Each of you comes from a specific context, with a unique personal history and with a distinctive vocation. In designing this learning environment I am seeking to provide as much flexibility as I can, while still creating a space in which we can learn together. Towards that end there is required reading that we will all do together, and there is a foundational textbook that you can choose from the following list. To help you make a choice, here are some brief notes on each book:

Fashion Me a People, Maria Harris

This is a classic book of religious education, written by one of the foremost Catholic educators of the last several decades. Harris organizes her discussion of “the curriculum of the church” in the classic categories of didache, kerygma, leiturgia, koinonia and diakonia. The book includes a series of useful questions at the end of each chapter, making it a great book to use as a sourcebook for an education committee in a congregational setting.

The Church as Learning Community, Norma Cook Everist

This is Everist’s comprehensive textbook of Lutheran Christian education. Organized around specifically biblical engagement, the book also introduces a number of key learning theories.

Teaching the Faith: Forming the Faithful, Parrett, Kang and Packer

This recent and comprehensive book is written from a more conservative and evangelical perspective than the other choices. It, too, like Everist, is a textbook which is biblically oriented and which explores a number of key learning theories.

Teaching as a Sacramental Act, Mary Elizabeth Moore

This book is an advanced foundational textbook, suitable for those who already have a lot of experience with religious education and are interested in challenging themselves a bit more in thinking about the liturgical and sacramental elements of formation.

Soul Stories, Anne Wimberly

This is a classic text in religious education, written from the perspective of an African American educator who works in largely African American contexts. That distinctive focus makes it a particularly interesting and brilliant book for the ways in which it illuminates the heart of Christian life for all Christians.