The new International Baccalaureate class will focus on more than just the bible.
"This is asking students to look at all religions," says IB coordinator Sarah Pugh. "They're evaluating them, they're comparing them, but even more importantly they're having to see how are they similar and how are they different. I really like the idea that a student isn't just focusing on one piece."
World history courses have included an introduction to different religions for years, but students wanted more, she says.
The district is adding a yearlong course focusing on five of the world's major religious texts.
Fifty students are already signed up, and Pugh says learning about other cultures will make the kids more tolerant.
"As Bentonville is becoming more diverse, we're finding that the classrooms look a lot different," she says. "Students are coming from a variety of different backgrounds and so if the students are able to understand what the different religious practices are, what the peoples' beliefs are, I believe it allows them to have a better understanding of people."