HOW DOES ONE BECOME A STUDENT OF CHRISTIAN SCIENCE?
All you need to do is study the textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, by Mary Baker Eddy, and strive daily to put into practice what you are learning. You do not need to join a church or group, although these are available in many areas for those who find such support useful. Churches provide an opportunity to meet other students, and to use what you are learning about Christian Science in a supportive atmosphere. The church (known as The Mother Church, the First Church of Christ, Scientist in Boston, Massachusetts) does not have a monopoly on the textbook, and those who do not want to get involved with organized religion may feel free to study Science and Health and call themselves students of Christian Science. But the local churches are a good place to hear testimonies of healing and make friends with other Christian Scientists. Most have Sunday School available for children up to age 20.
The textbook itself is a teacher and guide, and, in conjunction with God’s daily revelations to you through individual prayer, should be sufficient for your spiritual education. But, if you would like to have personal instruction, there are experienced Christian Science teachers available. Their names are listed in The Christian Science Journal, which is available from The Christian Science Publishing Society in Boston online or in Christian Science Reading Rooms. If you have a Reading Room in your area, you might find it a great source for Christian Science and Bible literature.
The Christian Science Publishing Society also publishes a study guide, The Quarterly Bible Lessons. These are daily lessons focused on a theme for the week. On Sundays, the lesson is read at CS church services all over the world. Mrs. Eddy had designated the Bible and Science and Health as the official “Pastor” for CS churches. This means that you will not hear a personal sermon delivered from the podium, but will be listening to the Word of God straight from the books, with no comments from the Readers. Unlike other worldwide religions, however, the same lesson will be read at all Christian Science churches and societies, so no matter where you travel or move, the message will be consistent. It sends a powerful prayer out into the world each week.
Also helpful are public practitioners of Christian Science. Most are authorized by The Mother Church in Boston and are listed in The Christian Science Journal. You can also find other healers online. Most of these dedicated people are in the full-time ministry of the practice, but some are part-time or beginners. Call them for prayerful assistance if you would like to try spiritual healing for your problems. Most would be happy to work with you and get you started in your study of Christian Science.
A great one-stop source online is JSH.christianscience.com (JSH Online). There you will find lists of Churches and Societies, Practitioners, Teachers, CS Nurses and more. Also JSH (referring to Journal, Sentinel, and Herald — the official publications of the Christian Science Publishing Society) provides access to thousands of articles published since the late 1800’s, plus recent podcasts and webblogs. Much of the content is free to the public; but to reach more you can subscribe. You can also learn more about Christian Science and the Church at ChristianScience.com.