Iris Virginia Cully
By Joyce Ann Mercer
Iris V. Cully (1914–2010). Writer and professor whose influence, beginning in the late 1950s, helped promote a renewed emphasis on the role of Scripture at the center of Christian education. Iris was the first woman to earn a doctorate in religion from Northwestern University, the first woman on faculty at Yale Divinity School, the first professor in any Disciples of Christ school, and the first woman president of the Association of Professors and Researchers in Religious Education.
Early Life, Marriage and Education
Some of the best clues to the life and contributions of Dr. Iris Virginia Arnold Cully appear on the dedication pages of her many books. These dedications read like a shorthand list of some of the key people, events, and communities with a shaping and sustaining impact upon her life. They also hint at an extraordinary journey of life and faith, and a vocation well lived. I therefore will let Cully’s book dedications guide in the telling of her story as I use each dedication to organize this brief biographical sketch of Iris Cully, a remarkable teacher-practitioner, writer, theorist, and theologian of Christian education in the Twentieth Century.
Childhood: “For My Parents, Myrtle Marie Arnold and James Aikman Arnold”
Iris Cully was born September 12, 1914 in Brooklyn, New York to Myrtle Marie Arnold and James Aikman Arnold, to whom she dedicated her 1960 book Children in the Church. Cully credits her father with introducing her to the arts as a child, taking her to museums, musical performances and to the ballet. To her mother, she gives credit for her love of theatre and drama. These aesthetic influences show up later in her work, particularly as she advocates for the use of artistic media in teaching children in the church. She also notes that her father got her started as a writer, giving her a very important gift at the age of nine: “It was a leather-bound writing book. The leather made it so very important. In it I wrote poetry and essays, and I would give them to my father and he would correct them and give them back.” This small writing book remains for Cully an important symbol of the start of her career and vocation as a writer, and is one of the few childhood possessions she still has with her today.
Cully’s father was of English and Scottish heritage, with a number of Presbyterian clergy in his family. Her mother’s side of the family hailed from Germany and Ireland, and was Roman Catholic. Although Cully notes that her parents did not attend church, she was baptized at the age of six weeks (November 1, 1914) at the New York Avenue Methodist Episcopal Church. She has some recollection of attending Sunday school as a young child, and recalls that her father gave her a Bible when she was nine years old.
Iris Cully’s parents had a tremendous influence on her later career as they supported her education, encouraging her to write and to study, and sending her to college in an era when, as she puts it, “many families still considered higher education to be a wasted expense on daughters” (for whom the main expectation was marriage).
Cully was the first woman on either side of her family to be sent to college. She attended Adelphi College on Long Island (Garden City, New York), graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1936 where she majored in English and minored in Religion. While her earlier intention had been to prepare for a career as a high school English teacher, Cully reassessed her goals during a traumatic semester in her junior year at Adelphi when a college friend died suddenly of appendicitis. At that time, she decided that she wanted to do church work in the form of Christian education.
My parents were puzzled by the choice. What was religious education? What would a director of religious education do? I went into the city to talk with people at Union Seminary…I rejected my minister’s idea of going to the Presbyterian seminary in Chicago because I knew I would be overcome with homesickness. I settled on Hartford Seminary Foundation, School of Religious Education, and had tested this possibility by enrolling in a summer conference at the Northfield (MA) school. On my first try, leaving the family’s summer home on Shelter Island (at the end of Long Island, NY), I turned back. I looked on the decision to go to Hartford as my training for leaving home. I had been given a vocation and I was determined to fulfill it. (Cully, 2002: 2)
Childhood Mentors Who Kindled a Vocation: “For Two Teachers—Isabelle Kerby in memoriam; Anne G. Hughes”
The roots of Cully’s decision to enter the field of Christian education long pre-date her college days, however. They can be traced back to her own experiences as a young person being educated in the church, and to her relationship with a public school teacher who was a person of faith. Cully mentions one particularly important person, Miss Isabelle Kerby, a skilled teller of Bible stories and a gifted teacher who taught in the “Junior Department” (ages 9-11) of the Sunday school. Cully (2002:1) identifies those years as the point at which her spiritual deepening began, recalling the way Miss Kerby would end each session with prayer: “On a day that I can still remember, it dawned on me that Someone was actually hearing her. There was a reality to God and to prayer that I had never before experienced. From that day I know how to pray. Attending the church service became important to me at about the age of twelve.”
Cully names this teacher as her first mentor, alongside her eighth grade public school teacher, Anne G. Hughes. Hughes became a family friend and Cully credits this friendship with helping her through adolescence, “a time of life that I really did not enjoy much,” as well as with introducing her to the Episcopal liturgy through occasional attendance at Trinity Church, New York’s, Saturday evensong service: “It was a beautiful experience, worshipping with her there. Aunty Hughes became a special part of our family and visited us in Vermont many summers until her death. I am sure that her introduction was a providential preparation for my entrance into the church she so much loved” (Cully: 1978:71).
Imparting the Word: The Bible in Christian Education, Cully’s 1962 book is dedicated to these two important women. In the book’s preface, Cully (1962:10) explains her dedication, saying, Through (Kerby’s) words and actions God in Christ shone forth, calling the listening child. To do for other children what had been down through her became the background of a vocation…. Under (Hughes’s) guidance, horizons enlarged…. One thinks of these two women with the hope that all Christian teachers may be like them. True teachers impart the gospel of God through their very selves.
Thus saying, Cully gave words to her own sense of vocation as a teacher and religious educator. In describing the significant events of her later childhood and adolescence, Iris tells about her involvement in the Dutch Reformed Community Church of Kew Gardens, the suburb to which her family moved when she was thirteen. Following the tenure of a strict orthodox Calvinist pastor at that church was a Presbyterian minister, Dr. Clair Gahaghen, who helped Cully become involved in a wide range of activities in the church, from choir to the youth group to helping out with the secretarial duties in the office.
While valuing the relationship with this pastor and the guidance she received as she struggled with adolescent theological doubts and questions, Cully’s excitement about Christian faith really blossomed when she was able to enroll in an upper class religion course during her sophomore year in college. Taught by Professor Carl Purinton, the course was a study of Albert Schweitzer’s The quest for the historical Jesus. After that, Cully took as many religion courses as she could while still keeping her major in English. It was Professor Purinton who encouraged her to enroll in Hartford Seminary Foundation School of Religious Education. Writing about this later through the lens of feminist reflections, Cully (1978: 68) quipped, “Only recently have I wondered why [Purinton] did not send me on to graduate school to pursue my interest in Christology. Suppose I had gone to one of the sister colleges, such as Wellesley, where Louise Pettibone Smith and Emily Huntress (Lantero) were then translating Bultmann.”
Graduate Education and Marriage: “For My Husband, Kendig Brubaker Cully:”
‘There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear’ I John 4:18’” Cully studied religious education at Hartford, with A.J. William Myers and Edna May Baxter as her main advisors in education, while she also worked with Alexander Purdy, and Karl Stolz, two New Testament scholars. She graduated in 1937 after writing an MA dissertation on hymns. Cully says she was challenged by the theological liberalism of Hartford, which she describes as “firmly settled in the theologically liberal viewpoint…[but] anything but liberal in the sense of giving openness to more orthodox views” (Cully, 2002:2).
Among her most influential teachers at Hartford was Hornell Hart. Hart was a Quaker from whom she took a course on meditation. She speaks about the impact this course had on her life, both at the time she took it, and in her present day spiritual practices. I feel deeply indebted to Prof. Hornell Hart…for his course on meditation. For one half hour each day we were expected to meditate and then write down our reflections. It taught me a method of prayer that I have not forgotten, and steadied me in many situations. [When a courtship was not going well, there came to me,
‘There is not fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear.’ (1 John 4:18) Later the courtship resumed, and I dedicated my first book to my husband with those words]. (Cully, 2002: 2)
The courtship being referred to, of course, was with Kendig Brubaker Cully, a student in the Ph.D. program at Hartford. They agreed to delay their marriage until completing their degrees and paying their educational debts, so Iris worked for two years (1937-39) as a part time church secretary and part time director of religious education at Hollis Presbyterian Church. During those years she also taught two sessions of weekday after-school religious education in Manhattan. Kendig had accepted a call to First Congregational Church, Belchertown, Massachusetts, where he and Iris were married on September 9, 1939. The engagement and wedding were announced in local papers as well as in the New York Times, the text appearing along with beautiful studio photographs of Iris as a young and radiant bride.
Cully describes herself in the early years of their marriage as “almost a traditional minister’s wife,” in which she took on the denominational affiliation of her husband and went with him wherever he received a call. For the most part, this meant churches in small communities in New England, a life that required some adjustments on Cully’s part having grown up and never gone far from her family’s homes in and around New York City. What made her “almost traditional” instead of merely “traditional” was twofold. First, beginning in the early years of their marriage, even as she filled the role of the parish first lady, Cully also nurtured a career of her own as a writer, publishing articles for children’s ministry magazines and other denominational publications, and beginning her work as a curriculum writer. “In the early years of marriage, and when children are young, of course the attention and time goes to them first. But I always had some writing, even if it was only little things or church newsletters.”
And second, Cully nearly always uses the term “partnership” to describe her marriage to Kendig, speaking of the many ways in which the two of them supported one another often involving the overturning of traditional gender roles. Much of that, however, only came to be publicly visible later, when Iris resumed her studies and embarked on her work as an academician. Her earliest writings focus on topics such as women’s work in the church, being a minister’s wife, and children’s religion. One easily gains a sense of the breadth of her life’s journey upon seeing, later in her post-doctoral writing career, her authorship of such articles as “Sexism in the Church” (1978), “Mary: Archetype for Women’s Liberation” (1971), and “Feminism and Ministerial Education” (1979).
Parenting: “To Melissa Iris Cully and Patience Allegra Cully”
Obviously, though, the earlier years of the marriage found Iris in a much more constricted role as the ‘first lady’ in her husband’s churches. In one of his parishes in the early 1950’s this became particularly difficult for her when she did not particularly like the church and her efforts to work with women’s groups there were unsuccessful. Writing about that time, Iris said, “As usual I worked with preschoolers. I was settling into nominal faith. It has been said that the clergy wife has no pastor. My concern was to uphold my clergy husband, not to look to him with my parish or problems. It was a blank time spiritually. In the summer of 1950 I went into a depression: a low dull feeling that went on until December” (Cully, 2002: 4).
The years immediately before that had been more fulfilling. While living in a suburb of Boston where Kendig served as pastor for a congregational church, their first child Melissa Iris Cully was born on May 14, 1941, soon followed by the birth of a sister Patience Allegra on March 18, 1943. Cully and her husband/co-author Kendig dedicated their first co-authored volume, Two Seasons: Advent and Lent (1954) to daughters Melissa and Patience. About her own experiences of parenting, Cully (1978: 69) wrote
Children are fulfilling, sometimes in ways one does not foresee. An unreasoning small creature demands attention, but is not specific about what is wanted. Marriage may be a partnership—but parenting—no way! This is one avenue by which humans achieve that self transcendence which is the mark of maturity. Through a relationship of love and hostility, joy and sorrow, anxiety and hope, is forged a bond that can only be severed by death. Today, Cully’s daughters are grown and married with children of their own. Both have pursued work that involves them in the worlds of children and education, Melissa Mueller and Patience Ecklund. Iris Cully has eight grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. The Cully’s co-authored volume, A Guide to Biblical resources (1981) is dedicated “to our grandchildren,” each one listed by name.
At the same time that she was parenting her own young children, Cully continued the work that would prove to be one of the hallmarks of her contributions to the field of religious education, writing curriculum for and teaching young children in the church. She wrote for the United Presbyterian “Christian Faith and Life” curriculum, as well as for other publishing houses:
I had my first conversation with Dorothy Fritz, editor of children’s curriculum, in 1951 and began going to curriculum conferences at the Witherspoon Building, denominational headquarters in Philadelphia. This too was exhilarating because it was—at least to some extent—Barthian, neo-orthodoxy, a word that was hardly admitted in some denominational circles. I enjoyed the writing because it included an opening section for each session, titled “For the Thinking of Parents and Teachers,” a biblical introduction. At that time I was writing kindergarten materials. (Cully, 2002:4)
In 1951, the Cully family moved to Evanston, IL where Kendig took a call as education minister at a large Methodist church. That same year, Iris began to study at Garrett Theological Seminary. “We were right there, and Kendig was always saying, why don’t you get your Ph.D.? So I enrolled in the program, because I learned that the BD was a requirement before the Ph.D. could be granted. I studied in the joint program of Garrett and Northwestern University.” She received her Bachelor of Divinity degree in 1954, and Ph.D. in 1955, her dissertation entitled, “A Kerygmatic Approach to Christina Education with Special Reference to Implications concerning Writing Curriculum for Children Ages Three to Eleven.” David Shipley, professor of theology, and Frank McKibben, professor of religious education, were co-advisors for Cully’s work. Cully recalls being the only woman in a class of around one hundred men. She was the first woman to graduate with the Ph.D. in religion from Northwestern. She speaks fondly of coming home from morning classes and re-hashing her notes over lunch with Kendig. “He liked that because it kept him up to speed on the new thinking.”
The most significant “new thinking” Iris Cully encountered at Northwestern came through her first exposure to the theological world of neo-orthodoxy:
Books by Karl Barth and Emil Brunner were there for study; Bultmann, Dibelius and Cullmann had been translated into English. I took all the courses available from my professor of historical theology, David Shipley—may perpetual light shine upon him! I was reaching in new directions. How would the curriculum for the religious education of children change in the light of new understandings in theology, and new interpretations of the Bible? (Cully, 2002:4)
Cully’s first book, entitled The dynamics of Christian Education, was drawn from her dissertation. When her husband Kendig began to teach at Seabury-Western Seminary, both he and Iris made the decision to join the Episcopal Church. Bishop Stephen Keeler of Minnesota confirmed her during the second assembly of the World Council of Churches when it met in Evanston. Iris taught part time in various schools from 1955 until the family moved to New York, including Garrett, Chicago Lutheran Seminary, Kendall College, the Baptist Missionary Training School, and Northwestern University’s evening school.
Friends and Colleagues: “To Elizabeth Fowlkes Miller and Randolph Crump Miller”
In 1964, the Cully’s moved back to New York, where Kendig taught and was dean at Biblical Seminary (which became New York Theological Seminary). Iris taught, one day a week each, at Yale, Drew, Union, and New York University. In 1965, she joined the faculty at Yale Divinity School as associate professor of Religious Education, spending three days a week on campus, and returning to New York City for the remainder of the week. Cully notes that she was the first woman to hold faculty status at Yale Divinity School, but that a few other women followed shortly after. She recollects how there were relatively few women in the student body at that time, and how difficult it was for them to have a voice in their classes or in the divinity school community.
Cully gives partial credit for her appointment at Yale to friend and colleague Randolf Crump Miller, then professor of Christian Education at the Divinity School: “We always appreciated each other’s work.” In addition to writing a chapter in a festschrift for Miller, which she and Kendig edited, Cully dedicated her 1972 book Change, Conflict, and Self-Determination to Miller and his wife. Cully speaks fondly of her friendship and professional collegial relationship with Miller. She calls her years at Yale “interesting times, with people like Randy Miller around.” She also identifies these years as a relative low-point in her career, “less broadening because in my role there was so little interaction with the faculty. Students were very stimulating though. The student interaction makes it for me.” New York Theological Seminary, where Kendig worked, closed its academic programs in 1970, so the Cully’s decided to move to their mountain farmhouse, Springhill, in Vermont. There, the two of them began, co-edited and managed the Review of Books in Religion, “the sort of venture that a couple with competence but no capital would attempt only in fulfillment of a vision. The work was almost overwhelming … Books came from everywhere…It was a full education in the publishing business” (Cully, 1978: 73). After thirteen years of work on this periodical, the Cully’s gave it to Duke University Divinity School for continuation. It was published as Books and Religion until the Spring of 1992.
During the 1970’s while living on the East Coast Cully taught courses at St. Michael’s University, Vermont; Meinrad Seminary, Kentucky; Fordham University; LaSalle College, Philadelphia. She speaks appreciatively of her involvement in these Roman Catholic contexts that she says especially contributed to her developing perspectives on Christian education for spiritual growth.
During the 1970’s, Cully took on several significant leadership roles in the field of religious education. She was a member of the Board of Directors for the Religious Education Association from 1975-79, and served on the advisory committee for its journal, Religious Education. She served on the faculty grants committee of the Association of Theological Schools from 1977-79, and through ATS lead curriculum workshops for seminary faculties in 1980. In 1973-74, Iris Cully became the first woman elected as president of the Association of Professors and Researchers in Religious Education, following upon her term as vice-president from 1972-73. In her presidential address, Cully called into question the popular assumption that Christian education is a field dominated by women: Seemingly fewer women than men have done graduate study to the doctoral level. There have been more women of note in the field of general education than in religious education. Seminary departments, where these included two persons in religious education, have frequently appointed a woman as the second…to take the ‘practical’ courses, and it was not expected that she have the doctoral degree…” (Cully, 1974:13).
In that address, Cully went on to note a similar dearth of female leadership in the professional guilds of religious education, in writing and research within the discipline (especially at the level of theory) other than for elementary children. In this and multiple other writings, Cully addressed the subject of gender inequality in the church, in marriage relationships, and in the academy. Asked whether she considers herself a feminist, Cully replied, “Yes, I consider myself a feminist. But the question is, would other people? I don’t put much of it in my books. I just do it.” Cully remained an active member of the Association of Professors and Researchers in Religious Education, attending its annual meeting most years until 2001 when health problems prevented her from doing so.
A Full Time Faculty Position: “To the People at Lexington Theological Seminary”
In 1976, Cully received an invitation to serve as visiting professor of Christian education at Lexington Theological Seminary in Kentucky. Reflecting on their decision making process as a couple, Iris remarked, “Kendig and I said that whoever had something come first, something full-time, that’s where we’d go.” Four months after beginning her work as a visiting professor, Iris was invited to become the Alexander Campbell Hopkins Professor of Religious Pedagogy. She notes that in this capacity she became the first woman on the faculty of any Disciples of Christ seminary. Cully recalls her years at Lexington as the highlight of her career. Her 1979 book Christian Child Development bears a dedication to this seminary community, from which Cully retired in 1985. She was active in the full life of the seminary, giving chapel sermons, serving in the seminary’s governance, and advising students in addition to her teaching.
While at Lexington, Cully taught courses such as “The Pastor as Teacher” and “Teaching Children in the Church,” along with surveys and introductions to Christian Education. In spite of a lifetime of course teaching in seminary and higher education, today there exists only one course syllabus among Cully’s personal papers that are housed in the library of the Claremont Graduate School of Theology. “Why keep them? Every course has to be created anew and you can’t use the same thing over again,” Cully said, explaining why she threw away all her syllabi. Cully says that the courses she taught always depended upon the people she was teaching. At Lexington, her particular focus was on helping student ministers see their role as teachers. Noting the difficulty of teaching students the discipline of Christian education in only one or two classes, she quipped (perhaps only half jokingly), “There is only one person more discouraged than the religious education professor ten years after graduation, and that’s the preaching professor!” She considers her interactions with students at Lexington the best aspect of her teaching career.
During the 1980’s Cully gave a number of important lectures, including the Oreon Scott Lectures at Bethany (West Virginia) College in 1981; the World Council of Churches’ Program Unit on Education’s Conference on Religious Education in Evian France, 1980; and the inaugural Ada Adams Lectures at Ewart College, Toronto (Ontario, Canada) in 1981. In the summer of 1984 she and Kendig were co-lecturers at the summer study session of St. George’s College, Jerusalem. Her professional achievements have been honored in multiple ways, including the awarding of the honorary Doctor of Divinity degree from Episcopal Theological Seminary in Kentucky in 1990. She is also listed in numerous books honoring professional achievement: Contemporary Authors (1967); Directory of American Scholars, 5th Edition (1969); Who’s Who in American College and University Administration (1970); and Leaders in Education (1971).
Unlike many academicians whose accomplishments are measured in part by the numbers of people following in their footsteps within the academy, Iris V. Cully’s legacy can be found mainly among practitioners of Christian education in congregations. While her influence can be found within the work of persons such as Sharon Warner (her successor at Lexington Theological Seminary), David Ng, this author, and others in academia, by and large these persons were not Cully’s students in the classroom but instead were influenced by her writings and through encounters with her at professional associations such as REA and APRRE.
Deepening Spirituality in the Twilight of Life
“To the Society of the Companions of the Holy Cross who for a century have both practiced and shared the Spiritual life.” In 1985 Iris Cully retired from her position at Lexington, and she and Kendig moved to Pilgrim Place, a church-related retirement community in Claremont, California. Kendig died of complications from lung cancer on March 29, 1987, an experience that Iris says “left me completely desolate. After all those years of partnership it was like a spiritual and physical amputation.” At the time of Kendig’s death, the Cully’s were in the process of co-editing the Harper Encyclopedia of Religious Education. Iris, left to complete this work alone, writes that she “felt it as a sacred obligation” to complete what they had begun. She finished the volume in the spring of 1990, and says that doing so helped her to work through her grief. That is also the time around which she marks her turn toward a more contemplative spirituality, although by this time she had been in the Episcopal Church for nearly forty years and a member of the Society of the Companions of the Holy Cross (SCHC) since 1967 and was no stranger to contemplative spiritual practices. Her 1984 book, Education for Spiritual Growth, is dedicated to this community of intercessory prayer.
An Episcopal laywomen’s order for intercessory prayer, the Society of the Companions of the Holy Cross holds annual retreats at its retreat house in Massachusetts each year as well as regional retreats. Cully has been an active participant in this society and its retreats for years. “I cannot estimate the extent to which the SCHC has been instrumental in my spiritual growth, but I know that it has been important to my life now for almost thirty-five years. Companion conference has given me many a week with other women pledged to thanksgiving, intercession, and simplicity of life. We follow in the way of the cross and remind ourselves of that in our companion prayer” (Cully, 2002: 5).
In the years immediately following her husband’s death, Cully began to explore various contemplative prayer practices such as centering prayer. She had her first experience of a personal retreat at the Stillpoint monastery in upstate New York during the fall of 1990, and through the direction of Sr. Sylvia Rosell came to hold many such retreats. From Sr. Sylvia, Iris learned about the art of spiritual direction, and began meeting with a spiritual director back in California after her first Stillpoint retreat. In a true testimony to life-long learning, Iris Cully enrolled in the spiritual direction program of the Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation, in Bethesda, Maryland. She completed the first year of the program, but following hip surgery after which she suffered a bad fall in November 2001, Cully had to suspend her work at Shalem. She refers to her falling, and the subsequent limitations in mobility it occasioned, as a “spiritual turning point in addition to the physical, because of the immense dependence on others. It leads to a dependence on God, and the spiritual issues of life become heightened.” No longer driving her own automobile, today Cully maintains contact with her spiritual director by email.
Lately, she has been particularly interested in prayer practices such as walking the Labyrinth. Describing the first time of doing this spiritual discipline in Houston on a “Companions” retreat, Cully recalls her surprise in discovering that the way in to the labyrinth is the same as the way out: “Then someone told me, ‘that’s because you put down your burden in the center of it and were lighter on the way out. I’d never thought of that. It’s an intense experience. It draws one to look up lest you become dizzy.” Cully attributes the wide appeal of such practices today to their ability to “tap into parts of religious life that aren’t rational…After so much emphasis on rationality, people seek religious experiences that touch other aspects of being human.”
At the time of this writing (July 2002), Iris Cully continues to live independently in her home at Pilgrim Place, where her walls are decorated with art and a single silver candelabra is the only other visibly “east coast” furnishing from her past in what is otherwise “California contemporary” décor. As Cully put it, “We decided that a house should look like the place it is. There’s no point in bringing Vermont farmhouse furnishings to California. Every place has its own style and time.” She speaks similarly about her books and her vocation: “Each one of my books was written in a particular time. There was something happening at that time to call forth the need for the book. Time moves on, and the issues and needs change.” Elsewhere, Cully put it this way: “I tried as a religious educator to write a book picking up other strands of thought, trying to translate religious education into what’s going on in the times in which that book is being written…Each book meets a need at its time. You have to take them in context.”
Talking to 88-year old Iris Cully today, one has the sense of a life and vocation well lived. She continues to be an avid reader and a lively conversationalist. But if asked what she is pursuing at this time, Cully says, “I am not working on anything now. I have come to a time in my life when I am content to just be and not to do. I can enjoy the contemplative life, and am ready for life’s end.”
Writes Cully, “Now I approach the ending of earthly life with a clear sense of the presence of my Risen Lord. I have been almost fifteen years without my Beloved, and repeat with a friend those reassuring words: ‘If we life, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord; so then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord’s’” (Cully, 2002: 6).
As of the time of this writing (August 2002) Iris Cully continues to live independently, pray, and hold lively conversations about Christian education and other subjects at her home in Claremont, California.
Addendum: Sister Iris V. Cully passed away in Pomona, CA on February 24, 2010.
Sources for Information on the Life of Dr. Iris V. Cully
Unattributed quotations in this essay come from personal correspondence, interviews, and conversations between Dr. Cully and Joyce Ann Mercer, particularly from a telephone interview of September 16, 1996, and visits with Dr. Cully in her Claremont home from June 6-9, 2002. In addition to these conversations, Dr. Cully has been generous in providing access to her papers and writings, sermon and lecture tapes, various historical documents and photographs that aided in the writing of this essay. The author also acknowledges the gracious assistance of the library staff at Claremont School of Theology, and its Allen J. Moore Multicultural Resource and Research Center, where Dr. Cully’s papers are now archived. The Claremont School of Theology Library and the Moore Multicultural Center may be contacted at 1325 North College Avenue, Claremont, CA 91711-3199.
Other sources include:
- Cully, Iris V. (2002) My spiritual journey. Unpublished essay: Claremont, CA.
- __________ (1978) “Persons, places, and ideas that have influence me,” Lexington Theological Quarterly 13 (July 1978): 65-74.
- ___________Videotaped interviews with Iris V. Cully: (1) Alan Moore’s oral history project, School of Theology at Claremont, CA: April 13, 1987. (2) Iris V.Cully and Randolph Crump Miller—interview at School of Theology, Claremont: Currents in religious education in the twentieth century, School of Theology, Claremont, CA: October 26, 1992. Both tapes available through the Library’s Moore Multicultural Center.
- Echridge, James M. (1967 revised edition). “CULLY, Iris (Virginia Arnold) 1914--” p. 54 in Contemporary authors. Detroit: Gale Research.
- Mercer, Joyce Ann (1997). Iris Cully: Imparting the word. In Barbara Anne Keely (Ed.). Faith of our foremothers: Women changing religious education. Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press: 74-87.
Contributions to Christian Education
Iris Cully’s writing and teaching spans six decades and cover a multitude of thematic foci, ranging from child development to the doctrine of the Holy Spirit. Her writings appear in journals oriented toward practitioners of education, and those meant for the academy. Cully is most well known, however, for three main thematic areas of attention: (1) her work developing a distinctively theological and biblical framework for Christian education; (2) her focus upon children that brings together contemporary perspectives on child development with educational theory and Christian theology; and, (3) her work in the area of Christian education curriculum, both as a curriculum writer and as a theorist.
A Theological and Biblical Framework for Christian Education
Iris Cully is particularly noted for her development of a theology of Christian education. She did this in a time when women’s efforts were steered toward the practical, “how-to” aspects of Christian education, rather than to the creation of theory. Cully’s 1958 book, Dynamics of Christian Education, puts forward her perspective that the kerygma, or proclamation of the good news of God’s action in Jesus Christ, forms the foundation of Christian education and is the norm for its content. That is, the whole reason for doing Christian education is kerygma—proclaiming good news. And the subject matter of Christian education, its content, is the same. Education in the church is all about teaching the kerygma in such a way that God’s action in Christ becomes real both in the lives of individuals and in the world. In this book, Cully’s approach holds in tension a neo-orthodox theological emphasis on God’s initiating action toward humanity with theological liberalism’s educational perspectives that emphasize human experience and the importance of human development. Much of her writing addresses this tension either implicitly or explicitly (cf. Cully, 1956; 1958; 1980; 1970). In Dynamics, based upon her Ph.D. dissertation, and articles related to this book, Cully set out to show that liberal education theory inviting creative methods and using contemporary psychological understandings of human personhood could be used together with a theology in which the Bible as “the self-revelation of God through the people of Israel and through the redemptive life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ” (1984: 30; cf. 1956). In so doing, she influenced curriculum writing in the 1960’s, particularly in the Presbyterian Church but also among Lutherans, Episcopalians, and non-denominational publishers, with the idea that contemporary educational methods could be used in teaching traditional Biblical and theological material.
For Cully, participation (in relationships, in the community of faith, in the mission of the church) is the method of Christian education, with the church as its context. She views the church as a community for whom the Bible is the central text as “the story of God’s love made known in creation and redemption through the people of Israel and through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ…[The Bible is] at the center of Christian education This story is our story. It is the foundation and continual support of the church, the Christian community” (1995:1).
So central is the Bible for Cully’s understanding of Christian education that she wrote two books (1962; 1995) on the subject in addition to numerous articles. In addition, she includes chapters on teaching the bible in her books about children (1960; 1979). Cully and her husband also co-authored a resource book on the Bible, A Guide to Biblical Resources (1981) that could be used by individuals seeking an introduction to reading the Bible, or by those in the church charged with teaching the Bible. One reviewer of The Bible in Christian Education (1995:1286), Steve Schroeder, critiqued the book for giving an overly summary treatment of developmental theory and biblical interpretation. Cully’s gift, though, is her ability to write in a way that persons who are volunteer teachers in the church, working without benefit of theological education, can use.
Cully’s 1967 work, Christian worship and Christian Education, explores education both for and through worship, beginning with a brief survey of liturgical theology. Most chapters conclude with a section on “implications for education,” in which Cully treats the issues presented for the practice of Christian education. Her basic emphasis in this work is that participation in Christian worship involves persons in a multi-sensory, multi-symbolic, “whole person” experience through which they are educated in faith. This book thus returns to her primary theme of participation as the method of Christian education. Education for Spiritual Growth (1984b) gives historical and theological material on Christian spirituality, even while its chief concern is with the educator’s task of nurturing the spirituality of persons in the church. There she addresses the relationship between God-given spiritual capacities (“nature”) and the potential of persons to develop their spiritual capacities through education (“nurture”). Cully asserts that both aspects together make possible spiritual maturity. While encouraging persons to read about spirituality, Cully’s central claim is that the spiritual life is a practice. It is more like a long pilgrimage than an accomplished goal; more dependent on openness to the work of the Holy Spirit than to one’s own personal strivings. And yet, the book asserts, there is education for spiritual growth in all religious communities.
In summary, one hallmark of Cully’s contributions to Christian education is her theological grounding of the discipline, and her ability to express that theology in ways understandable to practitioners in the church.
A second thematic focus of Cully’s work, and one of the contributions for which she is best know, is her writing on children in the church. Cully’s adult writing career began with her work as a curriculum writer for pre-school and kindergarten materials, and as a contributor of essays and articles for church publications about educating children (see, for example Cully, 1949; 1959 1960b; 1962b). Three of her eleven books focus directly on children. The first of these, Children in the Church, combines a theological understanding of childhood with a practical perspective about how to nurture children in the faith community. This book “approaches the task of Christian teaching from the position of the parent and the teacher trying to understand both the child and the Christian faith” (1960:12). The book was selected as the Pastoral Psychology book club selection and Religious Book Club alternate selection in April 1960). It received favorable reviews, as exemplified by Reuel Howle’s review in Pastoral Psychology (1960: 61 ):
Here is another of a growing number of books that undertake to provide a theological basis for Christian education and is done so well that the reader of this review is urged to look at the book itself. [At the same time, Cully] is unquestionably aware of the affinities between theological and psychological insights by one has the feeling that she has not really achieved correlation between them because the correlations are stated too propositionally and are too little expressed in terms of illustrations of what she means…These criticisms, however, are not serious because the strength of Children in the Church appears later where she makes the third emphasis in the translation of her understanding of the faith and the developing child to the process of his instruction She picks up where most books stop. She applies her principles to the methods and resources of education whereas many other books merely state the principle and leave the application to the teacher.
Throughout her theology of childhood, Cully emphasizes the unique status of the child as a created and redeemed beloved one of God, and the special responsibilities of adults in relation to the child. For Cully, each child is first and foremost a “Thou,” (drawing from Buber’s “I-Thou” relationship) in relation to a teacher, a unique and living subject rather than one to be objectified: …the teacher ministers to the children in the name of Christ, who called the children to himself. Thus he is in a special relationship to them. He must stand inside the circle with the children, seeing himself with them. Then the personal “i” who is teacher addresses the “thou” who is each child, as subject to subject…The child is created by God. This is a statement that may be implicit, but is scarcely explicit, in most books on the psychology of childhood. It must be spelled out here because the understanding of this basic truth affects the connection made between psychological insights and the good news in which Christians nurture children within the life of the church. (1960:15-17)
A 1983 article, “A Theology of Children” continues and further develops these ideas about children as “precious to God,” and as given into the care of adults, who have the God-given responsibility of advocacy for children (Cully, 1983:203). Such concern and responsibility extends to children everywhere in the world, and Cully calls on persons to consider the ways the global marketplace may provide low-cost clothing to some at the expense of children and women.Children are “inheritors of redemption because Christians believe that Christ died for all people” (1983:204).
Cully also advocated for the full inclusion of children in Christian worship: “Children, created and redeemed by God, are participants in the kingdom of God. As Such they are full members of the church, the company of Christ’s faithful people…Adult members owe children more than a feeling of belonging. A worship service should be designed in some way to meet the needs of all people, including those of children” (1983:207).
Christian child development (1979) is Cully’s elaboration of developmental and learning theory in relation to Christian nurture. Reviewer John Peatling (1979:8-9) commented, Christian Child Development is a collection of eleven helpful essays. However, it does not establish that there is any such thing as Christian child development. There is child development, and there are child Christians, and those children do develop. But they do so because they are young humans completely within the fundamental order of Creation. The development of a Christina child is only contextually different than any child. Wisely this book does not state a distinct “Christian” process of child development…If Christian religious educators would read, mark, lean, and inwardly digest these topics, then local practice and professional dialogue could reach a higher level.
Cully’s work on children played a significant influence in the teaching and writing of seminary professor and Christian educator David Ng, who wrote extensively on children and worship in the 1980’s.
Curriculum and Christian Education
A third area of work through which Cully contributed to Christian education is that of curriculum. Planning and Selecting Curriculum for Christian Education (1983b) is Cully’s most comprehensive writing on the subject of curriculum in the church, written in conjunction with her work on the Joint Education Development (JED) committee that created the “Shared Approaches to Christian Education” ecumenical curricula. There Cully outlined the ecumenical approach to curricula in the church used by JED, which calls for viewing education as a system that includes (1) planning and evaluation; (2) certain theological and educational assumptions; (3) teaching and learning opportunities; (4) material resources, and (5) leader development and support. Cully was not uncritical of the problems in ecumenical curricular ventures, particularly around what she termed “the least-common-denominator aspect of co-operative curriculum materials” (1960b: 427).
As both a proponent and sometimes-critic of ecumenical cooperation in curriculum development (see Cully, 1978: 445-447 for her pragmatic critique of what needs to happen in order for CE:SA cooperative material to succeed), and an advocate of providing congregations with many choices in their teaching materials, Cully expressed concern about the growing sense of denominationalism in curricula production, and the waste of financial resources this trend involved (1971), a position that drew heavy criticism from some denominational leaders and pastors, even while inviting praise from educational leadership in ecumenical groups (see “Readers’ Response,” in The Christian Century, September 29, 1971).
Cully’s writings on curriculum always include material on the practice of teaching. In her actual curriculum writing, this generally takes the form of practical helps and suggestions for teachers, where she is particularly concerned to provide basic ideas and suggestions to the inexperienced. In her theoretical work on curriculum, the conversation on teaching takes the form of perspectives on teaching as a calling or vocation in the church. In her “Concluding Word” to Planning and Selecting Curriculum for Christian Education (1983b), for example, Cully asserts that we in the church’s educational ministries need to stop recruiting teachers with assurances that this ministry will not take much time. Instead, she argues, those recruited need to take time to learn how to teach, and to be honest that good teaching requires preparation time, because only “improved” teachers will change Christian education. Elsewhere, Cully says that teaching is a calling from God; that it is a high calling requiring skills and gifts; and therefore the task of teaching is not for everyone (1960:101).
Concluding Comments on Cully’s Contributions
One of the central hallmarks of Iris Cully’s work is her ability to hold together theory and practice in Christian education, often manifested in her style of writing that appropriates complex theological and psychological theories in a language accessible to volunteer teachers in the church. She also works in an extremely interdisciplinary way: Her writing on children, for example, is distinctive in that it holds together theological and psychological perspectives on childhood toward addressing how children learn and are nurtured in Christian faith. Cully engages developmental psychology as a way to understand the needs of learners and develop appropriate ways of teaching them, but never to supplant theology’s role of providing the content of Christian education. Her construction of a theology of children pre-dates and sets the stage for the contemporary movement in practical theology to make Christian theological sense of this time period within the human lifespan.
Theologically, Cully combines a Reformed theologian’s embrace of the priority of God’s action and the ambiguities and pathos of the human situation, as well as a fairly Reformed-sounding theology of teaching as a particular Christian vocation and calling, with Anglican sensibilities for aesthetics and liturgy, cultivation of the inner life and the embrace of a contemplative spirituality.
Cully’s writing career has been vast, and this brief essay only highlights three of the major thematic areas in her work. In addition to these three themes, Cully also has written extensively on the subject of women, and throughout her career has been an advocate for women in ministry and in Christian education (Cully 1945; 1949; 1975; 1979b; See also Mercer, 1997). Furthermore, she authored numerous articles address the perennial and basic questions in the field of Christian education in fresh ways for their times—“There’s More to Christian Education than Values Clarification” (1976); “How Does Faith Come to Persons?” (1967b); “Christian Education: Instruction or Nurture?” (1967c). And finally, through her editorial work, her reviews of books, and co-authorship with her husband Kendig, Iris Cully has contributed significant reference resources used by scholars and practitioners alike (Harper’s Encyclopedia of Religious Education; co-founding editors of Review of Books in Religion) in the upbuilding of the church’s educational ministries for the twentieth century and beyond.
- Cully, Iris Arnold. 1949. “The minister’s wife in religious education,” The Lantern. March 1949: 3-4.
- Cully, Iris V. 1945. “The church needs women,” The Church Woman. March 1945: 4-7.
- ___________. 1949. “Looking ahead to spring,” Children’s Religion. Feb. 1949: 10-11.
- __________. 1956. “The kerygma and Christian education,” The Journal of Bible and Religion, July 1956, Vol. XXIV, No. 3: 180-184.
- _____________. 1958. The dynamics of Christian education. Philadelphia: Westminster Press.
- ____________. 1959. “Tips for beginning teachers,” in Children’s Leader section of Baptist Leader, September 1959: 19-20.
- _____________. 1960. Children in the church. Philadelphia: Westminster Press.
- _______1960B. “Use holy days for teaching: Advent,” Lutheran Teacher. November 1960: 13-16.
- _____________. 1962. Imparting the word: The Bible in Christian education. Philadelphia: Westminster Press.
- ____________. 1962b. “For the thinking of parents and teachers” and “Session plans”, Aug. 5-Sept. 2. Discovery: For parents and teachers of juniors, July-September 1962, 14, 4: 48-64. Published quarterly by Board of Christian Education of the United Presbyterian Church in the United States of America.
- ______________. 1967. Christian worship and church education. Philadelphia: Westminster Press.
- _____________. 1967b. “How does faith come to persons?” Children’s Religion. January 1967: 7-8.
- ______________. 1967c. “Christian education: instruction or nurture,” Religious Education. May-June 1967, 62: 225-261.
- _____________.1970. “Problems in Bible instruction in American catechetical literature,” Concilium, March 1970, Vol. 3, No. 6: 128-139.
- _____________. 1975. “Women in religious education: An overview,” The Living Light. 12,1. Spring 1975: 11-18.
- ______________. 1971. “The curriculum scandal,” The Christian Century, July 21, 1971: 879-882. See also Replies. “Readers’ response: Denominational responsibility for Christian education curricula,” The Christian Century. September 29, 1971:1146-1147.
- _______________. 1976. “There’s more to Christian education than values clarification,” Religion Teacher’s Journal (RTJ), September 1976: 22-24.
- _____________ 1978. “Will ecumenical curriculum work?” The Christian Century, 95:15. April 26, 1978: 445-447.
- _____________. 1979. Christian child development. San Francisco: Harper and Row.
- _____________. 1979b. “Feminism and ministerial education,” The Christian Century. 96. February 7-14, 1979: 141-146.
- ______________.1980. “Geography and theology in a biblical approach to religious education,” Lexington Theological Review, 15. July 1980: 65-81.
- _______________. 1983. “A theology of children,” Review and Expositor, 80, 2. Spring 1983: 201-210.
- ______________. 1983b. Planning and selecting curriculum for Christian education. Valley Forge, PA: Judson Press.
- _____________. 1984. “Continuity within change: Religious education as a calling,” Religious Education, 79, 1. Winter 1984: 29-36.
- ______________. 1984b. Education for spiritual growth. San Francisco: Harper and Row.
- ______________. 1995. The Bible in Christian education. Minneapolis: Fortress Press.
- Cully, Iris V. and Kendig Brubaker Cully, 1981. A guide to biblical resources. Wilton, CT: Morehouse-Barlow Co.
- ___________________. 1991. Harper’s encyclopedia of Christian education. San Francisco: Harper and Row.
- Howle, Reuel. 1960. “Children in the church, by Iris V. Cully” in Reviews of Current Books, Pastoral Psychology. April 1960, Vol. 11, No. 103: 662.
- Peatling, John H. 1979. “Iris V. Cully, Christian child development,” reviewed in The New Review of Books and Religion. April 1979: 8-9.
- Schroeder, Steve. 1995. Book review, “The Bible in Christian education by Iris V. Cully” Booklist. March 15, 1995.
- [Compilation of this bibliography was greatly aided by the preliminary bibliography of Dr. Cully's work developed by Dr. Sharon Warner (now on the faculty at Lexington Theological Seminary) as part of Dr. Allen Moore's Oral History Project, Claremont School of Theology. I am indebted to Dr. Warner and wish to acknowledge her earlier work, which made my job considerably easier.]
- (1995). The Bible in Christian education. Fortress Press: Minneapolis.
- (1990). Harper's encyclopedia of religious education. Co-edited with Kendig Brubaker Cully. San Francisco: Harper and Row.
- (1984). Education for spiritual growth. San Francisco: Harper and Row. In Korean, Yongjok songjang ul wihan kyoyuk. Soul Tukpyolsi: Taehan Yesukyo Changnohoe Ch'onghoe Kyoyukbu, 1986.
- (1983). Planning and selecting curriculum for Christian education. Valley Forge, PA: Judson Press.
- (1981). A guide to biblical resources. Co-authored with Kendig Brubaker Cully. Wilton, CT: Morehouse-Barlow Co.
- (1979). Christian child development. San Francisco: Harper and Row. Also published as Christian child development. Melbourne: Joint Board of Christian Education of Australia and New Zealand, 1979.
- (1978). Process and relationship: Issues in theology, philosophy, and religious education: A festschrift for Randolph Crump Miller. Co-edited with Kendig Brubaker Cully. Birmingham, AL: Religious Education Press.
- (1976). New life for your Sunday school. New York: Hawthorn Books.
- (1976). From Aaron to Zerubbabel: Profiles of Bible people. Co-authored with Kendig Brubaker Cully. New York: Hawthorn Books.
- (1972). Change, conflict, and self-determination: Next steps in religious education. Philadelphia: Westminster Press.
- (1967). Christian worship and church education. Philadelphia: Westminster Press.
- (1963). An introductory theological wordbook. Co-authored with Kendig Brubaker Cully. Philadelphia: Westminster Press.
- (1963). Imparting the word: The Bible in Christian education. Philadelphia: Westminster Press.
- (1960). Children in the church. Philadelphia: Westminster Press.
- (1958). The dynamics of Christian education. Philadelphia: Westminster Press.
- (1954). Two seasons: Advent and Lent. Co-Authored with Kendig Brubaker Cully. Indianapolis: Bobbs Merrill. Book Chapters
- (1984). Changing patterns of protestant curriculum. In Marvin J. Taylor (Ed.), Changing Patterns of Religious Education. Nashville, TN: Abingdon Press: 220-233.
- (1983). Problems of Bible instruction in American catechetical literature. In Michael Warren (Ed.), Sourcebook for Modern Catechetics. Winona, MN: St. Mary's Press, Christian Brothers Publications.
- (1982). Aspects of childhood confirmation. In Kendig Brubaker Cully (Ed.), Confirmation ee-examined. Wilton, CT: Morehouse-Barlow Co., 93-107.
- (1978). Christian education: Instruction or nurture. In John Westerhoff (Ed.), Who are we? Birmingham, AL: Religious Education Press.
- (1978). The problem and the clue. In Kendig Brubaker Cully and Iris V. Cully (Eds.), Process and relationship. Birmingham, AL: Religious Education Press.
- (1970). The church's worship as formative of the Christian community. In Kendig Brubaker Cully (Ed.), Does the church know how to teach? London: The Macmillan Company, 235-257.
- (1970). Problems in Bible instruction in American catechetical literature. In Alois Muller (Ed.), Catechetics for the future. New York: Herder.
- (1967). Children. In John MacQuarrie (Ed.), Dictionary of Christian ethics. Philadelphia: Westminster Press.
- (1965). An existential dynamic for education. In Kendig Brubaker Cully (Ed.), The search for a Christian education since 1940. Philadelphia: Westminster Press.
- (1963). "Methodology" and "Question and answer method." In Kendig Brubaker Cully (Ed.), The Westminster dictionary of Christian education. Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 426 and 544.
- (1962). "Dictionary." With Kendig Brubaker Cully and Bruce M. Metzger. In Appendix, Holy Bible: Revised Standard Version. New York: World Publishing Co.
- (1961). For young people. Section 10, Nos. 1-5: 86-87, and Section 11, Nos. 17-18: 97. In Kendig Brubaker Cully (Ed.), Prayers for church workers. Philadelphia: Westminster Press.
- (1960). Children's work in the church. In Marvin J. Taylor (Ed.), Religious education: A comprehensive survey. New York: Abingdon Press.
- (1994). Living along the spiral. Pace, 24, Nov.1994:5.
- (1992). An appreciation of Lucie W. Barber. Panorama, 4.2, Winter 1992:14.
- (1991). The Bible in Christian education. Biblical Literacy Today, Spring 1991: 14.
- (1989). Spiritual growth and education. Panorama 2. Winter 1989:56.
- (1986). Teaching through the Christian calendar. On-the-move, 52, April 1986. Joint Board of Christian Education, Melbourne, Aus.
- (1985). Fostering spiritual growth: Churches have something to offer a harried world. Christian Ministry, 16.1, January 1985:5-7.
- (1984). You are the superintendent. The Church School Herald-Journal, December-February, 1983-84:15.
- (1984). Continuity within change: Religious education as a calling. Religious Education 79, Winter, 1984: 29-36.
- (1984). Theology as story and experience. National Association of Episcopal Schools Journal, 1.1, Spring: 34-38.
- (1984). William Clayton Bower and religious education. Lexington Theological Quarterly, 19.3, July 1984:118-122.
- (1983). A theology of children. Review and Expositor, 80.2, Spring 1983:201-210.
- (1983). Setting a climate for adult learning. International Lesson Annual, 1983-84. United Methodist Church.
- (1983). Teaching through the Christian calendar. Reformed Liturgy and Music, 16, Fall, 1982:165-170.
- (1982). The Pastor as teacher. Christian Ministry, 13, March 1982:13-16. (Reprinted in Baptist Leader, May 1984.)
- (1982). Response to from theory to practice: Curriculum (Interview with Dwayne Huebner and William Kennedy). Religious Education, 77.4, July-August 1982.
- (1982). The diocese in religious education. A Newsletter of the Center for Christian Living and Learning, 1.3, San Diego, California, Summer, 1982.
- (1982). Children as members of the Christian community. The Ada Adams Memorial Lectures, Delivered at Ewart College, Toronto, Ontario, 1981. In Presbyterian Record (Toronto, Ontario, Canada). Part 1: September 1982: 14-17; Part 2: October 1982: 14-15; Part 3: November 1982: 30-32; Part 4: December 1982:18-19.
- (1982). Journey to Bible lands. Religion Teacher's Journal, February, 1982.
- (1982). Teaching through the Christian calendar. Reformed Liturgy and Music. 16. Fall 1982: 165-170.
- (1981). Biblical geography can vitalize religious education. The Christian Ministry, 12,3. May 1981: 27-30.
- (1981). Preschoolers and spiritual development. Living With Preschoolers, October-December, 1981.
- (1980). Geography and theology in a Biblical approach to religious education. Lexington Theological Quarterly, 15, July 1980: 65-81.
- (1980). Growing as moral persons today. Illinois Libraries, 61.10, December 1980: 850.
- (1980). Paraphrasing the scriptures. International Lesson Annual, 1980-81. Nashville, TN: Abingdon, 211. (Reprinted in Adult Leader, September-November, 1982.)
- (1979). Feminism and ministerial education. The Christian Century, 96, Feb. 7-14, 1979: 141-146.
- (1979). Pastors as teachers. Religious Education, 74,2. March-April: 121-129.
- (1979). Justification. The Disciple, July 15, 1979:34.
- (1978). Persons, places and ideas that have influenced me. Lexington Theological Quarterly, 13,3, July 1978:65-74.
- (1978). Will ecumenical curriculum work: Church publishers must accept the fact that producing Sunday school material is a business enterprise. The Christian Century, 95, 15. April 26, 1978:445-447.
- (1978). Religion and the academics. New Review of Books and Religion. 2. March 1978:4.
- (1978). Sexism in the church. APCE Advocate,3.1, February 1978:1-3.
- (1978). Women--old vision, new gains. The Disciple. June 18, 1978:13. (Reprinted in John Milton Magazine, 11.7. July 1979).
- (1978). Women--deities and deaconesses. The Disciple. June 4, 1978: 5.
- (1977). Continuity and process in religious education. Lexington Theological Quarterly, 12. January 1977, 15-22.
- (1977). Looking ahead with the Sunday school. Lexington Theological Quarterly. 12. July: 81-93.
- (1977). New models and old forms. Religious Education, 72. January-February, 33-36.
- (1977). Women and religion. Newsletter, University of Kentucky, Continuing Education For Women. October.
- (1976). There's more to Christian education than values clarification. Religion Teacher's Journal. September: 22-24.
- (1975). Interview with Emil L. Fackenheim. Co-authored with Kendig B. Cully. Review of Books and Religion. 4. Jan. 1975: 2ff.
- (1975). Interview with Bernard J. F. Lonergan; and Interview with John T. McNeill. Co-authored with Kendig B. Cully. Review of Books and Religion. 4,2. March 1975: 2,13, and 15.
- (1975). Women in religious education: An overview. The Living Light.12, 1.Spring, 11-18.
- (1974). Focus on the future. The Catechist. January, 8.
- (1974). Religious publishing: Present and future. Co-authored with Kendig Brubaker Cully. The Living Light. 11, 1. Spring, 50.
- (1974). Some Protestant resources for Catholic educators. PACE. St. Mary's College Press, Fall.
- (1974). Discerning the future. The Presbyterian Record (Toronto). November, 14-15.
- (1973). Does the Sunday school have a future?. Mountain Echo. February. Reprinted in The Pastoral Staff, March 1973.
- (1973). Concerns for a teaching ministry in a changing world. St. Luke's Journal of Theology. 16. March, 47-58.
- (1973). Religious education for conflict and change. Religion Teacher's Journal. March, 24.
- (1972). Your church can help youth deal with conflict. Spectrum.48, March-April, 4-7.
- (1972). New approaches to teaching: action-reflection, games, multi-media, open classroom. Religious Education.67. September-October, 1972: 379-383.
- (1971). Classroom resource packet to the rescue. Elementary Education in the Church. June-August,12.
- (1971). What's happening in Christian religious education?. Religious Teacher's Journal. July-August,16.
- (1971). The curriculum scandal. The Christian Century. July 21, 879-882. Replies, Sept. 29, 1971: 1146-1147.
- (1971). What killed religious education?. Religion in Life. 40, 3. Autumn, 404-411.
- (1971). Mary: Archetype for women's liberation. Pulpit Digest. LII, 389. November, 31-34.
- (1970). Problems in Bible instruction in American catechetical literature. Concilium.3,6. March,128-139. (Also in French, Spanish, Italian, German.)
- (1970). Meditations for the week of January 25-31. The Upper Room Disciplines, 35.
- (1969).Teaching history in church curriculum. Religious Education. 64. March-April, 133-137.
- (1969). Current trends in protestant curricula. Religion Teacher's Journal. July-August,15.
- (1969). American piety: implications for a teaching ministry. The Pulpit. September, 7.
- (1967). How does faith come to persons?. Children's Religion. January,7-8.
- (1967). Christian education: instruction or nurture [Rejoinder]. Religious Education.62. May-June, 1967: 255-261.
- (1966). Christian education: Instruction or nurture [Rejoinder]. Religious Education. 61. May-June 1966: 229-240.
- (1966). Children encounter the resurrection. Children's Religion. April,9-10.
- (1966). The child's world. Dimensions. November-December, 9-11.
- (1965). Christian education: instruction and nurture [Reply to E. Farley]. Religious Education. 60. September-October 1965: 339-347; November-December 1965: 427-436.
- (1963). Biblical mythology and Christian education. Journal of Bible and Religion. 31,1. January,40-46.
- (1963). Living and acting as 'under authority’. Children's Religion. July,14.
- (1963). Children glimpse the world-wide church. Presbyterian Action. December, 8. (Reprint from International Journal of Religious Education, November, 1961.)
- (1962, January-March). (Article not identified). The Christian Educator, 13.
- (1961). Ministry to children. Pulpit Digest. November,13.
- (1961). Worship and witness. World Christian Education. First Quarter, 1961,17.
- (1961). Children glimpse the world-wide church: developing ecumenical understanding. International Journal of Religious Education. 38. November,16-17.
- (1960). What is the question?. Findings. January, 9.
- (1960). Making questions work for you. (Reprint of: What is the Question?. Findings. January, 9.) In Interpretation. Concordia Publishing House, November, 19.
- (1960). Is ecumenical curriculum possible?. Religion in Life. 29, 3. Summer, 426-433.
- (1960). How not to 'play God' while being a parent. Discovery. July-September, 10.
- (1960). Holidays for teaching. Syndicated article for Committee on Children's Work, Division of Christian Education. Published in:
- (1960, November). Use of Holy days for teaching. Lutheran Teacher, 13-16. (1960, October-December). (Article not identified). Discovery. 18.
- (1960, April). (Article not identified). Children's Leader, (Baptist Leader), 21.
- (1960, April). (Article not identified). Bethany Guide, 16.
- (1960, October). (Article not identified). Children's Religion, 11.
- (1959).Tips for beginning teachers. Baptist Leader. September, 19-20.
- (1958). Teachers everywhere are learning. Child Guidance in Christian Living. January, 8.
- (1956). Toward some fresh understandings for Christian education. Religion in Life. 25, 2.Spring, 237-246.
- (1956). A living faith for children. Child Guidance in Christian Living. April, 5.
- (1956). The kerygma and Christian education. The Journal of Bible and Religion. 24,3. July, 180-184.
- (1956).Family worship at advent. Program Manual, Pilgrim Series. Fall, 1956, 53.
- (1955). Teaching through 'creative' activities. Kindergarten Teacher's Guide.October-December,5.
- (1953) Quiet for mothers. Church in the Home. January-March, 20.
- (1953). Grounded in the eternal. Opening Doors. January-March,6.
- (1952). Families in the spring. Baptist Home. April-June, 21.
- (1952). Families at church. Baptist Leader. September, 18.
- (1951). Celebrating Easter. Children's Religion. March, 3.
- (1950). Homes for these days. Pilgrim State News, Nov-Dec. (Cully is listed as “Chairman, Christian Family Life, Dept. Women's Work” in this publication).
- (1950). The little green stick. Co-authored with Kendig Brubaker Cully. Pilgrim Home. Winter,13.
- (1950). Families in winter. The Christian Home. February, 44.
- (1950). Let's get acquainted. Child Guidance in Christian Living. February, 15.
- (1949). Stories for the worship services. Pilgrim Series Manual. Winter, 18f.
- (1949). Thanks for food. Co-authored with Kendig Brubaker Cully. Pilgrim Home. January-March, 17.
- (1949). Parents are interested. International Journal of Religious Education. January,18.
- (1949). The surest guarantee. Child Guidance in Christian Living. February, 15.
- (1949). Spring comes. Child Guidance in Christian Living. March, 15.
- (1949). Through nature to God. Co-authored with Kendig Brubaker Cully. Pilgrim Home, Spring, 13.
- (1949). The minister's wife in religious education. The Lantern. Hartford Seminary Foundation, March, 3.
- (1949). Toward a more complete church school. Pilgrim State News, March, 26-28.
- (1949). Friendships are learned. Children's Religion. July, 5.
- (1949). Morning stars: A story. Children's Religion. August, 17.
- (1949). Fall fires: A story. Children's Religion. September, 16.
- (1949). The church school meets the home. Child Guidance in Christian Living. September, 6.
- (1949). For newness of strength. Co-authored with Kendig Brubaker Cully. The Pilgrim Home. Fall (October-December), 16.
- (1949). Meeting children's needs. Child Guidance in Christian Living. October, 15.
- (1949). Families in the fall. The Christian Home. October,15.
- (1949). A criche for Christmas. Opening Doors. Presbyterian Board of Christian Education. October-December, 18.
- (1949). Looking ahead to spring: A Picture Article. Children's Religion. January, 9-11.
- (1948). Celebrating Easter. Child Guidance in Christian Living. March, 111.
- (1948). Psalms for today. Children's Religion. November, 10.
- (1948). Celebrating Christmas," Child Guidance in Christian Living. December, 543.
- (1947). Daughters of Dorcas. Westminster Adult Bible Class, January,57. (Reprinted from The Church Woman, May 1946.).
- (1947). Enjoying the Bible. Children's Religion. January,10.
- (1947). Seek ye the Lord. Children's Religion. February,6.
- (1947). The family gives. Children's Religion. March,6.
- (1947). Christianity begins at home. The Church Woman, April, 3.
- (1947). At the end of Lent. Children's Religion. April,9.
- (1947). Wonders of God. Children's Religion. May,10.
- (1947). Come and play. Child Guidance in Christian Living. June, 257.
- (1947). On getting to church when it seems impossible. Co-authored with Kendig Brubaker Cully. Pilgrim Home. Summer, 8.
- (1947). A place for the three-year-old. Child Guidance in Christian Living. August, 353.
- (1947). Family worship is in your hands. Children's Religion. August,9.
- (1947). For the record. Children's Religion. September,17.
- (1947). Pictures for learning. Child Guidance in Christian Living. October, 45.
- (1947). Celebrating Thanksgiving. Child Guidance in Christian Living. November, 495.
- (1947). Let us enjoy Christmas. Child Guidance in Christian Living. December, 544.
- (1946). Planning the garden: A story. Thoughts of God for Girls and Boys. Conn. Council of Churches), Spring,7.
- (1946). Out of the past--for today. Children's Religion. April, 2.
- (1946). Daughters of Dorcas. The Church Woman. May,11.
- (1946). Welcome stranger," Child Guidance for Christian Living. June, 257.
- (1946). Getting ready for family worship: A family story hour. Children's Religion. September, 9.
- (1946). Sing unto the Lord. Children's Religion. October,9.
- (1946). Thanks be to God: moments of worship during the Thanksgiving season. Children's Religion. November, 10.
- (1946). Preparing a place for Him. Children's Religion. December,5.
- (1945). The child lays hold on life. Children's Religion. March, 4.
- (1945). The church needs women. The Church Woman. March,4.
- (1945). Child of God. Children's Religion. April, 4.
- (1945). Church school after school. Children's Religion. September, 3.
- (1945). Thank-you God. Children's Religion. November,6.
- (1945). The family gets ready for Christmas. Children's Religion. December, 3.
Curricula and Limited Writings
- **Author’s note: In some cases in this section, I am unable to give a complete citation at the time of this compilation, due to the difficulty locating curricular resources and their more limited distribution. Dr. Cully gave to The Claremont Theology School’s library copies of curricular writings she had at the time she turned over her personal papers to them. The library houses these materials, but as they are not yet catalogued, librarians were unable to locate many of them at present. Nevertheless, I am including incomplete citations of items either mentioned to me by Dr. Cully or found on Dr. Warner’s original bibliography.
- (1995). An Ecumenical Protestant Curriculum Heritage, Module 4, Consultation on Curriculum Future, Nashville, Mar.31-Apr. 3, 1995. Tips for beginning teachers," Copy for Sunday calendar cover, Diocese of Chicago: "The privilege of teaching," "The parents' dilemma," September 1960. (Originally published in Baptist Leader, September, 1959: 19).
- (1992). Baptism. An ecumenical starting point. Concluding panel, Kentucky Council of Churches, Commission on Christian Unity. Erlanger KY, Nov. 8-9, 1992,41-2.
- (1985). Human development in Christian education: A Directed study at the undergraduate level. Educators’ Certification Council, United Presbyterian Church, USA. [Available in Moore Multicultural Education Center, Claremont School of Theology Library].
- (1979). Rejoice in your king: A study guide for Advent-Christmas. Co-authored with Kendig Brubaker Cully. Nashville, TN: Graded Press.
- (1975). The bible in our worship: An adult study course. “Interchange”: Inquiry, Presbyterian Board of Publications. March-May, 1975: 27ff.
- (1976). Studying and teaching the bible: An adult study course. Inquiry. [nb: unable to locate this for full citation]
- (1976). We give thanks: A preparation for early communion. Morehouse-Barlow Co.
- (1968). Trusting God. Reprinted from Teaching praise: A Five-Week Unit on the Psalms, in Discovery. Presbyterian Board of Christian Education. July-Sept.1962. July-September 1968: 57-60.
- (1964). The Lord of life: The gospel according to Mark, Teacher’s Guide. Co-authored with Kendig Brubaker Cully. New York: Morehouse-Barlow.
- (1964). The scripture explained. International Lesson Series, Adult Teacher (United Methodist Church). October, November, December.
- (1962). Teaching praise: A five-week unit on Psalms (Junior). Discovery. Presbyterian Board of Christian Education. July-Sept.
- (1962). The child's approach to religion. Leader's Guide for Course 215b in the Leadership Ed. Curriculum, National Council of Churches Department of Administration and Leadership, November 2, 1962.
- (1961). Teaching pans: Junior. Discovery. Presbyterian Board of Christian Education. January-March.
- (1960). Exploring the bible: Teacher’s Guide, Course 9. Episcopal Church Fellowship Series. Morehouse-Barlow. Pupil book by Kendig B. Cully.
- (1960). Kindergarten closely graded courses: Helps for leaders. Child Guidance in Christian Living. January, February, March, April, May, June, July and August.
- (1959). Kindergarten closely graded courses: Helps for leaders. Child Guidance in Christian Living. October, November, and December.
- (1958). My bible book: Teacher’s book. David C. Cook Teacher’s Quarterly for Ages 6,7,8. October, November, December.
- (1957). Kindergarten teacher’s guide. Church and Home Series. July-September: 12-62.
- (1957). Kindergarten closely graded courses: Helps for leaders. Child Guidance in Christian Living. January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, and September.
- (1957). Teaching plans: Primary. In Growing: Christian Faith and Life. Presbyterian Board of Christian Education. January-March.
- (1956). Kindergarten teacher’s guide. Church and Home Series. October-December: 14-62.
- (1956). Teaching plans: Primary. In Growing: Christian Faith and Life. Presbyterian Board of Christian Education. January-March.
- (1956). Kindergarten closely graded courses: Helps for leaders. Child Guidance in Christian Living. March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, and December.
- (1955). Beginning teacher. David C. Cook Publishing Co. October, November.
- (1955). Looking ahead with junior highs and Looking ahead for junior high teachers. David C. Cook Publishing Co. April, May, June 1955.
- (1955). Teaching plans: Primary. In Growing: Christian Faith and Life. 7, 3. Presbyterian Board of Christian Education. April -June.
- (1954). Teaching plans: Primary. In Growing: Christian Faith and Life. Presbyterian Board of Christian Education. April-June.
- (1954). Kindergarten group graded lessons: Helps for the teacher. Child Guidance in Christian Living. February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, and December.
- (1953). Kindergarten group graded lessons: Helps for the teacher. Child Guidance in Christian Living. February, March, April, May, June, July, August, and September.
- (1953). Teaching plans: Primary. In Growing: Christian Faith and Life. Presbyterian Board of Christian Education. July-September.
- (1952). Kindergarten teacher’s guide. Pilgrim Series. January-March. Teaching aids, 15-60. Session 19 is not by Dr. Cully.
- (1952). Kindergarten teacher’s guide. Church and Home Series, Evangelical Reformed Church). January-March. Teaching aids, 15-60.
- (1952). Teaching plans: Primary. In Growing: Christian Faith and Life. Presbyterian Board of Christian Education. September-December.
- (1951). Teaching plans: Primary. In Growing: Christian Faith and Life. Presbyterian Board of Christian Education. January-March, October-December.
- (1951). Keeping Christmas in our homes," First Methodist Church, Evanston, I11.,Advent, 1951. (Earlier published at First Congregational Church, Haverhill, MA., December 1947.)
- (1950). Woman's work building Christian homes. In Education Bulletin, Dept. of Woman's Work, Mass. Congregational Conference. XII, 1.
- (1950). Thoughts of God for boys and girls. In Connecticut Council of Churches, Hartford, CT. 15, 2. Summer (May-August).
- (1950). Teaching plans: Primary. In Growing: Christian Faith and Life. Presbyterian Board of Christian Education. July-September.
- (1948). Pilgrim services of worship for the church school. Pilgrim Series. April, May, June.
- (1948). Suggestions for leaders using little pilgrim lesson pictures with kindergarten children. Beginners’ Cycle Graded Lessons. Children’s Religion. January, February, March, April, May, June, August.
- (1947). Suggestions for leaders using little pilgrim lesson pictures with kindergarten children. Beginners’ Cycle Graded Lessons. Children’s Religion. May, June, July, September, October, November, December.
- (1947). The church and the home. In The Educational Bulletin, Dept. Woman's Work, Mass. Congregational Conference. IX, 1.
Audio- and Video Tapes
- (1992). Iris V. Cully and Randolph Crump Miller—Interview at School of Theology, Claremont: Currents in religious education in the twentieth century, School of Theology, Claremont, CA: October 26, 1992. Available through the Library’s Moore Multicultural Center.
- (1987). Videotaped interviews with Iris V. Cully. Alan Moore’s oral history project, School of Theology at Claremont, CA: April 13, 1987. Available through the Library’s Moore Multicultural Center.
- (1985). Seeing is believing: John 20: 11-18. Sermon preached at Lexington Theological Seminary Chapel. April 9, 1985. Audiotape from personal collection of Dr. Iris V. Cully.
- (1985). A Luncheon of recognition for Iris V. Cully on the occasion of her retirement at LTS: LTS Fellowship Hall, May 7, 1985 and A service of recognition for Iris Virginia Cully. Two audiotapes from personal collection of Dr. Iris V. Cully.
- (1985). Untitled Address, 20th Connectional Christian Education and Youth Congress, A.M.E. Church, Cleveland Ohio. July 8-12, 1985. Audiotape from personal collection of Dr. Iris V. Cully.
- (1984). With solemn joy. Sermon preached at Lexington Theological Seminary Chapel, March 7, 1984. Audiotape from personal collection of Dr. Iris V. Cully.
- (1983). Untitled homily: Matt. 20: 1-16. Sermon preached at Lexington Theological Seminary Chapel, February 22, 1983. Audiotape from personal collection of Dr. Iris V. Cully.
- (1978). Chapel address. Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, KY. October 10, 1978.
- (1977). On curriculum. With Kendig B. Cully. Lecture tape, Kalamazoo College, April 23, 1977. Audiotape from personal collection of Dr. Iris V. Cully.
Book Reviews by Iris V. Cully
- (1988). Donald E. Miller. Story and context: an introduction to Christian education. Nashville, TN: Abingdon, 1987. In St. Luke's Journal of Theology. 31. March 1988: 149-150.
- (1986). Ann and Barry Ulanov. Primary speech, a psychology of prayer. Atlanta: John Knox, 1982. In Review of Books and Religion. 14, 1-2. Jan/Feb. 1986:18.
- (1985 ). Margaret Hebblethwaite. Motherhood and God. Geoffrey Chapman, 1984. In Lexington Theological Seminary Quarterly. 20. April 1985: 61-62.
- (1985). Michael E. Moynahan. Once upon a parable: Dramas for worship and religious education. Paulist Press, 1984. In Religious Education. 80, 8. Winter, 1985: 161-162.
- (1985). A. Roger Gobbel, Gertrude G. Gobbel, and Thomas E. Ridenhour, Sr. Helping Youth interpret the Bible. In St. Luke’s Journal of Theology. 28. Summer 1985: 314-315.
- (1985). Edward Robinson. The original vision: A study of the religious experience of childhood. Oxford: Religious Experience Research Unit, Manchester College, 1979. In Books and Religion. 13, 2. March 1985: 10.
- (1985). Mary Elizabeth Moore. Education for continuity and change. Nashville: Abingdon, 1983. In Books and Religion, 13, 2. March 1985: 10.
- (1985). Diane Apostolos-Cappadona (Ed.). The sacred play of children. New York: Seabury, 1983. In Books and Religion, 13, 2. March 1985: 10.
- (1985). The wings of a butterfly. In Books and Religion, 13, 2. March 1985: 10.
- (1984). John Drane. The Old Testament story. Harper. In The Living Light. 21,1. October, 88.
- (1983). Kenneth Stokes. Faith development in the adult life cycle. New York: Sadlier, 1983. In The Living Church. August, 21, 1983.
- (1983). Hans-Ruedi Weber. Experiments with bible study. Hans-Ruedi Weber. In Review of Books and Religion, Mid-July, 1983.
- (1982). Margaret E. Howe. Women and church leadership. In Review of Books and Religion, April, 1982.
- (1982). David Ng and Virginia Thomas. Children in the worshipping community. Knox. In Review of Books and Religion, May 1982.
- (1982). Katheryn Allen Rabuzzi. The sacred and the feminine. Seabury. In Review of Books and Religion, October, 1982.
- (1981). Yohanan Aharoni. The land of the bible: A historical geography. Philadelphia: Westminster Press. In Living Light, 18, 1. Spring 1981.
- (1981). John H. Westerhoff and O.C. Edwards, (Eds). A faithful church. Morehouse-Barlow. In Living Light, October 11, 1981.
- (1981). Sophis Koulomizin. Many worlds: A Russian life. St. Vladimir's Press. In Religious Education, July-August, 1981.
- (1980). Michael Rutter, et. al. Fifteen thousand hours: Secondary schools and their effects on children. Cambridge:Harvard University Press, 1979. In Religious Education. 75, 5. September-October.
- (1980). Alwin Reiners (Ed.). Centerquest: Curriculum. Sewanee Theological Review. Sewanee, TN: School of Theology, University of the South.
- (1980). Randolph Crump Miller. The theory of Christian education practice. Birmingham, AL: Religious Education Press, 1980. In Review of Books and Religion.
- (1977). Marvin Taylor (Ed.). Foundations of Christian education in an era of change. Nashville, TN: Abingdon. In Religion in Life, Spring 1977.
- (1977). More aspects of the women's movement. In Review of Books and Religion. 5, 5. Mid-February, 1977, 1.
- (1977). E. Mavis Hetherington (Ed.). Review of child development. University of Chicago. In Review of Books and Religion. 5, 8. Mid-May, 1977, 6.
- (1976).Elizabeth Howell Verdesi. In but still out: Women in the church. Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1976. In The Christian Century, December 15, 1976.
- (1976). Frederick Buechner. Love feast. Atheneum. In Review of Books and Religion. 4, 4. Mid-January, 1976.
- (1976). Ordination of women. In Review of Books and Religion. 5. Feb. 1976: 1ff.
- (1976), Rosemary Radford Ruether. New woman, new earth. New York: Seabury, 1975. In Review of Books and Religion. 5. Feb. 1976: 1ff.
- (1976). J. Halley Cox. Hawaiian sculpture. University of Hawaii Press. In Review of Books and Religion. 4, 6. Mid-March, 1976.
- (1976). Francis Haar and Prithwish Neogy. Artists of Hawaii. University of Hawaii Press. In Review of Books and Religion. 4, 6. Mid-March, 1976.
- (1976). Angelico Chaves. My penitent land. University of New Mexico Press. In Review of Books and Religion. 4, 6.Mid-March, 1976.
- (1976). Alden C. Hayes. The four churches of Pecos. University of New Mexico. In Review of Books and Religion. 4, 6. Mid-March, 1976.
- (1976). Four books on the women's movement. In Review of Books and Religion. 4, 8. Mid-May, 1976.
- (1976). Review of four novels. In Review of Books and Religion. 4,9. Mid-June, 1976.
- (1976). Joseph Campbell, The mythic game. Princeton. In Review of Books and Religion. 4, 9. Mid-June, 1976.
- (1976). Sherman E. Lee. Asian art, part II. Asian Society. In Review of Books and Religion. 4, 9. Mid-June, 1976.
- (1976). Harry Thomas French. Discovering the biblical world. Harper. In Review of Books and Religion. 4, 9. Mid-June, 1976.
- (1976). Zuck and Clark. Childhood education in the church. Chicago: Moody Press. In Review of Books and Religion. 4,10. July-August, 1976.
- (1976). Dorothy Jean Furnish. Exploring the bible with children. Nashville, TN: Abingdon. In Review of Books and Religion. 4,10. July-August, 1976.
- (1976). John and Lela Hendrix. Experimental education. Nashville, TN: Abingdon. In Review of Books and Religion. 4,10. July-August, 1976.
- (1976). Focus on resources. In Review of Books and Religion. 4. January, February, March, April, May, June, July-August, September-October, November--December, 1976.
- (1975). Focus on resources. In Review of Books and Religion. 4, September, October, November-December, 1975.
- (1975). Encyclopedia Britannica. (1974 ed.) A review article. In Review of Books and Religion. 4, 2. October, 1975.
- (1974). Mary Reed Newland (Ed.). The resource guide for adult religious education. National Catholic Reporter Publishing Co. In The Christian Century. 91. December 11, 1974: 1178-1179.
- (1974). Focus on resources. In Review of Books and Religion. 3, January, February, March, April, May, June, July-August, September-October, November-December, 1974.
- (1974). Roland H. Bainton. Women of the Reformation in France and England. Augsburg. In Review of Books and Religion. 3, 4. Mid-February, 1974. (unsigned)
- (1974). The biblical message of Marc Chagal. Tudor. In Review of Books and Religion. 3, 5. Mid-March, 1974.
- (1974). Richard Quebedeux. The young evangelicals. Harper. In Review of Books and Religion. 3, 10. July-August, 1974.
- (1974). Rodger Van Allen. The commonweal and American Catholicism. Minneapolis: Fortress. In Review of Books and Religion. 3, 10. July-August, 1974.
- (1973). Jean Piaget. Psychology and epistemology. Grossman. In Review of Books and Religion. 2, 4. Mid-January, 1973.
- (1973). John Wilson. Education in religion and the emotions. Hilary House. In Review of Books and Religion. 2, 4. Mid-January, 1973.
- (1973). Betty Jean Lifton and Thomas C. Fox. Children of Vietnam. Atheneum. In Review of Books and Religion. 2, 6. Mid-March, 1973.
- (1973). Women: Advocacy and evidence: A Review of 3 Books. In Review of Books and Religion. 2, 8. Mid-May, 1973.
- (1973). Joan Huber. Changing women in a changing society. University of Chicago Press. In Review of Books and Religion. 2, 9. Mid-June, 1973.
- (1973). Review of 3 novels. In Review of Books and Religion. 2, 10. July-August, 1973.
- (1973). Resources for learning in religion (unsigned). In Review of Books and Religion. 2,10. August, 1973.
- (1973). Focus on resources. In Review of Books and Religion. 3. October, November-December, 1973.
- (1972). The Merton tapes. Electronic paperbacks. Chappaqua. In Review of Books and Religion. 2, 9. Mid-June, 1973. (unsigned)
- (1972). Richard F. Hettlinger. Growing up with sex. Seabury. In The Christian Century. 89. July 5-12, 1972: 754.
- (1972). On women and liberation: A review article. In Review of Books and Religion. 1, 5. January 15, 1972.
- (1972). Lois Wyse. American greetings. A composite review of books of poems. In Review of Books and Religion.1, 6.February 15, 1972.
- (1972). Viewing the parish: New Paperbounds. In Review of Books and Religion. 1, 9. May 15, 1972.
- (1972). Summer reading for children. In Review of Books and Religion. 1, 10. June 15, 1972.
- (1972). The intensive group experience: The new pietism. In Review of Books and Religion. 1, 10. June 15, 1972.
- (1972). The Age of Aquarius: A review article of two books. In Review of Books and Religion. 1, 11. July-August, 1972.
- (1972). Lois Lenski. Journey into childhood. Lippincott. In Review of Books and Religion.1, 11. July-August, 1972.
- (1972). Ann Morrow Lindbergh. Bring me a unicorn: Diaries and letters of Ann Morrow Lindbergh, 1922-27. Harcourt Brace J. In Review of Books and Religion. 1, 2. no. 1, September, 1972.
- (1972). Elaine Morgan. The descent of woman. Stein and Day. In Review of Books and Religion. 2, 1. October, 1972.
- (1972). For young readers at Christmas: A survey article. In Review of Books and Religion. 2, 3. November-December, 1972.
- (1971). Randolph Crump Miller. The language gap and God. Pilgrim Press. In The Christian Century. June 23, 1971.
- (1971). John H. Westerhoff. Values for tomorrow's children. Pilgrim Press. In The Christian Century. June 23, 1971.
- (1971). The pearl and the seed: Four booklets in the bible life and worship series. Allyn and Bacon. In Review of Books and Religion. October 15, 1971.
- (1971). Gift time or any time: A review of children's books. In Review of Books and Religion. 1,3. November 15, 1971.
- (1971). Evaluative review of religion textbooks. USCC. In Review of Books and Religion. 1, 4. December 15, 1971.
- (1970), J. Gordon Chamberlin. Toward a phenomenology of education. Westminster Press. In Religious Education. July-August, 1970.
- (1970). Robert C. Linthicum. Christian revolution for church renewal. In Religious Education.
- (1970). Rudiger Reitz. The church in experiment. Nashville, TN: Abingdon. In Religious Education. May-June, 1970.
- (1969). Ralph D. Heim. Leading a church school. Minneapolis: Fortress. In The Living Church. February, 1969.
- (1969). Committee on group for the advancement of psychiatry (Eds.). Normal Adolescence: Its Dynamic and Impact. Scribners. In C.E. Findings. Winter, 1968-1969.
- (1969). Robert Heyer (Ed.). “Discovery in song” and “Discovery in word.” Paulist. In C.E. Findings, Fall, 1969.
- (1969). A. M. Cocagnac and Rosemary Haughton.The Bible for young Christians: The Old Testament. Macmillan. In C.E. Findings. November 1969.
- (1968). Gerald H. Slusser. A dynamic approach to Christian education. Geneva, 1968. In Findings, Winter 1968 .
- (1968 ). Kevin Smith (Tr.). A new catechism, catholic faith for adults. Herder. In C.E. Findings, May 1968.
- (1968). Earl A. Grollman (Ed.). Explaining death to children. Beacon. In C.E. Findings. February 1968.
- (1967). Richard M. Spielmann. History of Christian worship. Seabury. In C.E. Findings. January 1967.
- (1967). Pierre Babin. Faith and the adolescent. Herder. In C.E. Findings. March 1967.
- (1967). V.J. Stanek. Pictorial encyclopedia of the animal kingdom. Crown. In C.E. Findings. December 1967.
- (1967). Gerald H. Slusser.A dynamic approach to church education. Geneva. In C.E. Findings. Winter, 1967.
- (1967). Pierre Charles. The prayer of all things herder. In C.E. Findings. March, 1967.
- (1967). Come to the father: English version of the catechism, “Viens vers le Pere," office Catechistique provincial, Montreal. In The Pulpit. June, 1967.
- (1967). Charles William Stewart. Adolescent religion: A developmental study of the religion of youth. Nashville, TN: Abingdon. In Journal of Religion. October 1967.
- (1967).W. T. Martin and Dan C. Pinck, Eds. Curriculum improvement and innovation: A partnership of students, school teachers, and research scholars. (Robert. Bentley Inc.). Religious Education, July-August.
- (1967). Pierre Babin. Faith and the adolescent. New York: Herder: 1965. In Findings, March 1967.
- (1967). Lester W. McMannis. Handbook on Christian education in the inner city. Seabury 1967. In Religious Education March-April 1967.
- (1966).The covenant life curriculum, 1963, 1964, 1965: A Review Article. Religious Education. 61. January-February: 65-66.
- (1966). The church's educational ministry: A curriculum plan. Bethany Press, 1965: A Review Article. Religious Education. 61, May-June, 1966: 241-245.
- (1966). Jerome S. Bruner. Toward a theory of instruction. Harvard University Press. C.E. Findings, December 1966.
- (1966). Marvin J.Taylor, Ed. An introduction to Christian education. Nashville, TN: Abingdon.In Religious Education, July -Aug.1966
- (1965). Robert L. Short. The gospel according to Peanuts. Richmond, VA: John Knox. C.E. Findings, November 1965.
- (1965). Paul M. VanBuren. The secular meaning of the gospel. London: Macmillan. C.E. Findings, February 1965.
- (1965). Kenneth L. Cober. The church's teaching ministry. Valley Forge, PA: Judson. C.E. Findings, February 1965.
- (1965). Ralph R. Sundquist, Jr. Whom God chooses: The child in the church," by Geneva Press. In C.E. Findings, May 1965.
- (1964). Walter Towner. Funding a church school. Nashville, TN:Abingdon. In C.E. Findings. December 1964.
- (1964). Frances Dunlap Heron. Jay Bain, junior boy. Nashville, TN: Abingdon.In Findings. Jan. 1964.
- (1963). Katherine Reeves. When we teach 3's; and Thelma Adair and Rachel S. Adams, When we teach 4’s. Both published by Geneva Press. In The Living Church, March 17, 1963.
- (1963). Joseph Dinson G1ass,Jr. The problem of objectives in religious education,1947-65. New Haven, CT: Yale University, 1963. In Religious Education May-June 1967.
- (1960). Victor Hoag. The ladder of learning. Seabury Press. In The Living Church. October 9, 1960.
- (1960). Willis D. Nutting. Schools and the means of education. Fides. In The Christian Century. April 4, 1960.
- (1960). Herman N. Beimfohr. Prayers for young people. Revell.
- (1960). Dorothy B. Phillips, Elizabeth Boyden Howes, Lucile M. Nixon, Eds. The choice is always ours. In Garrett Tower, December.
- (1960) Thomas N. Kepler. Leaves from a spiritual notebook. Nashville: TN. Abingdon Press. In Garrett Tower.
- (1959). Robert R. Brown. Bigger than Little Rock (Seabury). The Christian Century, June 11, 1959.
- (1959). J. Roswell Gallagher and Herbert I. Harris. Emotional problems of adolescents (Oxford). United Presbyterian, September 2, 1959.
- (1959). Elsa Barnouw and Arthus Swan. Adventures with children in nursery school and kindergarten (Crowell). Garrett Tower.
- (1957). Eleanor Hull. Suddenly the sun.( Friendship Press. )
- (1957 ). Jesse Jackson. Room for Randy ( Friendship Press), December, 1957.
- (1951). George F. Kneller. Existentialism and education. The Christian Century, January 21.
- (1976). In The New Review of Books and Religion. l , 3.
- Nov. 19, 1976 Ban "book banning"
- Dec. 1976 The cost of reading.
- (1977) . In The New Review of Books and Religion.
- 5 Jan. 1977 The reviewer's task
- 6 Feb. 1977 Religion and the academic
- 7 Mar. 1977 Scholarly writing
- 8 Apr. 1977 On editorial decisions
- 10 June 1977 The book as object
Reviews of Iris V. Cully’s Work
- Cooper, Marlene. (1996). The bible in Christian education. [Review of the book The bible in Christian education] . Lutheran Theological Journal, 30. August: 94-95.
- Van, Jane Rogers. (1996). The bible in Christian education. [Review of the book The bible in Christian education]. In Interpretation, Richmond, VA. Jul 199. 50,3:333-334.
- Casey, Diane Dates. (1995). The bible in Christian education. [Review of the book The bible in Christian education]. Trinity Seminary Review, 17. Fall 1995: 91-92.
- Stead, Barbara M. (1995). the bible in Christian education. [Review of the book The bible in Christian education]. Beacon Hill Books Reviewer. 1,2: 75-76.
- Hess, Carol Lakey. (1991). Harper’s encyclopedia of religious education. [Review of Harper’s encyclopedia of religious education]. In Interpretation. Richmond, Va: Oct. 45,4: 436.
- Strommen, Merton P. (1991). Harper’s encyclopedia of religious education. [Review of Harper’s encyclopedia of religious education]. The Christian Century. 108, 2. January 16, 1991: 55-56.
- Smith, Joanmarie. (1985). Education for spiritual growth. [Review of the book Education for spiritual growth]. Religious Education, 80. Spring 1985: 326-327.
- Strobel, Robert. (1985). Education for spiritual growth. [Review of the book Education for spiritual growth]. Christian Century, 102. May 29, 1985: 563-564.
- Phifer, Ken (1984). Education for spiritual growth. [Review of the book Education for spiritual growth]. Library Journal. 109. May 15, 1984: 987.
- Clemmons, W. (1984). Education for spiritual growth. [Review of the book Education for spiritual growth]. Faith and Mission. 2, 1. Fall 1984: 113-114.
- Peatling. J. H. (1983). A Guide to biblical resources. [Review of the book A Guide to biblical resources]. St. Luke’s Journal of Theology. 26. June 1983: 254-255.
- Furnish, D.J. (1980). Christian child development. [Review of the book Christian child development]. Religious Education. 75. March-April 1980: 220-221.
- Peatling, J. H. (1979). Christian child development. [Review of the book Christian child development]. New Review of Books and Religion. 3. April 1979: 8-9.
- Bryce, M. C. (1979). Christian child development. [Review of the book Christian child development]. Religion in Life. 48. Winter 1979: 513-514.
- Ryan, Mary P.(1976). New life for your Sunday school. [Review of the book New life for your Sunday school]. Review of Books and Religion 5. July-August 1976:3.
- Hay, LeRoy. (1976). New life for your Sunday school. [Review of the book New life for your Sunday school]. Christian Century, 93, December 22, 1976: 1156.
- Tyms, James D. (1973). Change, conflict and self-determination. [Review of the book Change, conflict and self-determination]. Journal of Religious Thought 30, 2: 69-70.
- Henton, Willis R. (1973). . (1973). Change, conflict and self-determination. [Review of the book Change, conflict and self-determination]. Anglican Theological Review 55. July 1973: 385-387.
- Wood, A.S. (1969). Christian worship and church education. [Review of the book Christian worship and church education]. Evangelical Quarterly 41. April-June 1969: 123-124.
- Schmidgall, William B. (1969). Christian worship and church education. [Review of the book Christian worship and church education]. Journal of Pastoral Care 23: 118-119.
- Koops, Hugh A. (1969). Christian worship and church education. [Review of the book Christian worship and church education]. Reformed Review 23. Fall 1969: 26.
- Asquith, Glenn H. (1969). Christian worship and church education. [Review of the book Christian worship and church education]. Foundations 12. October-December 1969: 367-368.
- Graves, A. W. (1968). Christian worship and church education. [Review of the book Christian worship and church education]. Review and Expositor, 65, Spring 1968: 253.
- Baxter, E. M. (1968). Christian worship and church education. [Review of the book Christian worship and church education]. Perspective (Pittsburgh). 9. Fall 1968: 305-306.
- Duba, Arlo D. (1963). Imparting the word. [Review of the book Imparting the word: The bible in Christian education]. Princeton Seminary Bulletin 57. October 1963: 68-69.
- Johnson, Charles H. (1961). Children in the church. [Review of the book Children in the church]. Perkins Journal 15,1: 64.
- Gray, J. (1960). The dynamics of Christian education. [Review of the book The dynamics of Christian education]. Expository Times 71. January 1960: 108.
- Howe, Reuel L. (1960). Children in the church. [Review of the book Children in the church]. Pastoral Psychology 11. April 1960: 61-62.
- Tully, Mary Anderson. (1960). Children in the church. [Review of the book Children in the church]. Union Seminary Quarterly Review 16. November 1960: 75-76.
- Jones, Mary Alice. (1960). Children in the church. [Review of the book Children in the church]. Religious Education 55. November-December 1960:472-474.
- Nelson, C. Ellis. (1959). The dynamics of Christian education. [Review of the book The dynamics of Christian education]. Union Seminary Quarterly Review 14. May 1959: 76.
- Moore, W. C. (1959). The dynamics of Christian education. [Review of the book The dynamics of Christian education]. Journal of Bible and Religion 27. April 1959: 174-175.
- Staat, John R. (1959). The dynamics of Christian education. [Review of the book The dynamics of Christian education]. Reformed Review 13. Summer 1959; 71-72.
Dissertations Addressing Cully’s Work
- (1966). Joe Dinson Glass. The problem of objectives in religious education, 1947-1965. Dissertation, Yale Univerisity.
- (1970). Eldrich C. Cambell, Jr. A comparative study of the role of the church in Christian education as viewed by George Albert Coe, with selected contemporary religious educators. Dissertation, New York University.
Excerpts from Publications
Iris V. Cully (1958). The dynamics of Christian Education. Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 136-137.
“The various arts are media for participation: painting, music, drama, poetry, and story, among others. These can bring the Biblical activity of God into present remembrance to meet the existential needs of the child within the Christian community. The great artist sees the depths of life and its wholeness. He has the genius to convey this understanding in a tangible form through which other people may participate in his insight. Great art is not simply factual; indeed, it need not be factual at all. The absence of ‘factuality’ in many examples of great religious art may have occasioned the tendency in the pragmatic emphasis in Christian nurture to turn to the use of pictures, poetry, and music that seem less artistic but more concrete. Thus there has been an emphasis on making sure that a Biblical picture has an authentic Palestinian background. What the faces of the depicted characters conveyed was less important. Objects, not subjects, were the matters under consideration. The Last Supper by a church school artist is therefore to be preferred over that of Leonardo da Vinci, because in ancient Palestine people did not sit on chairs at a table, but reclined at a low table. This criterion for judging art in teaching is insufficient for a Christian nurture that seeks to convey the kerygma. The stress would be on the disclosure of God’s activity as it is seen in the persons depicted, in the music, or in the words. Art would not always be Biblical, but it would be Biblically oriented. It might be a contemporary expression of the Biblical insight of God’s saving work…Art tries to go beyond the outward appearance in order to convey inner meaning. This can be a rich medium for revealing the depths of the Christian faith and of expressing the kerygma with power.”
Iris V. Cully (1984). Education for spiritual growth, San Francisco: Harper and Row. 38-39
“Spiritual growth is a combination of “nature” and “nurture.” God has endowed people with many kinds of gifts. Paul writes of the gifts given for the upbuilding of the church. There may be differences in the degree of spiritual formation possible to each person…The acceptance of a personal measure of spiritual development would break away from the competitive striving that is a hallmark of Western society…However attuned to the spiritual a person may be, growth in the Spirit includes nurture. God works quietly, imperceptibly, on a level frequently unrecognized…The life with God is cultivated, as is any other relationship. God is the initiator, but the human response is essential. …This interaction of nature and nurture makes spiritual maturity possible.”
Iris V. Cully. (1995). The Bible and Christian education. Minneapolis: Fortress, 138, 150, 151.
The Bible is spoken of as the Word of God, and this means much more than words about God. The Scriptures tell believers who God is and how God acts. In its pages are written the human response to God. The Bible is therefore a dialogue between God and human beings, creatures of God.; For this reason it is essential that Christians know the whole story of the Bible. To chose from it only those sections that seem to give directions for living distorts the full message. Each story, each teaching, is found within a total context of biblical experience …Teaching the gospel as Christian living will never be easy. It requires two ways of reading the Bible. One way looks at its composition, the context out of which a passage came, its sociological, political and historical situation. These help learners to grasp both the background and the meaning of a passage for those to whom it was addressed. A second way of interpreting the Word of God requires reading a brief passage deeply in the presence of God, alert to what God might be saying within even a sentence, a phrase, or a word. This balance is what gives fullness to Christian teaching… The Bible is central to every form of Christian education Its content will be studied in scholarly fashion, and its theological understandings explored. Methods of teaching will be developed with reference to the needs of each age level. The preeminent role of worship in Christian nurture and education will be realized, and the wellsprings of spiritual life will grow from the biblical Word. All of these will contribute to the witness of the Christian life.
Iris V. Cully. (1960).Children in the church. Philadelphia: Westminster, 116.
“The function of the Christian teacher, then, is to be a channel through whom God can make himself known to the child. Through his words of assurance and his gracious actions he shows the word of the Holy Spirit in a life, and those around the teacher sense that God seeks to dwell with them in that way too. Jesus promised his disciples that when he left them he would send his Holy Spirit who would teach them all things. (John 14:26.) The Holy Spirit, then, is the community—ministers, teachers, parents—all Christian people. He works in the degree to which they permit his influence in their lies, but he does not force himself upon anyone. The work of God in the learning of the Christian child must be considered basic in all discussion of the child himself (readiness, goals, motivation), the people who influence him, the technical aspects of learning, and the kinds of learning. The focus of Christian learning is that God shall make himself known through Jesus Christ in such a way that one lives a new life in the power of the Holy Spirit. This brings one to the question, What are we learning (or teaching) in Christian nurture? Lists of objectives and purposes may be found in publications of every denomination. It is hoped that the child will come to know that God his Creator loves him, and that this knowledge may be such that the child will respond in faith and commit his life in love and obedience to God…This is why we teach the child: that he may know and show the work of the Holy Spirit in his life as he lives within the fellowship of the church, through worship, sacraments, and the word of God in Scripture; that he may learn to express his love and obedience in attitudes and actions toward people near and far, like and unlike, needy and self-sufficient.
(1995). The Bible in Christian education. Fortress Press: Minneapolis.
This book is a re-writing of Cully’s 1963 volume, Imparting the Word: The Bible in Christian Education. In it, Cully asserts the centrality of the Bible as the foundation for Christian education, and offers a survey of using the Bible in Christian education. Early chapters focus on information about the Bible. Later chapters turn to various uses of the Bible in teaching, worship, and spiritual development. This book also demonstrates Cully’s more up-to-date thinking on a variety of subjects.
(1979). Christian child development. San Francisco: Harper and Row.
This book gives readers a good sense of Cully’s deep concern for children in the church; of her ability to engage psychological and educational theories of the time with theological insights; and her constant attention to the importance of the teaching ministry in the Christian formation of children.
(1958). The dynamics of Christian education. Philadelphia: Westminster Press.
Based on Cully’s doctoral dissertation, the book argues for the use of so-called “liberal” (focused upon persons and their experiences) educational methods in the teaching of Biblical theology. One sees here both the struggle between, and the importance of, Cully’s exposure to neo-orthodox theology and classic liberal theology/educational theory, as she develops a distinctively Christian theological rational and framework for Christian education.
(1983). A theology of children. Review and Expositor, 80.2, Spring 1983:201-210.
In 1980, Cully participated in a conference of the World Council of Churches on children and the church. In this follow-up piece to that experience, the impact of the global encounter becomes visible as Cully expands beyond her usual focus on the child in the local church, to address the urgent need for child advocacy raised by the situation of children in other parts of the world. She uses the theological themes of redemption, community, the kingdom of God, and the ministry of children to organize her theology of children.
(1979). Feminism and ministerial education. The Christian Century, 96, Feb. 7, 1979: 141-146.
Recognizing that the Women’s Movement is hardly a new phenomenon, Cully nevertheless addresses the reality that the changing cultural situation means that seminary education is also changing. The article is a practical set of suggestions for teachers and students about dealing with these changes constructively. Drawing from her 1974 presidential address to the Association of Professors and Researchers in Religious Education, Cully ends the article with a reminder that although Christian education may appear to be a women’s field, there remain only a few women professors of education in the seminaries and few women are appointed to large, “important” churches as ministers of education. The article offers a good sample of Cully’s extensive writing on issues of women, sexism, and the church.
(1971). The curriculum scandal. The Christian Century. July 21: 879-882. Replies, Sept. 29, 1971: 1146-1147.
One of the more controversial pieces of writing by Cully, this article dares to suggest that the lack of cooperation among denominations writing curricula is akin to “Sisyphus rolling the boulder,” as each denomination spends millions of dollars to develop and publish new curricula, only to be dissatisfied with the results and start over again a few years later. Cully suggests, among other things, that the church “stop trying to produce denominational members and think about developing Christians.” The article drew sharp responses from denominational officials and some pastors. Readers will get some insight into Cully’s understanding of curricula in Christian education, as well as for her commitments to ecumenism.
Joyce Ann Mercer
Joyce A. Mercer (Ph.D., Emory University) serves as Associate Professor of Christian Education at San Francisco Theological Seminary in San Francisco, CA.