From a Fundamentalist Church standpoint, what is its equivalent of a catechumen? In many denominations (Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Lutheran, Anglican, Episcopalian), there is a concept called a catechumen, who takes religious education course called a catechumenate, that is taught by a catechist. So, what is the equivalent of such a role in a Fundamentalist/Bible Church? How do Fundamentalist Christians deal with prospective Christians (i.e. teaching church history, official doctrine and practices, etc.)? For Fundamentalist Christians, does that include teaching prospective Christians about the Scopes trial?


"From a Fundamentalist Church standpoint, what is its equivalent of a catechumen?" In my experience in several Protestant churches, Sunday School is the place of catechumen for young ones. The parents drop off their children in age-appropriate classrooms and the children are taught Bible stories/lessons by teachers from a church-approved lesson plan.

The plan may include any mixture of Bible stories, memorization of verses, Q&A, singing, puppets, dress-up, skits and other lively interactions, all to help bring the Bible stories to life and help the children see the lesson is for them.

This takes place as the parents are edified by the pastor in the main sanctuary.

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  • So, what about adult prospective Christians? Do they attend "Sunday school" too, or do they get their own special classroom where the catechist teaches them Fundamentalist doctrines, practices, interpretations, and controversies surrounding the Fundamentalist view of the world? – Double U Aug 11 '13 at 15:15
  • The link in my answer was actually to adult new member from Rick Warren. – pterandon Aug 11 '13 at 17:42
  • @anonymous Some of the larger churches (1000s of people) may have classes for new believers, offered at irregular times during the year. Other large churches will invite the new person to a home fellowship to learn. Still others will leave it up to the people to speak one on one with the new convert. – Steve Aug 11 '13 at 18:54

I can answer as to a nondenominational evangelical church, which may be what you are asking for.

Whereas many protestant and Catholic churches baptize infants and catechumize youth, nondenominational churches typically dedicate babies and then may hold a short, intensive class for baptism candidates as they reach an age of responsibility. The class may give an overview of the basics of doctrine. I know one church where the material is based on the pastor's modification of Rick Warren's 101 Material.

Even among pastors who may hold a Young Earth Creationist view, I haven't seen mentions of the Scope trial. Even among those who hold six-24h-days as a necessary teaching, the focus would be on believing God's word, not an opinion on a 19th century trial.

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  • I thought mainline only referred to a specific type of American Protestant denominations. Catholics (Western and Eastern) baptize infants and instruct youths. – Double U Aug 11 '13 at 12:07
  • I should have correctly stated Orthodox Catholics, or Eastern Orthodox Christians, because the term "Eastern Catholics" can be misleading. I meant to refer to Eastern Orthodox Catholics, who also baptize infants and educate youths. I think "Eastern Christians" would be a fitting term for those Christians in the Eastern European, Mediterranean, and Near Eastern regions. – Double U Aug 11 '13 at 12:31
  • I'll use the right term, but my belief, at least in politics, is that mainline sometimes used to mean everything not evangelical. – pterandon Aug 11 '13 at 12:40
  • Would that just be non-Evangelical Christian? I wonder if Methodists from the United Methodist Church would consider themselves Evangelical or Mainline. Maybe both. Now what? Maybe it's the distinction between high-church people and low-church people. – Double U Aug 11 '13 at 12:44
  • I don't think the "mainline" qualifier is useful here. Many presbyterian churches that are not a part of the "mainline presbyterian church" (the PCUSA) believe in infant baptism. I don't think Lutherans are considered "mainline" nor would the various forms of the reformed church (URC, CRC etc). – wax eagle Aug 11 '13 at 14:30

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