One of the most common church assignments for newly ordained clergy is working with children and youth.
While churches may have on hand plenty of curricular materials and preexisting programs to support new associates, an academic grounding in the spirituality of children and youth can still be a much-needed part of theological training. In association with ELM, the Educational Leadership and Ministry program at Yale, YDS recently offered a new one-credit course in Children’s Spirituality: What It Is and Why It Matters.
ELM Director Jere Wells and YDS Prof. Joyce Mercer, author of Welcoming Children: A Practical Theology of Childhood, were joined by the Rev. Cheryl V. Minor for the two-day course taken by 28 YDS students. Co-rector of All Saints’ Episcopal Church in Belmont, MA, Minor is the Director of the Center for the Theology of Children of the Godly Play Foundation. In addition to the theological perspectives in Mercer’s work, the course featured the research on children’s spirituality by psychologist Rebecca Nye and by the developer of the Godly Play program, The Rev. Dr. Jerome Berryman.
Course participants also qualify for complimentary training in Godly Play pedagogy.