Academics
Academic Departments

Religion Department

The study of religion at VES, along with our tradition of corporate worship and prayer, challenges our students in the search for the ultimate meaning of human existence.

In recognition of our school’s foundations in the Episcopal Church and the significant role Christianity has played in the shaping of Western civilization, the Religion Department offers the New Testament course each semester. And in recognition of our pluralistic and multi-religious world, the Religion Department offers a World Religions course, asserting that an understanding of the faith and values of others is essential to global citizenship. 
  • New Testament (F)

    Prerequisites:  None. Open to students in grades nine through twelve.
     
    The New Testament class surveys the New Testament and the fundamental teachings of Christianity. Old Testament/Hebrew Bible history and themes will be introduced as a foundation for understanding the first century world and the writings of the New Testament. Particular attention will be paid to the life and teachings of Jesus.  Connections will be made to the life of the Early Church, the teachings of the Apostles and traditional Christian beliefs.
     
    Upon completion of the course, students are expected to…
    • Understand the basic history and culture of the Old Testament and the first century world as a foundation for interpreting the New Testament.
    • Think critically and discuss intelligently topics related to religious beliefs.
    • Be able to read, understand and interpret the authorial intent of New Testament texts.
     
    Texts/Materials Used
    A version/translation of the Bible of the student’s choice. Both English and foreign language Bibles are acceptable. The New Oxford Annotated Bible (NRSV) is available for purchase in the VES bookstore.  
  • World Religions (F)

    Prerequisites:  None. Open to students in grades nine through twelve.
     
    The goal of the World Religions course is to present a survey of the basic tenants, rituals, values and experiences that define the major religious traditions of our world. The course will explore religions from both an external and internal perspective. An “external” perspective reflects those elements of a particular religious tradition that can be interpreted from the outside (historical figures, social changes and political affinities). An “internal” perspective seeks to explore the ways in which adherents derive meaning from their particular religious tradition, or how their religious tradition answers the big questions of life: Why I am here? What is the good life? What is expected of me? What does the afterlife look like?
     
    At the end of this course students will be able to:
    • Identify key figures, principles, holy days and rituals from the world’s religions
    • Understand how cultures are shaped by religious ideas
    • Gain perspective on one’s own religious tradition through the investigation of the religions of others
    • Write meaningfully and reflectively about religious ideas and their application to, and interpretation of, the human experience  
     
    Texts/Materials Used:
    • World Religions: The Great Faiths Explored and Explained, Bowker, John. (DK Publishing, 1997)

Department Staff

  • Adam White

    Chaplain/Department Chair/Religion Teacher
    434-385-3693
    Year Appointed: 2012
A College Preparatory, Independent Boarding and Day School for Students in Grades 9-12
400 VES Road, Lynchburg, VA 24503 • 434.385.3600