Adult Religious Education
Converting to another religion requires the same amount of commitment from the convert as those who were raised to adulthood within the faith, so attending religious classes is often mandatory. Learning the basics of the religion is a necessity for those who will be practicing it, and adult classes pack that knowledge into a short amount of time rather than the years allotted for children raised in the faith. For potential converts, the lessons are an outline of the faith, how its rituals and rites are practiced, and the amount of commitment they will be making if they move ahead.
Every faith has its own basic history and stories, and knowing the common ones is part of what congregations share. If these are left out of the convert’s education, they will miss references and their meaning. Classes designed for adults teach the basics quickly, but they also test to ensure each student has understood their meaning.
Ritual is important in many faiths, so churches teach potential converts about the most important ones. There are some that even those raised within the church will not know unless they are necessary, so it would be a waste to teach something that is not common. Concentrating on rituals that are the most used gives them equal footing, and it speeds their ability to make a commitment.
Few people know everything about their own religion, so it is generally understood that converts do not need to become an encyclopedia of knowledge in their new faith. Many of them do study long hours because their commitment is important, and some of them actually know more than those who have taken their church for granted through long term membership. Educating the potential converts is not necessarily done with this in mind, but they tend to be adults and absorb more information better than children.