Tag Archives: open university

Religious education for adults

Trying to plan out an integrated religious education curriculum across the life span raises a difficult questions: what are the learning goals for Unitarian Universalist adults?

Most UU congregations have the start of a pretty good curriculum for newcomers — the “New UU” class (it’s known under different names in different congregations). But when newcomers get beyond that, what then? Do they need more education, or do we just let them go?

In general, our UU congregations put together a miscellaneous or random collection of offerings for adults. Usually, it’s based on the time-worn”Open University” approach — if you can get someone to lead it, and you can get someone to teach it, then offer it. This is the easy way out — but is it the best way? If that’s what we’re doing, how is adult religious education offered at church any different than the adult education courses offered at the local community college?

If you read my post from yesterday, you’ll know I’m moving towards setting learning goals first, then coming up with acceptable evidence to determine if the learning goals have been met, and only then planning specific activities and instructional methods. If that’s the approach, my first question has to be — what are the learning goals we have for Unitarian Universalist adults?

I don’t really know. I have a pretty good idea of learning goals for adults who are new to Unitarian Universalism, but what about those of us who have been around for a long time?