Home/PAO 2019-2020/PAO1718/Youth Ministry - Liturgical-rituals and children’s spirituality
Dr. Elaine Champagne, MSc Lydia van Leersum-Bekebrede
€ 423,-
Max aantal deelnemers:
6-7 juni 2018
Deadline inschrijving:
24 mrt 2018

Liturgical-rituals and children’s spirituality

An academic course on Liturgical-rituals and children's spirituality

In this course the focus is on Children’s ministry. Children’s ministry is in a process of change;  it is a challenge in many contexts.

The first day

Ministers, caregivers and parents are called to spiritual care for children in situations which largely exceed formal educational contexts (catechism, faith or moral education, preaching, etc.). Community feast, leisure (sports and games), family gatherings, as well as a visit to the hospital or at the wake of a grandparent for example, can be times of profound and significant experiences shared with children. Formal “teachings” usually do not seem appropriate. We rather speak of  care, shared soul search, communal presence, etc. The spiritual care of children appears to be relatively new in our Churches, especially in the context of the diversity and pluralism of our secular societies. What are its aims? What are its strengths, challenges and limits from a theoretical and from a practical perspective? How is it related to religious education, pastoral care or liturgy? What does spiritual care require from care givers in order to bear fruits? These are a few of the questions which will be explored during the first day of the course. We will end with reflections on the implications of children’s spirituality for liturgical rituals with children.

The second day

We focus on children and liturgical rituals. Worship with children takes many different forms. From participation in the main service to children’s church and from traditional Sunday schools to new-fangled Messy Church, from methods like Kind op Zondag to Godly Play, from doubts about the children’s moment to discussions about children’s participation in the Lord’s Supper-the field of worship with children has much to offer. In this course we will explore this diversity, but also dig deeper into the variety of ideas about worship and formation that inspire the various ways of worshiping with children. We also reflect on the connection with children’s spirituality. Apart from a lecture, offering an overview and reflections on the basis of ethnographic fieldwork, the course will also include plenty of interaction and conversation about the questions and contexts of the participants of the course. The ethnographic fieldwork in question was carried out in fourteen different churches and includes seventeen distinct liturgical rituals with children, as well as a huge variety of smaller liturgical elements of worship with children. It is part of a PhD project on liturgical rituals (practices of worship) with children from zero to twelve years old in the Protestant Church in the Netherlands.


June, 6-7, 2018


Amsterdam, PThU, De Boelelaan 1105, 1081 HV Amsterdam. Organised by the Research Centre for Youth, Church, Culture (www.ojkc.nl) in cooperation with Post Academic Education.  


 € 423

Deadline application

First deadline: March, 24, 2018.

On March 24, we decide whether or not the course can take place. If there are enough participants to continue the course, participants can still register until 24 April.

Target group

  • Youth workers with a BA Theology and/or senior youth workers with a minimum of three years of  work experience who want to reflect on Liturgical-rituals and children's spiritualityat an academic level.
  • Ministers who who directly bear responsibility for youth work or indirectly through policy responsibility for church youth work and who want to reflect on Liturgical-rituals and children's spirituality at an academic level.


(a)  acquire knowledge of theological, sociological and pedagogical perspectives on liturgical rituals with, for and through children and children's spirituality.

(b)  Participants become sensitive to / more capable in connecting children's spirituality with shaping on liturgical rituals for / with children

(c)  reflect on own practices of child work and church

(d)  formulating of developmental elements regarding child work within and outside the church walls in their own context.


English, both days


Dr. Elaine Champagne
Elaine Champagne Ph.D. is associate professor of spiritual theology and spiritualities at the Faculty of Theology and Religious Sciences, Laval University (Québec). Her research focuses both on children’s spirituality as well as on Christian spiritualities.

MSc Lydia van Leersum- Bekebrede
MSc Lydia van Leersum- Bekebrede is a PhD-student at the PThU. Her research is in the practical theological discipline and is about liturgical-rituals with children.

Round off

A small reflection paper (up to 1000 words).

Literature (will be send in advance) 

CHAMPAGNE, E. (2010), ‘Children’s inner voice: Exploring Children’s

Contribution to Spirituality’, in A. DILLEN et D. POLLEFEYT (eds.), Children’s

voices. Children’s perspective in Ethics, Theology and Religious Education, Coll.

Bibliotheca Ephemeridum Theologicarum Lovaniensium 230, Leuven, Peeters, 373-396.

CHAMPAGNE, E. (2015), ‘Born to the Word’, in P. FREUDENBERGER-LöTZ ET G.

BÜTTNER (dir.), Children's voices. Theological, philosophical and spiritual

perspectives, Kassel, Kassel University Press, 27-44.

CHAMPAGNE, E. (2014), ‘Power, Empowerment and Surrender in the Context of

pediatric spiritual Care’, International of Children’s Spirituality, 19/3‐4, 150‐163,

[Online]. http://www.tandfonline.com/eprint/zSc6zrDxeN6fHqFPkuC9/full (optional)

Lydia van Leersum (et all.), Mapping worship with Children, to be published

Susan Ridgely, Children and Religion, Religion Compass 6/4 (2012): 236–248, 10.1111/j.1749-8171.2012.00338.x

SAGBERG, S. (2015), « Children’s meaning-making as spirituality. », in S. SAGBERG, Holistic Religious education – is it possible? The complex web of religion, spirituality and morality, Coll. Research on Religious and Spiritual Education 8, Münster, Waxmann, 81-99.