Archaeology goes hand in hand with evangelism to help today’s Christian better understand the past, children learned at this year’s Archaeology and Evangelism Camp conducted by the Naylor Children’s Center, May 21-25.The camp was one of three conducted this summer by the NCC to give Southwestern’s large homeschool community an opportunity to gather, says Kathi Rogers, director of the NCC.

The archaeology camp was devised to introduce children in grades 1-6 to the basics of archaeology and to illuminate the connections between archaeology and the history of missions, says Rogers. Southwestern students Jennifer Cowlishaw and Emily White, both Master of Arts students in archaeology and biblical studies, led students to learn more about the significance of archaeology through lessons and a tour of Southwestern’s simulated dig site. Young participants asked questions about the objects and the people who created and used them and worshiped together daily through music and memorized Scripture.  

Children participating in the archaeology camp toured Southwestern’s on-campus archaeology museum and simulated dig site, seeing artifacts from Israel and Egypt. They eagerly viewed coins, scarabs and restored pottery. At the dig site, which imitates Qumran, an archaeological site in the West Bank near the Dead Sea, they saw replicas of the ritual baths that were used to achieve purity and learned about the people of Qumran. Children were then allowed to dig and enjoy the process of finding pieces of history.

Later lessons focused on culture and religion in Israel and Egypt. Children heard Gospel presentations, and teachers emphasized how individual talents can be used to share the Gospel. Later, a speaker related her experience sharing the Gospel in Thailand through music. Another speaker talked about her mission trip to Jordan and how language is an influencing factor when connecting with people to share the Gospel in another country.

“Through archaeology, children receive a hands-on education in Bible and history that brings what adults often call ‘Bible stories’ to life as actual events lived out by actual people who struggled with actual troubles and had to live by the same faith by which we must live today,” says Waylan Owens, dean of Southwestern’s Terry School of Church and Family Ministries.

Two additional camps are being held for the first time this summer. At Kings and Kingdoms, June 18-22, children ages 3-5 learned about the kings and queens of the Bible. Lessons ended with the Gospel of the King of kings, Jesus Christ. Kayla Stewart, a Master of Arts student in missiology, and Alyssa Randall, who is seeking a bachelor of arts in humanities and biblical studies, taught the class.

Then, July 9-13, a Smart Phone Workshop will be taught by Kathleen Murray, associate director of visual communications at Southwestern. This camp will be a photography tutorial for students in grades 7-12 for taking photos with cellphones. Enrollment remains open for this workshop. See here for more details.