Course 1. A Faith Forming Congregation (Winter 2017)


John Roberto

Reviews (3)

Michelle Collins
Julie Caslow
Christy Trantina
A very informative class. Good overview of different learning environments for congregations, and good intro to technology integration into faith formation.



Course #1 introduces the participants to the five elements of the new faith forming ecosystem which forms the foundation for developing a vibrant congregational culture in the 21st century. The new faith forming ecosystem is designed to: 1) engage all generations—intergenerationally; 2) nurture family faith and equips parents to transmit faith at home; 3) address the unique needs of age groups—children, youth, and adults; 4) develop missional outreach to the unaffiliated and uninvolved and invite people into discipleship and participation in the faith community; and 5) utilize online communities and resources, and digitally-enabled strategies for faith formation. Participants will apply the five elements by exploring their congregational culture and faith formation programs and activities.

Course #1 also introduces the practices of developing digitally-enabled faith formation and connecting people with online faith forming resources and communities. Participants will explore the potential of blended models of faith formation that incorporate physical settings and online settings ranging from fully online programming to gathered programming in physical settings that use online resources: 1) gathered program with online content, 2) gathered program and online content, 3) online and gathered, 4) mostly online, and 5) fully online. Participants will begin building a website platform for faith formation. 


Roberto, John. Reimagining Faith Formation for the 21st Century. Naugatuck: LifelongFaith Associates, 2015. (Available in print from; and in e-book formats - Kindle and Nook)

Stewart, John W. Envisioning the Congregation, Practicing the Gospel. Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 2015. 

Online Live Presentations: January-April 2017

Connect to the Zoom Video Conference using the following link: 

Tuesday, January 24, 2017:   1-4 pm EST

Tuesday, February 21, 2017:  1-4 pm EST 

Tuesday, April 18, 2017:         1-4 pm EST

Discussion Forum

Posting responses to the Discussion Forum is an integral element of every course. Discussions for Course #1 are integrated into Weeks 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 10. There is a focusing question in the "Apply" section of each learning plan. Every participant is asked to post a response to the question in the Discussions tab on the main menu. Your response might be as short as one sentence or might be a series of actions your are going to take because of your learning. 

We encourage you to return regularly to the Discussions Forum to review and respond to posts by course participants. 


The project assignment for Course #1 is to develop a faith formation faith formation network for a target audience - age group, family, all generations, or whole church. The learning plans and resources for Weeks 11-13 provide the process to guide you in developing a first draft of your faith formation network and website. In Week 14 each participant will provide an overview of his or her faith formation network and website design. 

For details on the assignment go to the Task bar. 

Congregational Team Meetings

During the four month timespan of Course #1, schedule three meetings with your congregational team to accomplish the following tasks: 

Team Meeting 1 (Complete before Week #3). "Congregational Faith Formation Assessment" 

  • The learning project for Week #1 is to complete the "Congregational Faith Formation Assessment." Engage the whole team (and other leadership groups) in completing the assessment on their own. Then, compile the results of all the individual  assessments into one report. Gather your team to analyze the results. The assessment tool and instructions are in Week #1. 

Team Meeting 2. (Complete after completing Week #8)

  • Weeks #5-8 explore four elements of the new faith forming ecosystem: intergenerational, family, lifelong, and missional faith formation. Organize a Team meeting to explore how your congregation is implementing these four elements. Review the section of the video presentation from Week #3 that introduces intergenerational, family, lifelong, and missional faith formation. Share what you have learned from Weeks #5-8, and your responses to the "Apply" questions in each the learning plans. 

Team Meeting 3. (During Weeks 11-13)

  • Involve your team in developing your faith formation network and designing your website. Schedule a meeting after you have completed the initial work on the network and website architecture. Use the design processes in the learning plans for Week 11 and Weeks 12-13. 

Course content

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