Curricula and Formational Resources

United Methodist Publishing House Curriculum Comparison Chart – This chart includes curriculum approved by the Curriculum Resources Committee (CRC) of the United Methodist General Board of Discipleship for use in the Christian education ministry of The United Methodist Church.

Resources for Use at Home

Pockets magazine - Pockets is the devotional magazine that helps children ages six through eleven learn more about God by encouraging them to read the Bible, practice spiritual disciplines, act compassionately, and exercise their creativity. This magazine also includes an on-line component.
Available through Upper Room Books.

The Little Christian magazine - The stories in this magazine are meant to be read by or with children, so the text is simple or rhymed. The art is vivid, bold and engaging. The stories are faith-based, so you’ll be helping to nurture a child’s spiritual awareness from a young age. In addition to stories, it contains prayers, songs, Christian biographies, activities, rituals and more to help children become aware of God’s presence and activity in and around them. Available through the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America.

Faith Inkubators – Faith Stepping Stones is a family ministry system that pulls parents into the role of primary faith mentors for their own children every night in every home.This program was developed by a Lutheran pastor.

Vibrant Faith Ministries – this website includes wonderful products for home worship and devotions.

Church School Curricula

(unless other wise noted, curricula is available through Cokesbury)
Montessori-Based Church School Curricula
The Way of the Child- Meeting the needs of children’s spirituality, Way of the Child, provides a contemplative and formulaic approach to providing resources that both teaches the Bible and he basics of faith. In a world where we are always rushing to get from one place to another, Way of the Child offers a calming, centering, meditation style, which deepens a child’s connection to God. Five brief chapters provide foundational understandings and ways to setup in your church. The curriculum materials include 39 weeks of sessions on formational themes (God’s Love and Care, Prayer, Acts of Mercy, Advent, Lent, Easter, Parables), and includes Daily Exercises for the Leader similar to Companions in Christ daily exercises.  There are enough sessions to use weekly from September through May; or the materials can be used in modules for special times of the year such as Advent and Lent. It is adaptable for use in different settings: Sunday mornings, Wednesday nights, after-school programs.  This is a United Methodist curriculum available through Cokesbury.

Godly Play: Teaches young children the art of using religious language – parable, sacred story, silence and liturgical action – helping them become more fully aware of the mystery of God’s presence in their lives. There are eight volumes in the Montessori-based The Complete Guide to Godly Play series. Illustrations have also been updated, and the text now better reflects the playful spirit of Godly Play. Up-to-date research in childhood development and instruction has also been incorporated in this comprehensive update. Godly Play focuses on teaching the Bible stories and the liturgical actions of the Church (Baptism and Holy Communion).  The manipulatives for storytelling are wonderful (they are expensive, but can also be made by crafty folks in your congregation) and the materials are designed to help children learn to express the experience of God they are already having in their lives.  Wondering questions conclude every Godly Play presentation and children are offered multiple opportunities to experience the foundational stories of our Christian faith as they develop through childhood. 

Scope and Sequence

Wesley Curriculum: Approved by the UMC, Wesley curriculum offers you relevant Sunday school materials for all ages. And week after week, take-home materials and studies will help students remember the lessons they have learned on Sunday and take steps to apply God's Word to their lives. Wesley Curriculum is distinctively holiness in spirit. Just as John Wesley's heart was "strangely warmed" at Aldersgate, Wesley curriculum challenges students to be immersed in the love of God's own heart and encourages them to complete heart holiness. Wesley curriculum is also practical in helping students transfer that holiness to real life where they can share the all-encompassing love of God to the world for whom Christ died. Wesley curriculum combines over 100 years of curriculum development with innovative change in methods and materials without changing the message of our holiness distinctive.

  • Designed to make it easier for the teacher to teach.
  • Lessons are well organized and easy to prepare.
  • Full-color teacher and student guides are attractive, inviting, and visually interesting.
  • "Link to Last Week" feature helps to tie lessons together from week to week.
  • Designed to make it easier for the students to learn.

Completely Bible-Based: Every lesson has a Bible text for its basis. Bible coverage for all age levels is the organizing principle of our scope and sequence. Teachers can be confident that the teaching is sound, and the students are receiving solid foundational truth. Students and teachers alike will appreciate lessons that have a firm foundation in Scripture as they study God's Word. 

  • Monthly unit themes for each quarter.
  • Two-year cycle for toddler through 1st grade.
  • Three-year cycle for 2nd through 8th grade.

Grow, Proclaim, Serve!  Grow, Proclaim, Serve! incorporates Bible stories, activities, crafts, videos, and games into a full faith experience for children. They will develop the skills to unlock the Bible message and grow their faith by leaps and bounds. Colorful, engaging, theologically sound materials invite children to explore the Bible in fun, age-appropriate ways, capturing their attention and ensuring that God’s message is taken to heart. Children will discover that their faith can grow right along with them! Grow, Proclaim, Serve! is adaptable to your church’s needs, preferences, and budget. Fewer children? Many children? Traditional classroom? DVD-based format? Age levels? Group learning? You can find everything you need here. WHAT Grow, Proclaim, Serve! IS ALL ABOUT!

  •  Seven age-appropriate levels provide a comprehensive 3-year journey through the Bible, while On the Go for Tweens offers a 1-year Bible survey.
  •  A NEW Large Group/Small Group model for ages 3–6 and 7 & up presents the Bible story and worship for large-group time, with discussion and activities in the small-group breakout.  
  • An extensive website offers tools and information for leaders, children, and parents.

One-Room Multi-Age Curricula

One Room School House: Approved the UMC, this program is designed specifically for a children's Christian education program where four or more age groups are taught in one classroom, One Room Sunday School includes materials that children ages 3 through middle school can study and learn together. Students will grow together through comprehensive Bible study, application of Bible lessons to everyday discipleship, and a variety of age-appropriate activities.

All-in-One Sunday School: Revised, updated, and packed series includes creative programs designed for ministries with mixed-age classes of children ages 4-12. Everything's here--including special programming for the seasons and holidays. this series will work in any ministry, but it's especially great for smaller churches that combine classes every Sunday. Also good for large churches that combine ages during summer and for any other multi-age class setting. 13 lessons per volume.

Rotation Curricula

PowerXpress: Approved by the UMC, this program immerses your children in the Bible with a Rotational curriculum from Cokesbury. Ideal for churches using a rotation format where children alternate between learning stations each week. Engage children in Bible stories and characters by using your volunteers' skills as artists, cooks, musicians, technicians, or fun-loving teachers!  Designed for children in kindergarten through sixth grade, this curriculum provides complete lesson plans, scripts, and activities, as well as ideas for station setups, and a complete listing of resources needed.

PowerXpress units vary in availability between print versions and downloadable versions. This allows greater flexibility for your program.

The print units include a music CD, print music, and lyric transparencies.
The downloadable units only include print music. The music CD will need to be purchased separately. Some of our downloadable units are available for purchase by individual station OR the whole unit - you decide!

Whole unit includes eight stations:

Workshop Rotation Sunday School: This website was created by and for supporters of the Workshop Rotation Model for Sunday School. An ecumenical & independent volunteer-created resource, this, this is an excellent website that will guide and support you.  Lessons are available for both Old and New Testaments and there is an active exchange message board that allows users to share ideas and problem-solve together.

Lectionary-Based Curricula

Living the Good News: Living the Good News is an online lectionary-based, fully-graded Christian education curriculum. For thirty years, Living the Good News has provided churches/parishes with a complete and high-quality program for their children, youth and adults.  It follows the Revised Common Lectionary.  Although published by Church Publishing , it is available for purchase through Cokesbury.

Living the Good News is:

  1. Lectionary-Based With Living the Good News, your church's education program focuses on the same cycle of weekly readings used in your worship services; it also provides an opportunity for everyone in your  – education program, from Nursery to Adult, to center on the same theme, providing a "whole community" approach.
  2. Multi-Generational Living the Good News has eight age levels from Nursery through Adult there is even a Multi-Age level for churches that have a combination of children, youth, and adults in the same classroom.
  3. Complete For teachers, students and families, Living the Good News provides a complete Christian formation experience including: Leader's/Catechist's Guides, student papers, journals for High School and Adult group members, Singing the Good News and other music, visuals such as fine art reproductions, posters and games and At Home with the Good News which connects the Christian education program at church with faith formation in the home. The popular Online Support Site is also included, offering a selection of additional activities and stories for each Sunday.
  4. Arts Enhanced Living the Good News uses a variety of learning media, including music, art, oral, visual and movement, which appeal to the learning styles of all ages and types of students.
  5. Online Although it got its start as a print curriculum 30 years ago, Living the Good News is now fully online, taking advantages of the many benefits made possible by online delivery (some of those benefits are listed in the FAQs located on this site). Online delivery makes Living the Good News more affordable, flexible and effective.
  6. Affordable With prices lower than standard print curriculum, each age level of Living the Good News is available for $129.99 per year with Full Access (all age levels) available for $649.99 per year. The program is purchased as a one-year annual access "subscription" which is renewed each year with one quick purchase.
  7. Time-Tested – Churches have found Living the Good News invaluable to their education ministries since the company was founded 30 years ago. The materials found in Living the Good News are relevant, educational, Bible-based, easy-to-use, theologically sound and, of course, fun!

Seasons of the Spirit:  An inclusive program for the whole congregation, Available through Woodhouse Publishing, Seasons of the Spirit supports faith communities and families in their life together by:

  • exploring meaning and mystery in the Bible
  • being grounded in thoughtful theology
  • empowering children, youth, and adults to be transformed in Christ
  • inspiring and equipping leaders
  • nurturing the imaginative spirit
  • offering resources for all ages
  • integrating worship, learning, and serving ministries

Features - Seasons of the Spirit is a tool that can add inspiration to your Worship and Christian education and outreach because it:

  • Offers resources for 52 weeks of the year
  • Supports & encourages stewardship & care of the earth
  • Connects faith to life
  • Nurtures imagination & creativity through the arts (music and images)
  • Offers flexibility, choices & ease of use
  • Includes leader support & training
  • Includes resources from birth to adult & multi-ages
  • Offers Bible stories that are age appropriate
  • Addresses what it means to be Christian in a pluralistic world
  • Includes resources for worship leaders, Christian educators outreach leaders, & parents
  • Provides great value for your money spent
  • Is contemporary & current – written new each year
Lectionary Based – 4 Seasons per year: Seasons of the Spirit resources are divided into four seasonal packages, following the cycle of the seasons of the Church year. Each year’s materials begin with Season of Creation, Pentecost 2 (the second half of the “Season after Pentecost”).
  • Season of Creation, Pentecost 2* (1st Quarter, September—November)
  • Advent, Christmas, Epiphany (2nd Quarter, December—February)
  • Lent, Easter (3rd Quarter, March—May)
  • Pentecost 1 (4th Quarter, June—August)

Special needs

Helping Kids with Disabilities:  If you are a congregation that serves special-need children and need curriculum and resources, look no more! The resources are designed to be used by leaders of children with special needs, and easy-to-use curriculum provides Bible lessons and activities. This curriculum is approved by the UMC.

Rhythms of Grace: Rhythms of Grace is a unique and innovative program resource designed to meet the spiritual needs of children and families living with autism spectrum disorders. Participant families gather monthly with program leaders and volunteers for sessions that are a hybrid of worship and faith formation. Rhythms of Grace helps children and their families feel at the center of a worship/formation experience that is specific to their needs and circumstances, rather than merely at the margins of a more conventionally “inclusive” program of worship or faith formation. Available from Church Publishing.