Believe Curriculum 1.0 Overview

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Believe Curriculum Interactive Core Presentations (13)

These are 13 core presentations in Believe Curriculum that have been taught by faculty of Saint Paul School of Theology and church leaders in the Kansas City Metro area in the youTheology program. This means that you have solid lesson content.

Jesus identified love for God and love for neighbor as the greatest commandments. This lesson is really a Bible Study that looks at where and how these commandments occur in both the Hebrew Bible and New Testament, their meaning in those contexts and their meaning for us today in relation to how society is organized. In doing this, the study lays bare the unbroken link in Scripture between loving God and loving our neighbor Dr Warren Carter. 

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The lesson, “Baptism as Vocation” explains how we live in the light of our baptism as a child of God. This baptism gives us one main calling: to live as a follower of Christ in all our roles and relationships in love to God and neighbor. Dr Brandt looks at different aspects of baptism: belonging, promise, ritual, sacrament, and vocation. Dr Jim Brandt

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“What is theology?” is a question many people avoid. Some find the word intimidating. In this lesson, Dr Knight unpacks the meaning fo the word and the reasons for doing theology. He relates it to life and the questions that arise during our earthly journey. He shows how theology helps in three key areas: the mystery of God, the justice of God, and our pilgrimage of faith. Dr Hal Knight

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Now that you have considered what theology is, the question that remains is, how do we do theology? Dr Hal Knight takes youth through the Wesleyan Quadrilateral. He shows how you can use it as a tool to help you reflect theologically, considering how God is at work in the world. He does so step by step. He then gives you tools for a specific situation and gives you the opportunity to try it for yourself. Dr Hal Knight.

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This lesson is in many ways a biographical sketch of John Wesley’s spiritual life leading toward an overview of his theology of grace. It outlines some of his struggles, many of which we can relate to. Participants will work with conversation partners at important moments during the lesson to see how some of the key points relate to their lives. Dr Sondra Matthaei

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God’s love, shown most clearly in Jesus Christ (John 3:16), frees us to love ourselves. We are God’s creation, reconciled by the work of Jesus Christ and filled with the Holy Spirit. Loving ourselves in this God-initiated freedom expresses itself in how we view and treat ourselves. It also is seen in our love or lack of love for others. Love shows itself in concrete actions.” Rev Art Carter

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“The lesson “Who is Our Neighbor?” answers the question of who our collective neighbor is from a biblical and Wesleyan perspective. In addition, to looking at the Scriptures, it takes a historic look at how John Wesley, the founder of the Methodist movement answered this question. In drawing on John Wesley’s writings, the question, “Who is our Neighbor?” is answered through the lens of the Good Samaritan story in Luke 10:25-37 as well as in relation to the use of money, the new birth in Jesus Christ, and the reign of God. The text instructions include paraphrases of each Wesley text selection. Note that John Wesley was English and the excerpts from his writings follow British spelling.” Rev Steve Breon

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Family Reunion” gives an overview of the history of 4 Pan-Methodist denominations which are African Methodist Episcopal Church African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church  Christian Methodist Episcopal Church  and United Methodist Church (UM). These are the denominations that are a part of youTheology Institute, on which Believe Curriculum is based. Family Reunion recognizes the founder of Methodism, John Wesley and begins with the organization of the Methodist church in the United States of America. A question that underlies the lesson is, “How has the church fulfilled its call to love God and love neighbor?” Dr Doug Powe

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“The lesson, “The Wesley Family” looks at John and Charles Wesley’s parents and grandparents. Through this, students are able to see some patterns that were passed down from the grandparents on both side, to the parents, and then to John and Charles. This means that you see the very early seeds of the Methodist movement being planted and taking root.”Dr Sondra Matthaei

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The lesson, “The Wesley Brothers and the Early Methodists” looks at the lives of the brothers John and Charles Wesley. It outlines key events and moments in their lives that are significant for the rise of Methodism..” Dr Sondra Matthaei 

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The lesson, “Who is My Neighbor?” answers the question from a biblical and Wesleyan perspective. In addition, to looking at the Scriptures, it takes a historic look at how Wesleyans/Methodists have answered this question, with emphasis on John Wesley, the founder of the movement. It draws heavily on John Wesley’s writings, including his sermons. Note that you, as the leader, are given a paraphrase for each Wesley text selection in both the Text Instructions. The answer to the question, “who is my neighbor?” is rooted in the heart—love of God and love of neighbor. Love is not airy-fairy but very real and concrete.” Dr Pamela Couture

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Lent is a 40-Day period in the life of the church. There are disciplines and practices in which we can engage during this time to help us grow closer to God as we journey to the cross. This lesson focuses on 5 broad disciplines for Lent—Remembering, Repenting, Renouncing, Reflecting, and Reconciling. It concludes by giving youth the opportunity to create their Lenten calendar.


“In this Bible Study, “Servers Wanted,” Dr Warren Carter looks at the way language of “serving” was used in biblical times and in the Bible. He links it with God’s purposes and will. Dr Carter further explores a psalm, a call story, a judgement scene, and a parable to unlock what it means to serve God. The context? The kingdom or reign of God. Dr Warren Carter.

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Activities and Discussion Guides (6)

Each of the interactive core presentations includes discussion and activities, However, in this group the focus is on the activity and the discussion. These are also important aspects of the youTheology Journey With High School Students.

Note that each activity comes with debriefing discussion guidelines. These are activities and discussion on topics that are a critical part of young people’s world.

In Loving God, Loving Neighbor: Loving Myself you will use the Wesleyan Quadrilateral (WQ) to do a theological reflection on this theme. Even if you are not familiar with the Wesleyan Quadrilateral, once you follow the script, you will find yourself just using it effectively.

The Wesleyan Quadrilateral uses Scripture, tradition, reason, and experience as a way of understanding God and how God relates to your life and your world. Its structure helps as you seek to understand how the Bible relates to your life and life in general.

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This activity allows participants to introduce themselves artistically, highlighting the aspects of their lives and personalities that are important to them. It also introduces or re-introduces them to the important practice of affirming each other. 

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Today we lead busy, distracted lives. Students have multiple commitments on their time. In addition, there are many distracting messages telling them how they should look, what they should want, and who they should be. Sabbath Time is designed to allow participants to slow down, take care of their souls, and listen for God’s voice. It is followed up with debriefing and discussion that helps them to apply Sabbath to their everyday lives. youTheology Activity.

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This discussion lesson looks at the movement that people make from using categories to creating stereotypes. Students examine a Christian approach to stereotypes by looking at Scripture, tradition, and experience. Based on this theological reflection, they then consider what their Christian witness leads them to do when faced with stereotypes.

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In this discussion lesson, participants examine what substance abuse is, causes, as well as alternative behaviors. In addition they look at how faith resources in Scripture and the Methodist tradition address substance abuse. They close by creating a video to share with their peers outlining what substance abuse is as well as why they should avoid it.

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Students look at sexuality in today’s cultural framework. They also consider readings from Christian writers and scholars on the subject. In addition, they look at texts from the Bible and tradition and work toward their own theology of sexuality.

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  •  Each lesson comes with:
    • a lesson overview,
    • a script, and
    • handouts for the students.
  • Core presentations include slide presentations.
  • Select presentations include video introductions from the presenters.