As its title implies, the Course is arranged throughout as a teaching device. It consists of three books: Text, Workbook for Students, and Manual for Teachers. The order in which students choose to use the books, and the ways in which they study them, depend on their particular needs and preferences.
The Course proposes is carefully conceived and is explained, step by step, at both the theoretical and practical levels. It emphasizes application rather than theory, and experience rather than theology. Although Christian in statement, the Course deals with universal spiritual themes. It emphasizes that it is but one version of the universal curriculum. There are many others, this one differing from them only in form. They all lead to God in the end.
The Text is largely theoretical, and sets forth the concepts on which the Course's thought system is based. Its ideas contain the foundation for the Workbook's lessons. Without the practical application the Workbook provides, the Text would remain largely a series of abstractions which would hardly suffice to bring about the thought reversal at which the Course aims.
The Workbook includes 365 lessons, one for each day of the year. It is not necessary, however, to do the lessons at that tempo, and one might want to remain with a particularly appealing lesson for more than one day.
Finally, the Manual for Teachers, which is written in question and answer form, provides answers to some of the more likely questions a student might ask. It also includes a clarification of a number of the terms the Course uses, explaining them within the theoretical framework of the Text