Q: Who writes the materials?
A: The main author of the materials is Shereen Marcus, supported by a small team of editors and contributors. Check out our About Us Page for more information.
Q: Have the materials been approved by a Bishop or the Pope?
A: Bishops and Priests have reviewed the materials and approved them for their specific Diocese / Parish. Our recommendation is that you follow your Priest's guidance and whatever protocol in place in getting the materials approved for your individual parish. Feel free to Contact Us if we can be of assistance.
Q: Who are the materials made for?
A: The units are made as a tool for Sunday school teachers wanting to fill approximately 1-hour lessons each week in an age-appropriate, engaging, and theologically sound manner.
The materials were made for all Orthodox traditions. As such, once downloaded, you may occasionally see separate folder options: Coptic tradition or Eastern Orthodox tradition. (Most of the time the materials contain no differences)
Use the folder of materials for the tradition that is most appropriate for your parish. The materials were made in cooperation with Coptic and Eastern Orthodox contributors.
Q: Can I get a unit for free?
A: We will have free samples available periodically throughout the year- so subscribe to our newsletter to stay informed! We do our best to keep the pricing low in comparison to the time and personal investment made into making quality educational and theologically sound materials.
Questions for Crossroads (Teens 7th-12th Grade)
Q: How do I use these materials?
A: We designed the curriculum with maximum adaptability. You can purchase a single unit (one month of lesson plans) and use them whenever you choose, you can purchase a bundle of units for a discounted price, you can follow our suggested calendar found on our School Year Content Guide, or you can mix and match.
Q: Does each grade have its own unique curriculum?
A: No, not necessarily. Every year we will upload new content, but the lesson plans can be used across the suggested age bracket. Meaning that a 7th grader may be learning what a 12th grader is learning at the same time, but with their own unique discussion. Check out our School Year Content Guide for more information about this school year's content.
Q: How many years of "new" themes do you have available?
A: We only upload one school-year at a time, but we have approximately 4 years worth of unique topics that will be covered. Check out our full scope guide for more information.
Q: Why don't you make the whole 4-year scope available all at once?
A: The short answer is because we want to keep it fresh, new, and updated. While the Bible and Orthodox faith is timeless, the landscape our youth are living in is constantly changing. Nuances such as cyber-bullying, social media, vaping, and other pop culture "fads" evolve throughout time. We want to effectively cover the topics our youth face. For those reasons, we take down our curriculum and upload new content every year in an effort to keep the materials culturally relevant.
Q: What is included in a unit?
A: Each unit contains lesson plans, power-point slides, and suggested video resources for one month. The units all follow a series theme (e.g., Gossip), with lessons that build on each other for the month. Some units are 4 lessons and some units are 5 lessons. If you follow our suggested calendar, you will have full coverage for all Sundays in a given school year.
Q: What is included in any particular lesson plan?
A: The lesson plans are focused around a Biblical passage, topic, or an Orthodox Saint story depending on the theme. Typically the lesson plans include a fun ice-breaker, suggested videos, a main teaching component, discussion questions, and an application activity. The structure of the lesson plans varies a little depending on the series.
Q: Can I get a sample?
A: Absolutely. Please Contact Us and we will be happy to send you a free sample.
Questions Regarding the Elementary and Tween Materials
Q: What materials do you have now or coming out soon for this age group?
A: The Sacrament Olympics is age-appropriate for upper elementary and middle school aged kids (4th-8th grade). Teens could also benefit, but the content may be too difficult for younger kids. This is a 5-week unit about the Holy Sacraments of the Coptic Orthodox Church and can be integrated at any time during the school year. If you are an Eastern Orthodox parish, keep in mind these materials were written with the Coptic tradition in mind.
We also have a 1-week VBS available based on Mireille Mishreky's children book series, "Philo and the SuperHolies." This has been reviewed by the Antiochian Department of Christian Education, and is appropriate for both Coptic and Eastern Orthodox traditions.
Q: Do you have a full Elementary curriculum available?
A: Right now, our "featured" product is our teen program (Crossroads). We will have elementary resources coming out throughout the year, but not a full curriculum right now.