What are the goals of the Alive in Jesus Curriculum?
The Alive in Jesus Curriculum uses the Bible as the foundation, with grace, character, and mission as its pillars. It seeks to intentionally build children’s relationships with Jesus and their knowledge of the truths in the Bible, inviting a response to action. Rigor and skill deepen as the levels progress from Babies through Youth. It allows the Bible to speak for itself, and through the process, appeal to children’s hearts and minds to foster a saving relationship with Jesus.
What’s new about the Alive in Jesus Curriculum?
The student guide provides a daily reading and invites children to open their Bibles every day. Devotional Bible study tips are offered at the beginning of the student guides so that the children can also learn to dig deep into their Bibles.
The student lessons share the Bible narrative in an appealing, clear way, while inviting discovery through various interactive elements (reflective questions, Bible study, nature, and creative/active responses). Conviction and heart appeal stem from discovery, followed by age-appropriate mission challenges. Beautiful illustrations and artwork enhance the Bible messages, deepening meaning and recall.
The lessons support parents in their own spiritual walk and facilitate intentional spiritual conversations with their child (Parent Faith Talk).
The topics in Kindergarten and Primary are intentionally aligned for parents who have children in both levels. This means that the parent can choose which lesson to read for family worship. Both Old and New Testament stories are incorporated in every year in Beginner, Kindergarten, and Primary. A complete chronology is shared across the 5-year scope of Junior and Teen.
Two Pathfinder honors can be earned each year in Junior and Teen.
Resources are provided for Sabbath School teachers, including music, crafts, mission stories, Bible studies, collector cards, posters, nature lessons, etc.
What are the ages for each of the levels in the AIJ curriculum?
- Babies: birth-12 months
- Beginner: 1-3 years
- Kindergarten: 4-6 years
- Primary: 7-9 years
- Junior: 10-12 years
- Teen: 13-14 years
- Youth: 15-18 years
What is the new Babies level like? What are its goals?
The Babies level offers spiritual nurture to parents and suggests a simple routine to establish family worship. The Parent Guide provides four quarterly worship experiences that are shared both at home and at Sabbath School.
“Parent Time” is conducted like a small group and is the last 30 minutes of Sabbath School. Parents will receive a handout each week that is focused on raising godly children. The purpose of the new Babies level is to support parents as they begin a routine of family worship, while also nurturing their spiritual walk in this busy season of life.
What is your process in creating content for the lessons?
Our writers have been through a rigorous screening process and carefully selected by the General Conference Sabbath School and Personal Ministries (SSPM) Department and our steering committees. All topics and sequencing have been set by the SSPM Department, with a focus on our specific learning goals, keeping in mind the stages of faith development and current research on teaching and learning.
After each quarter is written and before it is edited, lessons are sent around the world for feedback from esteemed reviewers and specialists in various areas of education, ministry, and academia. The lessons are then sent to a theologian, edited, reviewed by the Biblical Research Institute and the Manuscript Evaluation Committee, and edited a third time. Then, the lessons are copyedited and illustration briefs are given to the artists, who go through a rigorous process which also involves theological reviews and numerous rounds of revisions. Our designers then work with the copy and the illustrations before the lessons are proofread and packaged for print.
To ensure a global and grounded perspective is incorporated into the curriculum, there is a Lower-Level Steering Committee and an Upper-Level Steering Committee comprised of children’s ministry directors, youth directors, specialists, and parents from across the globe.
What is done to ensure the theological accuracy of this new curriculum?
Our writers and editors have a strong biblical worldview while also understanding faith development in children and youth. As part of the review process, the lessons are critiqued by respected theologians before also being reviewed by the Biblical Research Institute of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. These two layers of theological review are a very important part of the content-development process.
Why can’t the AIJ curriculum be launched sooner?
The scope of this seven-level curriculum is huge, as it covers 18 years of daily readings. There are more than 20 production steps in place to ensure that our goals are met with rigor and intention. Furthermore, once the GC has finalized the material it must still be sent to the divisions where translation, adjustments to design (due to changes in word count after translation), and training of local fields all must take place prior to launch. This means that the GC must finalize the publications in English at least one year prior to launch.
Our team is working very hard, at a very intense pace, to create quality materials for the world field. Please pray for us!
Is all the artwork new?
We are working very closely with our artists to create all new artwork for the Alive in Jesus curriculum. A different artist is hired to create the artwork for each level. The Junior level is the only level that is reusing some previously created artwork, although the majority is new.
The artwork is critiqued by an art review team and the Biblical Research Institute with the goal of creating illustrations that are theologically and culturally accurate. The artwork is vibrant and beautiful, using proportions and features that are real-to-life.
Modern children from all nationalities are included, where possible.
How is the AIJ curriculum distinctly Adventist?
The Bible is the foundation of the AIJ curriculum, with the pillars of grace, character, and mission prominent in each lesson. It teaches children and youth how to study the Bible for themselves while building a close relationship with Jesus.
Our writers consult Ellen White’s writings when creating content, and the 28 fundamental beliefs are woven throughout the lessons in overt ways. The themes of the great controversy, the three angels’ messages, Christ’s righteousness, and our prophetic message for the times we live in are overlaid across the entire curriculum. There are specific quarters that are focused on Adventist identity, such as Daniel and Revelation in the Teen level and a quarter on Adventist identity in Youth. The weekly Sabbath features include stories of the Adventist pioneers and contemporary mission stories that uphold our distinct beliefs.
AIJ is being developed by an all-Adventist team of children and youth specialists: editors, writers, illustrators, designers, copyeditors, and proof-readers, who love God and the Seventh-day Adventist message.
What will be available on the AIJ website at launch?
Our plan is to use the AIJ website to make available the student and teacher guides, as well as the supporting resources (handouts, music tracks, craft videos, training videos, etc.) We hope to make these resources available in multiple languages to support the world field. All of this will be freely accessed for use in Sabbath School, although copyright is maintained by the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists.
When will the divisions receive the Word documents to begin translation?
Our goal is to send the quarter 1 Word documents to the divisions in the last quarter of 2023. A new quarter will be sent approximately every three months.
When will the new curriculum be launched to the world field?
We are planning to launch Babies, Beginner, Kindergarten, Primary, and Junior in January, 2025.
We are planning to launch Teen and Youth in 2026.
Is this curriculum a prayed-over curriculum?
Yes! The SSPM department prays daily over the curriculum and each contributor. The team also meets for an hour via Zoom every month to pray for one another and the curriculum. We invite you to join us in praying for this new Sabbath School curriculum.