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Theory and Theology

There is a growing body of literature surrounding Children’s Ministry, some of which overlaps with family ministries and youth ministry.  Some helpful resources are offered here to enrich your understanding of Children’s Ministry and inform your practice.

Don’t forget to look at our Lending Library service at the bottom of this page.

Thinking theologically

Some theological foundations for Children’s Ministry.

John Sutcliffe, Tuesday’s Child (2001). A reader for Christian Educators.

Anne Richards, Through the Eyes of a Child (2009). Reflection on key theological themes from a child’s perspective.

Marcia Bunge, The Child in the Bible (2001). First major survey of Christian thought on children.

Jerome Berryman, Children and the Theologians (2010). A historical collection of theologians’ reflections on children and childhood.

Bonnie J. Miller-McLemore, Let  the Children Come  (2003). Reflections on raising children as Christian in a postmodern setting.

Joyce Ann Mercer, Welcoming Children (2007). Reflections on raising children as Christian in a postmodern setting.

David Jensen, Graced Vulnerability (2005). A theology of childhood.

Kirstin Herzog, Children and our Global Future (2005). Offers a global perspective.

James Fowler, Stages of Faith (1995). Classic work built on extensive qualitative research.

John Westerhoff, Will our Children Have Faith? (1976,2012). Classic critique of Christian education.

Rebecca Nye, Children’s Spirituality (2009). Helpful guide to children’s spirituality.

Brendan Hyde, Children and Spirituality (2008). Categorisation of observations on children’s spirituality.

David Csinos, Children’s Ministry that Fits (2011). Nurturing children’s spirituality.

Gretchen Wolff-Pritchard, Offering the Gospel to Children (1992). Offering the gospel imaginatively to children.

Children’s lives

Resources to help understand the contemporary experience of children in the UK -
and particularly Scotland:

UNICEF, Report Card 10 (2012). Measuring child poverty.

Action for Children, Child Neglect Review 2011 (2012). Survey of extent of child neglect in UK.

Sue Palmer, Toxic Childhood (2007). Reflection om effects of modern culture on childhood.

Scottish Government, Tackling Child Poverty (2012). Government research and action to address child poverty.

Who can help? There are some developing centres of excellence in thinking about Children’s Ministry.

Books are great, but expensive. Why not borrow ours, read and return them when you’re finished?

All it costs is the postage back -

you can even re-use the bag the book comes in!

We suggest you can keep them for at least a month, and ideally a couple of months - though we may email you after four weeks if someone else wishes that book.

All you do is pay the cost of returning the book by post!

Email with your request!

Currently available titles:

Astley & Francis, Critical Perspectives on Christian Education (1994)

Astley, Francis & Crowder (Eds), Christian Formation (1996)

Beckwith, Postmodern Children’s Ministry (2004)

Berryman, Children and the Theologians (2009)

Berryman, Godly Play (1991)

Bridger, Children Finding Faith (1988)

Cooling, Creating a Learning Church (2005)

Csinos & Beckwith, Children’s Ministry in the Way of Jesus (2013)

Fowler, Stages of Faith (1995)

Francis & Astley, Children, Churches & Christian Learning (2002)

Glazer (Ed), The Heart of Learning (1999)

Groome, Christian Religious Education (1999)

Hamilton, Insight Handbook (1995)

Hay & Nye, The Spirit of the Child (1998)

Hudson, Who Comes First? (2011)
Mercer, Welcoming Children (2005)

Nye, Children’s Spirituality (2009)

Palmer, Let Your Life Speak (2000)

Palmer, To Know As We Are Known (1993)

Palmer, The Courage to Teach (1998)

Richards & Privett (Eds), Through the Eyes of a Child (2009)

Westerhoff, Will our Children Have Faith? (2000)

Wolff-Pritchard, Offering the Gospel to Children (1992)