General Conference Department of Family Ministries Family Ministries Curriculum Framework Outline
1. Biblical and Theological Foundations
An understanding of the nature and purpose of marriage and family and ministry to families from the perspectives of Scripture and Christian theology. Based on knowledge of:
1. Scripture as a source of instruction on Christian family living.
2. Significance of biblical narrative.
3. Elements of a theology of marriage and family.
4. The Divine-human relationship as instructive for marriage and parenting.
5. How key theological doctrines inform our understanding of family and family living.
6. Perspectives on marriage from the Fall and from redemption.
7. Family in historical theology.
8. The call of the gospel to restoration of broken relationships.
9. Theological foundations for family ministry in the Elijah message, the Great Commission, and the ministry of Christ.
2. Family and Mission
An understanding of families and family members as recipients and agents of evangelistic mission. Based on knowledge of:
1. Home the most important mission field.
2. Disciplemaking in the family.
3. Family as an evangelistic center.
4. Family outreach and witness to the community.
5. Winsome witness to non-SDA family members.
6. Family support for home and foreign missions.
7. Methodologies for family evangelism.
8. The dynamics of evangelism within family systems.
9. Building a healthy faith community.
3. Families in Society
An understanding of families and their relationship to other institutions, such as the educational, governmental, religious, and occupational institutions in society. Based on knowledge of:
1. Various family structures and functions.
2. Cultural variations among families (family heritage), including social class, geography, ethnicity, race and religion.
3. Church as a community of families.
4. Dating, courtship, and marital choice.
5. Kinship (inter-generational) relations.
6. Cross-cultural understanding of the life-styles of diverse families and the life-style of families in various societies around the world.
7. Changing gender roles, including role expectations and behaviors of courtship partners, marital partners, parents and children, siblings, and extended kin.
8. Present and future demographic trends among families.
9. Families as they have developed through history.
10. The reciprocal influence between the occupational work place and family members.
11. The reciprocal influence of the major social institutions and families, i.e., governmental, religious, educational, and economic.
12. Family law, including legal definitions of family and laws relating to marriage, divorce, family support, child custody, child protection and rights, and family planning.
13. Public policy as it affects the family, including tax, civil rights, family assistance and economic support programs.
4. Marriage and Family Dynamics
An understanding of family processes and how married couples and family members relate to each other. Based on knowledge of:
1. Family as a system.
2. Marital growth processes and seasons of marriage.
3. Multigenerational and systems learning.
4. The family life cycle and the significance of life cycle transitions.
5. Support networks (e.g. single parent, divorce recovery, chemical dependency).
6. Internal social processes including cooperation and conflict.
7. Communication patterns and problems, in husband-wife relationships and in parent-child relationships.
8. “Normal” stress in families: such as, transition periods in the family life cycle, three-generation households, caring for the elderly, and dual careers.
9. Family stress, including intrusive crises, such as divorce, remarriage, death, economic uncertainty and hardship, violence, substance abuse.
10. Families with special needs, including adoptive, foster, migrant, low income, military, families of interracial or interfaith marriage, remarried families, families with incarcerated members, families with members having learning disabilities, complicated illnesses, or physical disabilities.
5. Interpersonal Relationships
An understanding of the development and maintenance of interpersonal relationships. Based on knowledge of:
1. Understanding of self and others, including an understanding of self-esteem issues, psychological types, and personality traits.
2. The role of shame in relationships.
3. Interpersonal communication skills, such as empathic listening, self-disclosure, decision-making, affirmation, problem-solving, and conflict resolution.
4. Understanding of intimacy, love and romance.
5. Relating to others with concern, respect, sincerity, and responsibility.
6. Managing anger.
6. Parent Education and Guidance
An understanding of how parents nurture, teach, discipline and empower children and adolescents. Based on knowledge of:
1. Parenting as a process.
2. Parental responsibilities.
3. Changing parental roles across the life cycle.
4. Variations in parenting practices and family management styles.
5. Needs of children and adolescents.
6. Effective approaches to transmitting values across generations.
7. Various approaches to discipline.
8. Relationship of parenting practices to children’s and adolescents’ character development.
9. Role of family worship in parents’, children’s and adolescents’ spiritual experience.
7. Human Growth and Development
An understanding of the changes of individuals in families throughout the life span. Based on knowledge of:
1. The holistic nature of persons and their physical, emotional, cognitive, social, moral, faith, and personality development.
2. Predictable life stages including prenatal, infancy, early and middle childhood, adolescence, adult and aging.
3. The personal and family adjustments required by transition points in the individual life cycle.
4. Typical family life cycles and variations.
5. The interface of personal life cycle issues with the life cycle of the family.
8. Human Sexuality
An understanding of sexual development throughout the life span, so as to achieve healthy sexual adjustment. Based on knowledge of:
1. Physiological, psychological, and social aspects.
2. Sexual identity formation.
3. Reproductive physiology.
4. Sexual determinants–biological, emotional and psychological.
5. Emotional and psychological aspects of sexual involvement.
6. Human sexual behaviors.
7. Sexual values and decision-making.
8. Family planning issues including contraceptives and control of fertility.
9. Physiological and psychological components of human pair-bonding and the sexual response.
10. Sexual dysfunction.
11. Influence of sexual involvement on interpersonal relationships.
12. Biblical teaching on sexuality.
13. Historical attitudes toward human sexuality.
14. Gender issues.
17. Female genital mutilation.
18. Sexual abuse and violence, i.e., child sexual abuse, incest, date rape, sexual abuse within marriage, etc.
19. Teenage pregnancy.
20. Unwed parenthood.
9. Family Ethics
An understanding of the character and quality of human social conduct, and the ability to critically examine ethical questions and issues. Based on knowledge of:
1. Understanding the formation of social attitudes and values.
2. Recognizing and respecting human dignity and individuality.
3. Recognizing and respecting the diversity of values and the complexity of value choices in a pluralistic society.
4. Biblical principles undergirding ethical decision-making.
5. Examining value systems and ideologies systematically and objectively.
6. Understanding the social consequences of value choices; and recognizing the ethical implications of social and technological changes.
7. Potential conflict between the needs of the individual and the needs of the faith community.
8. Understanding ethical issues surrounding human life, sexuality, and reproduction, e.g., abortion, euthanasia, assisted reproduction, human cloning, gene therapy.
9. Managing the tension between ideals and realities of a fallen world.
10. Ethics for family professionals and those who work with children, individuals, couples and families within the church.
10. Family Resource Management
An understanding of the decisions individuals and families make about developing and allocating resources (e.g., time, money, material assets, energy, friends, neighbors, and space) to meet their goals. Based on knowledge of:
1. Understanding such concepts as goals, resources, planning, decision-making, implementing.
2. Understanding of changing family resource management issues over the life cycle, e.g., young families, retirement families, and of various concerns for different family structures, e.g., single parenting.
3. Budgeting family resources (e.g. time, energy, finances).
4. Spiritual gifts and talents—identifying and cultivating.
5. Biblical/theological understanding of tithing.
6. Biblical/theological understanding of offerings and principles of giving.
7. Teaching stewardship principles to children and youth.
8. Ecological and environmental issues.
11. Family Life Education Programs and Implementation
An understanding of the general philosophy and broad principles of family life education in conjunction with the ability to plan, implement, and evaluate such educational programs. Based on knowledge of:
1. Planning and implementing family life education programs.
2. Evaluating family life education materials, student progress, and program effectiveness.
3. Using a variety of educational techniques in the presentation of a family life education program.
4. Sensitivity to others to enhance educational effectiveness.
5. Sensitivity to community concerns and values and an understanding of the public relations process.
6. Understanding the relationship between one’s personal values/beliefs and family life education areas.
7. The role of family life education in congregations.
8. Developing and implementing needs assessment instruments.
9. Teaching and learning styles, including work with small groups.
10. Understanding and maintaining boundaries surrounding various ministry methodologies: education, enrichment, counseling and therapy.
11. Understanding teacher-student relational dynamics and maintaining an appropriate boundary around leader/teacher’s personal issues.