Religious Education Credentialing Program Portfolio
What should I put in my Portfolio?
The portfolio should include documentation of structured learning experiences, leadership experiences, and samples of an individual’s work. These materials should correspond to the particular requirements of the RE Credentialing Program at the level at which status is sought. They should demonstrate professional knowledge and competency in lifespan religious education leadership in settings both within the congregation and beyond. The RE Credentialing Portfolio will assist the evaluators of the program participants to reflect on the participant’s competencies as a whole and in practice.
Examples of structured learning experiences include participation in: Renaissance modules; professional workshops or other training, such as Our Whole Lives training; undergraduate or graduate courses; adult education classes; conferences with a professional development component; peer study groups; independent study, etc. Ideally the structured learning experience would have reflection and feedback components. When documenting these learning experiences in the portfolio, include a short (paragraph) reflection on how this event has contributed to your competency in a particular area, in addition to basic descriptive information about the experience.
Examples of leadership experiences include: leadership of the aforementioned structured learning experiences; additional leadership responsibilities undertaken in your position as a religious educator; teaching (all ages); leadership responsibilities in organizations ore events beyond the congregation. When documenting these learning experiences in the portfolio, include a short (paragraph) reflection on how this event has contributed to your competency in a particular area, in addition to basic descriptive information about the experience.
Samples of professional work can include such things as: an academic paper; a reflection paper describing how knowledge and experience gained from an event attended or structured learning experience has affected your professional practice; a copy of a religious education program prospectus or a teacher training manual; an outline of a teacher training workshop or other workshop you created; a script for a Christmas pageant; a congregational or collegial covenant; an order of service from a worship service you have lead; a story or liturgy that you have written; a noteworthy newsletter column; the text of a sermon written; a copy of a curriculum developed; your contribution to an annual report; photographs of visual display materials, audio or video tapes of you in action, photographs of your work, etc. When including these work samples in the portfolio, also document your relationship to it (i.e. you created it, revised it, performed it, etc.) and a short (paragraph) reflection on why you believe it fulfills a program requirement and demonstrates your competency in a particular area.
Do I have to document or locate everything I ever did in my professional life and include it in my portfolio?
No. The idea of the portfolio is to demonstrate professional and personal competency in the various topics of life span religious education as specified in the program plan at the credentialing level that is sought. For materials or work “products,” the idea is to show through them that you have integrated your knowledge and experience into your professional practice. In most cases this means including your most recent work that sufficiently demonstrates your competency in a particular subject area. Include older work only if no recent work exists to demonstrate your competency to your satisfaction. For structured learning experiences, you may want to document as much as you can both in and beyond your professional career. We ask that you make your best effort to document these learning experiences. If you don’t have detailed information about them you should still include them in your portfolio, but more information creates a stronger portfolio.
Am I required to complete the portfolio grids and include them in my portfolio?
No. The learning experiences and materials grids are only meant to be a tool to help organize the information and materials that might go into the portfolio. Ignore them if they are not helpful. Note, however, that some participants find them helpful to organize their portfolio.
I don’t have lifespan religious education responsibilities in my job. Is this program not for me?
Not necessarily. Although the requirement of the portfolio is to demonstrate competency in life span religious education, it is understood that for some this will need to be demonstrated beyond the scope of their current position as a religious educator.
How can I do a reflection on a Renaissance module I took 10 years ago?
Ideally what would be included in a portfolio would be documentation of a structured learning experience that included both a reflection and feedback component to demonstrate how this learning experience has been incorporated into your professional practice. But this is an ideal. It is recognized that not every learning experience will be of this sort, especially things like Renaissance modules that were taken several years ago. They should, however, still be included even it is not possible to fully document them.