A Successful Worldwide School
THIS is not some expensive private school or prestigious university that only a select few can attend. No, this school operates without charge to its students. Sessions of it are likely being held at a location near you. It is called the Theocratic Ministry School, and it is conducted at the meeting places of Jehovah’s Witnesses. Some five million persons worldwide attend this school.
You may wonder, ‘What are the requirements for enrollment? What is taught in the school? How is it conducted? And how are people benefiting from it?’
While all persons are welcome to attend the Theocratic Ministry School, those who enroll must be in agreement with the teachings of the school’s principal textbook, the Bible. They are required to lead a life that meets the moral requirements of the Bible. So students cannot be living a life of immorality. They cannot be thieves, drunkards, fornicators, users of tobacco, and so forth.—1 Corinthians 6:9-11.
Many schools today have abandoned dress codes, but students who are enrolled in the Theocratic Ministry School are expected to be modestly attired in clean clothes. (1 Timothy 2:9, 10) There is no age requirement for this school. Children as young as four or five who are able to read are enrolled and regularly handle assignments, as do men and women in their 90’s.
Format and Curriculum
To make attendance convenient, the 45-minute-long sessions of the Theocratic Ministry School are almost always held on a midweek evening. Following brief welcoming comments by the school instructor, the first speaker for the evening gives a 10-to-15-minute talk based on one of the school’s textbooks. Then, he often conducts a three-to-five-minute oral review of the material he has covered.
Next, a qualified teacher covers highlights of the weekly Bible-reading assignment, which is generally composed of from two to four chapters in the Bible. Six minutes is allowed for this review. Students who keep up with this weekly homework assignment will over a period of time read the entire Bible.
After the Bible highlights, three student presentations are given, each of which is limited to five minutes. One is a Bible reading from a portion of the homework assignment. The other two presentations are based on school text material that all students are encouraged to read in preparation for class. After each student’s assignment, the school instructor offers commendation and, often, suggestions for improvement.
The school instructor’s counsel is based on the publication Theocratic Ministry School Guidebook, which each student is expected to study carefully. To improve on a particular speech quality for his next assignment, the student may be asked to review a chapter from the guidebook, such as “Audience Contact and Use of Notes,” “Fitting Illustrations,” “Use of Repetition and Gestures,” and “Sense Stress and Modulation.”
In some communities the Theocratic Ministry School has an extension literacy and reading-improvement class. Tens of thousands have learned to read or improve their reading in such literacy classes. For example, in Mexico between 1946 and 1994, more than 127,000 were helped to become literate.
Throughout the world the Theocratic Ministry School is supporting parental efforts to provide a good education for their children. Sixteen-year-old Moriah said: “I learned to dig for information and to rehearse my presentations. Now every assignment I get in high school is a piece of cake.”
Fifteen-year-old Matthew, who enrolled in the Ministry School at age seven, noted: “I have a great advantage over my peers when it comes to academic achievement. I have acquired study and listening skills and the ability to deliver speeches with effectiveness.” His 17-year-old brother, Phil, added: “The Theocratic Ministry School has made me more confident. I know that if given an assignment, I can handle it.”
The Theocratic Ministry School has also educated adults. Michael, who reached goals such as giving presentations to management, explained: “I was extremely timid when I joined the Ministry School. I am no longer shy. The school provided the safe environment, the knowledge, the skills, and the personal encouragement that I needed to break out of my shell.” A parent noted: “I feel that I have made up for missed opportunities of learning as a youth.”
In a small Latin-American village, members of the Department of Education attended the Theocratic Ministry School. After listening to a local speaker, one of the visitors, a school principal, exclaimed: “It is not possible that this man that we have always known as an illiterate is able to converse in Spanish [rather than his native dialect], much less to talk to an audience, but he is.”
Indeed, the Theocratic Ministry School is one of the finest schools in the world! It can help both young and old to get a good education. As one youth said, “I would recommend that anyone who is considering joining the school join immediately.”
[Picture on page 13]
The Theocratic Ministry School is helping millions to get a good education