The Believe Curriculum is the youTheology Curriculum
Something is not right
How do you engage with young people while they are still in high school so that they develop a deep and lasting faith commitment? This was the question many grappled with.
Yet, when youth are encouraged to explore issues for themselves and given the tools with which to do so, they are capable of deep thought. When they understand that God is calling all baptized believers, they look for ways in which to answer this call. When they are engaged experientially with caring adults they go further. Young people understand and own the faith for themselves. They stay. They lead.
You can make it worse
What happens when everything is spoon-fed to youth in a watered down mixture of entertainment and play? What happens when they are isolated and treated as people whose only function is to consume what others serve up? Given no input as if they have no mind of their own?
Under these conditions, young people become passive. They do not learn the deeper aspects of their faith nor the distinctiveness of their call. Moreover, when youth are denied the opportunity to ask questions and understand the connection between their faith and life, they fail to develop roots that go deep.
Hence, church becomes an optional extra rather than a life-giving, relevant force in their life. This is a force that issues out of a deep and abiding faith in Jesus Christ. Without this, when a more attractive entertainment model comes along, they opt for the better extra.
In 2002, Saint Paul School of Theology was given the opportunity to ask this question: How do you engage with young people while they are still in high school so that they develop a deep and lasting faith commitment? In 2003 it answered this question with youTheology.
You can make it better
The youTheology curriculum focuses on faith and leadership development. High school students have the opportunity to reflect on how and where God is at work in the world and in their lives. They use the Wesleyan Quadrilateral to do this. In addition, they learn Pan-Methodist history. This helps them to understand where they are coming from and where they are going, as one alumna, Dona Lowry, put it. You can view her comments here.
Considering call is another key part of the youTheology curriculum with high school students. All baptized believers are called. How is God calling you? They explore and discuss this. They discuss with their peers, with their leaders, and with seminary professors.
There is an active, experiential side to youTheology. Participants get to plan and lead their own worship, they learn and practice spiritual disciplines, go out into the community and do hands-on ministry. At the end the year they go on a Pan-Methodist pilgrimage on the East Coast.
What about the adults? Each youth has a mentor. These relationships last well beyond the life of the program. In addition, other adults lead small group discussions.
The youTheology program using the youTheology curriculum is a growing, rewarding time. In this video below, alumni and a parent discuss the impact of this program.
We have seen results. Young people enter different arenas with a deep God-awareness, in and out of the church. Most of them remain connected to the church and are active even when not working with the church. Many go into service-related jobs and/or volunteer in community activities. Loving God and Loving Neighbor is what youTheology is all about.
You have a choice
Give youth the tools and guidance with which to examine issues and see how their faith connects with the world. Help them to understand that God is calling them and begin to explore that call. Give them experiences that open them up to God and the world. You will see them stay. You will see them lead.
There are other aspects to youTheology Institute. But this is what Believe Curriculum is about. It’s a journey of developing a deep and lasting faith. Don’t you want that for your young people? We do. That’s why we’ve made Believe Curriculum available for all to use. It’s based on this youTheology program that helps young people stay and lead.
Help them stay
Go ahead and make your purchase for your youth. Thank you.