Windows to the World 1: World History through Missionary Biographies

For this highly interactive course, we travel around the world and through different time periods with world literature — missionary biographies of different regions, sometimes including fiction and/or non-fiction books set in those regions.

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SKU: MM-WTTW-1 Category:


For this first World History course, we study missionaries and history in India, beginning with the “father of foreign missions”, and then on to Burma (Myanmar), Polynesia and Japan. Some biographies are required, and students have a choice (from a book list) for some of the biographies. A detailed list will be provided to enrolled students.

You may be interested in the sequel to this class: Windows to the World 1: World History through Missionary Biographies.

Students write different kinds of short reports to ‘teach’ the rest of the class about the history and culture, explore the culture and the spiritual climates, and work with a timeline and maps through a semester-long project.

The literature comes from all time periods (thus the timeline). We learn a lot about:

  • missionaries’ lives,
  • the need of the culture for Truth,
  • how the culture’s view of God affects what happens in the country and in its people’s lives,
  • what is happening historically in the country of study and in other countries around the world,
  • and how God is at work through time and place.

Students will fill out a “Book Response Form” which synthesizes the belief systems, culture, history, new vocabulary and a few elements of literary analysis learned through reading and class discussion.

Parents may purchase the books or check them out of the library — a list will be made available to those registered for the class.

I hated history — it was dry, boring, fill-in-the-blank. After studying it this way, it’s my favorite class of all.

What This Class Is Not

It is not a typical curriculum-based, chronological move through world history. We step out of that box and move through different time periods, always with a view to the present country or region.

The assignments include a lot of reading, so the student and parent must commit to reading the books (usually very interesting). If a student has reading issues, it is fine if the parent reads them aloud to the student — but there must be a commitment to do the reading.

Other assignments are hands-on and designed to engage the student in the region’s culture, history and spiritual realities. We will include videos, music, foods, and customs. Students will be asked occasionally to prepare a food and serve it to their families.

Course Materials

Access to the YWAM (Youth with A Mission Publishing) Books for each missionary we study.

Missionaries included this semester: William Carey, Amy Carmichael, Ida Scudder or Paul Brand or Sundar Singh, Adoniram Judson, John Williams, Jacob DeShazer

This course is taught by a former history-hating student. It was not until I started homeschooling my own children that I learned that history is about the compelling stories of people who were just like we are! It changed everything for me — I would love to help change that for your students if that is their situation.


Working camera on computer and microphone

  • Fall 2020 – Fridays 11:00AM – 12:30PM (ET)
Grade Level:
  • Middle school mostly, though high school students often enroll.
Class Schedule
  • Begin Class: Aug 21st
  • Fall Break: Oct 5-9
  • Thanksgiving Break: Nov 23-27
  • Last Class: Dec 9th