The Importance of Continuing Education for the Religious Educator

With or Without a degree

We all(if we are teaching about God, Jesus, and the bible) have had some (or should have had) education along the way, whether our own education growing up or further studies in college or offered at churches in the form of Bible studies etc.

If an opportunity presents itself to learn more, and if it is offered at a time you can reasonably partake….you should.

You may sit through the first few classes and not get it or you may know more than is being taught, in either case if the person teaching the class is good and knows their topic chances are

you will learn something new.

you will have an AHA moment


– a new way to pray

-a new way to teach

-a new way to think about a bible passage, or religious topic

-a new insight into yourself and your beliefs

Currently I am taking

edXHome Page

NotreDameX: TH120.1x Jesus in Scripture and Tradition

Sometimes the conversation feels over my head

but other times I get the aha moment

for example today’s first lecture summarizing the first weeks of the course

“It must be the case for the Christian reader, that this reader can ponder
the mystery of the identity of Jesus more deeply by considering
his relationship to the Jewish people and their scriptures.”…….”What the Bible calls us to do is not so much master the subject
as to begin contemplating this mystery that constitutes our subject.”

We will never fully know God, we will never fully understand the messages of the Bible

However each reading of a bible passage, (try the prayer form Lectio Divina sometime) see these 1 or 2 for descriptions on how to pray Lectio Divina brings us closer to knowing God’s call for us

Through Contemplation and rereading, biblical passages and prayers we can discern how to deal with all we face in our daily lives.

Another class I took was on

The Letters of the Apostle Paul

offered through Harvard x(and is still available as an archived course on ed x I believe)

It was a very academic approach to examine the letters of St. Paul.  But it was undoubtedly fascinating.

Even the Catholic Church tells us we should consider the letters, and to Where, Who, Why, they were written.  The Church tells us the letters should not be taken literally but rather should be read as to what they meaning they have to us today.

Then I took a course called

Spirituality and Sensuality: Sacred Objects in Religious Life

HamiltonX – RELST005.5xEnded – Apr 22, 2015

A very different look at Worlds Religions and how they all use objects and the 5 senses to help them experience their spirituality more fully

think :

incense, crosses, bells, music, bread, wine  etc…

and Finally

I have taken advantage of taken various courses offered by local and regional groups and retreats, I earned my Beginning Certification in Religious Education, and have continued taking classes to earn the required clock hours.

The biggest thing I have learned is


I thought going into teaching religious education, that because my degree in college included so many courses on Christianity that I knew a lot (and I do)  but my classes touched the surface and I crave to go deeper

deeper into different types of prayer

deeper into bible reading

deeper into my faith which I sometimes feel is just in its infancy.


About ellasurreau

I am a first grade religious education catechist I have been teaching for 20 years I have a BA in Religious Studies I have continued taking classes in religious studies since graduating. I grew up Methodist, and became catholic after marrying.
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One Response to The Importance of Continuing Education for the Religious Educator

  1. Pingback: Lectio Divina; Praying with Scripture | ellasurreaublog

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