Bridging Theory and Practice in Children's Spirituality

Bridging Theory and Practice in Children's Spirituality

New Directions for Education, Ministry, and Discipleship

Mimi L. Larson, Robert J. Keeley, Zondervan


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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.


Mimi L. Larson:

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.