Philosophy of Religious Education Renaissance module

Event format: Online

Date & time:

  • Passed: Thursday, May 16, 2024, 4:30 pm - 6:30 pm EDT

Type of event: Training

Five cartoon people standing in a row and holding hands. Two are adults and three are youth. The youth on the far left has her hand on the head of dog. The dogs tongue is sticking out and is holding its paw up. They are all standing in front of an outline of a house with an open door, and a giant pink heart is next to the house, and two white clouds are in the sky. The people stand on a walkway that lead to the open doorway of the house.

This updated Philosophy of Religious Education Renaissance module will be offered in an online format on Thursdays, May 16, 23, and 30, and June 6, 13, and 20, 4:30-6:30 EDT / 3:30-5:30 CDT / 2:30-4:30 MDT / 1:30-3:30 PDT. The module will be led by Austen Petersen, CRE-Credentialed Level and the Rev. Natalie Fenimore, CRE-Leadership Level. Registration is limited to 15 participants and the fee is $300. The registration deadline is May 9.

Module Requirements

The Philosophy of Religious Education Renaissance module is an online learning experience comprised of five two-hour webinars with reading and other assignments for each session. Credit will be offered for full participation in the module. Full participation includes:

  • Online attendance at each of the six two-hour sessions;
  • Reading and reflection to prepare for each session;
  • Responses to Reflection Questions on the Discussion Forum after each session;
  • Submission of final evaluation within a week of the ending of the module.

Learning Objectives

The learning objectives of this module are:

  • Understand philosophies of education that have influenced Unitarian Universalist religious education and faith development, in dialogue, over time;
  • Articulate one’s own religious faith and religious education philosophy;
  • Develop clarity about the purposes of lifespan religious education;
  • Hone skill, comfort, and competence in developing and sharing a congregational philosophy of religious education with teachers and parents;
  • Understand learning and faith development theories; and
  • Express how our congregations can become more welcoming and inclusive to those of us with historically-marginalized identities.

Required Reading 

The resource material for this module consists of five essays from the book, Essex Conversations: Visions for Lifespan Religious Education (Boston: Skinner House, 2001), four essays from the Unitarian Universalist Pocket Guide (6th Ed.), the text Learning Theories Simplified, 2nd ed., an article, and videos, as listed below. It is best if participants obtain the books before the module begins.

From Essex Conversations:

  • Hoertdoerfer, “Religion as Relationship”
  • James, “Building Strong and Radical Religious Communities
  • Bowens-Wheatley, “Toward Wholeness and Liberation”
  • Morriss, “Doorway to the Sacred”
  • Harper, “Learning Types & Their Needs”

From The Unitarian Universalist Pocket Guide, Sixth Edition:

  • Bray McNatt, “Our Faith”
  • York, “Our Religious Education”
  • Nguyen, “Our Work for Social Justice”
  • Hauser, “Our Communities”

Learning Theories Simplified, 2nd ed. by Bob Bates. This text is on the 2022 RE Credentialing Program Resource List and provides easy-to-digest synopses of more than 100 learning theories. (see sections on Vygotsky, Piaget).


Technical Considerations

The webinar platform is Zoom, which you can download from Zoom.

In order register and access module materials, participants must have or create a UUA profile name., click on “create account” at the top right and follow instructions on the page. If you have already participated in an online module, use the profile name you have already created. You must provide your profile name to be added to the group and begin the preparation required before the first session.

Register here

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