Certificate in Child Advocacy

Fulfill your Christian calling through public ministries of advocacy, organizing, and justice-making on behalf of children


Through our Certificate in Child Advocacy, you will have the opportunity to study with one of the top Christian Education departments in the nation as you fulfill your Christian calling to love God and serve neighbor through public ministries of advocacy, organizing, and justice-making on behalf of children.


In particular, this certificate enhances the public work of clergy and laity serving in community, social, or justice-oriented organizations, including schools, by engaging with foundational knowledge of the Bible and theology to develop skills for the practice of child advocacy.

Course Requirements

The Certificate in Child Advocacy is a 15 credit hour program with the following required courses:

3 Credit Hours


This course in Christian education considers the relationship between the church’s educational ministry and the ministries of social transformation. The course will examine personal commitments to social transformation, theologies of change, and educational skills for transformation.

3 Credit Hours


The aim of this course will be to broaden our understanding of Christian education and its role in engaging in spiritual development and faith formation with youth. This course will explore the human development and culture of today’s youth, the context necessary for spiritual development to take place, and various pedagogical models that can be used to guide youth from adolescence to young adulthood.

3 Credit Hours


The goal of this class is to help persons understand that the lives of all children are of worth and value to God, and that we are called to remove the stumbling blocks that hinder a child from living the life that God created them to live. This class will explore child advocacy from a variety of perspectives, including theological, biblical, and sociological perspectives. Students will have an opportunity to focus on a particular area/aspect of child advocacy and seek ways to develop coalitions to advance advocacy and community response to children, youth, and families.


3 Credit Hours


This course takes place every July and requires travel to Clinton, Tennessee. Join clergy, seminarians, Christian educators, young adult leaders, and other faith-based advocates for children at Children’s Defense Fund (CDF) Haley Farm in Clinton, Tennessee, for five days of spiritual renewal, networking, movement building workshops, and continuing education about the urgent needs of children at the annual Proctor Institute for Child Advocacy Ministry.

3 Credit Hours


This class will look at literacy and what it means in the life of a child. The lives of all children are of worth and value to God, and we embody that belief when all children see themselves and their stories in the children’s books they read. We will consider literacy and children’s books from a variety of perspectives including theological and sociological. Students will have an opportunity to consider literacy and children’s books from their particular interest or focus.


Meet Our Faculty in Christian Education

I believe the purpose of Christian education is to be emancipatory, to set people free to be children of God and co-creators with God.


Rev. Dr. Reginald Blount
Murray H. Leiffer Associate Professor of Formation, Leadership, and Culture

Through my interdisciplinary approach to education, my areas of interest range from Paulo Freire’s work, critical pedagogy, global citizenship, intercultural and postcolonial studies, cultural-historical theory activity (Lev Vygotsky), and liberation theologies.


Dr. Débora Junker
Associate Professor of Critical Pedagogies

As a former public school teacher, an ordained deacon who is called to ministries of compassion and justice, a seminary professor, an aunt and great-aunt, and as a Christian who tries to live out my baptismal vows, I have a great concern for children – all children.


Rev. Dr. Virginia Lee
Associate Professor of Christian Education

I consider learning a risk-taking (and inevitably painful) adventure in which we pursue knowledge (information), ground self in foundations of integrity (formation), and commit to live and act in ways that ensures essential well-being for all and for this planet (transformation).


Rev. Dr. Mai-Anh Le Tran
Associate Professor of Religious Education and Practical Theology

Next Steps


Garrett accepts applications from students with a minimum GPA of 2.5 in a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university and who are proficient in the English language.