Welcome to the brand new Life Teen Curriculum Guide! The goal of this resource is to help you provide systematic and complete catechesis for your teenagers while providing opportunities for evangelization and transformation as well. Each Curriculum Guide contains a semesters-worth of catechetical Life Night outlines.
From Spring 2007 through Fall of 2009, Life Teen published an eight semester curriculum based on the United States Council of Catholic Bishops “National Doctrinal Curriculum Framework for High School.” Now that we have completed the eight semesters, it is time to go back to the beginning! While the eight semester topics will not change, the culture of the teens is constantly changing. As catechists, we must constantly seek new ways to present the unchanging Truths of Christ and His Church.
In accordance with the Curriculum Framework, Life Teen recommends that a 4-year (or 8 semester) catechetical plan be implemented in each parish to ensure that complete and quality catechesis is offered to every teen involved in a Life Teen program. While you do not have to use the semesters in the order that we present them, each book will topically build on each other and work together to create a systematic curriculum. Below an overview of the entire 8-semester plan:
Person of Christ
The first book covers Sacred Scripture. In the first Curriculum Guide on this topic, we presented an overview of the books of Scripture, how it was written and how to read it. In this second Curriculum Guide on Scripture, you will find Life Nights that focus on the story of salvation history found in Scripture. When planning your semester, we recommend that you look through both Scripture Semester Curriculum Guides (the first Curriculum Guide on Scripture can be downloaded in the “download resources” section of www.catholicyouthministry.com from the May 2007 shipment) and choose the Life Nights that best meet the needs of your teens and the resources of your parish.
When planning your semester, it is recommended that you combine these doctrinal Life Nights with issue and social Life Nights as well. Typically, a Life Teen parish doing Life Nights every week will have 2 doctrinal, 1 issue, and 1 social night during the course of a month. You can find issue and social Life Night outlines in Spotlight, another resource within the Life Support shipment. Pay attention to the calendar when planning out your semester. Be sure to connect the Life Nights with what is going on in the teen’s life as well as the life of the Church. For example, if there is Homecoming or Prom during the semester have a night addressing peer pressure. Similarly, if Advent or Lent begins during the semester, have a night helping teens enter into the liturgical season.
As always, these Life Nights were never designed to work “straight out of the box.” These are planning guides that can serve as starting points in the planning of your Life Nights. In your planning, you must always take into consideration the needs of your teens and the resources of your parish. For example, the teaching outline for each night is filled with more information than a typically teenager can absorb during a 10-minute talk. But by giving the presenter more than enough information, he or she can create an engaging and informative presentation.
2010 brings a new look and feel to the Curriculum Guide resource. While the basic outline and format of the Life Night outlines is the same, you will notice that there are some new additions to help you more effectively adapt and plan these nights for your teens:
- Parental Notice – Parents are the primary catechists of their teens and we must be intentional about including them on the journey. These short descriptions of the Life Night and discussion questions are designed to be sent to the parents after each Life Night (either by email or print).
- Media Blitz – No one can deny the influence of media on teens. This section gives various media (music, TV, movies, YouTube) that can be used within the Life Night to support the topic presented.
- Going Deeper – Weekday gatherings are a perfect opportunity to follow up to a Life Night with the teens who are hungry for more. This section will give several ideas on how to use the week after the Life Night to strengthen, deepen and confirm what God has started on Sunday night.
- Adapting This Life Night – This section will give practical ideas on how to adapt the Life Night outline depending on the size of the youth group.
Thank you for your dedication to the young people of your parish. We at Life Teen are here to serve you in your mission of leading teens closer to Christ. We pray that this Curriculum Guide will allow you to more effectively reach and form your young people as vibrant, active and holy Disciples of Christ.