Bridging Theory and Practice in Children's Spirituality: New Directions for Education, Ministry, and Discipleship
Stock No: WW0104919
Bridging Theory and Practice in Children's Spirituality: New Directions for Education, Ministry, and Discipleship  -     By: Keeley Larson

Bridging Theory and Practice in Children's Spirituality: New Directions for Education, Ministry, and Discipleship

Zondervan / 2020 / Paperback

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Product Information

Title: Bridging Theory and Practice in Children's Spirituality: New Directions for Education, Ministry, and Discipleship
By: Keeley Larson
Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 240
Vendor: Zondervan
Publication Date: 2020
Dimensions: 7.17 X 4.71 X 1.04 (inches)
Weight: 10 ounces
ISBN: 0310104912
ISBN-13: 9780310104919
Stock No: WW0104919

Publisher's Description

Bridging Theory and Practice in Children's Spirituality explores the different contexts, methods, and situations that influence and foster a child's spirituality and faith development. Through a blend of theoretical understanding held in tension with practical application, it equips those who are in, or being prepared for, the varied contexts where children are spiritually formed.

It represents a broad range of Christian expression writing from a Christ-centered perspective that furthers the conversation about the next steps in children's spirituality and faith development. Moving beyond the basics of faith nurture and what makes for effective ministry, this resource deepens our understanding of the practices in children's lives by bringing together the best of theory and practice and includes contributions from:

  • Dr. Scottie May (Wheaton College)
  • Dr. Kevin Lawson (Biola University)
  • Dr. Erik Carter (Vanderbilt University)
  • John Roberto (Vibrant Faith)
  • Dr. Dana Kennamer Pemberton (Abilene Christian University)
  • Dr. Shirley Morganthaler (Concordia University - Chicago)
  • Dr. Holly Catterton Allen (Lipscomb University)
  • Dr. Robert Keeley (Calvin College and Calvin Seminary)
  • Dr. Mimi Larson (Wheaton College)
  • Lacy Finn Borgo ( Renovaré Institute) and others.

Pastors, professors, seminary students and children's ministry leaders and practitioners all believe that nurturing a child's spiritual development is important. Yet often they are unsure about which current trends should be embraced. This book will help equip these people with the grounding needed to evaluate trends and with specific suggestions for moving forward. With short, accessibly written chapters it helps pastors and leaders stay up to date with current trends and is an excellent resource for teaching in college and seminary classrooms.

Author Bio

Mimi Larson (PhD, Concordia University - Chicago) is visiting assistant professor of Christian formation and ministry at Wheaton College and children’s ministry catalyzer for faith formation ministries in the Christian Reformed Church in North America. As a scholar-practitioner, Mimi served in practical ministry for over 25 years and has participated in curriculum development for major publishing houses and has authored a number of articles and book chapters.

Robert J. Keeley (PhD, University of Denver), is professor of education at Calvin College and visiting professor of discipleship and faith formation at Calvin Theological Seminary. He is author of Helping Our Children Grow in Faith (Baker, 2008), and editor of Shaped by God (Faith Alive Christian Resources, 2010), as well as other books and articles.

Editorial Reviews

''Bridge' is an apt description of the chapters in this book which work to connect the theoretical and academic with a variety of practical approaches to the spiritual formation of children and those in ministry with them. Let these chapters become conversation partners to help you examine your own assumptions and practices regarding race, privilege, family faith practices, spiritual formation, and inclusion of those with special needs and differing abilities.' -- Rev. Dr. Elizabeth F. Caldwell, adjunct faculty, Vanderbilt Divinity School and author of Wondering about the Bible with Children

'Hats off to Keeley and Larson for compiling this welcome addition to the field of children's spirituality. For over fifteen years, the Children's Spirituality Summit has been gathering the best researchers and brightest practitioners, and this book is the fruit of their latest efforts. True to its promise, it blends theory and practice into a book that will fascinate the seasoned scholar and equip the frontline children's minister.' -- David M. Csinos, assistant professor of practical theology, Atlantic School of Theology and founder of Faith Forward

'The authors in this book represent a wide range of disciplines, providing the reader with insights into many aspects of child development and spiritual nurture. Based on these insights, they offer practical ways of ministering with children and their families. They also challenge the readers to broaden their awareness of children and families who are not in the church and to reach out and welcome them into the embrace of God's love through the church.' -- Dr. Catherine Stonehouse, program director for PhD in Transformational Learning, Asia Graduate School of Theology

'The title says it all! Keeley and Larson have masterfully crafted a volume that coalesces the theological, theoretical, and practical into a singular approach to childhood spiritual formation. It provides the reader access to not only some of the most current thoughts on child spirituality, but captures the essence of the Children's Spirituality Summit. Nowhere else will the academic and the practitioner find more common ground on this subject than in this one volume. It is beneficial to the student of education, the professor in the academy, and the pastor in the church.' -- James Riley Estep, Jr., DMin, PhD, vice president of academics, Central Christian College of the Bible

'This book builds a well-constructed bridge from biblical foundations and educational theories to a multitude of practices in which every person in a congregation is involved in the Christian discipleship of children. The team of diverse writers are bridge builders who have crossed this bridge many times as insightful teachers and well-tested practitioners. From engaging children with age-sensitive and creative ideas for dealing with the ABC's of the gospel to often-neglected areas of children's ministry like grief, disappointment, and racial prejudice, this book will help educators, teachers, leaders and volunteers in children's ministry give children a head start at lifelong discipleship.' -- Dr. Robbie F. Castleman, professor emerita, theology & New Testament, John Brown University and author of Parenting in the Pew

'This is a must-read for children's ministers and volunteers! Nowhere else can one find practical yet research-based explorations of spiritual direction, grief, trauma, and racially diverse spiritual experiences alongside more conventional discussions of biblical storytelling and spiritual play. Every congregation needs a copy (or two) of this book on its resource shelf!' -- Karen-Marie Yust, ThD, Josiah P. and Anne Wilson Rowe professor of Christian education, Union Presbyterian Seminary and author of Real Kids, Real Faith

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