Curriculum Overview

Curriculum Overview

2021 Curriculum Comparison Chart for Childrens' Ministries

An essential tool from Sharon Ely Pearson for comparing the many available curricular materials for children's ministries. Includes denominational publisher information, content and articulation, format information, and cost information of most prominent childrens' curriculums.
 


Lectionary-Based Curriculum Materials


Feasting on the Word

Publisher:  Westminster John Knox Press (Presbyterian)

Foundation Statement:  Feasting on the Word offers pastors and church educators focused resources for sermon preparation and education. All resources in the Feasting on the Word collection utilize the biblical texts assigned by the Revised Common Lectionary, and for each text, readers will find brief essays on the exegetical, theological, homiletical, and pastoral challenges of the text. The two main collections under Feasting on the Word are the lectionary commentary series, Feasting on the Word: Preaching the Revised Common Lectionary and the new Feasting on the Word Curriculum: Teaching the Revised common Lectionary.

The editors of these resources are from a wide variety of disciplines and religious traditions. These authors teach in colleges and seminaries. They lead congregations by preaching or teaching. They write scholarly books as well as columns for newspapers and journals. They oversee denominations. In all of these capacities and more, they serve God's Word, joining in the ongoing challenge of bringing that Word to life.

Content:  Follows the Revised Common Lectionary with lessons for each grade or a multi-age group.

Teacher Support:  Detailed lesson for teachers, color pictures sent separately.

Format:  Downloadable or printed/shipped.

More information: https://www.feastingontheword.net/curriculum
 


Living the Good News

Publisher:  Morehouse Publishing (Episcopal)

Foundation Statement:  A lectionary-based curriculum that helps bring the weekly readings alive for all ages.

Content:  Lectionary-based

Teacher Support:  Detailed lesson outline for each class.

Format:  Leader’s Guide, take home sheet and companion visuals.

More information: https://www.livingthegoodnews.com
 


Seasons of the Spirit

Publisher: Wood Lake Publishing (Multidenominational/English-speaking United Churches)

Foundation Statement:  To provide God's people with lectionary-based, ecumenical resources that empower all ages to be transformed in Christ as they explore meaning and mystery in the Bible and celebrate in worship, sacraments, education, and service.

Content:  Lectionary based; follows the Revised Common Lectionary.

Teacher Support:  Leader’s guide includes materials for photocopying.  Detailed class outline with variety of activities. The Congregational Life material ties the learning in Sunday school to the corporate worship experience.

Format:  Materials can be purchased on paper, CD, or as downloadable files.

More information:  https://www.seasonsonline.ca


Sparkhouse

Publisher:  Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (ECLA)

Foundation Statement:  Sparkhouse intentionally collaborates with leaders from multiple denominations to ensure that our resources are theologically sound—ensuring that your leaders and volunteers are equipped within your communities.

Content: Offers resources for all ages in a wide variety of formats: lectionary-based, Bible story-based, digital

More information:  https://www.wearesparkhouse.org/


Whole People of God

Publisher:  Wood Lake Publishing (Multidenominational/English-speaking United Churches)

Foundation Statement:  Explore, live and celebrate our faith with lessons related to everyday life.

Content:  Lectionary based; follows the Revised Common Lectionary.

Teacher Support:  Detailed lesson outline for each class. 

Format:  All materials are downloadable; print only what you need.

More information:  www.wholepeopleofgod.com
 


Christian Practices Curriculum Materials


Follow Me - Biblical Practices for Faithful Living

Publisher:  Presbyterian Publishing Corporation

Foundational Statement:  Following Jesus is a lifelong journey where we learn and do what Jesus said and did. It takes practice. And practice. And more practice. We are not practicing for perfection, however, but practicing to put faith and love into action. As we explore faith practices, we are diving into the essence of what makes us Christian.

Content:  These curriculum materials span thirty-six units over three years, helping people of all ages follow Jesus. This study is for lifelong Christians and those beginning to ask questions. Each unit centers around something Jesus told his followers to do.

Teacher Support: Foundational essays on each practice, worship helps, practicing at home, children's worship bulletin, teachers' guides for each age group, interactive posters, preaching guide, adult reflection materials.

Format:  Each unit focuses on a different practice for 4 sessions (6 sessions in Lent), age 3 to adult; choose print or downloadable.

More Information:  https://www.pcusastore.com/Pages/Item/15439/Follow-Me-Curriculum.aspx
 


Bible Story-Based Curriculum Materials


Deep Blue

Publisher:  United Methodist Publishing House

Foundational Statement: To reach, empower, and equip children, and those who care for them, with grace-based resources that help them on the journey to understand themselves as children of God, explore and deepen their relationship with God through Jesus Christ, and love and serve God and neighbor.

Content: Covers the main Bible stories over 3 years, with materials for babies through tweens, as well as a one room option and rotation stations, and Bible storybooks and Bibles.

Teacher Support: Online leader guides and training videos.

Format:  Downloadable PDFs and streamable video.

More Information:  www.cokesburykids.com/curriculum~bible-story-basics
 


Growing In God's Love: A Story Bible Curriculum

Publisher:  Presbyterian Publishing Corporation

Overview: This relationally focused curriculum dives into the 148 stories from the story Bible. Each session also includes suggestions for intergenerational church and home activities around worship, education, connections, and service. Ideal for any size church to use with multiage children's groups.

Content:  This story Bible curriculum allows you to build your own library of units from the thirty-five units, which contain three to five sessions each. Old and New Testament stories are featured in these thirty-five units. In the library listing below, you'll find units that span larger stories, such as Abraham and Sarah's Big Family, The Exodus, Jesus: Beginnings, and A New Church. There are also units about particular people, such as Joshua, Queen Vashti and Queen Esther, and Paul. And finally, themed units, such as Brave Women and Men in the Old Testament, Tell Me about God, and Parables Jesus Told, help round out this curriculum.

Format:  Downloadable and print. Downloadable At-Home Kit Guide.

More Information: 
https://www.thethoughtfulchristian.com/Pages/Default.aspx?ContentID=59843&Title=GIGL-Companion-Curriculum


 

A Joyful Path:  Spiritual Curriculum for Young Hearts and Minds

Publisher:  Center for Progressive Christianity

Foundation Statement:  A groundbreaking progressive Christian children's curriculum that celebrates a joy-filled life, compassion for all, and the wisdom within.

Content:  Thirty six full lessons for children ages six to ten years old.

Teacher Support:  Teacher guide contains detailed lesson plan for each class. 

Format:  All comes in one spiral bound book.

More information: https://progressivechristianity.org/childrens-curriculum
 


Shine: Living in God's Light

Publisher:  Brethren Press and MennoMedia (Mennonite)

Foundation Statement: A dynamic Sunday school curriculum that engages Christian communities and families in their life together, expressing faith through lives of compassionate peacemaking and service.

Content:  Curriculum materials for ages 2 through high school, include a story Bible, a song CD & songbook, and materials for Vacation Bible School.

Teacher Support:  Leader guides are supplemented with access to training videos, podcasts, and a webpage of "Extras." 

Format:  Printed material, shipped.

More information: https://shinecurriculum.com


Sparkhouse

Publisher:  Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (ECLA)

Foundation Statement:  Sparkhouse intentionally collaborates with leaders from multiple denominations to ensure that our resources are theologically sound—ensuring that your leaders and volunteers are equipped within your communities.

Content: Offers resources for all ages in a wide variety of formats: lectionary-based, Bible story-based, digital

More information:  https://www.wearesparkhouse.org/


Supplementary Curriculum Materials


Illustrated Ministry

Publisher:  Adam Walker Cleaveland, founder & illustrator, is an artist, entrepreneur, pastor, pastor’s spouse, and father. Adam graduated from Princeton Theological Seminary with a Master of Divinity and a Master of Arts in Youth Ministry. Adam is an ordained Teaching Elder in the Presbyterian Church (USA). After doing youth ministry for over 15 years, Adam founded Illustrated Children’s Ministry and loves providing the church and families with creative, illustrated resources.

Foundation Statement:  Illustrated resources for the church and the home, encouraging creativity and active engagement with faith.

Content:  Coloring pages, coloring posters, children's bulletins, children's moment visuals, and thematic 12-week curriculum materials which include these and mp3 audio files with sheet music.

Teacher Support:  All-inclusive "no-prep" session plans. Click here to scroll down and access the link for a free sample session. 

Format:  Printed material, shipped.

More information: https://www.illustratedchildrensministry.com
 


Picture the Bible

Publisher:  First Congregational United Church of Christ, River Falls, Wisconsin

Foundation Statement: The images in Picture the Bible offer a creative approach to Bible study that fosters biblical literacy and interpretation, and encourages people to see connections between their lives and the biblical story.

Content: A set of 36 images depicting 36 individual Bible stories with corresponding student engagement pages.

Teacher Support:  Student engagement pages.

Format:  Printed material, shipped.

More information: http://firstchurchrf.org/picture-the-bible
 


Formation in Christian Practices

Lifelong Faith Associates - guides available for custom-designing a program for/with each practice.

This story Bible curriculum allows you to build your own library of units from the thirty-five units, which contain three to five sessions each. The first round of six units will be available in the summer of 2020, with subsequent rounds in 2021. 

Old and New Testament stories are featured in these thirty-five units. In the library listing below, you'll find units that span larger stories, such as Abraham and Sarah's Big Family, The Exodus, Jesus: Beginnings, and A New Church. There are also units about particular people, such as Joshua, Queen Vashti and Queen Esther, and Paul. And finally, themed units, such as Brave Women and Men in the Old Testament, Tell Me about God, and Parables Jesus Told, help round out this curriculum.

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