What do a book about sharks, a children’s biography of John Calvin, and a story about a dump truck have in common?

According to a new Web site launched in October by Union Theological Seminary-Presbyterian School of Christian Education (Union-PSCE), as part of the world of children’s literature, the stories provide links to the Biblical story and theological reflection.
The new website — Children’s Literature: A Resource for Ministry — offers a host of online resources for using children’s and adolescent literature in educational ministry. It provides book reviews, lesson plans and ideas for ministry created by faculty and students at Union-PSCE.

There is also a blog component that allows users to interact with the topics by making comments and asking questions. The project creates a venue to share resources for ministry created by the seminary’s Christian education faculty and students with congregations.
The idea for the online resource grew out of a Union-PSCE course, “Using Children’s and Adolescent Literature in the Church,” offered at the seminary’s Charlotte campus.

Taught by Pamela Mitchell-Legg, professor of Christian education, and Rebecca Davis, adjunct professor of Christian education, the course helped future church educators connect the reading of children’s literature with the telling the Biblical story. Book reviews and lesson plans written for the course are now on the website.
“The class and the website are about helping people connect the stories of the Bible and Christian theology to their own storied identities and lives, by using the stories in good children’s and adolescent literature as connecting points,” said Mitchell-Legg. “These stories, when connected to stories of Christian faith, can help to connect people of all ages more closely, fully, and deeply to the Christian story.”
“Union-PSCE is pleased to share this resource with educators, pastors, and parents in the broader church,” explained Ann Knox, director of the Instructional Resource Center in the seminary’s library, who designed the website.  “The offering of this online resource reflects the vision of Union-PSCE President Brian Blount as stated in Union-PSCE’s strategic plan for the seminary to be a resource for the wider church.”
According to Mitchell-Legg, “Our vision is to be the place folks start to turn to for resources, ideas, and critical evaluations in educational ministry.”