The executive members of the Archdiocesan Teenage Curriculum Committee (ATCC) recently gathered in Denver, Colorado to discuss the status of the Department of Religious Education’s Teenage Curriculum project. His Eminence Metropolitan Isaiah, the presiding Hierarch of the Diocese of Denver, welcomed the committee and prayed for the success of their deliberations. Under the direct leadership and spiritual blessings of Archbishop Demetrios, the committee is composed of four specific teams that are respectively responsible for developing the catechetical material for grades 9-12.

The Denver meeting was the first time the ATCC has gathered since the committee was formally entrusted with their task at the 2001 Religious Education Summer Institute held at the Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology. According to the Rev. Dr. Frank Marangos, Director of the Department of Religious Education for the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese, the ATCC is charged with overseeing 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. The Scope and Sequence chart designed and developed by the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America referred to as Living the Orthodox Faith serves as the foundational guideline for the development of the Teenage Curriculum.

Based on the needs assessment data collected from the Religious Education Climate Survey (RECS) that canvassed churches throughout the Archdiocese in March 2000, Marangos has designed a curriculum paradigm called the CANA Curriculum Design Model. The CANA Curriculum Design Modelrefers to a pedagogical process of religious education that is based on the account of Jesus’ first miracle (John 2). The miracle took place at a wedding in a small, obscure town called Cana where the wine at the wedding had run out. As such, Jesus was asked by his mother to find a solution for the newlyweds’ problem. Although initially reluctant, Jesus nonetheless complied with his mother’s request and utilized the opportunity to produce His first sign (miracles).

The CANA (Catechetical, Affective, and Noetic Assets) Curriculum Design Model includes six interrelated components: (a) Catechist, (b) Client (Child/Adult), (c) Content, (d) Context, (e) Community, and (f) Corroboration. Related to the six stone waterpots of Cana, the six C’s of the CANA Curriculum Design Model provide interrelated catechetical, affective and noetic resources for the eaching/learning process. While it is not necessary to utilize them in a linear fashion, the components function best when employed in a cohesive way. Each of the six components includes resources and instructional assets that correspond to its respective focus. The CANA model is a comprehensive curriculum model that introduces students to an integrated understanding of the liturgical, scriptural, patristic and ethical content of the Orthodox Church.

Currently, each curriculum development team consists of approximately 20 clergymen and 5 lay representatives. Each team will be led by two (2) co-directors. In total, there are approximately 100 individuals involved in the teenage curriculum project. Several members of the Holy Synod have agreed to provide spiritual oversight for their respective team. The hierarchs and co-directors of each curriculum development team are as follows: 12th grade team - Metropolitan Anthony, Fr. Stephen Kyriacou, and Mr. John Kalinoglou; 11th grade team - Metropolitan Maximos, Fr. Steven Tsichlis, and Ms. Eve Tibbs; 10th grade team - Metropolitan Isaiah, Fr. Nick Manousakis, and Dr. Vasiliki Tsigas Fotinis; and the 9th grade team - Metropolitan Methodios, Irene Cassis and Dr. Anton Vrame.

All initiatives concerning curriculum theory design, research, and development of the teenage curriculum will be conducted by the staff of the Department of Religious Education ( DRE ) under the executive supervision of its director, Rev. Dr. Frank Marangos, and Dr. Vasiliki Tsigas Fotinis, curriculum coordinator.