Death of Sunday School 150 (F17)

Semester 1:  The Death of Sunday School

The Sunday school model of religious education died in Unitarian Universalism well over a decade ago. Demographic changes, changes in family structures, societal norms, and the role of the church in American life have evolved drastically over time. Yet the Sunday school model that came out of the 20th century has remained relatively unchanged. Familes report having to choose between spending time together, or going to Church and being separated. Participation in our religious communities should not require families to have to sacrifice their time with one another by being shuffled in opposite directions once they enter the door. We have been unable to part ways with Sunday school, and have done everything we could think of to resuscitate it, to the detriment of our youth and their families. We have a responsibility to bury Sunday school and move forward before we lose another generation. It is imperative to the future of our faith.

Prerequisite:  Take Leading Adaptively (can be taken co-currently) or a similar multi-session workshop, read The Practice of Adaptive Leadership, or have experienced a similar training (contact info@uuinstitute.org with your questions.)

By the end of this course you will have:

  • an understanding of the generational shifts in faith formation
  • experienced an intentional learning community of congregations facing the same adaptive challenge
  • have co-created monthly discussion questions to bring back to your congregation
  • practiced communicating with the congregation as a whole
  • been exposed to multiple models of faith formation

$300 Premium Registration includes:

  • Access to course materials for anyone in your congregation. (They will need to set up a participant account.)
  • Six live webinars open to up to 5 members of your congregation. (A recording will be made available for the rest of  your congregation to watch on their own or in small groups)
  • Each webinar will be followed by discussion questions and communication tools (initially provided and then co-created) for use within congregations and staff teams.
  • ½ hour of personal coaching per congregational team
  • Access to an online discussion page for questions, resources, brainstorming and engagement with the instructor and other participants

About the instructor:

Kim Sweeney is a credentialed Religious Educator and independent consultant who worked for seven years as the Lead for Faith Formation and Safe Congregations on the UUA’s New England Regional staff team. Kim is the author of The Death of Sunday School and The Future of Faith Formation. She is a sought after presenter and workshop leader and has led programs in every region of our UUA.

Module 1: The History of Sunday School: Where Have We Come From?
Wednesday, September 6, 7:00-8:30 PM EST

Module 2: Who Are the People in Your Neighborhood: A Look at Demographics
Monday, September 18, 7:00-8:30 PM EST

Module 3: Modern Family: The Needs of the 21st Century Family
Monday, October 2, 7:00-8:30 PM EST

Module 4: Panel Presentation: Stories From the Field
Monday, October 16, 7:00-8:30 PM EST

Module 5: Congregational Dialogue
Monday, October 30, 7:00-8:30 PM EST

Module 6: The Role of the Leader During Innovation and Change
Monday, November 13, 7:00-8:30 PM EST

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8 Replies to “Death of Sunday School 150 (F17)”

  1. Leslie Woodward

    We tried to convince our Board of Trustees to participate in this without success. I’m now trying to get a team of parents together but that is unlikely to happen before October. Can we still sign up and view the recorded videos and other materials, creating our own timeline for the course?

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