Teaching Students About Arian Beliefs


In today’s increasingly diverse and interconnected world, it is crucial for educators to promote understanding and tolerance among students of different faiths and beliefs. One such belief system that warrants exploration is Arianism, a theological concept stemming from the early Christian church. This article delves into the history of Arian beliefs and emphasizes the importance of teaching these concepts to students in an unbiased and informative manner. 

Historical Overview

Arianism is a Christian theological position named after Arius, a fourth-century priest from Alexandria, Egypt. It emerged as a significant theological controversy during the early years of Christianity. Arius posited that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, was not equal to God the Father but rather a separate created being who existed before time began. Due to this viewpoint, Arians do not accept the concept of Trinity and emphasize the subordination of Jesus Christ to God the Father.

Teaching Arian Beliefs in the Classroom

When teaching Arian beliefs to students, it is crucial to approach it with the same level of respect given to any other religious doctrine. Here are some guidelines educators can follow:

Provide historical context: Begin by explaining when and where Arianism emerged, along with its impact on early Christianity. Explain how this belief system differed from other early Christian controversies.

Introduce core Arian beliefs: Focus on principal tenets like Jesus Christ being subordinate to God the Father and not sharing His divine essence. Explain how these ideas diverge from more mainstream Christian beliefs, leading to conflict within the early church.

Emphasize respectful dialogue: Encourage students to ask questions and express their thoughts openly while respecting each other’s religious views. Use this opportunity for fostering interfaith dialogue that promotes understanding rather than division.

Discuss repercussions: Teach about historical events related to Arianism, including the Council of Nicaea in 325 AD and the subsequent fracturing and reunification of the Christian church.

Present modern perspectives: Discuss contemporary Arian movements, if any, and how these beliefs continue to impact religious thought.

Promote critical thinking: Encourage students to analyze the theological arguments made by Arius and his opponents to help them develop a deeper understanding of religious thought processes during early Christianity.


Teaching about Arian beliefs can be a valuable exercise in promoting religious literacy, understanding, and empathy among students. By approaching this subject respectfully and openly, educators have the opportunity to foster greater interfaith dialogue while enriching students’ knowledge of the diverse tapestry of faiths that exist within our world.

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