The following 10 textbooks target community development and spiritual maturity through the building of relationships in small groups. Books were selected from those recommended by NAPCE members in a survey conducted during the 2006 Conference in Denver, CO. Multiple professors used several of the texts reviewed. Each review below grows out of experienced classroom use by that reviewer.
The big book on small groups: Featuring a complete program for training small group leaders. Revised edition. By Jeffrey Arnold. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press. 2004.
Life together. By Dietrich Bonhoeffer. San Francisco: HarperOne. 2003 (originally published in 1939).
Making small groups work: What every small group leader needs to know. By Henry Cloud and John Townsend. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan. 2003.
How people grow: What the Bible reveals about personal growth. By Henry Cloud and John Townsend. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan. 2001.
Truly the community: Romans 12 and how to be the church. By Marva Dawn. Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans. 1997 (originally published in 1992).
Leading life-changing small groups. By William Donahue. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan. 2002.
Walking the small group tightrope: Meeting the challenges every group faces. By Bill Donahue and Russ Robinson. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan. 2003.
The connecting church: Beyond small groups to authentic community. By Randy Frazee. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan. 2001.
Community that is Christian: A handbook on small groups. By Julie A. Gorman. Second edition. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books. 2002.
The search to belong: Rethinking intimacy, community, and small groups. By Joseph Myers. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan. 2003.
Tom Bergler. Ministry and Missions. Huntington College/Link Institute, Huntington, IN. (TB)
Gary Bussmann. Christian Education and Spiritual Formation. Lincoln Christian College, Lincoln, IL. (GB)
Julie A Gorman. Christian Formation and Discipleship. Fuller Seminary, Pasadena, CA. (JG)
Mike Parrott. Ministry and Mission. Cedarville University, Cedarville, OH. (MP)
David Setran. Department of Educational Ministries. Wheaton College, Wheaton, IL. (DS)
In anticipation of this special 25th anniversary issue of the Christian Education Journal, I invited about two dozen veteran professors to share their reflections of trends and changes in the field of Christian education over the last 25 years. About half were able to do so. These are collected here and shared with you to encourage your own reflection on the past and discernment for the future.
This article, written by six women who know the subjects well, examines the lives and contributions of six influential evangelical women leaders who had an impact in the field of Christian education in the later 20th century and into the present: Linda Cannell, Julie Gorman, Roberta Hestenes, Marlene LeFever, Eileen Starr, and Catherine Stonehouse.
Willard, Dallas. (2002). Renovation of the heart: Putting on the character of tion, Renovation of the Heart. Colorado Springs, CO: NavPress. 268 pp.
Review by Klaus Issler, Professor of Christian Education and Theology, Talbot School of Theology, Biola University, La Mirada, CA
Review by Richard V. Peace Robert Boyd Munger Professor of Evangelism and Spiritual Formation Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena, CA.
Review by S. Steve Kang, Associate Professor of Christian Formation and Ministry Wheaton College, Wheaton, IL
Review by Jeff Sickles Pastor, Snohomish Evangelical Free Church, Snohomish, WA
This article examines the necessity for and implications of personal transformation as a result of the teaching/learning process. What evidence does Scripture give of this as the purpose and desire of God? How does learning theory support this goal? What elements and conditions foster transformation in learners? What educational assumptions must be examined if one intends to teach for transformation? What response must be called for?
We are most fulfilled as individuals not by flying solo, but by taking our place within the community and making a contribution that is uniquely us. The author introduces this theme issue of the CEJ on the interdependent aspect of our kingdom living.
All our efforts in Christian education are in the direction of maturing individuals in Christ-likeness. This article deals with identifying factors in that process and the way in which they form an ecology for the cultivation of this maturing. Knowing these elements foster the formation process, what can the Christian educator do to incorporate these elements in a designed formation experience?
Children are naturally curious about death. Yet many adults have mixed emotions and are confused when talking with children about death. The Christian educator, caring for the holistic child, needs to enable the child to deal with his questions and feelings in a way that speaks to the reality of our faith while considering the child's emotional and spiritual needs.