Teaching and Facilitating
The Faith Development Office provides many resources for teachers, facilitators, and religious education leaders. Here are suggestions of resources created by the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA), Unitarian Universalist (UU) religious educators, and others working in the field of religious education in various faiths.
Tapestry of Faith Curricula
UUA-developed, flexible programs for children, youth, adults, and multigenerational groups provide stories, activities, and ideas for religious education (RE) time and to extend faith development into the home, community, and wider world. These curricula are online for congregations to use at no charge.
These components within each Tapestry of Faith program are specifically designed to enhance the teaching experience for volunteers:
- Spiritual Preparation: Each session provides a spiritual exercise that teachers may use to prepare themselves for leading the session. Taking five or ten minutes to get centered within the session's purpose and content will support and free leaders to be present with participants and focus on providing the best possible learning experience. The exercise helps leaders call forth life experiences, beliefs, and spirituality relevant to the session.
- Session Plan: The session plan presents, in detail, every element of the session, in the same sequence as in the Session-at-a-Glance table. Additionally, the session plan provides a Taking It Home section with extension activities for families and a Resources section: all the stories, handouts, and other resources needed for the session's core activities.
- Including All Participants: Adaptation to include all participants should always be part of your planning process. For certain activities, specific modifications are suggested to make the activity manageable and meaningful for those with limitations of mobility, sight, hearing, or cognition.
- Leader Reflection and Planning: This section provides guidance, often in the form of questions, to help co-leaders process the session after it is concluded and use their reflections to shape future sessions.
- Resources: In a session's Resources section, you will find the full text of stories, artwork, handouts, and all the other resources you need to lead every element of the session.
- Under the heading "Stories," you will find the full text of the session's central story and any other stories that you will need for any session activities.
- Under the heading "Handouts," you will find any material that needs to be printed and photocopied for participants to use in the session.
- Under the heading "Leader Resources," you will find all the components you need to lead the session activities. These may include a recipe, a puzzle for you to print out and cut into pieces; an illustration you will show the group, which you can print as a hard copy or display on a computer as a PowerPoint slide, etc.
- Under the heading "Find Out More," you will find book and video titles, website URLs, and other selected resources to further explore the session topics.
- Browse curricula by age group, topic, or key word.
More UUA Resources for Teachers and Facilitators
- The Faith Development Office offers monthly webinars on topics requested by religious educators and volunteers.
- The UUA blog site, Call and Response, presents reflections of Faith Development Office staff and guest bloggers on timely and timeless topics.
- Family Pages in UU World (PDF) is a four-page, themed, magazine insert that offers all ages stories, activities, and an invitation to faith development.
- Visit the UUA Bookstore for Toolkit Books including Nurturing Children and Youth: A Developmental Guidebook by Tracey Hurd and Creating Justice Together: Service Projects for Families and Multigenerational Groups by Susan Lawrence.
- Discover more Tapestry of Faith resources for religious education programming, especially skill-building resources such as Welcoming Children with Special Needs (PDF), Spirituality and the Arts in Children's Programming, and Making Music Live.
- Subscribe to the Reach-L email list for peer discussion and resource-sharing for leading Unitarian Universalist religious education.
The Renaissance Program
The professional leadership of children, youth, young adults, and adults calls the dedicated individuals who choose this path to minister to the head, the heart, the mind, and the spirit of all with whom they come in contact.
Through the Renaissance program, the UUA provides education for religious educators in these areas: Administration and Leadership of Religious Education Programs, Curriculum Planning in the Local Congregation, Developing a Philosophy of Religious Education, Ministry with Youth, Training and Developing Teachers, Unitarian Universalist History, Unitarian Universalist Identity, Worship, and Multicultural Religious Education. Renaissance Modules are open to anyone interested in religious education leadership, including ministers, religious education teachers, and lay leaders.
The UUA’s Religious Education Credentialing Program supports people who already hold staff positions as Unitarian Universalist religious educators in congregations to seek professional credentialing through the UUA. The Credentialing Program office also works with UUA district staff to provide information on professional development for lay and professional religious educators, settlement of professional religious educators, and staffing issues.
Learn more about the Renaissance Program.
Nurturing Children and Youth A Developmental Guidebook
By Tracey L. Hurd