Expressing God's Love, Engaging in God's Justice

Christian Education

Christian Education at NYAPC

What?  Christian Education and Learning for all.

Why?  “Following Christ into the world’s brokenness, we will engage fully in doing justice, treating all with kindness and mercy, and walking humbly with God.”  This vision demands a lifelong pursuit of learning, so as to equip each of us, young or old, for his/her transformative work in the world.


Sunday School for children and youth three years and older:  Children and youth gather in one place to praise God through prayer and share special experiences of the past week.  They then disperse to their individual team-taught, multi-age classes for the rest of the hour.  Caring teachers adapt the curricula to the children they instruct.  PreK classes are especially written by the teachers.  Grades K-5 use Augsburg Press Sparkhouse “Holy Moly” curriculum.  Grades 6-8 use Augusburg Press “Re:Form” curriculum.  High Schoolers volunteer in the Radcliffe Room Ministry and help teacher younger classes. 

Sunday School for adults:  Adults are invited to attend challenging electives on faith in action, spiritual practices, theology, Bible study and the arts.  Adults may choose to attend an ongoing prayer community.

Other Christian Learning Opportunities:

Children and Youth:

  • Families with young kids gather several times yearly for fun and fellowship at Guy Mason Park for “the Littles.”
  • Middle and high schoolers meet monthly for youth group activities and go on a yearly summer camp to Massanettta.
  • A youth choir prepares to sing in worship about 5 times a year.  A children’s choir also sings for the Christmas pageant.


  • A whole spectrum of small Bible study and book study groups are available to join.
  • Young adults meet regularly to discuss issues of theological import at “Faith on Tap”.
  • The McClendon Scholar in Residence program brings scholars and practitioners to speak to and share with the entire Washington Community about questions of faith and action.
  • Docents lead church history tours after each worship service.
  • The Parents Group gathers weekly during the Church School Hour to share, commiserate and learn.


  • The annual Fall All-Church Retreat offers a weekend full of intergenerational learning experiences.
  • Occasional Intergenerational Sundays offer opportunities for learning and sharing among people of all ages.

When?  From September through June, classes for children, youth and adults regularly take place between 10 and 10:50 AM each Sunday.  Adult church school continues on an abbreviated basis during the summer.  Church school for children and youth does not meet during the summer.

Where? All children and youth gather on the 5th floor of the church for an intergenerational activity, and then disperse to Sunday school classes.  Church school for children PreK-Grade 5 occurs on the fifth floor of the church.  Youth grades 6-12 meet in the Pastors’ Offices on the second floor.  Adult church school classes most often convene in rooms on the first floor of the building. Updates are listed weekly in the church worship bulletin.

Nursery:  On Sunday mornings, the Church employs three-to-four caring, professionally-trained workers to staff the nursery for babies and children four and under, though infants and children are always welcome in worship.  From September through May, the nursery is open from 8:30 AM to 12:45 PM.  In the summer, the nursery is open from 9:00 AM until noon.  Times will be extended for special events.

Child Protection Policy:  Since 2003, the Session of the New York Avenue Church has had in place a policy to ensure the safety of the children entrusted to our care.

For More Information:  For more detailed and up-to-date information about any of the subjects above, please email Associate Pastor/ Deputy Head of Staff Alice Tewell (

Learning about our faith, its tenets, its history, and how we might live that faith out in our everyday lives is a lifelong pursuit. Therefore, Christian education at the New York Avenue Presbyterian Church intends to involve the entire church community—children, youth and adults, and people of all races, ethnicity, abilities and family configurations. Because we define ourselves in part by our hospitality, we try to incorporate variety, intergenerational opportunities, and experiential learning into all that we do. We currently have approximately 40 regularly attending children and youth and about 50 regular attendees of the adult church school classes. In addition, because our classes for children and youth are team-taught, adult participation in the church school program is larger than the numbers above suggest.