Collaboration is key for progress at Olivet Nazarene University. This is also true for the growth of ONU’s new Center for Faith and Family. Led by Dr. Leon Blanchette of the School of Theology and Christian Ministry, the Center’s director, the team is already hard at work in carrying out the five-year development plan. The Center’s mission is to develop and provide resources and practical, hands-on training to help parents and caregivers implement faith in the lives of families.
As the research phase — led by Dr. Blanchette with expert data analysis assistance from Dr. Christian Veit of the Department of Behavioral Sciences — continues, results from churches surveyed are already informing the curriculum structure and development. Dr. Lance Kilpatrick, dean of the School of Education, is serving as the pedagogical scholar and instruction and curriculum designer. Soon, the Center will be recruiting authors to write on various subjects using the template he creates.
“Everyone is working together to help make sure that today’s Christian parents and caregivers are implementing faith into the lives of their families,” Dr. Blanchette says. “We want parents to be equipped well to raise their children as Christians living in today’s world.”
The Center for Faith and Family is working to help parents create a partnership between church and home for their children’s spiritual development. This begins with preparing parents for this important part of parenting.
To prepare parents well, churches need to provide them with resources and training. To help churches do this, the Center for Faith and Family is taking on the responsibility of training church leaders in how to train parents, and of developing curriculum and other resources to support and encourage parents.
This effort is funded in part by generous grants through a partnership with Lilly Endowment Inc. The development phase focuses on Church of the Nazarene churches only. The implementation phase will reach all interested Christian churches worldwide.
The Center for Faith and Family began in 2023 at ONU with grants from Lilly Endowment Inc. for the planning and implementation of a Christian parenting program. Grant funds will be used over a five-year period to support the development of training and family resources. ONU is one of only 18 organizations to receive grants from Lilly Endowment Inc. through its Christian Parenting and Caregiving Initiative.
For more information about what the Center for Faith and Family has available for you and your church, contact Center Director Dr. Leon Blanchette at firstname.lastname@example.org.