The Vibrant Faith Institute

Every congregation wants vibrant, life-transforming faith formation for all ages and generations that promotes lifelong faith growth and discipleship. Our 21st  century world presents congregations and their leaders with significant challenges, but also with new possibilities for creating dynamic faith formation. Congregations need leaders who possess the knowledge, skills, and practices to develop faith forming communities in the 21st century.

The Vibrant Faith Institute is designed for leaders who care about the future of faith formation in their communities—whether they are full time, part time or volunteer leaders, pastors or Christian education directors or coordinators.

The Vibrant Faith Institute will help you embrace a new vision and develop a new set of practices for faith formation with all ages and generations in your congregation. We do this through a  Foundations Program and Specialized Faith Formation Courses where you will learn how to:

  • engage all generations intergenerationally
  • nurture family faith and equip parents to transmit faith to their children
  • promote faith maturing from childhood through older adulthood
  • develop missional outreach to the unaffiliated and uninvolved and invite people into discipleship and participation in the faith community
  • utilize digitally enabled and digitally connected approaches in faith formation with all ages and generations.

The one-year, three-part Foundations Program: “Lifelong Faith Formation for the 21st Century” provides you with the essential knowledge, practices, and skills for promoting lifelong faith growth and discipleship in the church community, at home, in age groups, and online. You will design and implement a plan for vital and vibrant faith formation with all ages and generations.

The Specialized Faith Formation Courses each focus on one element of lifelong faith formation—intergenerational, family, children, adults, missional, and digital—and will help you develop in-depth knowledge, practices, and skills for designing faith formation for the whole congregation. You will design strategies, programs, and activities to implement in your congregation.

The Vibrant Faith Institute offers a Certificate in Faith Formation for the 21st Century to all who complete the Foundations Program plus FOUR Specialized Courses—and complete the projects for each course.

Scroll down to learn more and/or download the full description.


Registrations must be received TWO WEEKS prior
to the course start date.

 

FOUNDATIONS PROGRAM One-Year, Three-Part Program

“Lifelong Faith Formation for the Twenty-First Century”

SPECIALIZED FAITH FORMATION COURSES
Four-week topical courses
(Watch for more topics in Fall, 2019.)

Truly effective lifelong faith formation in our communities is within reach

The Vibrant Faith Institute is a new online approach to educating faith formation leaders. It includes a one-year Foundations Program and topic-focused, 4-week Specialized Faith Formation Courses.

The Foundations Program:   “Faith Formation for the 21st Century”

The Foundations Program: Lifelong Faith Formation for the 21st Century is an online approach to educating faith formation leaders. Each of the three interdependent parts of the program includes the following features:

Three online live presentations led by experts in the field of faith formation (presentations are recorded for those who cannot attend live)

Seven self-paced, dynamic online learning sessions with specially selected readings, videos, and online resources

An online learning community

Practical activities and resources to apply the knowledge, practices, and skills to faith formation in your congregation

A project that demonstrates your application of the knowledge, practices, and skills.

The course is a year-long exploration, with a 10-week session beginning in January, followed by two more 10-week sessions beginning in April and September

 Tuition is $750 for the whole program (all three parts). Books are additional.


Part 1. Reimagining Faith Formation for the 21st Century

Instructor:  Leif Kehrwald – Parish Life Coordinator, Parish Pastoral Administrator at St. Charles Catholic Church in Portland, OR; former member of the Vibrant Faith Leadership Team (M.A. Pastoral Ministry, Regis University)

Part One presents the vision and practices for the five elements of the new faith forming ecology, which forms the foundation for developing a vibrant faith forming congregation in the 21st century. Discover how the new faith forming ecology 1) engages all generations intergenerationally; 2) nurtures family faith and equips parents to transmit faith at home; 3) promotes faith maturing in each life stage: children, youth, young adults, midlife adults, mature adults, and older adults; 4) develops missional outreach to the unaffiliated and uninvolved, and invites people into discipleship and participation in the faith community; and 5) utilizes digitally-enabled strategies in  faith formation.

Live Presentations:  Thursdays – January 17, February 28, and March 29 at 12 noon – 1:30 pm Eastern Time
Required Reading:  Reimagining Faith Formation for the 21st Century. John Roberto. Cheshire, CT:  Lifelong Faith Associates, 2016. (Order at www.lifelongfaith.com)


Part 2. Designing Faith Formation for the 21st Century

Instructor:  Jim Merhaut – Director of Coaching to Connect; Author, Trainer, Coach; Vibrant Faith Associate. (M.S. Religious Education, Duquesne University)

Part Two focuses on designing and implementing a lifelong faith formation plan to promote faith maturing from childhood through adulthood. Discover models and practices for becoming intentionally intergenerational and learn how to design intergenerational strategies, programs, and activities. Discover approaches and strategies for family and parent faith formation, and learn how to design faith formation for families and parents at home, at church, and online. Discover how to use 21st  century approaches and practices for designing faith formation for each life stage. Discover how to develop missional outreach and relationship building with the unaffiliated and uninvolved, and learn how to design pathways into discipleship and engagement in the faith community.

 Live Presentations:  Tuesdays – April 9, May 14, and June 18 at 12 noon – 1:30 pm Eastern Time
Required Reading:  A collection of articles on age-group, family, and intergenerational faith formation.


Part 3. Leading Faith Formation in the 21st Century

Instructor:  Von Clemans – Consultant and Instructor; former Associate Pastor for Adult Education, Myers Park Presbyterian Church, Charlotte, NC; Vibrant Faith Associate. (D.Ed.Min., Educational Ministry, Columbia Theological Seminary)

Part Three presents an approach to Christian leadership that has two essential elements: internal (heart and soul) and external (practices and skills). Christian leaders cultivate their inner life by developing a spirituality that sustains and guides their leadership—centered in a personal mission that is informed by a living faith in Jesus Christ and his mission and ministry. Christian leaders develop their external life by learning the knowledge and skills for the effective practice of leadership in congregations and in the world. Part Three guides leaders in 1) strengthening their inner life and spirituality; 2) applying contemporary leadership thinking and practices to congregational life; 3) developing the skills for effective leadership; and 4) learning the skills and processes for equipping leaders in the congregation.

 Live Presentations:  Wednesdays – September 18, October 16, and November 20 at 12 noon – 1:30 pm Eastern Time
Required Reading:  Canoeing the Mountains: Christian Leadership in Uncharted Territory.  Tod Bolsinger. Downers Grove: IVP,  2015.


Specialized Faith Formation Courses

Specialized Faith Formation Courses focus on one element of lifelong faith formation—intergenerational, family, children, adult, missional, and digital—and will help you develop in-depth knowledge, practices, and skills for designing faith formation for the whole congregation. You will design strategies, programs, and activities to implement in your church.

Specialized Courses include 4 sessions—2 online live presentations and 2 self-paced learning sessions—and are offered monthly except for July and August. Tuition is $150 per course. There is one book for each course and the cost for the book is additional. Each course includes a participant project that applies the learning from the course to the leader’s church.

 

Family Faith Formation (January 2019)

Instructor:  Jolene Roehlkepartain – Founder and President of Ideas to Ink; Author, Educator. (MBA University of St. Thomas)
Live Presentations 
on January 16 and January 30, 2019 at 12 noon Eastern Time (90 minutes each)
Required Reading:  Families at the Center of Faith FormationLeif Kehrwald, John roberto, Jolene Roehlkepartain, and Gene Roehlkepartain. Cheshire, CT:  Lifelong Faith Associates, 2016.  (Order at www.lifelongfaith.com)

The Family Faith Formation course explores how parents and the family are the single most important influence on religious transmission and faith practice. Discover how to use eight foundational strategies for family faith formation: 1) discovering God in everyday life, 2) forming faith at home through the life cycle, 3) forming faith through milestones, 4) celebrating seasonal events through the year, 5) encountering God in the Bible through the year, 6) connecting families intergenerationally, 7) developing a strong family life, and 8) empowering parents and grandparents as faith formers. Learn how to design and implement one or more strategies to create new or enhanced programming that engages families at church, at home, and in the community.


Children’s  Faith Formation (February, 2019)

Instructor:  Tanya Eustace Campen – United Methodist Deacon; Asst. Director Intergenerational Ministry, Texas Rio Annual Conference UMC. (Ph.D. Christian Education, Garrett Evangelical Theological Seminary)
Live Presentations on February 13 and February 27, 2019 at 12 noon Eastern Time (90 minutes each)
Required Reading:  Faith Formation with a New Generation. John Roberto with Lisa Brown, Tanya eustace Campen, Lynn Barger Elliott, and Lee Yates.  Cheshire, CT:  Lifelong Faith Associates, 2018.  (Order at www.lifelongfaith.com)

The Children and Adolescent Faith Formation course explores the unique life tasks, needs, interests, and spiritual journeys of children and adolescents; guides the application of effective practices and approaches for faith formation with children and adolescents; and facilitates the design of a faith formation plan for the first two decades of life with programs, activities, and strategies. Learn how to integrate digitally enabled methods, practices, and approaches into faith formation with children and adolescents.


Adult Faith Formation (March 2019)

Instructor:  Janet Schaeffler O.P. – Adult Education Consultant, Instructor, and Author (M.A. Religious Studies, Detroit-Mercy University)
Live Presentations on March 13 and March 27, 2019 at 12 noon Eastern Time (90 minutes each)
Required Reading:  The Seasons of Adult Faith Formation.  Dorothy Lnthicum, Jim Merhaut, Kyle Oliver, Janet Schaeffler, and John Roberto.  Cheshire, CT:  Lifelong Faith Associates, 2015.  (Order at www.lifelongfaith.com)

The Adult Faith Formation course explores the characteristics and spiritual-religious identifies of four stages of adulthood: young adults, midlife adults, mature adults, and older adults; guides the application of effective practices and approaches for faith formation at each stage of adulthood; and facilitates the design of a faith formation plan with programs, activities, and strategies for each stage of adulthood. Discover how to use the abundance of high quality resources and digital media—and the new digital tools and methods—in designing adult faith formation that engages every adult around their interests, concerns, questions, and spiritual-religious journeys.


Intergenerational Faith Formation (May, 2019)

Instructor:  Kathie Amidei – Pastoral Associate at St. Anthony on the Lake Parish, Pewaukee, WI; Author, Instructor. (Ph.D. Leadership, Cardinal Stritch University)
Live Presentations 
on May 1 and May 15, 2019 at 12 noon Eastern Time (90 minutes each)
Required Reading:  Generations Together: Learning, Praying, and Serving Faithfully.  Kathie Amidei, Jim Merhaut, and John roberto.  Cheshire, CT:  Lifelong Faith Associates, 2014.  (Order at www.lifelongfaith.com)

The Intergenerational Faith Formation course presents the role of the intergenerational faith community—community, worship, learning, praying, and serving—in developing vibrant faith in people of all generations by exploring the theory, research, and principles of intergenerational faith formation.  Discover practices and models for becoming an intentionally intergenerational faith community. Learn how to utilize intergenerational events and experiences, such as Sunday worship and church year seasons, to form faith in all ages. Develop strategies for connecting the generations through church life. Discover ways to infuse intergenerational relationships and experiences into existing age-group programs. Learn how to design new intergenerational programs  and experiences in learning, service, prayer, community life, and more.


Coming Soon

Digitally Enabled Faith Formation  

The Digitally Enabled Faith Formation course selects and presents the best approaches for integrating digital tools, methods, resources, and strategies into faith formation with children, adolescents, adults, families, and the whole community. Learn how to personalize faith formation around the unique religious-spiritual needs of people. Discover how to use blended (online and physical settings) learning models, such as the flipped classroom, in designing faith formation programming. Become familiar with a variety of digital methods for designing and conducting programs. Learn the skills and processes for becoming a curator of digital resources for faith formation.


Leading Faith Formation in the 21st Century  

The Leading Faith Formation course presents an approach to Christian leadership that has two essential elements: internal (heart and soul) and external (practices and skills). Cultivate your  inner life by developing a spirituality that sustains and guide your leadership—centered in a personal mission that is informed by a living faith in Jesus Christ and his mission and ministry. Develop your external life by learning the knowledge and skills for the effective practice of leadership in congregations and in the world. Learn how to apply contemporary leadership thinking and practices to congregational life. Develop the skills for effective leadership. Learn the skills and processes for equipping leaders in the congregation.


Missional Faith Formation  

The Missional Faith Formation course presents research on the lives and needs of the unaffiliated and uninvolved. Discover models and examples of missional faith formation—outreach, relationship building, and faith experiences—that you can use in your congregation and community. Learn how to design projects and initiatives to connect with the unaffiliated and uninvolved. Discover models and examples of missional pathways for people to consider or reconsider the Christian faith, to encounter Jesus and the Good News, and to live as disciples in a faith community. Learn how to design missional pathways for the people in your community.


Certificate in Lifelong Faith Formation

The Vibrant Faith Institute offers a Certificate in Lifelong Faith Formation to all participants who complete the Foundations Program, FOUR Specialized Courses of their choice, and the projects for each course.

Meet the Coordinator

 

John Roberto is a member of the Vibrant Faith Executive Team, and Project Coordinator for the Vibrant Faith Institute.  He is the Founder and President of Lifelong Faith Associates, editor of the Lifelong Faith Journal, and coordinator for the Faith Formation 2020 Initiative.  For over four decades John has  provided consultation to churches and national organizations, taught courses and conducted workshops in faith formation. He has authored books and program manuals in youth ministry, family ministry, and intergenerational faith formation. John lives with his wife, Linda, in Cheshire, Connecticut.

John Roberto

John Roberto

Vibrant Faith Executive Team and Coordinator, Vibrant Faith Institute

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