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Department of Religious Education Establishes Teenage and Acolyte Curriculum Committees

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Apr 3, 2001

The Department of Religious Education (DRE) has begun the process of developing a comprehensive curriculum that will focus on the spiritual, emotional, and intellectual formation of teenagers in the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America. Based on the needs assessment data collected from the Religious Education Climate Survey (RECS) which canvassed churches throughout the Archdiocese in March 2000, the development of resources and a delivery model of religious education for teens is strongly needed. The data further indicates a basic desire to provide meaningful instructional experiences that introduce students to an integrated understanding of the liturgical, scriptural, patristic, and ethical content of the Orthodox Church. The newly appointed Curriculum Committee comprised of Orthodox clergy, writers, editors, and curriculum design experts will therefore be responsible for developing teenage material that will accomplish this task.

The Scope and Sequence Chart, designed and developed by the Archdiocesan Department of Religious Education, called “Living the Orthodox Faith,” will serve as the foundational guideline of learning objectives for the development of the Teenage Curriculum. With the spiritual blessings of His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios, the committee will be comprised of four specific teams (one team for each grade level) for the 9th through 12th grades. A separate team has been appointed to develop instructional resources for parish acolytes.

Currently, each Curriculum Development Team consists of approximately 25 clergymen and 5 lay representatives. Two co-directors will lead each team. In total, there are over 120 individuals involved in both the Teenage Curriculum and Acolyte Curriculum Programs. Several members of the Holy Synod have agreed to provide spiritual oversight and theological precision to their respective teams.

Plans are underway for the first gathering of the executive members of the Curriculum Development Committee to be held on the campus of Hellenic College/Holy Cross School of Theology on June 28– - June 30 to coincide with the Department of Religious Education Summer Institute. This will afford the many religious educators attending the Summer Institute an excellent opportunity to interact with the Committee members. After this initial meeting of the executive members, each of the four teams will then meet separately via team workshops in order to compose and develop their respective age group’s goals and objectives.

The hierarchs and co-directors of each curriculum development team are as follows:

Grade 12: His Eminence Metropolitan Anthony of San Francisco, Rev. Dr. Stephen Kyriacou (Annunciation Cathedral, San Francisco, CA), and Mr. John Kalinoglou (Religious Educator); Grade 11: His Eminence Metropolitan Maximos of Pittsburgh, Rev. Fr. Steven Tsichlis (St. Paul, Irvine, CA), and Ms. Eve Tibbs (San Francisco Diocese Religious Education Director); Grade 10: His Eminence Metropolitan Isaiah of Denver, Rev. Fr. Nicholas Manousakis (St. Demetrios, Daytona Beach, FL) , and Dr. Vasiliki Tsigas-Fotinis (Adult Educator); Grade 9: His Eminence Metropolitan Methodios of Boston, Rev. Fr. George Economou (Assumption, Pawtucket, RI), and Dr. Anton Vrame (Adjunct Professor of Religious Education, Hellenic College/Holy Cross); Acolyte Team: His Grace Bishop Nicholas of Detroit and V. Rev. Archimandrite Nicholas Graff (St. John the Divine, Jacksonville, FL).

All initiatives concerning curriculum theory, design, research, and development of the teenage curriculum will be under the direction of Rev. Dr. Frank Marangos with the assistance of Dr. Michael Billys, program and curriculum coordinator. For further information, please contact the Department of Religious Education at (617) 850–1218.

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