A Sunday school is an educational institution, usually (but not always) of a Christian character. Other religions, such as Buddhism, Islam and Judaism, have also organized Sunday schools in their temples and mosques, particularly in the West. Sunday schools were originally schools where poor children could learn to read. The Sunday School movement began in Great Britain in the 1780s.
The industrial revolution caused many children to spend the whole week working in factories. Christian philanthropists wanted to free these children from a life of illiteracy. This was our most surprising and disconcerting result of the entire survey. First, we discovered that we were losing our children in elementary, middle and high school instead of college.
Then we discovered that Sunday school is one of the reasons. “Sunday school syndrome” contributes to the epidemic, rather than helping to alleviate it. These figures are statistically significant and completely contrary to what one would expect. This is a brutal wake-up call for the Church, showing how our programs and our approaches to Christian education are failing miserably.
Sunday school students often graduate to become Sunday school teachers, thus acquiring leadership experience not found anywhere else in their lives. The results show that Sunday school is actually having an overall negative impact on beliefs, despite the fact that these differences were often very slight in several cases. Sunday school syndrome contributes seriously to the general problem of students leaving the Church. For example, when asked if they believed in the creation of Adam in the Garden of Eden, Sunday school had no significant effect on the answers.
Sunday school took off like wildfire and spread to Baptist, Congregational and Methodist churches across England. Sunday school classes usually precede a Sunday church service and are used to offer catechesis to Christians, especially children and adolescents, and sometimes also to adults. In 1874, interested in improving the training of Sunday school teachers for the Uniform Lesson Plan, Miller and Vincent worked together again to found what is now the Chautauqua Institution, on the shores of Lake Chautauqua, New York. The Sunday School Society was founded by Baptist deacon William Fox on September 7, 1785, at the Prescott Street Baptist Church in London.
The role of Sunday schools changed with the Education Act of 1870, which established universal primary education. With the arrival of Catholic emancipation in Ireland (182) and the establishment of the national school system (183), which meant that the Catholic faith could be taught in school, the Catholic Sunday school system became unnecessary. It soon spread to the United States when denominations and nondenominational organizations caught the vision and vigorously began creating Sunday schools. Of the 1,000 interviews, 606 were former Sunday school students, and the Church failed them sorely.
One of my favorite observations about Sunday School is that there is an answer to every question in Sunday School that can never be wrong. The doctrine of Sunday Sabbatarianism held by many Christian denominations encourages practices such as Sunday school attendance, since it teaches that the entire Day of the Lord should be dedicated to God; therefore, many children and adolescents usually return to church in the late afternoon to go to a youth group before attending an evening worship service. Sunday school, also called church school or Christian education, religious education school, usually for children and young people and is usually part of a church or parish. The Philadelphia Sunday School Union, the first interdenominational Sunday school association in the United States, was organized in 1791.