Choosing Curriculum for Your Church

It’s that time . . . evaluating the past program year and planning for what is to come.

This often includes deciding what curriculum will be used with children, youth and even the adults. There is a vast array of materials out there, and it is often tough to choose what might be the best one suited for your congregation, your young people, your volunteer teachers.

Take time in making your choices. Don’t do it alone – assemble a team to research, study, and hopefully try a test run with a sample or two. When looking at each resource, look at several lessons at possible, as well as different age levels. A good run of thumb is to ask yourself these questions:

  1. Purpose: Why was it written? Does it match our needs?
  2. Theology: How is God depicted? Who is Jesus? The Holy Spirit? The People of God? Is it in keeping with my church’s / denomination’s theology? How is creation, sin, judgement and redemption explored?
  3. Type: Is it lectionary-based, Montessori-approach, Rotational/Learning Center, Thematic? What type will support our goals?
  4. Lessons: Is there supportive material for teachers? Engaging and a variety of activities for learners? Special supplies or typical on-hand materials needed?
  5. Bible: How is the Bible used? What version? Are Old Testament stories told? New Testament? Gospels?
  6. Worship: How is prayer included? Is it important to have lessons on the sacramental traditions? Creedal statements? How is Baptism and Communion explained?
  7. Publisher: Is it affiliated with any particular denomination that may impact the lessons and theology?
  8. Cost: Does it fit in my budget? Is it reusable? Dated? Extra pieces that need to be purchased for the program to work?

Here are some additional documents you may find helpful in determining what might be right for your church:

You can also preview particular curricula and links to them on the web at my Resource Room in the Curriculum section.

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3 thoughts on “Choosing Curriculum for Your Church

    1. Thanks for asking Kurt!

      With riteformation (an on-line build-your-own-lesson-plan / curriculum) the user can be designed following your own choices. You can base your lessons on the lectionary, as a rotation model or a theme. You choose the scripture and what activities or responses can follow. All of the resources that are in the huge database are from the NRSV bible, The Book of Common Prayer (and all other liturgical resources of The Episcopal Church), a variety of hymnals and content from a number of publishers (Church Publishing, Morehouse Education Resources, Cokesbury, and Wood Lake Books, to name a few). It is hoped more publishers will come on-board as time goes on.

      You can learn more about this whole new way of customizing your curriculum by watching a clip on YouTube. Webinars will also be available for learning hands-on how this works. Stay tuned.

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