DE020-512 - Church-based Children's Ministry
2,679 Standard Tuition Fee
Category foundational unitA
develop ministeriesUnit Discipline
Prior to 2020, this unit content was delivered under the unit code DM320 or DM020-512.
Learning outcomesOn successful completion of this unit, students will
A. Know and understand
Demonstrate Foundational knowledge and understanding of church-based children’s ministry, including the methods and standards of professional, safe and ethical practice.
B. Be able to
1. Outline the Foundational biblical, theological, historical and strategic foundations of children’s ministry
2. Identify the Foundational aspects of child development and contemporary children’s culture
3. Describe the nature, shape and forms of children’s ministry
4. Present Organised evidence-based perspectives on church-based children’s ministry
C. Be in a position to
1. Relating perspectives and skills from ‘Church-based Children’s Ministry’ to ministry contexts
Section A: Children and Faith Development (40%)
- Biblical perspectives on children: introduction to theology of childhood; implications for ministry.
- Human and child development; ages and stages of growth; introduction to developmental theories; implications for programs and relationships.
- Children and God; overview of moral and faith development; survey of a variety of perspectives such as Fowler, Westerhoff, Groom, Bridger, Buckland.
- Children and the church; history of children in the church; recent trends.
- Children and their culture; influences on children – school, friendships, family, media; introduction to multi-cultural/multi-faith issues.
Section B: Church-Based Children’s Ministry: An Introduction (40%)
- An introduction and overview of children’s ministry; a definition; exploration of the experience of participants; aims, philosophy and strategy; introduction to leadership – motivation, self-care, integrity, leading teams.
- Developing aims, philosophy, strategies, evaluation, vision; principles for good organisation and planning; exploring a variety of models and sizes; choosing and adapting curriculum and materials.
- Children as part of the worshipping community; children’s ministry as an integral part of the life of the church; all age worship; designing services that are all age friendly; learning together and separately; building an all age community; environment and facilities.
- Nurturing faith and discipleship; encouraging parents, caregivers, and the church in nurture and discipleship of children, prayer for and with children; helping children read and understand the Bible; children and the Holy Spirit; training children for ministry; children and spiritual gifts.
- Evangelism and outreach; organisation and planning; structures and programs; liaison with other churches; evangelism and the family; evangelism and schools; evangelism and the community; relational work; assisting children to faith.
- Safety and care for staff, parents and children; developing a safety policy; premises; insurance; legal issues.
Section C: Ministry in Practice (20%)
- Supervised Field Education: At least 20 hours work to be undertaken in one of the following areas: holiday and after-school programs; family ministry; camps; school religious education; church-based religious education; other work as approved by the course coordinator.
This unit's indicative bibliography is currently being revised. Students should contact their home college for further details at the time of taking this unit.
Allen, H. C., Nurturing Children's Spirituality: Christian Perspectives and Best Practices (Eugene, Or: Cascade Books, 2008).
Beckwith, I., Formational Children's Ministry: Shepherding Children Using Story, Ritual, and Relationship Emersion (Grand Rapids, MI : Baker Books, 2010).
Beckwith, I., Postmodern Children's Ministry: Ministry to Children in the 21st Century (El Cajon, CA: Youth Specialties, 2004).
Bridger, F., Children Finding Faith: Exploring a Child’s Response to God (London: Scripture Union, 2000).
Cliff, P., The Endless Playground: Celebrating Australian Childhood (Canberra: National Library of Australia, 2000).
Fosarelli, P. D., ASAP: Ages, Stages, and Phases: From Infancy to Adolescence: Integrating Physical, Social, Moral, Emotional, Intellectual, and Spiritual Development (Liguori, Missouri: Liguori, 2006).
Keeley, R. J., Helping Our Children Grow in Faith: How the Church Can Nurture the Spiritual Development of Kids (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Books, 2008).
May, S., Children Matter: Celebrating Their Place in the Church, Family, and Community (Grand Rapids, Mich.: William B. Eerdmans Pub., 2005).
Mercer, J., Welcoming Children : A Practical Theology of Childhood (St. Louis, Mo. : Chalice Press, 2005).
Roehlkepartain, E. C. and P. E. King (eds), The Handbook of Spiritual Development in Childhood and Adolescence (Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage, 2005).
Shier-Jones, A.(ed.), Children of God : Towards a Theology of Childhood (Peterborough: Epworth, 2007).
Yaconelli, M., Contemplative Youth Ministry: Practicing the Presence of Jesus (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2006).
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