A Christian Education Handbook


The Epis Ch Ed Handbook cmykEach congregation and faith community is unique. There is a wide variation in size, setting, history, traditions, liturgical practices and theological viewpoints. What each has in common is a vision to share the Good News of Jesus Christ.

The Episcopal Christian Educator’s Handbook is now available. It has been compiled and edited by Sharon Ely Pearson. You will find much of the information linked below, plus much more such as position descriptions for a Christian educator as well as a youth minister, registration forms, permission slips, check lists, Episcopal information, sacramental preparation, teacher training ideas, and plenty of resources in an easy referenced “handbook” to keep on handy on your desk or office shelf.

At its best, each congregation will be organized around its vision for making disciples in its particular location. Within this page are ideas, downloadable resources and links for helping church leaders structure, plan and organize the educational ministries in a congregation. These will assist you with the “big picture” in putting together a holistic program.

These documents can be compiled to construct your own “Christian Education Handbook.” Simply purchase a three-ring binder, slip in the cover, develop a Table of Contents or tab system, and fill as needed with content!

  • Handbook Cover - A simple cover that can be printed out and slipped into the cover of a 3-ring-binder for making your own “Christian Education Handbook.”
  • Instructions – Download these sample instructions for putting together your own “handbook.”
  • The Church Nursery - Our smallest members need our best care. That means making sure the environment in which they are cared for and the people who spend time with them deserve our utmost care and scrutiny.
  • Nursery Registration Cards - A suggestion for a Registration Form for the infants and toddlers who are cared for in the Church Nursery or Child Care on Sundays during worship (and other times.)
  • Church School Teacher Position Description - When inviting people to the ministry of serving as a teacher in the Church or Sunday School, whether it is with children, youth, or adults, it is helpful to have a description of what their responsibilities will be. It will assist them in discerning if they feel they have the gifts and skills (and heart) for this ministry.
  • Background Checks - While it is disheartening to do this, we are called to protect the children and youth that we serve as well as protect those who offer ministry. In today’s world, obtaining background checks is important and is is grounded in theological principles.
  • Education Planning Calendar -  A chart of the Lectionary readings from June 2013 through June 2014 that offers space to add your educational events and other items for planning purpose. Print out, add your own items, make copies for your staff and volunteers.
  • Understanding the Lectionary - explains how Years A, B, and C tell the story of God’s people through the Sunday readings of the Revised Common Lectionary.
  • Teaching with the Prayer Book – A listing of websites and books for the Episcopal Church and teaching with the Book of Common Prayer.
  • Teacher Commissioning Service – Taken from “Awake My Soul” (page 58-60) edited by Julia Huttar Bailey and Ernesto Medina, this offers a way for a congregation (including children) to be involved in the commissioning of Church School teachers. Or you may choose a number of prayers or simpler commissioning and dedication services here.
  • Teaching with Movies – Many churches use movies and movie clips for teaching and entertainment. Did you know there are restrictions and laws regarding such uses in public places, including churches? Here is a legal explanation of the law regarding licensing and permissions.
  • Books for Christian Educators- Looking for great resources for your personal, professional library or your office to support you in your ministry? Check some of these out:
  • The Charter for Lifelong Christian Formation is an excellent document for helping develop your educational ministries in your congregation. It is available in English and Spanish.
  • The Bible- The core book for all ministry, there are many translations and ways to engage learners in exploring this library-of-God-in-one-volume.