Fostering academic excellence and biblical virtue to equip students for lives as local and global Christian servants.

Worldviews Through Movies, Music, Art and Social Media

Course Catalog ID:
Subject Categories:
Bible and Worldview

This course examines contemporary worldviews and issues by considering the themes and ideas in “popular” or “classic” movies, art works and written works, as well as in contemporary social media. While the various media will generally be entertaining, the discussions will be academic and relevant to address the current worldviews issues of the current generation of teens and young adults. We will consider major western worldviews (e.g., deism, naturalism, secular humanism, existentialism, post-modernism, and others) in the historical, philosophical, and cultural context that is essential for understanding how they affect us today. We will also consider the major worldviews of the East and Middle East. While the discussions involve some history and philosophy, the analysis is from a biblical perspective, and the purpose is uncovering how these worldviews still influence us today, including inside the church. We will discuss contemporary worldview-related issues, such as faith, reason, and science; creation, intelligent design, and evolution; abortion, cloning, and euthanasia; identity and Self; equality, freedom, and rights; nature vs. nurture; free will and determinism; transition from Christianity to secularism in the West; and others. Throughout the course, there will be particular emphasis on understanding individual identity, purpose, and worth from various worldviews, past and present. There is also an emphasis on considering historical and contemporary views of liberty, rights and responsibility. Discussions will be interactive, and will respectfully consider differing major perspectives of each issue. All topics and discussions affirm the centrality of salvation by grace through faith, and the inerrant authority of the Bible.

Grade Levels*:
11, 12
* Enrollment restricted based on Date of Birth and Grad Year (whichever is more limiting). Enrollment outside these levels requires written concurrence from TPS Support.
Notes and Conditions

Media Content: The movies, TV shows, art, readings and social media in this course will be selected to uncover selected worldviews and issues. Movies may include: Matrix; Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon; Avatar; Macbeth; Tempest; Frankenstein; Man for All Seasons; Inception; Beautiful Mind; Manchurian Candidate; Contact; Bad Seed; Wizard of Oz; Life of Pi; Miracle on 34th Street; Arrival; Sense and Sensibility; Last Samurai; Avatar; Free Guy; Truman Show; 2001: A Space Odyssey; and others. TV show episodes may include: West Wing; Star Trek TNG; Twilight Zone; and others. Access to YouTube is required. Also included will be art (classical to modern) and music (all genres and time periods). There is also some reading of essays and articles. Mature themes in media are often portrayed through unbiblical language, attitudes, and behaviors. While every effort is made to avoid sex and gratuitous violence, the media is chosen because it interacts in a useful way with specific challenging themes in a fallen world, and the class discussions will include these mature and complex themes. Viewing each movie or media is optional and always at the discretion of the student and parent, but students who are not ready to or prefer not to interact with popular culture in this manner should not enroll in this course. There is also optional reading for the student who wants to go further in studying the academic aspects of the worldview and philosophy.

Concurrent Course Required: This course is offered at a special price and is available only to students taking at least one TPS core high school course.

Credit and Participation: Students may take this course for graded credit (as a Bible/Worldview credit) or as an ungraded audit. For graded credit, there is required participation, weekly movies and media, and two required essays. For ungraded audit there are no requirements.

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Reviews from Students and Parents

“Amazing class! I really enjoyed getting to watch lots of movies and then discussing and learning the broader, deeper contexts and meanings the movies reflected. I felt like I gained a lot more depth and nuance to my understanding of philosophy and different worldviews. Some of the discussions we had have come up again in conversations already this summer. It was a really engaging and useful class!”

Sierra S

“This class analyzes worldviews in film and music and art. Students are encouraged to bring their own perspective of each assignment to class so that everyone can participate in a great discussion while considering various views. The course does a great job teaching different types of worldviews and how they impact and are reflected in cultures and through media.”

Jaquelin W

“I would recommend this class to anyone who enjoys a good movie. Not only is much of the homework simply watching those movies, but the class opens up your eyes to truths woven into the stories. Through enjoyable and often suspenseful movies, you will discover the different opinions on the definition of truth, expand your amazement at the authenticity of the Bible, and be able to engage any media with new understanding.”

Kimi M

“Worldviews is, at its essence, a survey of philosophy with one eye on the theoretical and the other on the practical. By examining various movies, songs, and art-pieces, this course teaches concepts that are challenging to grasp, but at the same time very real and applicable. This course equips students with knowledge of various common worldview perspectives he or she may encounter, and ensures familiarity with the language of various worldviews.”

Ian P

“I found this Worldviews class fascinating and learned a lot from it this past year. It’s a great class if you would like to understand various worldviews and their historical development. What’s more, you don’t simply learn about worldviews, you get to experience them through thought-provoking movies/media each week! In class you get to discuss the movie, attempt to answer the questions it offers, and then relate the worldview to its historical and cultural context. Although most movies are enjoyable, be prepared for a few that may not fit into your favorite genres. Also, class is discussion-based with a lot of talking on mics…”

Ethan S (Student)