Evaluating Sunday School Curriculum
By: Pauli Price
After reviewing the Sunday School curriculum offerings on the market, the bottom line is your evaluation. Everyone else's glowing descriptions and recommendations aside, you and your team need to establish the criteria for selecting the best Sunday School curriculum for your church.
What do teachers consider especially important when evaluating a Sunday School curriculum?
"There are several things to consider when evaluating a curriculum, the most important of which is biblical accuracy," said Lori McKenzie, a Lutheran Sunday School teacher in Pennsylvania. "The content should be accurate and reinforced using specific Scripture verses."
Other Sunday School teachers mention concepts such as God-centeredness, age-appropriateness, or character formation, while relevance ranks high among teachers looking for teenage Sunday School curriculum.
Prepare an Evaluation Sheet
Think about your educational goals. If it's important to your church that children learn a wide extent of Bible content in a given year, a curriculum that spends several weeks exploring each covered Bible story in detail would be a poor fit.
Consider your physical space. How many classrooms do you have? How large are they? If you have limited space, then materials that require several "workstations" in each classroom might not be appropriate.
Consider your available staff. How many teachers and assistant teachers will you have?
Consider your budget. How much money can you realistically spend for curriculum materials?
Next, determine what a suitable curriculum will need to provide to enable you to meet your goals within your constraints.
Here are some questions you may want to include in your Sunday School curriculum evaluation sheet.
If you have a small church, consider:
When evaluating the cost, remember to factor in the materials included, as well as any extra-cost items if you are likely to purchase them.
You can add other questions that are relevant to your situation or your denomination. What is important is having a framework with which to work. An evaluation sheet provides a set of criteria that will help you select the best program, whether you are weighing a rotation Sunday School curriculum or a summer Sunday School curriculum.
Pauli Price is the founder of Sunday School Ideas for New Teachers, www.sunday-school-ideas-for-new-teachers.com.