of doctrine was constructed; and the mastery of this system with its
proof-texts was regarded as the principal work of the Bible student.
That method of Bible study has justly fallen into disuse among modern
scholars. The Bible is now looked upon as a record of life rather than
as a treasury of texts. Yet its stream of ethical, religious, and
spiritual teaching must be found and followed by the student who is to
teach the truth; and the doctrines revealed through the Bible should be
regarded as a necessary part of his training.

(2) _The Scholar._ One book must be studied closely by the teacher, and
that is his pupils. During the last thirty years human nature in all its
stages, as child, as youth, during adolescence, and in maturity--especially
in the earlier periods--has been investigated as never before. The
student in our time can enter into the results of special study upon
these subjects. He needs to know what the best books can give him of
child study and mind study; and to supplement book-knowledge in this
department with watchful eyes and close thought upon the traits which he
finds in his own scholars.

(3) _The School._ The teacher in the Sunday school needs to understand
the institution wherein he is a worker. The Sunday school is like the
week-day school, yet unlike it; and the teacher must be able to
appreciate at once what he can follow and what he should avoid in the
methods of the secular school. The history of the Sunday-school
movement, its fundamental principles, its organization, officers,
methods of management, and aims--all these are in the scope of the
teacher's preparation.

(4) _The Work._ Whether on Sunday or on Monday, a teacher is after all a
teacher, and the laws of true teaching are the same in a Sunday school,
in a public school, and in a college. The application of those laws may
vary according to the ages of pupils, the subjects of instruction, and
the aims of the institution, but the principles are unchanging. Those
enduring principles of instruction are well understood, are set down in
text-books, and can easily be learned by a student. There are successful
teachers who know these principles by an intuition that they cannot
explain; but most people will save themselves from many mistakes and
comparative failure by a close study of modern educational methods.

In some way knowledge in all these four great departments of training
should be obtained by the teacher, if possible, before he enters upon
his task; but if he has missed earlier opportunities of preparation he
must acquire this knowledge even while he is teaching. The outlines of
such a course of study should be given in the training class for young
people; and such a training class should be regarded as essential to
every well-organized school.[11]

2. =The Teacher's Task.= All the preparation briefly outlined in these
last paragraphs is only preparatory to the work which the teacher is to
do in his vocation. The task set before the teacher is fourfold:

(1) _As a Student._ The studies named above are not completed when the
teacher has passed out of the training class with a certificate of
graduation. The public-school teacher who ceases to study after
finishing the course of the normal school is foredoomed to failure. The
training class or the training school has only outlined before the
teacher the fields to be traversed, and shown him a few paths which he
may follow. He who has undertaken to teach a group of scholars, whether
in the Beginners Department, the Senior Department, or any grade between
them, must continue his studies, in the Bible, in the specific course of
graded lessons which he is teaching, and in general knowledge; for there
is no department of thought or action which will not bring tribute to
the teacher, to be turned into treasure for his class. The Sunday-school
teacher must ever maintain an open mind, a quick eye, and a spirit eager
for knowledge. His accumulation will prove a store upon which to draw
for teaching; and even that unused will give its weight to truth
imparted to his class.

(2) _As a Friend._ The teacher is more than a student dealing with
books; he is a living soul in contact with living souls. If the most
masterly lesson teaching in the realm of thought could be spoken into a
phonograph, and then ground out before a class, it would fail to teach,
for it would utterly lack the human element. Knowledge counts for much
in teaching, but personality counts for far more. If a teacher is to be
successful he must have a close relationship with his class. They must
know him, he must know them, and there must be a common interest, nay, a
common affection, between the two personalities of teacher and pupil. He
must be a friend to each one of his scholars, schooling himself, if need
be, to friendship; and each of his scholars must be made to realize that
his teacher is his friend. This personal affection need not always be
stated in words. The teacher who constantly assures his scholars that he
loves them will not be believed as readily as the one who shows his love
in his spirit and his acts, even though he may refrain from affectionate
forms of speech.

(3) _As a Teacher._ Teaching requires more than the possession of an
abundant store of information upon any subject. He is not a teacher who
simply pours forth upon the ears of his pupils an undigested mass of
facts, however valuable those facts may be. The true teacher after large
preparation assorts his material, and selects such matter as is
appropriate to his own class. This he arranges in a form to be readily
received, thoroughly comprehended, and easily remembered. He comes
before his class with the fixed purpose that every pupil shall carry
away with him a knowledge of the lesson, and shall not forget it. He
must awaken the pupil's attention; for talking to an inattentive group
of people accomplishes no more than preaching to tombstones in a
graveyard. He must obtain the coöperation of the pupil's interest, and
induce him to think upon the subject. He must call forth from his pupil
some expression of his thought in language, for one is never sure of his
knowledge until he has shaped it into words; and that which the pupil
has stated he is much surer to remember than that which he has merely
heard. Teaching, then, involves (1) selection of material, (2)
adaptation of material, (3) presentation of truth, (4) awakening
thought, (5) calling forth expression, (6) fixing knowledge in the

(4) _As a Disciple._ It is the teacher's task not only to impart to his
scholars valuable information about the Bible, about God, about Christ,
and about salvation; but, far more than imparting an intellectual
knowledge, to bring the living word into relation with living souls, to
inspire a fellowship of his pupils with God, to have Christ founded
within them, to make salvation through Christ their joyous possession.
Nor is his work as a working disciple accomplished when all his scholars
have become Christians in possession and profession, and members of
Christ's Church. By his example and his teachings he should lead them to
efficient service for Christ in the church, in the community, and in the
state. There is work for every member in the church, and work for
everyone possessing the spirit of Christ in the community. Whatever may
have been the type of a saint in the twelfth century, or in the
sixteenth, or even in the early nineteenth century, in these stirring,
strenuous years of the twentieth century the disciple of Christ is a man
among men or a woman among women, active in the effort to make the world
better, and to establish in his own village, or town, or ward of the
city, the kingdom of heaven on earth. To inspire his scholars for such
labors, and to lead them, is the supreme opportunity and work of the


[11] For detailed methods and plans, see the volume of this series on
The Training of Sunday School Teachers.



1. =Relation to the Community.= The Sunday school is a temple built of
living stones; and the quarry from which they are taken in the rough, to
be cut and polished for their places in the building, is the entire
community in which the school is placed. In our time, more than ever
before, the reasons are imperative why special study should be given to
the community from which the school must draw its members. Certain
principles of administration will become apparent when once the field is
carefully considered.

(1) _Constituency Adjacent._ The population from which a given Sunday
school draws its members must be generally that immediately around it.
Some teachers and scholars may come from a distance, but even in this
age of convenient transit by trains and trolley cars, it is found that,
taking the church building as a center, the constituency of the Sunday
school in a city is mostly within a radius of half a mile, and in the
country within a mile. Throughout that sphere of influence the church
should look well to the population, should know its proportionate
elements, as far as possible should come into acquaintance with the
families, and should plan to win, to evangelize, and to hold all its
natural following.

(2) _Membership Representative._ Upon general and almost invariable
principles, the Sunday school should represent all the elements of the
population within its environment. If it be a residence section with
isolated houses, each containing but one family of well-to-do people,
the church is apt to be a family church, and a large Sunday school must
not be looked for, since large mansions rarely contain large families.
If, on the other hand, the neighborhood be populous, characterized by
varied strata of society--a few rich, a goodly number fairly prosperous,
and a greater mass of wage-earners, yet the section as a whole American
and not foreign in its civilization--then a flourishing, active, and
growing Sunday school should be expected. And it should embrace all
these elements, the rich, the middle class, and the wage-earners, in the
proportion which each bears to the community as a whole. If the school
in such a population be small, or if it be composed exclusively of one
class, whether it be the so-called better class or the mission class,
there is a serious error in its policy. The true Sunday school should be
representative of all the elements in the population. It is both a crime
and a blunder to limit the efforts of a Sunday school to one class of
society: a crime, because such a school leaves multitudes around it to
perish; and a blunder, because the effort results in an anæmic,
dwindling, dying institution.

(3) _Methods Adapted._ Almost every community, whether in city or in
country, possesses some traits peculiar to itself. There may be two
towns ten miles apart, one the wealthy residential suburb of a city, the
other a settlement surrounding a great factory. The population of these
two places will be in marked contrast, and the methods of Christian
work successful in one will utterly fail in the other. One street or
avenue in a city may mark the boundary line between family churches and
mission churches. Within ten minutes' walk of each other may stand two
churches of the same denomination, yet so utterly apart in spirit as to
possess nothing in common but name. It is possible that each of these
two organizations might learn something from the other, and might do
their Master's work better by a closer community of interest and
feeling. Yet it would be a mistake to introduce into either church all
the plans that are successful in the other; or to reject in one Sunday
school any method because it has proved a failure in another and a
different field. The work of each church and Sunday school must be
adapted to the population from which its membership is to be drawn.

2. =The Changing Population.= One of the most imperative questions
confronting the gospel worker, both in the church and the Sunday school,
arises from the constant changes taking place in our population. In the
cities we see stately churches, once thronged, now well-nigh desolate,
while their walls echo to the tread upon the sidewalk of a churchless
multitude. In front of a fine old church, where once millionaires
worshiped, the writer has often passed a news-stand upon which are for
sale newspapers in seven different languages. And too often one finds
that the churches of a generation ago have been turned into low
theaters, or torn down, giving place to stores and office buildings. The
general principle may be laid down, that a church in the city almost
never lives more than one generation in the same building and with the
same character. After thirty years as the very longest period, if it is
to retain its members, it must follow them in the march up-town; or if
it is to retain its location and still hold a congregation it must seek
an absolutely new constituency, and to this end must transform its
methods of work. Nor are these migrations of population confined to the
city. The towns and villages are governed by the same law of change. A
village, once the seat of quiet homes, is suddenly turned into a factory
town, with a new and strange population. The farms on country roads,
abandoned by the families that formerly tilled them, are occupied by
foreigners of alien speech and manners. The building of a railroad will
open new towns, and at the same time will make more than one deserted
village. These changes in population must be considered in their
relation to the work of the Sunday school. The movement will be
characterized by varied traits in different places.

(1) _A Growing Population._ The change may be that of a healthy growth
in population, making the community a desirable place for a church and a
Sunday school. Such a development is constantly taking place in the
newer portions of a city, whose population is moving from the center to
the rim; or it may be noted in suburban towns, as facilities of
transportation bring new residents from the metropolis; or it may appear
in villages springing up on the line of a railroad, where home-seekers
are settling and building habitations. Leaders in church and
Sunday-school work must watch these growing centers, and provide wisely
for their religious needs. It will not suffice to wait for these
newcomers to build their own churches and organize their own Sunday
schools. Most of them are taxed to the utmost in building or buying
their own homes, and will scarcely realize their need until the habit of
neglecting worship has become fixed, and their children grow up without
religious education. The old and strong churches must extend a hand to
the settlers, must preëmpt church sites at the very beginning, must help
to erect chapels, for a time must supply workers, and must set the
current of the new settlement Godward and churchward. The reward of
their labor and their liberality will not long be delayed.

(2) _A Declining Population._ There are places where the population has
lessened, making the work of the Sunday school increasingly difficult
and its results meager. It may be in the city, where business has
crowded away the dwellers of other years, as in the lower end of
Manhattan Island in New York. There tall office buildings and warehouses
stand on sites formerly occupied by churches, but no longer needed, now
that almost the only residents are the janitors and their families,
living on the roofs of the towerlike temples of trade. But oftener the
region of the declining population is found in the country. Villages
once prosperous have gradually lost their inhabitants. In places where
three or four churches, each with its Sunday school, were formerly well
supported, there is now scarcely a constituency for one. Yet all these
churches, though decayed and dying by inches, are still maintained; and
each church still houses a discouraged Sunday school, attended by a
faithful few, but with no hope of growth and an imminent peril of
extinction. If loyalty to a denomination could give way to love for the
kingdom of Christ, these might be consolidated into one church and one
Sunday school for all the community. We venture the prophecy that before
the twentieth century comes to its close this will be throughout the
American continent the accepted settlement of the question. May its
fulfillment be not long delayed! In the meantime these decayed but still
enduring Sunday schools and churches in a community should seek for
peace and friendship, not emphasizing the points of doctrine or of
system that differ, but those that agree, and striving to maintain the
unity of the spirit in a bond of love.

(3) _A Population Changing Socially._ A serious problem often arises,
not from a decline but from a change in the social condition of the
population within the sphere of the church. The downtown church may have
been forsaken by its former members, but people of another class, and in
greater numbers, have taken their places. The mansions have become
boarding houses, flats and apartment houses have arisen, while the
thronged sidewalks, and the children playing in the streets, are
evidence that the material for members of the church and the Sunday
school is greater than before. True, the new inhabitants are of a
different social order from the old, clerks and porters instead of
merchants, employees instead of employers, working people in place of
the leisure class. The fact that the social level of the neighborhood
may be regarded by the worldly-minded as lower than formerly does not
lessen its need of the gospel, nor render it less promising for
Christian work. The church should look upon its field with unprejudiced
eyes, should have an understanding of the time; should be alert to see
and to seize its opportunity; and should change its methods with its
changed constituency. The field must not be abandoned; it must be
cultivated, and new forms of tillage will bring forth abundant harvests.

(4) _An Alien Population._ The most perplexing of all social problems
arises when immigration has swept into the district surrounding the
church a tide of people whose birth and speech are foreign, supplanting
and in large measure driving out the native population. There are
sections in our cities where the signs on the stores are all Bohemian,
or Polish, or Yiddish; where an English-speaking church would remain
absolutely empty, though thousands throng the streets. It may be that in
such conditions gospel work under American methods can no longer be
maintained; and a removal may be necessary. But even in the most
unpromising fields this conclusion should not be hastily reached. We
spend large sums in sending missionaries to the lands from which some
strangers come; should we not embrace opportunities of evangelizing
these at our own door? There are difficulties, but they are not nearly
as insuperable as those in foreign fields. These foreign-born or
foreign-descended children sit beside our own in the public school;
should we shut them out from our Sunday schools? In less than a
generation millions of these boys and girls will be as thoroughly
American as our own children. When we consider the question of
abandoning any field on account of its foreign population, let us widen
our horizon of thought to embrace the future as well as the present, and
then form our conclusion concerning the duty of the Sunday school to the

3. =Practical Suggestions.= A few hints, some of them already given, may
summarize the practical side of the subject:

(1) _Study the Field._ The Sunday school must live not in the past, but
in the present, with a clear vision of the future. It must not only
cherish a loving memory of its field as it has been, but understand
thoroughly what it is, and what forces are shaping it for the future.
The leaders in each Sunday school working for itself, or preferably
those conducting the Sunday schools of a neighborhood working unitedly,
should ascertain the nationality, religious condition, and church
relations of every family in the district; and not only of every family,
of every individual who may have a room in a boarding house. Each
political organization knows the residence and party proclivities of
every voter in the district; and the churches may learn from the
politicians practical lessons upon the best methods of work.

(2) _Cultivate the Field._ Since the scholars must come to the school
from the population around it, they should be sought, brought in,
taught, and evangelized, with all the energy and wisdom which the church
possesses. And not only the scholars, but also, in large degree, the
teachers must be home-born and home-taught; therefore the Sunday school,
to be successful, must train up workers from its own constituency.

(3) _Provide for all Elements._ By diligent and constant effort the
school should be made representative of all ages, of all classes, of all
sections, and as far as practicable of all races found in its community.

(4) _Adapt Methods._ If a former constituency has removed from the
field, and a new population has surged in, the new element must be
looked upon as the constituency of the school. Its needs must be
recognized, however different they may be from the needs of the past;
and plans must be formed to meet those needs, whatever transformation of
the school the new plans may involve.



1. =Necessity.= The aspiration for advancement is natural and noble; and
therefore every member of the Sunday school who is interested in its
welfare, whether officer, teacher, or pupil, desires it to increase in
membership, and to spread its benefits as widely as possible. But the
recruiting of the Sunday school is not only desirable, but necessary. It
is found that in every school there exists an outflow as well as an
inflow of members. If in certain departments, as the Primary, new
scholars are constantly enrolled, in other departments, as the older
grades of the Intermediate and the Senior, there is as constant a
dropping out of members from the school. It has been estimated that in
most Sunday schools from twenty to twenty-five per cent of the
membership changes annually, so that the average period of a teacher or
scholar in the Sunday school is less than five years. There are some who
remain longer, but others who are members for even a shorter time. Upon
the average, every school is a new school once in four or five years. If
one fifth of the school leaves every year, there must be an equal number
enter it, to keep the school at its normal size. But any institution
dependent upon the maintenance of a constituency, whether it be a
periodical, a life-insurance association, or a Sunday school, begins to
decline when its number remains stationary. The health and life of the
school, therefore, require a constant renewal of its membership. The
school must have new blood, or it will soon be impoverished and in time

2. =The Losses from the School.= Before the presentation of plans for
winning new scholars comes the vital question of holding the scholars
already on the roll; for the condition of leakage has a close relation
to growth or decline. If the causes of the leakage can be ascertained,
and the drain can be stopped, we shall be materially aided in our effort
to enlarge the school.

(1) _The Search in the School._ Careful notation should be kept of the
grades from which scholars are lost, or which are below a normal
membership; and equally careful inquiry should be made as to the cause
of the decline, and methods to correct it should be sought. Is it in the
Primary Department, which should be the most rapidly growing department
in the school? Is it in the Junior or Intermediate Department, where
there ought to be a steady increase, even if it be slow? Is it in the
Senior Department? Here there is great danger of losses, especially
among young men. Is it not possible to find why they leave the school,
and what will induce them to remain? Perhaps the school is deficient in
the Adult Department. Must it be admitted that the Sunday school is for
children only, and that as soon as its members become men and women
their departure from the school is to be expected? The investigation
should be more than general, ascertaining what departments are suffering
loss; it should be personal, including the name and grade of every
scholar who has ceased to attend for a definite period; and as far as
possible the reason for his leaving the school.

(2) _Following up Absentees._ A systematic plan for watching over the
membership of the school should be instituted and vigorously maintained.
For example, in some schools a report of every absentee is made by the
secretary to the superintendent. On Monday morning each teacher receives
by mail the list of his absent scholars, with a request to send in
writing, as soon as practicable, the cause of absence for each one. In
many schools this work of looking after the absentees is performed by
paid visitors--a good plan, but not so good as for the teacher to come
into personal touch with his own scholars. A business firm watches over
its customers, and endeavors in every possible way to hold them. The
Sunday school which can maintain its grasp upon its members has the
problem of growth already half solved.

3. =Characteristics of a Growing School.= The strongest force in
recruiting the Sunday school is to be found in the character of the
school itself. The merchant must have his shelves stocked with
attractive goods if he expects customers. In order to obtain scholars
there must be a good school.

(1) _Efficient._ The school should maintain high educational standards;
should be thoroughly graded in all its departments, with suitable
lessons for each grade; and should have organized classes for young
people and adults. The thoroughly good school will rarely lack for

(2) _Attractive._ The school should be attractive as well as efficient.
Its meeting place should be cheerful and airy, with suitable furniture
and apparatus, above ground, and not a damp, dingy basement. It should
have enjoyable exercises, like a school, yet not too severely like a
public school. It should greet new members heartily, make them feel at
home, and cultivate acquaintance with them. There should be an animating
spirit of loyalty and love for the school; a devotion which will inspire
active effort in its behalf. Around the school should be the atmosphere
of a happy home.

(3) _Prominent._ Among the activities of the church the school should
stand forth prominently. It should be kept in mind that, as the
neighborhood furnishes the constituency of the school, so the school
furnishes the members for the church. In our time three fourths of the
accessions by profession of faith come from the Sunday school. The
school should be held in honor as the principal source of supply to the
church membership. If the audience room is large and imposing, and the
Sunday-school room is inferior and unattractive; if the pulpit and the
choir are amply supported while the school receives a narrow sustenance,
however great the prosperity of the church its duration will be brief.
The Sunday school must stand in the foreground, and not in the
background, if the church is to grow; and the growing church should have
a growing Sunday school.

(4) _Special Occasions._ Throughout the Sunday-school year occur days
which should be recognized, as breaking the monotony of the regular
exercises, and as attractive features of the school. Such are Christmas,
Easter, Children's Day in June, Rally Day in the fall, and Decision Day,
when the net is drawn for discipleship in behalf of the church. Some
superintendents look upon these occasions as burdensome, but with
careful preparation and an attractive program they will add to the
interest of the school, while in no wise detracting from the efficiency
of its educational work. An occasional social entertainment for the
school, or for each department in turn, and an outing day in the summer,
will strengthen that _esprit de corps_ or animating spirit of the school
which is its strongest drawing power in attracting new members.

(5) _Special Helps._ There are communities where certain methods may
avail more than elsewhere. A well-conducted Sunday-school library, no
longer needed in many places, may be of great value in villages where
there is no public library. A reading room, social hall, and gymnasium
may constitute the church a home for young men whose dwelling places may
be in close tenement houses. Young men are in saloons, and young women
are in amusement parks, who might spend their evenings under the healthy
influence of the church if places were provided. These plans and other
features of the institutional church will need careful and wise
administration if they are to do good and not harm; but in many places
they will minister to the success of the school and the church, and also
to the uplifting of the community.

4. =Reaching Beyond the School.= Thus far in this chapter we have
considered the school rather than the field. One of the chief tasks of
the Sunday school, however, is to reach out and lay hold of all the
inhabitants, both young and old, in the area of its influence. The
following active measures have proved effective in reaching the people
and winning them to the school.

(1) _Advertise._ The school should be kept before the community in every
legitimate way. Merchants tell us that the secret of success is first to
have salable goods, and then to advertise them; and the same principle
applies to the Sunday school. Printer's ink should be used liberally,
but wisely. Only neatly printed, attractive matter should be employed.
Invitation cards, leaflets, programs of special services, a little
periodical devoted to the school, a year book containing the school
register, and many other forms of advertisement will help to inform the
neighborhood that the school is at work and is ready to welcome new

(2) _Invite._ Every officer, teacher, scholar, and parent should
consider himself a committee to speak to others about the school, and to
invite his friends and acquaintances to attend it. The little children
should ask their playmates, boys and girls in school their classmates,
young men their shopmates, young women their associates. No printed
paper can have a tenth of the power possessed by the living voice and a
hearty hand-shake. It is assumed that the invitation is given only to
those who are not already attached to any church or school. All possible
care should be taken to maintain a fraternal spirit, and not to build up
our own wall by pulling down another.

(3) _Visit._ The field belonging to the school should be bounded
definitely, and should be thoroughly and systematically canvassed. It
should be divided into districts, and each district assigned to a
visitor and a committee, who should know who may be included in the
proper constituency of the school. For this work many schools and
churches employ a paid visitor or a deaconess; and none can surpass the
zeal or fidelity of many who enter upon such a vocation. But the schools
which cannot afford professional workers include some teachers and some
adult scholars who can give a portion of their own time to the same
task. An organized class of men might be named which grew into over a
hundred members through persistent work by a simple plan. A lookout
committee, after careful inquiry, would report the names and addresses
of men eligible for membership. Then the members in order and by
appointment, in groups of two, called upon each candidate, formed his
acquaintance, and invited him to the class. Sometimes thirty or forty
men would call, but in time almost every man visited yielded to the
friendly social influence, became a member, and soon after a worker for
the class.

5. =A Danger.= A caution may be needed with reference to all these plans
of recruiting the school. Advertising may be carried to the excess of
becoming sensational. Invitations may be pressed upon scholars in other
schools. The effort for increase may degenerate into unfriendly rivalry.
A good plan may work evil when worked in a selfish spirit. And a
too-rapid growth is sure to be unhealthy. The late B. F. Jacobs said,
"God pity the Sunday school that gets a hundred scholars at one time!" A
quiet, steady, diligent, persistent effort for the school will be of
permanent benefit, rather than a spasm of enthusiasm.



In the United States more than a hundred thousand Sunday schools are in
session every week. Some of them are very good, many are only moderately
efficient, and some are poor in every respect. The question arises, what
constitutes a good Sunday school? Is it possible to establish some
standard of measurement by which the rank of any Sunday school can be
fixed? In such a standard there must be several factors, for the points
of excellence in Sunday school are not one, but many. It is the aim in
this closing chapter to ascertain the criteria or the tests of a good
Sunday school. The statement of these tests involves the summing up and
in some measure the repetition of much already given throughout these

1. =Representative Character.= The first test of a Sunday school is
found in its relation to the community around it. The Sunday school is
not a bed of exotic plants, dug up from their native soil, potted and
protected in a conservatory. It is an outdoor garden wherein are
cultivated the flowers and fruits that are indigenous to the region. A
true Sunday school is a group of people drawn out of the larger world
around it, and representing every element in that world, both as regards
social life and age. If it represents the rich and the prosperous only,
it is not a good school, unless the neighborhood is unfortunate in
containing only such people. If it is a mission school for poor people
in the midst of a self-supporting population, it is not a good school.
If it includes few members above sixteen, and none above twenty-five
years of age, it is not a good school, for it should embrace all ages
from the infant to the grandfather. The school which is to stand on the
roll of honor is one that fairly represents its constituency.

2. =Organization.= Another requirement for a good school is that it be
well organized as a graded school. There may be Sunday schools which
make up by their spirit for what they lack in system; yet the exceptions
are few to the rule that in Sunday-school work organization is essential
to success. It is true that machinery creates no power; there is nothing
in a constitution and by-laws to make an institution successful. It is
the efforts of living men and women that bring to pass results. But
organization directs and economizes power; so that, other elements being
equal, the graded school quickly becomes the best school. We have
already seen that a graded school is one with departments defined, with
the number of classes in each department fixed according to the needs of
the school, with promotions at regular periods, based either on age or
examination or merit, or on all three factors in combination, with
lessons graded according to the departments, and, as its most important
element, with a change of teachers when the pupil is promoted from a
lower to a higher grade or department. The graded system is not easy to
establish; it requires firmness and tact in the authorities, and a
self-denying spirit on the part of teachers; but it will abundantly and
quickly repay all it costs in effort and sacrifice, and it is an
essential in a really good Sunday school.

3. =Order.= A good school is orderly, yet it is not too orderly.
Everybody is in place at the proper time. At the minute, and not a
minute later, the superintendent opens the school. If he rings a bell,
it is a gentle, musical one, held up by the leader as a signal and
scarcely sounded. There is not more confusion than at the opening of any
other religious service. Only one service is conducted at a time;
singing is worshipful, just as well as prayer, and the Scriptures are
read thoughtfully and reverently. No officers are rushing up and down
the aisles during the services; no loud calls are made for order; yet
there is a suitable quietness when quietness is desirable. A good school
is never disorderly, yet it cannot be said that the best school is
always the most orderly. Occasionally one sees a Sunday school where
order has gone to the extreme of repressing all enthusiasm, where the
program is too finely cut and too thoroughly dried, where the mechanism
moves with the precision of the lockstep in a state prison. The ideal of
the Sunday school is not that of the French minister of education who is
reported to have stated that he could look at his watch and tell at that
minute what question was before each class in every school in France!

4. =Spirit.= For lack of a more definite term we call the next
characteristic of a good Sunday school its spirit. In any successful
school one feels rather than finds a peculiar and individual atmosphere.
Every member, from the superintendent to the Primary scholar, manifests
an interest in the institution; an interest of blended love, loyalty,
enjoyment in it and enthusiasm for it. There is a social spirit in each
class and in the school as a whole. Its members do not meet as
passengers in a railway station, each one wrapped up in his own business
and watching for his own train. They all have their individual
friendships and social relations, yet a bond unites them all as members
of one Sunday school. This peculiar _esprit de corps_, an interest in
the institution, is a strongly marked feature in every progressive
Sunday school.

5. =Educational Efficiency.= The Sunday school is in the world with a
definite work--religious education. Its religion will be based on the
Old Testament and kindred literature in a Jewish school; it will be
based on both the Old and New Testament and supplemental literature in a
Christian school; but whether Jewish or Christian, its work is the
teaching of religion, as contained in the living Word, and illustrated
by the lives and teachings of the heroes of the faith. The true test of
a Sunday school is the answer that it can give to the question, "Does it
teach the vital religious truths of the race so as to develop individual
character and efficiency?" That is its task, and by its success in
accomplishing it each school is to be judged; not by the splendor of its
building, or the exactness of its machinery, or the enthusiasm of its
members. The thirty or thirty-five minutes devoted to the lesson is the
supremely important period in every true Sunday school. The time is
often bound to be all too short for teaching divine truth, and printing
it upon mind and memory so deeply that all the studies and pleasures of
the six days between the two Sundays will not cause the teaching to
fade. Yet the time is as long as the ordinary teacher (or preacher) can
hold attention to one subject, and therefore in most classes it is
sufficient. Toward that half hour of teaching, therefore, all the
energies of the school, of the training class, home study, teachers'
meeting, gradation, government, should be turned. For the vital aim of
the Sunday school is the eternal message of God to men through men, so
that men and women of the Christ spirit and character may be developed.

6. =Character-Building.= The first task, therefore, of the Sunday school
is to teach the Word, but that teaching is only a means to an end, and
that end is greater than mere intellectual knowledge--it is the building
up of a complete character. This is more than "bringing souls to
Christ," or leading them into church membership. If the sole aim of the
Sunday school was to compass the salvation of the scholar and to
surround him with the walls of a church, then we might safely dismiss
our scholars when they have passed through a crisis of conversion and
entered the church door. But the Sunday school is to do more than save
its scholars from sin. It is to train them in the completeness of a
Christian character; and such a character involves not only personal
righteousness but also service for God and humanity. Its aim is not to
take people apart out of the world, but to set them in the world,
equipped for work in making the world a Christian world, and thereby
establishing on earth the kingdom of heaven. The measure by which the
Sunday school accomplishes such a work as this, constitutes the final,
crucial test of its success.

It cannot be said that any one of these six essentials of a good Sunday
school stands supreme. They do not march in Indian file; nor are they to
be set one against another in a comparison of values. These traits of a
complete Sunday school should rather be regarded as one of the New
Testament writers describes the traits of a complete character, in that
familiar yet only half-understood passage, "As in the harmony of a
choral song, blend with your faith the note of energy, and with your
energy the note of knowledge, and with your knowledge the note of
self-mastery,"[12] through all the eight aspects of the Christian; so
let these six essential elements be combined to form that noble
institution, the ideal Sunday school.


[12] 2 Pet. 1. 5-7.





  1. =Mag.=
  2. =Mod.=
  3. =Lay.=
  4. =Unp. Wor.=
  5. =Sel.-sup.=
  6. =Sel.-gov.=
  7. =Sel.-dev.=
  8. =Bib. stu.=


To what race in the world does the Sunday school mainly belong?

What are some of the lands in which it is found?

What does the circulation of its literature show?

What influence is the Sunday-school movement exercising upon the world?

How many salient traits of the Sunday school are named in this chapter?

What are those traits in the order named?

To what race can the ancient germ of the Sunday school be traced?

What institutions among that people contained the elemental principle of
the Sunday school?

What gathering similar to a Sunday school is described in the Bible?

Who was the founder of the modern Sunday school?

In what place, and what year, was the first Sunday school held?

What aided to make this institution known?

Was the first Sunday school established under direction of the clergy or
the laity?

Has the clergy, or the laity, been the more prominent in the work of the
Sunday school throughout its history?

What has been the attitude of the church toward this institution?

What has been stated concerning the compensation of the teachers in the
earliest Sunday school?

Was the plan of paying teachers for their services continued?

Are the majority of Sunday-school officers and teachers now paid for
their services?

What has been the effect of this condition, of unpaid service, upon the
growth of the Sunday-school movement?

How has this condition of voluntary, unpaid work affected the moral
influence of the Sunday school?

How have the expenses of the Sunday school in most places been met in
the past?

How are such expenses met in the best schools at the present time?

How has the self-support of the Sunday school in the past affected its

What is the present share of the church in the government of the school?

What forces have directed the development of the Sunday school as a

What fact in its origin largely accounts for the unity of method in the
Sunday school?

What is the text-book studied in the Sunday school?

What has been the influence of the Sunday school in behalf of the Bible?



  1. =Aim.= Rel. ins. (1) Kn. (2) Ch. (3) Ser.
  2. =Meth. Tea.= (1) Teach. (2) Sch. (3) Text-b.
  3. =Rel. Ch.= Bel. ch. Ca. ch. Sup. ch. Feed. ch. Sup. ch.
  4. =Gov.= (1) Rights of teach. (2) Auth. of ch.
  5. =Off.= (1) Sup. (2) Assoc. sup. (3) Sec. (4) Treas. (5) Fac.
  6. =Mem.= All ag. all clas.


What is a Sunday-school constitution?

What is the difference between an ideal and a practical plan?

Are all constitutions written?

What six points should be provided for in the constitution of the Sunday

What should be the aim of the Sunday school?

State the definition of the Sunday school as given by Dr. Vincent.

What three elements are involved in a true religious education?

What difference may be noted between the Christian ideals of the past
and of the present?

What method does the Sunday school employ in its work?

What are the three essentials in the working of a school?

What does the Sunday school seek to accomplish in its pupils?

What text-book is generally used in the Sunday school?

Why is this book taught so widely?

May material outside of this book be employed in teaching?

What is the relation between the Sunday school and the church?

Why is some government needed in the Sunday school?

What two elements should be recognized in the management of the school?

Name the officers of the Sunday school.

Who should constitute the members of the school?



  1. =Nec. Gra.= (1) Sch. as wh. (2) Cond. cla. (a) Ineq.
       siz. (b) Ineq. ag. (c) Lac. cl. sp. (3) Dif. adm.
       (a) Obt. tea. (b) Trans. sch.
  2. =Ess. Gra.= Sch. (1) Dep. (2) Fix. num. cla. (3) Ann.
       sim. pro. (4) Ch. tea. (5) Gra. Less. (6) Bas. pro.


Into what departments are most Sunday schools divided?

Why does not the mere division into departments constitute a graded
Sunday school?

In what department is the school growing most rapidly?

From what departments does the school lose its pupils?

What is often the condition of classes for young people of fifteen years
and older?

What inequalities may be noted in the classes of an average Sunday

What spirit is apt to be lacking in the school?

What two great difficulties are met by the superintendent of an ungraded

Sum up the six difficulties or defects which will be removed in a
measure by grading the school.

Name the six essentials of a thoroughly graded Sunday school.

Draw a diagram representing the manner of seating the departments of a
Sunday school.

What is meant by a fixed number of classes in each department of a
graded school?

How should promotions be made from one department to another?

Why should not teachers accompany their classes when the pupils are
promoted from one department to another?

What kind of lessons should be taught in the different departments of
the school?

Should promotions be made on the basis of age, of merit, or as the
result of examination?

Why cannot examinations in the Sunday school maintain the same standards
as those of the public school?



  1. =Diff.=
  2. =Rem.=
  3. =Meth.= (1) Grad. (2) Simul. (a) Com. (b) Ag. sch.
       (c) Ass. sch. (d) Ro-ca.
  4. =Adv. Thor. Gra.= (1) App. (2) Ord. (3) Soc. rel.
       (4) Tea. wk. (5) Inc. int. (6) Obt. tea. (7) Leak.-per.


What is the greatest difficulty to be met in grading a Sunday school?

What is the remedy for this difficulty?

What are the two methods of grading an ungraded school?

How may a school be graded by the gradual method?

What are the four steps to be taken if a school is to be graded by the
simultaneous method?

What is to be done when scholars are unwilling to receive promotion?

Name seven advantages of the graded school.

Wherein does the graded school differ in appearance from one ungraded?

How is order maintained more easily in the graded school?

How does grading influence the social relations of the scholars?

Why is teaching easier in the graded school?

How does the graded Sunday school increase the interest of the pupils?

Why is it easier to supply teachers in the school after it has been

What is meant by "the leakage period" in the scholars of the Sunday

How does the graded school hold the scholar in the school?



  1. =Cradle Roll.= (1) Members. (2) Catalogue. (3) How
       obtained. (4) Gifts. (5) Management. (6) Value.
  2. =Beginners Dep.= (1) Ages. (2) Teaching. (3) Meeting
  3. =Primary Dep.= (1) Ages. (2) Classes. (3) Lessons.
  4. =Junior Dep.= (1) Ages. (2) Classes. (3) Lessons.
  5. =Intermediate Dep.= (1) Ages. (2) Classes. (3) Lessons.
       (4) Special aim. (5) Christian character.
  6. =Senior Dep.= (1) Name. (2) Ages. (3) Classes.
       (4) Teachers. (5) Organization. (6) Social life.
  7. =Teacher-Training Dep.= (1) Members. (2) Teacher.
       (3) Studies. (4) Requirements. (5) Aims. (6) Reserve
  8. =Adult Dep.= (1) Members. (2) Classes. (3) Methods.
       (4) Courses of study.
  9. =Home Dep.= (1) Need. (2) Plan.


What are the four principal departments of an ordinary Sunday school?

In this chapter how many departments are described?

What are the names of these departments?

What department includes the names of the youngest children? Wherein
does this department differ from most of the other departments? How
should the list of its members be kept? How may names be obtained for
it? What privileges should be given to the members of this department?
What are the benefits of this department to the school?

What is the name of the second department? What ages should it embrace?
What should be the exercises in this department? How should these
pupils be seated in the school?

What is the third department named? What ages should it include? How
should it be organized? What lessons should be taught in it?

What is the fourth department? What are the ages of its pupils? How may
they be classified? What lessons should be taught to them?

What is the fifth department? What ages does it include? How should the
classes be formed? Why should small classes be the rule in this
department? What lessons should be taught? What should be a special aim
of teachers in this department? What type of Christian character should
be sought?

What is the sixth department? What other names are applied to it? What
ages should it include? What requirement should be made of those
entering this department by promotion? How should the classes be
organized? Who should teach in this department? How may the social
spirit be cultivated?

What is the seventh department? Who should be included in its
membership? Who should be sought as the teacher? What condition should
be required of its members? What studies should be followed? How should
the course be conducted? What other class should also be connected with
the Teacher-training Department? How shall this class be conducted?

What is the eighth department? Who should be included in it? What are
the two methods of instruction in this department? What courses of study
should be taken?

What is the ninth department? Who constitute its members? What care and
help should be given to these people? What should be expected of them as
members of the school?



  1. =Imp.= (N. Y. C. R. R.).
  2. =Appt.= Tea. ch. past.
  3. =Ter. Off.= One ye.
  4. =Qual.= (1) Mor. char. (2) Dev. bel. (3) Wor. ch.
       mem. (4) Bib. stu. (5) Ab. exec. (6) Sym. you.
       (7) Tea. spi.


What illustration from a railroad will show the importance of the

How should the appointment of the superintendent be made? Who should
unite in the selection? How long should be his term of office?

What are the traits named for an ideal superintendent?

What should be his moral character? Why is such a character necessary in
his office? What story of a statesman illustrates this?

In what respects should the superintendent be a believer in the gospel?

Why should he be a member of the church? What is his duty to the Bible?
How may the superintendent influence his school to follow his requests?

What should be his qualifications as an administrator or executive?

What trait in relation to the young should he possess?

What should be his mental attitude toward knowledge, especially
knowledge of methods?

What story is told of a great sculptor?



  1. =Gen.= (1) Sup. (2) Sel. tea. (3) Ass. sch. (4) Prog.
       ser. (5) Sup.
  2. =We.-d. Wor.= (1) Prog. (2) Les. stu. (3) Soc. dut.
       (4) Seek. work. (5) Cab. meet. (6) Sp. d. (7) Conv.
  3. =Dut. Sch. Sess.= (1) Pre. ear. (2) Op. pr. (3) Con.
       pro. (4) Dur. less. (5) Les. rev. (6) Clos.
  4. =Misc. Dut.= (1) N. B. (2) Q. (3) E. L. (4) Us. B.
       (5) Les. per. (6) Sp. (7) Sel.-con. (8) Aim.


Into what three classes may the duties of the superintendent be divided?

What are his general duties and prerogatives in relation to the school?

What are his duties through the week?

What social duties should he endeavor to fulfill?

How may he obtain teachers and workers?

What is the purpose of cabinet meetings?

How may the superintendent be ready for special occasions in the
Sunday-school year?

What is his duty toward conventions and associations of workers?

What are the duties of the superintendent during the session of the

What suggestions are given concerning the conducting of the program of
the school?

Who should review the lesson?

Name some miscellaneous hints concerning his work.

How may he have a quiet, orderly school?

How may he promote the use of the Bible as a text-book by teachers and

What rule should be kept with reference to the lesson period?

Under what conditions should visitors be allowed to address the school
during the regular session?

What suggestion is made concerning self-control?

What aim should be kept before the superintendent and the school?



  1. =Nec.= Gen. asst. Dept. asst.
  2. =Titles.= Asso. sup. Dep. supt.
  3. =App.= Nom. sup. Conf. tea. "Minor. cand."
  4. =Duties.= (1) Not tea. (2) Dep. sup. (3) Prov. sub.
       (4) Assig. new sch. (5) Detail. sup. (6) Ch. st.


What is the need of an assistant to the superintendent in the Sunday

What two classes of assistants are required in an organized school?

What titles should be given to these officers?

How should the associate superintendent be chosen?

Why should the superintendent possess the right to nominate the
associate superintendent?

Should the associate superintendent be at the same time a teacher in the

When should the associate take charge of the school?

How should substitutes be obtained for teachers who are absent?

What class should not be called upon to furnish substitute teachers, and

What class will supply teachers in a properly graded school?

How, when, and where should the teachers be obtained?

When should supply teachers be ready and in their places?

What is the work of the associate superintendent with reference to new

Should new scholars select their own classes?

What part may the associate take during the general exercises of the

What military title might properly be given to the associate
superintendent? Wherein does this title apply to him?

Give a summary of the six duties performed by the associate



  1. =Imp.=
  2. =Qual.= (1) B. M. (2) R. A. (3) G. W. (4) Q. M. A.
       (5) Q. M. (6) C. C.
  3. =App.=
  4. =Assts.=
  5. =Dep. Secs.=
  6. =Dut.= (1) R. M. (2) R. S. (3) R. C. (4) R. S.
       (5) L. S. (6) C.


Who is frequently and unwisely chosen as secretary of the Sunday school?
What are the results of such a choice?

What results follow from an efficient secretary?

What six qualifications are named for the ideal secretary?

What traits of a business man should he possess?

What should be his principle with regard to regular attendance? What
also should be included in his attendance?

Wherein should the secretary be a good writer?

What should be the traits of his mental action?

What exercises in the school should never be interrupted by the work of
the secretary? Should he ever come to a class while the lesson is being

What should be the behavior of the secretary?

How should the secretary be chosen?

How long should be his term of office?

How should the assistant secretary be appointed?

What are department secretaries, and who should be appointed to this

What seven duties are named for the secretary and his assistants?

What record should be kept of business meetings?

What are his duties with reference to reports from committees?

What weekly record should be kept of the attendance in the school?

What are the duties of the secretary with regard to the records of class

What general catalogue of the members of the school should be kept? How
should this record be arranged?

What is the duty of the secretary with regard to the literature used in
the school?

How should the official correspondence of the school be conducted?



  1. =Early S. S.= Light expenses.
  2. =Modern S. S.= Large expenses. Objects.
  3. =Practical Ways and Means.= Methods. Objections.
  4. =Ideal Way.= Allowance. Subscriptions. Benefits.
  5. =S. S. Treasurer.= Relation to secretary.
  6. =Treasurer's Work.= (1) Charge. (2) Bank account.
       (3) Reports and vouchers. (4) Bills. (5) Checks.
       (6) Audits. (7) Study of benevolent interests.


Why was little money required by the early Sunday schools? Wherein was
this fact fortunate for the schools?

Why are the expenses of the Sunday school greater than they were in the
early years?

What are the principal expenses of a modern Sunday school?

What are the methods of supplying funds for the Sunday school in most

What is the objection to these methods?

What is the ideal method of supporting the Sunday school? Under this
plan what should be expected of the members of the school? What are the
advantages of this plan?

Should the same person act as secretary and as treasurer? In that case
what principles should be observed?

What kind of a person should be chosen as treasurer?

What funds should be placed under his charge?

Where should he keep the money of the school? How should this bank
account be conducted?

What reports should the treasurer present, and where should he present

How should all payments of the treasurer be authorized?

What should be done with bills against the school?

In what form is it desirable to make payments for bills?

How and when should the accounts of the treasurer be audited?

What service can the treasurer render to the school in relation to
benevolent interests?



  1. =Lib. Pas.=
  2. =Dec. Pres.=
  3. =Cau. Dec.=
  4. =Uses. G. Lib.= (1) Fam. ne. (2) Mor. inf. (3) Aid
  5. =Prin. Sel.= (1) Var. (2) Pop. (3) Lit. qual.
       (4) Mor. tea. (5) Ch. sp.
  6. =Com. S. S. Lib.=
  7. =Pub. Lib. & S. S.=


Why was the library important to the school in the earlier times?

What are the facts regarding the decline of the Sunday-school library in
recent times?

What causes are assigned for the decline of the Sunday-school library?

How are books more accessible now than in former times?

Why is the library no longer needed to draw pupils to the school?

How does the present educational aim of the Sunday school affect the
interest in the library?

What criticism is made upon the books in most Sunday-school libraries?

How does the management of the library often interfere with the order of
the school?

What three benefits are named from a well-conducted Sunday-school

How does the library in many places aid the school?

What four principles should guide in the selection of books?

What classes of books should be in the library?

Why must the books be popular and interesting?

What should be the literary standard for books in the Sunday-school

Should love stories be admitted?

What moral standards should be maintained?

What is meant by the Christian spirit in the Sunday-school library?

What kind of a library should be sought for in the educational work of
the Sunday school?

How may the use of such a library be promoted in the school?

How may the public library be made useful to the Sunday schools in a
city or town?



  1. =Lib. Com.= (1) Pur. bks. (2) Freq. add.
  2. =Libr.= (1) Bkm. (2) Bus. m. (3) Gen. man.
  3. =Asst. Lib.=
  4. =Man. Lib.= (1) Coll. (2) Ass. (3) Dist. (4) Ret.
       (a) Rec. sch. (b) Rec. she. (c) Fin. (d) Rew.


Who should choose the books for the Sunday-school library?

What should be expected of the library committee?

Why should a large purchase of books at one time be avoided?

How may the committee learn of new books?

How should donations of books be regarded?

What are the advantages of small additions at frequent times?

Who should be sought for the Sunday-school librarian?

How should the assistant librarians be chosen?

What plan should be followed in collecting the books returned to the
library by the scholars?

What are some plans for choosing books?

What difficulties are met in the choice of books by scholars?

How should the books be distributed?

What are the difficulties met in the return of books by scholars?

How may the loss of books be avoided?

How may lost books be traced and brought back?



  1. =Qual.= (1) Sin. dis. (2) Lov. you. (3) Lov. ser.
       (4) Wil. work.
  2. =Nec. Train.= (1) Gen. prin. (2) Tea. resp. (3) Dem.
       ag. (4) Tea. cla.


Why does the work of the Sunday-school teacher require special

What four qualifications are named as requisite?

What should be the relation of the teacher toward Christ?

What should be his attitude of mind and heart toward young people? Why
is this attitude necessary?

What should be his relation to the Bible?

What is required of him as a worker?

When did training for Sunday-school teachers begin in America?

What have been various stages and periods in the movement for

What four reasons are named why the Sunday-school teacher should receive

How does the shortness of the time and its weekly meeting of the Sunday
school relate to the training of the teacher?

How does the teacher's responsibility make his training necessary?

What does this age demand of teachers?

Why does this age make special demands upon Bible teachers?

In what condition of mind with regard to the lesson do most of our
scholars come to the Sunday school?

Why does the condition of the scholar require preparation on the part of
the teacher?



  1. =Train. Nec.= (1) Book. (a) Or. nat. (b) Hist.
       (c) Geog. back. (d) Inst. (e) Eth. rel. tea.
       (2) Schol. (3) Schoo. (4) Work.
  2. =Tea. Tas.= (1) Stu. (2) Fri. (3) Tea. (4) Dis.


What are the four departments of teacher-training?

What in the Bible does the teacher need to know?

What does he need to know about his scholars?

What does he need to know about the school?

What does he need to know about teaching?

What are the four departments of the teacher's task?

What has he to do as a student?

What may he do as a friend?

What is required of him as a teacher?

What is his work for his class, as a disciple of Christ?



  1. =Rel. to Com.= (1) Const. adj. (2) Mem. rep.
       (3) Meth. adap.
  2. =Chang. Pop.= (1) Gro. (2) Dec. (3) Ch. soc.
       (4) Ali.
  3. =Prac. Sugg.= (1) St. fi. (2) Cul. fi. (3) Pro.
       f. all ele. (4) Ad. meth.


What kind of a temple is the Sunday school?

Whence must come the members of the school?

What duty does the school owe to the population around it?

Of what should a Sunday school be representative?

What elements in a mixed community should enter into the Sunday school?

What methods should be sought in localities where the traits and needs
of the people differ?

What fact regarding the population of our country brings great problems
to the church and Sunday school?

Give some instances of the effect of changing population upon churches.

How often are churches generally compelled to change their constituency?

What are some causes of the changed conditions in cities and country

What should be done in growing communities?

What are the conditions, and the remedy for them, in a declining

How may a population change socially while increasing numerically?

What is the duty of a Sunday school in changing communities?

When may a church or a Sunday school rightly abandon its field?

What is the first duty of the Sunday school in relation to its field?

What is its duty to the population in its field, wherever the population
can be reached?

What elements in the population should be provided for in the plans and
efforts of the school?



  1. =Nec.=
  2. =Los. fr. Sch.= (1) Sear. in sch. (2) Foll. abs.
  3. =Char. Gro. Sch.= (1) Eff. (2) Attr. (3) Prom.
       (4) Sp. occ. (5) Sp. hel.
  4. =Reach. Bey. Sch.= (1) Adv. (2) Inv. (3) Vis.
  5. =Dang.=


Why is it not only desirable but necessary to seek for increase in the
membership of the Sunday school?

What is the percentage of change in Sunday schools annually?

For what should search be made in the school?

How may the absentees from the school be looked after?

What traits in a Sunday school will naturally draw to it scholars?

Why should the Sunday school be made a prominent feature in the church?

What are some special occasions in the year to which attention should be

What special methods of building up the school may be employed in
certain localities?

How may the school be advertised?

What are some advantages in a personal invitation?

What plans for the visitation of the field are suggested?

What caution should be given concerning methods of recruiting the Sunday



  1. =Rep. Char.=
  2. =Org.=
  3. =Ord.=
  4. =Sp.=
  5. =Edu. Eff.=
  6. =Char.-buil.=


What is meant in the title of this chapter?

How many tests or criterions are here named?

What are these tests?

What is meant by the representative character of a Sunday school?

Why is organization necessary to constitute a good school?

What is included in a graded school?

To what extent is order a requisite?

How may the demand for order be carried to excess?

What is "spirit" in a Sunday school?

What constitutes efficiency in Sunday-school work?

For what purpose is the teaching and work of the Sunday school?

What is included in the building of a character, as an aim of the Sunday

How should these tests or traits be viewed?

What illustrative passage is given from the New Testament?

       *       *       *       *       *

Transcriber's Note:

Text uses both Sunday School and Sunday-School.

Obvious punctuation errors repaired.

Page 71, "5" changed to "6" (6. =Duties.=)

Page 85, "useles" changed to "useless" (useless in the Sunday-School)

Page 109, "(1)" changed to "(2)" ((2) _As a Friend._)

Page 147, "be" changed to "he" (should he present them)

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