The landscape of Christian Education is rapidly changing, but the goal of training, equipping, and encouraging disciples as they grow in faith remains the same. This program helps participants critically reflect on the church’s traditional education programs and creatively respond to the new challenges our churches are facing today.
Develop tools to make a big impact in your ministry and gain a network of other Christian education workers from around the country!
The IFD Certification in Christian Education requires just four 6-week courses of $125 each — a total of $500.
- Certification courses must be completed in order. Courses will be taught on a yearly rotation.
- Once you begin, you can complete all the courses you need for certification in just one year!
- First courses in the certification cycles are offered in either January or August, with some certifications relaunching at both times.
- This program is taught online via Blackboard Learn. Courses are mostly asynchronous, meaning you can complete the work at the time most convenient for your schedule. Daily engagement on the Discussion Board with peers, required reading, and assignments ensure a quality learning experience. Some courses offer a required or optional live video-based session – see individual course descriptions for more details.
2023 Course Schedule
January 16 – February 24, 2023
March 13 – April 28, 2023 (No class during Holy Week)
August 21 – September 29, 2023
October 9 – November 17, 2023
Certification Course List
Add a Denominational Emphasis
You can add an Emphasis in United Methodist Studies to your certificate by taking just one additional 6-week course:
Enroll in the first course!
If the first course is full, or is not currently enrolling, you will be able to sign up for course opening notifications.
Meet the Instructors
Kate Hanch is the Associate Pastor of Families at First St. Charles United Methodist Church in St. Charles, MO. She received her PhD in Theology and Ethics at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary. Her dissertation is entitled “Prophetic Humility: A Feminist Theological Account”. She loves teaching theology to all ages, from children to older adults, and looking for new ways of being the church in this season. While ordained Baptist, she has a happy home among the Methodists!
Dena Kitchens, a lifelong Methodist, has been working with children and youth for most of her life. She has a BS in Special Education and an MA in Practical Theology. Dena has nurtured children of all ages in many settings including public school, private school, children and youth ministry, and tutoring. She has contributed as a curriculum writer for Bible Lessons for Youth through the United Methodist Publishing House and Discipleship Ministries and as a children’s curriculum writer and editor through Stuff You Can Use. Currently Dena serves as the chairperson of the children and youth ministry team at her home church, Brookhaven United Methodist Church in Brookhaven, Ga., and is on the board of Learning Disabilities Association of Georgia.
An Armenian educator and practical theologian from Syria, Tamar Wasoian (Ph.D.) is an independent scholar who teaches at several theological seminaries in the United States and the Philippines. Her interests and expertise include ‘Storied Learning’, communal memory, faith, and identity formation. She is actively involved with the Armenian community, the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), and the Unitarian Universalist Association.
Jonathan LeMaster-Smith lives with his wife, Shannon, in Hildebran, North Carolina (District 12 of the Hunger Games movies). He holds a PhD in Christian Education and Congregational Studies from Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary with a focus on Rural Ministry and Methodist Studies. His work includes presentations on Dolly Parton, articles on ditch lilies, and musings about the genius of mayonnaise.