School Notes

Date posted:   Jul 21, 2021

Teaching Religion to Children: Creative Strategies and Best Practices

Photo of Teaching Religion to Children

Fee: $60
Five Weeks


featuring video with Dr. Thomas H. Groome and master teachers; articles by Jane E. Ayer and Melinda Brown Donovan.

Focused on the elementary and junior high catechist and religious educator, this course explores teaching as a vocation, the various types of learners, different approaches to presenting religious education material, and ways to create sacred space and pray in the classroom.  It is not dependent on any catechetical textbook series.


Introductory Week
Week 1: Teaching as a Vocation and Modeling Jesus's Pedagogy
Week 2: Pedagogical Models and Being a Reflective Teacher
Week 3: Honoring the Senses and the Theory of Multiple Intelligences
Week 4: Creating Sacred Space and Ways of Praying

Special Features

This course includes:

  • Two articles by Jane E. Ayer; one article by Melinda Brown Donovan;
  • Handouts by Dr. Thomas H. Groome to accompany his video; handout by Jane E. Ayer, "Guided Meditation for Children;"
  • Three videos with presentations by Dr. Thomas H. Groome or Dr. Thomas H. Groome in conversation with master religious educators;
  • Text transcripts of each featured video;
  • PowerPoint presentation on multiple intelligences and religious education designed by Jane E. Ayer; 
  • Weekly study guide with questions for reflection and discussion; and
  • A regularly updated Resources page for further study.

All STM Online: Crossroads courses include these features:

  • Participants have access 24 hours/7 days a week to the course's password-protected web site. 
  • Each participant belongs to a small Community for Conversation and faith sharing guided by a facilitator.
  • The course site is usually available to participants at least three months after the course has ended.
  • An orientation in how to navigate the web site is always available.
  • Technical assistance is easy to contact and prompt in returning a message.
  • A Certificate of Active Participation is awarded to those who post at least three messages of substance for each week of content.

Additional Materials Needed:

All materials provided in the course.

Time Commitment:

A participant can expect to spend an average of approximately 3-4 hours each week.  This commitment includes both the assigned reading and interaction online.

Content Scholars:

Jane E. Ayer (course design and articles), theology teacher at Notre Dame Academy and former director of religious education, Archdiocese of Boston Catholic Schools Office; Dr. Thomas H. Groome (videos), professor of theology and religious education, Boston College School of Theology and Ministry; and Melinda Brown Donovan (article), associate director for continuing education, Boston College School of Theology and Ministry.