Online Children's Ministry Course

Age Level Insights for Spiritual Development

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Increase faith transformation at every age and stage of life using a relational approach and connection to Jesus.

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$198 value
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Course Overview

Kids grow up so fast! But each age and stage of life provides unique opportunities for kids to build friendship with Jesus and each other. In this online training for children’s ministry leaders, you’ll get age level insights for babies & toddlers, preschoolers, elementary kids, and preteens—and you’ll explore the most effective ways to minister to each age group. You’ll better understand the kids you serve and gain practical ideas for sharing Jesus in ways that connect perfectly with each child’s physical, intellectual, emotional, and spiritual development.

Course Outline

Getting Started

Discover how to navigate your online course, get connected to our ministry network, and download a copy of the Course Notes.


Meet course instructors Sharon Stratmoen, 30-year KidMin veteran; Henry Zonio, sociologist with expertise in child development; and Mahogany Dudley-Finley, Children’s Pastor and equipper of young leaders. Their dedicated years of in-the-trenches children’s ministry will inspire you on this journey.

Module 1. First Things First: Developing a Child-Centered View of Spiritual Formation

Discover what it means to have a child-focused way to define and measure children’s spirituality. We’ll examine how Jesus defined spiritual development. We’ll examine child development research and then think through how that impacts ministry to those kids. And all through this course we’ll stay child-focused, emphasizing their relationship with Jesus right now!

Module 2. Early Childhood

The first five years of a child’s life are the most crucial when it comes to social, emotional, intellectual, physical, and spiritual development. Researchers say that intellectual development is half over by age five. We’ll examine how teaching the Bible to young children is a top priority for spiritual formation.

Module 3. Elementary

Learn how early elementary kids connect with God and begin the process of connecting faith to life. In this critical stage, kids need to see Jesus as more than just someone who loves them and takes care of them. They need to see Jesus as a source of life and an example of how to live. We’ll show you how.

Module 4. Preteens

It’s no secret that ministry to the preteen age group can be very challenging—and maybe a little intimidating for some. We’ll examine the factors that make preteens so unique and what it takes to share Christ and foster community with this tender age group.

Module 5. All Together Now

Studies have shown that children learn as much—or more—when they’re linked with kids of different age groups. This module will explore the advantages of mixed-age groups and its impact on spiritual formation, community, discipline,and teamwork.

Module 6. Wrap Up

Equipped with new skills and resources to reach children of all age levels, you’re now ready to lead ministry to all age groups for Jesus to transform kids’ lives.

Course Outcomes

U Discover

Insights into each unique age and stage.

Friendship-building strategies to help kids grow friendship with Jesus and each other.

How to effectively lead mixed-age groups of children.

U Will

Increase faith transformation at every age and stage of life using a relational approach and connection to Jesus.

About the Instructors

Sharon Stratmoen

Sharon Stratmoen is a 30-year KidMin veteran who is passionate about helping kids have a vibrant faith in Jesus, and VBS is her favorite week of ministry! She is the preschool ministry director at Rockpoint Church in Lake Elmo, Minnesota, and is on the VBS Team at Group.

Henry Zonio

Henry Zonio is a sociologist with expertise in child development, religious education, and curriculum. Henry brings 25+ years of practical children’s ministry to his research. He also is a frequent writer for Children’s Ministry Magazine and has contributed book chapters to edited volumes on child research methodology and children’s spirituality.

Mahogany Dudley-Finley

Mahogany Dudley-Finley serves as the Children’s Pastor at New Life in Christ Church in O’Fallon, IL. She has her Master of Arts in Children’s and Family Ministry from Bethel Seminary and enjoys using her gift of speaking to encourage and equip young leaders.

Group U Ministry Certification

Enroll now and you’ll be on your way to achieving Ministry Certification.