Protestant Educators

Picture of Catherine Stonehouse

Dr. Catherine M. Stonehouse (b. 1940). With a tireless passion for doing God's will, Dr. Catherine Stonehouse has made significant contributions to the field of Christian education through teaching, research and writing (especially in the area of children's spirituality), mentoring, and administration. Her career has been marked by outstanding service to the local church, to her denomination (The Free Methodist Church), to Asbury Theological Seminary and its students (1987-2011), and to the Church of Jesus Christ. She officially retired from Asbury Theological Seminary on May 19, 2011, but continues to serve as an adjunct professor. She also continues to be involved in the growing international conversations related to holistic child development and children's spirituality (Christian perspective).

Biography

Born in Edmonton, Alberta (Canada), Dr. Catherine Stonehouse ("Cathy") spent her preschool years in British Columbia. Prior to her parents' marriage and the beginning of their family, both her mother and father had served as pastors. During the early years of Cathy's life, her parents served as a clergy couple, sharing responsibility for pastoral ministry. By the time Cathy reached school age, the family had moved to Ottawa, Ontario, where she lived until early adulthood. During these years, her father served as general superintendent for a small holiness denomination that would later merge with the Free Methodist Church, the denomination that would become Cathy's church home.

Cathy's early years were marked by almost total immersion in the life of the church. Her father's focus was oversight and administration of the ministry of the denomination. Her mother gave attention to teaching and leadership development, especially through the training programs of the Evangelical Teacher Training Association (ETTA). Camp meetings filled each summer and Cathy quickly became an assistant in the ministry to children. The denomination was one that encouraged young people to become engaged in ministry and service and a woman in her church who led Good News clubs sought Cathy out as an assistant. With these various opportunities to serve she grew up with first-hand knowledge and experience of working with children. By age fourteen, she was leading children's ministries in camps. At sixteen, she directed her first Vacation Bible School (VBS). In those years, most local churches were small and multi-staff ministries were uncommon. Thus, models for Christian education ministries generally were itinerant children's workers and music ministers who joined efforts with an itinerant evangelist. While her mother was her strongest model, Cathy also recalls two female Wesleyan pastors she viewed from a distance and respected for their faithfulness in following God's call.

While in high school, a woman in the church who led a Friday afternoon children's meeting allowed and encouraged Cathy and some friends to get involved. With no curricular materials, they developed a puppet ministry and began learning the skills of storytelling. Those early experiences fed her passion for children's ministry, while at the same time nurturing a commitment to the development of effective curriculum for local church ministries.

Cathy describes herself as having a very practical faith, but not being "a very mystical person." She committed her life to Christ at a young age. As she struggled later with living out the implications of her faith, a key verse guided her thoughts and plans: "For God is working in you, giving you the desire to obey him and the power to do what pleases him" (Philippians 2:13, NLT). But raised in a holiness denomination, she recounts a 12 year struggle to understand the call to be sanctified and find this deeper relationship with God, a struggle that was often met with frustration and, sometimes, despair. She describes her eventual discovery this way: "The day did come when in spiritual exhaustion I stopped striving and collapsed on God. Then I discovered that God had done a new work in my heart and a new relationship had begun" (Holiness Today, 2003, 21).

By her teenage years, Cathy began to sense God's call to a life of full time ministry. One Easter weekend, she attended a missions conference where God's call to service was clear. Here she was faced with a decision as to whether or not she would do God's will. Sure that she wanted to "keep on walking in God's way," she recalls that the experience raised a distinct question about what it meant for her to do God's will. At that time, the options open to women who chose to serve God vocationally were rather limited and Cathy's experience and personal knowledge of such women was limited as well. Considering the models of which she was aware, and not interested at that point in teaching, she assumed following God's call meant missionary service. And if she were to become a missionary … but did not want to teach … then the direction to pursue must be missionary nursing. This event and subsequent reflection upon it set the course for her college education.

Cathy enrolled at the Ottawa Civic Hospital School of Nursing in Ottawa, Ontario. Upon graduation from this hands-on, "in-hospital" nurses training program in 1961, she matriculated to Greenville College, Greenville, Illinois, and completed a Bachelor of Science in Nursing in 1962. Though nursing never became the passion of her life, it became the sustainer of her livelihood for several years of additional education.

With her nursing profession paying the bills, Cathy enrolled at Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, Kentucky. Lacking a definite call to pastoral ministry, she landed in the Master of Religious Education program. By her own admission, this direction seemed to be more by default than design at the time. But God was directing every step. Throughout her seminary years, Cathy was experiencing a steady transformation of goals toward educational ministry. She found herself becoming more and more excited about what God could do through the laity as they were trained, organized, and motivated for God's mission.

A few months before her seminary graduation in 1964, Cathy had a timely conversation with a key layperson from Canada. Since the churches of her denomination were relatively small and staffed only by solo pastors, she shared her vision for networking small churches with an itinerant Christian education worker who could disciple, train, and mobilize the laity. As an outgrowth of that vision, upon graduation she found herself moving to the Toronto area to serve as Director of Christian Education for a three-church network. Though working for only two years in this context, the multiple-church "network" also multiplied her experience and she began to understand more clearly the challenges of leading educational ministries in the churches of her denomination.

During these years as DCE in Toronto, a "chance" encounter with Dr. Donald Joy at a district event led to an open door of ministry with the Free Methodist Publishing House, then located in Winona Lake, Indiana. Cathy began her work with the Publishing House as Publications Consultant in 1966, serving as a communication link between the Publishing House and the local church. For three years, she traveled extensively, interpreting the resources for local church ministries and gathering feedback for the Publishing House as she brought lay teachers workshops within sixty miles of every one of her denomination's churches in North America.

From 1969 to 1971, Cathy served the Free Methodist Publishing House as Editor of Young Teen Curriculum. During these years, she became involved with the Aldersgate Publishers Association, a cooperative curriculum endeavor among several holiness denominations to produce a variety of products from a Wesleyan theological perspective. Cathy eventually played a key role in their Graded Curriculum project.

In the early 1970s, two things helped provide direction for Cathy's future ministry. The first was the publication of Dr. Donald Joy's Meaningful Learning in the Church. Through this lay-oriented training manual on learning theory, Cathy grasped hold of the truth that the goal of teaching in the church is to see lives changed and the key to effective Christian education ministry is to make the process of life changing learning understandable to lay volunteers. She was so committed to the concept that she wrote the leader's guide to Meaningful Learning that is appended to the denominational training text version of the book. Those truths became part of the very fabric of Cathy's thinking and they are evident today in the way her writings explore complex truths in a clear and simple manner.

The second critical event occurred when Cathy first faced directly what has been referred to as the "glass ceiling" of women in church leadership and ministry. In 1972, Dr. Don Joy, Director of Curriculum Ministries at the Free Methodist Publishing House and one of her professional mentors/sponsors in ministry, left to teach at Asbury Theological Seminary. Despite Dr. Joy's recommendation that she replace him, she was not offered the position. She approached church leaders to question why she was not given the position and was told that a woman would not be respected in interdenominational groups such as the Aldersgate consortium. Fearing the loss of the denomination's voice in such settings, church officials were not ready to offer her the leadership position. With a deep desire to serve God to her full potential, this experience prompted Cathy to start her Ph.D. studies at Michigan State University that same year.

Throughout her Ph.D. studies, Cathy continued working full time for the Publishing House, conducting seminars with local church leaders throughout North America. She quickly connected with her academic mentor Dr. Ted Ward and through his influence she began exploring research on moral development. Intrigued with the interaction between faith and the social sciences, Cathy describes her discovery of the work of Kohlberg and others on moral development as having "lit my fire!" These were also years of theological development and "owning" of a personal theology. She discovered the work of theologian Mildred Bangs Wynkoop through her book A Theology of Love. She began to see the connections between the research and theory of developmentalists such as Piaget, Erikson, and Kohlberg, and the process of the Christian's faith development. Cathy describes this experience as having "discovered the dynamic process of human learning from a theological perspective." Questions raised in these years became the shapers of her academic career as she has continued across her career to seek ways to "teach the faith" that are appropriate to the learner's holistic development (cognitive, psycho/social, moral, spiritual).

From 1972-75, Cathy served the Free Methodist Publishing House as a Curriculum Consultant. She also became chair of the Aldersgate consortium's Committee on Young Teens. In 1975, with the classroom phase of her Ph.D. work completed and her dissertation research underway, she was finally promoted to the position of Director of Curriculum Ministries at the Free Methodist Publishing House. She completed her Ph.D. degree in education at Michigan State University in 1976. Eventually she was appointed the General Director of Christian Education for the Free Methodist Church and served in that position from 1981-1987 (the first female senior executive to serve at Free Methodist headquarters, apart from the women's missionary society).

Though she had grown up in a home where both parents were ministers (her father ordained and her mother a lay minister who had held pastoral responsibility), Cathy initially avoided pursuing the official blessing of the church through ordination. During seminary, she had steered clear of the Master of Divinity degree because she saw pastoring as a male role. She really did not desire God to call her in that direction and, therefore, saw no reason to seek ordination. While in Toronto, the pastor of her home church at one point assumed she would pursue ordination and initiated the process of licensing Cathy through the Free Methodist Church's "local preacher's license." But Cathy simply let the matter drop. In her early years working with the denominational Publishing House, she saw no need to be ordained. However, when she was appointed the General Director of Christian Education for the Free Methodist Church, she recognized her responsibility to provide "pastoral oversight" for the Christian education team of the denomination. This responsibility prompted her to seek the blessing and commissioning of the church through ordination. In 1986, she initiated the ordination process and she was ordained by the Free Methodist Church two years later in 1988. Seeing ordination as a "covenantal relationship of the blessing of the church for current responsibilities," Cathy found that her ordination was extremely important to the women students she counseled at Asbury Theological Seminary.

In 1987, Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, Kentucky, invited Cathy to join the faculty as Professor of Christian Education. Her long-time mentor in ministry, Dr. Donald Joy, recommended her for this position. According to Dr. Joy, the position vastly increased her influence since she was now "mentoring leaders for more than thirty denominations." Her position was particularly historic since she was the first woman to serve as a full time professor on that faculty since the 1940s. At Asbury, Cathy's teaching areas included the ministry of Christian education in the local church, ministry with children, women in ministry, and curriculum development. Her expertise was quickly recognized and she was soon named to an endowed chair as Orlean Bullard Beason Professor of Christian Education. But her ministry there was not to be limited to teaching alone. In 2005 she assumed the role of Dean of the School of Practical Theology, a position which she held until her retirement in 2011.

Cathy has been honored by a number of special recognitions of her various accomplishments. Focusing on her very practical contributions to the church at the grass roots level, on July 3, 1995, she was inducted into the Christian Educators Hall of Fame for the Free Methodist Church. In 1998, her book Joining Children on the Spiritual Journey received an Outstanding Academic Book Award from Choice: Current Reviews for Academic Libraries. As her recent research on children's spirituality has gained attention, two honors have been granted to Cathy and co-author Scottie May. Their book Listening to Children on the Spiritual Journey was recently named to the 2010 Book of the Year list by the Academy of Parish Clergy. In addition, Cathy and Scottie were recognized by the naming of a national research scholarship bearing their names, to be given by the Society for Children's Spirituality: Christian Perspectives. In 2010, the North American Professors of Christian Education organization, a professional organization in which Cathy invested multiple terms of leadership as a board member, honored her with the Warren S. Benson Distinguished Christian Educator Award.

Beyond her professional achievements, Cathy is particularly revered and loved by two other constituencies that are quick to honor her: her family, especially her nieces and nephews; and the friends and colleagues with whom she has shared life and ministry. The latter group also includes former students, who had an unusual way of becoming personal friends of this very down-to-earth professor! Though never marrying or having children of her own, Cathy has taken the privilege and responsibility of nurturing future generations in her family as a sacred trust. Stories of her nieces and nephews (and eventually grand nieces and nephews!) fill her books and two of those books ( Joining Children and Children Matter ) are dedicated to those nieces and nephews. She has taken the role of "Aunt" to a new level; loving, learning from, and delighting in sharing the faith journey with her precious family who recognize in her life the unique blending of deep faith, active ministry, and a welcoming invitation to share life and the journey of faith together

Likewise, her colleagues in ministry (both faculty and students), especially at Asbury, consistently honor her with recognition of her thoroughgoing scholarship. They note the unusual combination of one who thinks theologically and biblically about ministry, all the while keenly aware of the local church as the primary context for ministry. Recognizing her gifts in administration, they also mention her careful attention to detail, balanced by an unusual ability to keep the big picture and the views of various constituencies in mind. Yet overall, testimonies to her life and ministry emphasize the personal dimension -- her sincere faith, warm personal relationships, generous gifts of time and willingness to listen, and fierce advocacy for those in need. At her retirement celebration, colleague Dr. Christine Pohl characterized Cathy's basic outlook and approach in the remarks of her retirement tribute: "If I had to choose one word to characterize how Cathy approaches life, faith, and people, I would choose delight. Whether she is talking with a four year old child and explaining to him how an old mill works, or discussing with a colleague the implications of biblical emphasis on the people of God, you see her delight in the conversation" (Pohl, Tribute, 2011). Other faculty colleagues described her as "beloved" (Kiesling, 2011) and as a "true friend and guide" (Pohl, interview, 2011). Her ability to integrate her understanding of the Bible, theology, and learning theory does not end with academic subjects, but translates into a faith enacted in a life lived with integrity and grace.

When asked about her plans for retirement, Cathy identifies as many goals as marked her formal professional career. She shares a "growing passion" to help find ways to provide children and others with the whole story of redemption, not in the isolated bits of Bible stories but with the exciting, engaging, and unfolding story of God - from the Old Testament through the New Testament to the testament (i.e. witness, covenant relationship) of each believer. She believes that it is as Christians get a sense of this whole story that they begin to understand the very character of God. She also anticipates being able to be available for a "manageable number" of teaching opportunities, especially in the area of children's spirituality. She already has a list of engagements which include both seminars for children's pastors and more formal seminary intensive courses. She has also already had informal invitations for teaching opportunities in the Philippines, India, and Taiwan. In recent years, as her research in children's spirituality has progressed, she has become a part of the growing global conversation about holistic childhood development in a variety of venues. As these various pieces come together, she anticipates a growing ministry of mentoring leaders and those who are equipping the grass roots leaders in ministry with children. She is fascinated by the idea of building networks and partnerships internationally that can make a difference for children around the world. But even in the midst of her growing international vision, she is also looking forward to retirement as a time to invest back into the lives of those in her family, especially her nieces and nephews and their children. She looks forward to having time and space to invest very personally into their lives, sharing the journey of life and, hopefully, the journey of faith with them. Ultimately, she reveals again that, even after such an illustrious career, she is ultimately focused on people and their relationship with God.

Contributions to Christian Education

Dr. Cathy Stonehouse has made outstanding contributions to the field of Christian education, especially through research, writing, teaching, mentoring, and administration. Cathy has always been a researcher, analyzing and assessing the needs of the local church and developing the resources to meet those needs. However, in the most recent decades, her ministry focus has returned to one of her earliest passions, children's ministry, and it has become the focus of her scholarly research. Building on her interest in the process of human development, in the early 1990s Cathy began working directly with children in her local church. She describes her own intellectual and professional development in the article "Child Theology Matters."

For more than four decades I have engaged in 'doing theology,' in developing my theology of children and the spiritual journey of childhood. I have not participated in the process as a theological scholar, but as a Christian educator committed to providing a sound biblical and theological foundation for practices of Christian nurture in the faith community and the family. The forming of my theology has been a dynamic, unfolding process of discovering new insights from four major sources. Doing theology has led me to study the biblical narrative, human development, and the writings of theologians, along with reflection on the experiences of children and those who nurture and teach them. From these sources I continue to integrate insights and perspectives into my theology; my understanding of how God relates to children, how children respond to God, and the role God intends for adults who walk the spiritual journey with children. (Dharma Deepika, 2008, 18)

Across her career, she had become convinced that Christian education must be concerned with creating experiences out of which the meaning of theological concepts arise. Now she began to explore the ways in which children experience God and how they share that experience, given the fact that their experiences are often deeper than current language development allows them to verbalize. In 1998, she formalized her research and began recording and documenting the responses of the children with whom she works, focusing especially on their developing concept of who God is, how God communicates with children, and how this personal experience with God affects faith development. Her work interacts significantly with the concepts in Jerome Barryman's Godly Play: A Way to Religious Education (1991), Rizzuto's work on children's earliest constructs of the image of God ( Birth of the Living God: A Psychoanalytic Study, 1979 ), and Walter Wangerin's descriptions of "faithing" (The Orphean Passages, 1996 ).

Though she claims that writing is the most difficult work she does, her writings bear the marks of text that has been carefully refined and clarified to make what are often challenging concepts easily understood by the people in the pew. She designed her first book, Patterns in Moral Development (1980) , with text on this complex subject interspersed with "time out" questions, projects, stories, appendices, and a leader's guide for using the book in leading a multi-session workshop.

Both thematically and methodologically, Patterns in Moral Development provided a foundation for Cathy's developing work as a researcher and writer. Common to all of her work are themes of treating learners, children or adults, with honesty, openness, and curiosity. One of the most revealing autobiographical quotes about her own professional journey is found in an article entitled "Knowing God in Childhood."

Every week Christian churches around the world engage in teaching the Bible to children and involving them in some form of worship. But what do we know about how these practices influence the spiritual formation of children? How do children think about and experience God? What do they do with the Bible stories presented to them at church and in their homes? These questions fascinate me. (Christian Education Journal, 2001, 27 , emphasis mine)

Other themes that recur include the importance of respect for learners, the value of the social context in helping learners develop perspective, and a deep humility concerning the teacher's limited role in bringing learners, especially children, to truth. Cathy fully acknowledges the Holy Spirit's role in leading children (and all learners) to the truth they need and suggests that often "we need to get out of the way so that the Spirit of truth can lead the children to meet God in the story and to discover the precious realities suited for them" ( Joining Children , 1998, 186).

Methodologically, Cathy's writing is filled with the kind of openness and curiosity she recommends in the teaching/learning setting. Often chapters or sections of writing begin with a long string of questions that creates for the reader the same sense of "I wonder …" that she finds and uses in the methodology of "godly play." Her writing, while simple, is never simplistic. Rather, it is engaging, accessible to the lay reader, and easily applied in the ministry context.

With her growing focus on ministry to children, Cathy completed Joining Children on the Spiritual Journey in 1998. The book builds a conceptual basis for ministry with children that considers and interacts with the levels of their multi-faceted growth and development. This work establishes Cathy's biblical and theological understanding and integrates the research of others related to the faith development and spirituality of children. Conceptually, it is likely the single most important volume in understanding Cathy's theology, educational philosophy, and methodology in working with children.

Children matter: Celebrating their place in church, family, and community is a co-authored work with three other writers. This comprehensive volume explores foundational matters of understanding children from the perspective of the Bible, theology, and human development; the content and context for ministering to children; and practical matters of application in children's ministry. Cathy's primary contributions to this volume are in the biblical and theological foundations, the context of the community of faith, and considerations of curriculum for children's ministry.

"Wanting to learn directly from children" (Stonehouse, e-mail 2011), beginning in 1998, Cathy initiated a longitudinal study extended over a seven year period. Over this period, forty children, initially between the ages of five and ten, were interviewed, with subsequent interviews three times at 3½ year intervals, exploring how they experienced, understood, and imagined God. (Approximately twenty children completed all three interviews, as some were unavailable after the first or second round of interviews.) The results of this study are found in Listening to Children, a book co-authored by Cathy and Dr. Scottie May (Wheaton College). In the book, Cathy provides the accounts of the children in the "Listening to Children" study, while co-author Scottie May provides accounts from her research studies along similar themes. The book is unique for its approach of letting children speak, rather than taking the approach of presenting the researchers' analysis and conclusions. Cathy has also written and edited a number of other book sections, chapters, and articles, especially related to ministry with children, general Christian education topics, and women in ministry.

Concurrent with her research interest in spirituality, Cathy was also becoming a part of the international focus on children's spirituality. With a number of colleagues from other schools, in 2000 she participated in an international children's spirituality conference in England. After returning from the conference, she and her colleagues became convinced of the need to start a similar conference in North America, particularly focused on Christian spirituality. She served as a member of the planning committee for the first three such conferences, held in 2003, 2006, and 2009, resigning in 2009 as she recognized her approaching professional retirement. Out of this conference grew the organization of the Society for Children's Spirituality: Christian Perspectives (www.childspirituality.org), established in 2009. Cathy's role in establishing this important organization for the ongoing exploration of the spirituality of children is noteworthy.

Teaching has been a continuous thread throughout Cathy's ministry. Whether in a children's class with eight year olds or a seminary class with graduate students, she is always thoughtful, challenging, and gracious. Her academic mentor Dr. Ted Ward describes her manner as a "gentle approach to issues to which she brought - ultimately - a thoroughgoing firmness." Cathy describes the women in ministry class she developed and taught at ATS as "the most transforming class" she taught regularly. Especially meaningful to her has been seeing women find release as they discover the biblical evidence for women in ministry. Students at Asbury consistently reported that she was an excellent teacher, thoroughly prepared and well-organized, engaging, and respectful of the voice and perspective of all (Andrews, 2011).

While her initial academic focus may have been specifically in the areas of moral development and curriculum, her doctoral studies convinced her of the need to do the work of a theologian in order to thoroughly integrate her biblical understanding, her understanding of human development, and her personal and denominational faith tradition. In a variety of settings, she has shared her journey to understand and process those elements from a Wesleyan perspective. In "Child Theology Matters" she describes that journey.

During my doctoral studies, as I grew in my understanding of human development, learning, and formation, I sensed the desire to more fully examine my theology. That process led me to discover in my Wesleyan tradition, perspectives that harmonized with what I was learning about human beings. Theology addresses the questions of God's role and relationship with children. Two aspects of a Wesleyan theology have been particularly formative to my theology of childhood, the description of the spiritual journey as a "Way of Salvation," and an emphasis on prevenient grace. (Dharma Deepika, 2008, 23f)

Cathy's engagement with the Wesleyan theological tradition and her willingness to help her Wesleyan family think theologically about ministry to children is a significant contribution to the Wesleyan and broader Christian faith community.

Cathy's teaching opportunities have also extended far beyond the context of the United States and Canada. During her days as a denominational executive she was involved in conducting workshops and making presentations in Japan, Taiwan, the Philippines, Haiti, and Hong Kong. Her seminary teaching experiences have taken her to Kenya, Russia, Kazakhstan, and the Philippines. Most often these teaching experiences have focused on holistic child development and children's spirituality. In 2010, in the wake of the devastating earthquake in Haiti, she found herself a part of a team to teach pastors how to deal with post-traumatic stress and grief. The team also taught pastors the methodology of godly play and how to help children reflectively engage with the story of the Good Shepherd who loves and cares for his sheep. As a busy faculty member and dean, her willingness to quickly rearrange her schedule and lend aid in the immediate crisis is a mark of her consistent compassion and care for others.

Among her most fulfilling ministries has been the opportunity to mentor others in the way of faith and the journey of Christian service. As the first female executive of her denomination and the first female full time faculty member at Asbury in nearly 50 years, she played an important role as model and mentor for many women who were seeking to find their way as women leading ministries of the church, both students, faculty colleagues, and the occasional denominational executive who sought her out for her wisdom and experience.

Both at Free Methodist Headquarters and at Asbury Theological Seminary, Cathy carried significant administrative responsibility. She describes herself as having a relatively "high tolerance" for administrative work because of her commitment to growth and change. Colleagues valued her as "one of those rare people in academia who also has a systematic perspective of the whole institution" (Pohl, Tribute, 2011). While her personality tended to cause her to wield her strongest influence "behind the scenes in quiet and persistent ways" (Andrews, 2011), in her role as Dean there were several occasions where others had the chance to see her as "fiery, articulate, very passionate, and very direct" (Marmon, 2011)! When faced with a challenge, that quiet, persistent, gracious faith became fearless resolve to stand for what she believed to be the right course.

Cathy's career has received respect and commendation from its earliest days from those who have watched it and worked beside her. Dr. Ted Ward describes Cathy as "more philosophical than most Christians I know," and adds that she is "warmly interested in other people and their agendas, though none would wonder if she would be pulled along by a crowd!" Both Dr. Ward and Dr. Don Joy point to Cathy's competence and collegiality in working with her peers, both in the academy and the church (2004). More recently her colleagues at Asbury identified her most significant accomplishment as the groundbreaking work of "taking seriously children's spirituality" (Pohl, Interview, 2011) and putting "the soul back into children's ministry" (Marmon, 2011). Yet in the light of eternity, perhaps the greatest accolade she received was from a colleague who described her as "a Nazarite," explaining that she is a person whom anyone may watch to know the character of her God (Marmon, 2011).

Professional Memberships

North American Professors of Christian Education (NAPCE)

American Academy of Religion (AAR)

Association of Professors and Researchers of Religious Education (APRRE)

Women in Leadership Committee of the Association of Theological Schools

Aldersgate Graded Curriculum Committee (1970s)

[The majority of the information for this article was obtained in interviews with Dr. Stonehouse conducted in Cincinnati, Ohio, on April 17, 2004 and by telephone on August 2, 2011. Additional information came from the professional vitae developed and provided by Dr. Stonehouse. Comments by Dr. Ted Ward were obtained in an interview conducted on June 16, 2004, in Deerfield, Illinois. The comments of Dr. Donald Joy are from an e-mail to the writer dated June 14, 2004. The comments of colleagues from Asbury Theological Seminary were from remarks made by Dr. Christine Pohl on the occasion of Dr. Stonehouse's retirement celebration on May 19, 2011 and from personal interviews with Drs. Andrews, Kiesling, Marmon, and Pohl on May 19 and 20, 2011. The core of this information was published earlier in the article "Catherine M. Stonehouse: Servant of the Church, the Academy, and Children," (2004). Christian Education Journal , Series 3, 1 (3), 36-42.]

Works Cited

Andrews, Leslie. (2011, May 20). Unpublished interview conducted with Mari Gonlag in Wilmore, KY, on the occasion of Dr. Stonehouse's retirement.

Berryman, J. W. (1991). Godly play: A way of religious education. San Francisco: HarperSanFrancisco.

Gonlag, Mari. (2004). Catherine M. Stonehouse: Servant of the church, the academy, and children. Christian Education Journal, Series 3 1(3), 36-42.

Joy, D. M. (1969). Meaningful learning in the church. Winona Lake, IN: Light and Life Press.

Joy, D. M. (2004, June 14). E-mail communication concerning the professional contributions of Catherine Stonehouse.

Kiesling, Chris. (2011, May 19). Unpublished interview conducted with Mari Gonlag in Wilmore, KY, on the occasion of Dr. Stonehouse's retirement.

Marmon, Ellen. (2011, May 19). Unpublished interview conducted with Mari Gonlag in Wilmore, KY, on the occasion of Dr. Stonehouse's retirement.

May, S., Posterski, B, Stonehouse, C., and Cannell, L. (2005). Children matter: Celebrating their place in the church, family, and community. Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.

Pohl, Christine. (2011, May 19). Unpublished comments entitled "Tribute for Dr. Cathy Stonehouse: ATS Retirement Celebration." Wilmore, KY.

Pohl, Christine. (2011, May 20). Unpublished interview conducted with Mari Gonlag in Wilmore, KY, on the occasion of Dr. Stonehouse's retirement.

Rizzuto, A. (1977). The birth of the living God: A psychoanalytic study. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Stonehouse, C. M. (1980). Patterns in moral development. Waco, TX: Word Publications.

Stonehouse, C. M. (1998). Joining children on the spiritual journey: Nurturing a life of faith. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.

Stonehouse, C. (2002). Knowing God in childhood: A study of godly play and the spirituality of children. Christian Education Journal, 5 NS, 27-45.

Stonehouse, C. (2003, July). On the Way Together. Holiness Today, 5(7), 18-21.

Stonehouse, C. (2008, July - December). Child theology matters: Offering guidance for practices of Christian nurture. Dharma Deepika, A South Asian Journal of Missiological Research, 28(12), 18-32.

Stonehouse, C. Unpublished interview conducted with Mari Gonlag, April 17, 2004.

Stonehouse, C. E-mail communication with Mari Gonlag, May 20, 2011.

Stonehouse, C. Telephone interview conducted with Mari Gonlag, August 2, 2011.

Stonehouse, C. M., & May, S. (2010). Listening to children on the spiritual journey: Guidance for those who teach and nurture. Grand Rapids. MI: Baker Academic.

Wangerin, W. (1996). The Orphean passages: The drama of faith. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

Ward, T. W. (2004, June 16). Unpublished interview conducted with Mari Gonlag.

Wynkoop, M. B. (1972). A theology of love: The dynamic of Wesleyanism. Kansas City, MO: Beacon Hill Press.


Bibliography

Books

  • Stonehouse, C., & May, S. (2010). Listening to children on the spiritual journey: Guidance for those who teach and nurture. Grand Rapids. MI: Baker Academic.
  • May, S., Posterski, B, Stonehouse, C., and Cannell, L. (2005). Children matter: Celebrating their place in the church, family, and community. Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co. [Korean translation also available]
  • Stonehouse, C. (1998). Joining children on the spiritual journey: Nurturing a life of faith. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.
  • Stonehouse, C. M. (1980). Patterns in Moral Development. Waco, TX: Word Publications.
  • Stonehouse, C. (1976). An evaluative study of instruction in moral development education for paraprofessionals. Ph.D. diss., Michigan State University.
  • Stonehouse, C. (1964). A Christian education guide for teachers of juvenile offenders: A curriculum developed for early adolescents at Kentucky Village. Master's thesis, Asbury Theological Seminary.

Chapters

  • Stonehouse, C., & May, S. (2008). THE Story and the spiritual formation of children in the church and the home. In H. C. Allen (Ed.), Nurturing children's spirituality: Christian perspectives (pp. 366-379). Eugene, OR: Cascade Books, a division of Wipf & Stock Publishers.
  • Stonehouse, C. (2006). After a child's first dance with God: Accompanying children on a Protestant spiritual journey. In K. M. Yuse, A. N. Johnson, S. E. Sasso, E. C. Roehlkepartain (Eds.), Nurturing child and adolescent spirituality: Perspectives from the world's religious traditions. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
  • Stonehouse, C. (2004). Children in Wesleyan thought. In D. Ratcliff (Ed.), Children's spirituality: Christian perspectives, research, and applications (pp. 133-148). Eugene, OR: Cascade Books, a division of Wipf & Stock Publishers.
  • Stonehouse, C. (2001). Moral development. In M. J. Anthony (Ed.), Evangelical dictionary of Christian education (pp. 484-488). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic. [dictionary article]
  • Stonehouse, C. (2001). Women in ministry. In M. J. Anthony (Ed.), Evangelical dictionary of Christian education (pp. 724-725). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic. [dictionary article]
  • Stonehouse, C. (1995). The power of Kohlberg. In J. Wilhoit and J. Dettoni (Eds.), Nurture that is Christian (pp. 61-74). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic.
  • Stonehouse, C. (1993). Feed my lambs. In F. W. L. Sung (Ed.), In the church and in Christ Jesus: Essays in honour of Donald N. Bastian (pp. 169-188). Mississauga, Ontario, Canada: Light and Life Press Canada.
  • Stonehouse, C. (1993). Learning from gender differences. In K. Gangel and J. Wilhoit (eds.), The Christian educator's handbook on adult education (pp.104-120). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.
  • Stonehouse, C. (1990). Constructive activities. In I. V. Cully & K. B. Cully (Eds.), Harper's Encyclopedia of Religions Education (p. 171). New York, NY: HarperCollins. [encyclopedia article]
  • Stonehouse, C. (1990). Conversation. In I. V. Cully & K. B. Cully (Eds.), Harper's Encyclopedia of Religions Education (p. 179). New York, NY: HarperCollins. [encyclopedia article]

Articles

  • Stonehouse, C. (2008). Children in Wesleyan thought. Journal of Korean Society for Christian Education & Information Technology, 13(4), 7-31.
  • Stonehouse, C. (2008, July - December). Child theology matters: Offering guidance for practices of Christian nurture. Dharma Deepika, A South Asian Journal of Missiological Research, 28(12), 18-32.
  • Stonehouse, C. (2004, May). The Scripture Union theology of childhood resource paper: A Wesleyan response. Journal of Christian Education, 47(1), 35-42.
  • Stonehouse, C. (2003, November). Preparation: Ministry to children. Catalyst, 30(1), Retrieved 5/13/2004, from http://catalystresources.org/issues/301stonehouse.html
  • Stonehouse, C. (2003, July). On the Way Together. Holiness Today, 5(7), 18-21.
  • Stonehouse, C. (2002, September). The greatest Story ever told. ParentLife Magazine, Nashville, TN: Sunday School Board of the Southern Baptist Convention.
  • Stonehouse, C. (2002). Knowing God in childhood: A study of godly play and the spirituality of children. Christian Education Journal, 5 NS, 27-45.
  • Stonehouse, C. (1979). Moral development: The process and the pattern. Counseling and Values, 24(1), 2-9.

Editor/associate editor/contributing editor

  • Ratcliff, D. (2004). Children's spirituality: Christian perspectives, research, and applications. Eugene, OR: Cascade Books, a division of Wipf & Stock Publishers. [Stonehouse as associate editor]
  • Stonehouse, C. (1996). Church leadership and renewal. Section V (Ed.). In D. H. Elmer and L. McKinney (Gen. Eds.), With an eye on the future: Development and mission in the 21st century: Essays in honor of Ted Ward, (199-200). Monrovia, CA: MARC.
  • Kettinger, LeRoy. ( 1983). Youth as learners. Winona Lake, IN: Light and Life Press. [Stonehouse as editor]

Sound/Video Recording

  • Stonehouse, C. (2008). Children's worship [video recording]. Wilmore, KY: Asbury Theological Seminary, library holdings.
  • Stonehouse, C. (2008). The servant as minister of education [video recording]. Wilmore, KY: Asbury Theological Seminary, library holdings.
  • Stonehouse, C., and Kilbourne, P. (2007). Ministry with children [video recording]. Wilmore, KY: Asbury Theological Seminary, library holdings.
  • Stonehouse, C. (2006). Be still and know [sound recording]. Wilmore, KY: Asbury Theological Seminary, library holdings.
  • Stonehouse, C. (2004). Children in the church [sound recording]. Wilmore, KY: Asbury Theological Seminary, library holdings.
  • Stonehouse, C. and Marmon, E. (1998). Christian education [video recording]. Wilmore, KY: Asbury Theological Seminary, library holdings.
  • Stonehouse, C. (1997). Children in worship [video recording]. Wilmore, KY: Asbury Theological Seminary, library holdings.
  • Stonehouse, C., Holsinger, B., and Holeman, T. (1997). A meeting of the Ph.D. Club on March 26, 1997 [sound recording]. Wilmore, KY: Asbury Theological Seminary, library holdings.
  • Stonehouse, C. (1996). Servant as teacher [video recording]. Wilmore, KY: Asbury Theological Seminary, library holdings.
  • Stonehouse, C. (1993). Behavioristic approach to education [video recording]. Wilmore, KY: Asbury Theological Seminary, library holdings.
  • Stonehouse, C. (1993, June 2). Sound recording of an address delivered at Asbury Theological Seminary. Wilmore, KY: Asbury Theological Seminary, library holdings.
  • Stonehouse, C. (1992). Asbury echoes: Grace, gratitude, and graciousness [sound recording]. Wilmore, KY: Asbury Theological Seminary, library holdings.
  • Stonehouse, C. (1988). Sound recording regarding Sunday schools, church growth and Christian education. Wilmore, KY: Asbury Theological Seminary, library holdings.
  • Stonehouse, C. (1980). Modal development: Impact through local church education [sound recording]. Wilmore, KY: Asbury Theological Seminary, library holdings.
  • Stonehouse, C. (1976). Moral Development and Christian Education conference, held at Asbury Theological Seminary [sound recording]. Wilmore, KY: Asbury Theological Seminary, library holdings.
  • Stonehouse, C. (1975). Moral Development and Christian Education conference, held at Asbury Theological Seminary [sound recording]. Wilmore, KY: Asbury Theological Seminary, library holdings.

Other: Curriculum Resource

  • Stonehouse, C. (1971). Adventures in Belonging: Membership Lab for Young Christians. Winona Lake, IN: Light & Life Press.
  • Stonehouse, C. (1969). Leader's discussion guide for Meaningful Learning in the Church. Winona Lake, IN: Light and Life Press.

Work in Progress

  • Stonehouse, C. (Forthcoming). Childhood, a Wesleyan theology. In A. Truesdale (Ed.), Global Wesleyan Dictionary of Theology. Kansas City, KS: Beacon Hill Publishers. [dictionary article]
  • Stonehouse, C. (Forthcoming). Spiritual formation/growth. In A. Truesdale (Ed.), Global Wesleyan Dictionary of Theology. Kansas City, KS: Beacon Hill Publishers. [dictionary article]
  • Stonehouse, C. (Forthcoming). Vocation and calling. In A. Truesdale (Ed.), Global Wesleyan Dictionary of Theology. Kansas City, KS: Beacon Hill Publishers. [dictionary article]

Reviews of Books of Catherine M. Stonehouse

  • Stonehouse, C. & May, S. (2010). Listening to children on the spiritual journey: Guidance for those who teach and nurture. Grand Rapids. MI: Baker Academic.
  • Morgan, Josh. (2010, October 1). Featured: Listening to children on the spiritual journey: Guidance for those who teach and nurture. Englewood Review of Books, 3 (36). Retrieved July 29, 2011, from http://erb.dingdomnow.org/featured-listening-to-children-on-the-spiritual -journey-stonehouse-may-vol-3-36/
  • Tolbert, LaVerne. (2011). Listening to children on the spiritual journey: Guidance for those who teach and nurture. Christian Education Journal, 8 (1), 190-194.
  • May, S., Posterski, B, Stonehouse, C., and Cannell, L. (2005). Children matter: Celebrating their place in the church, family, and community. Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.
  • Couture, P. D. (2006). Children matter: Celebrating their place in the church, family, and community. Journal of Family Ministry, 20(3), 49-50.
  • Harkness, A. G. (2007). Children matter: Celebrating their place in the church, family, and community. Journal of Christian Education, 50(1), 76-78.
  • Hess, M. E. (2007). Children matter: Celebrating their place in the church, family, & community. Interpretation: A Journal of Bible & Theology, 61(1), 109.
  • Hess, M. E. (2007). Children matter: Celebrating their place in the church, family, and community. Interpretation, 61(1), 109-318.
  • McCartney, R. (2006). Children matter: Celebrating their place in the church, family, and community. Congregations, 32(3), 39-318.
  • Newton, G. C. (2005). Children matter: Celebrating their place in the church, family, and community. Christian Education Journal, 2(2), 437-441.
  • Pearson, S. (2006). Children matter: Celebrating their place in the church, family, and community. Expository Times, 118(1), 47-318.
  • Senter, M. (2006). Children matter: Celebrating their place in the church, family, and community. Trinity Journal, 27(2), 348-349.
  • Snyder, E. (2007). Children matter: Celebrating their place in the church, family, and community. Conrad Grebel Review, 25(1), 83-84.
  • Stonehouse, C. (1998). Joining children on the spiritual journey: Nurturing a life of faith. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.
  • Allen, H. (2000). Joining children on the spiritual journey: nurturing a life of faith. Christian Education Journal, 4(2), 141-145.
  • Borchert, D. (2000). Joining children on the spiritual journey: nurturing a life of faith. Review & Expositor, 97(2), 264-265.
  • Choun, R. J. (1998). Joining children on the spiritual journey: nurturing a life of faith. Bibliotheca sacra, 155(620), 506-507.
  • Matthaei, S. (1999). Joining children on the spiritual journey: nurturing a life of faith. Asbury Theological Journal, 54(1), 91-93.
  • Michael, P. (1998). Joining children on the spiritual journey: nurturing a life of faith. Journal of Family Ministry, 12(2), 79-80.
  • Ratcliff, D. (1999). Joining children on the spiritual journey: nurturing a life of faith. Journal of Psychology and Christianity, 18(3), 287-289.
  • Stonehouse, C. M. (1980). Patterns in moral development. Waco, TX: Word Publications.
  • Westing, H. (1981). Patterns in Moral Development. Journal of Christian Education (US), 2(1), 77-78.

Excerpts from Publications

Stonehouse, C. (1980). Patterns in moral development. Waco, TX: Word Publications. (p. 73)

"Mutual respect, then, requires that adults honestly respect children. Another factor that influences the atmosphere of mutual respect is the teacher's view of his or her role.

Often we tend to think of the teacher as the one who knows and the student as the one who is to learn. The teacher is the one who has the facts or truths that are to be transmitted to the learners. Many times the methods we use indicate that we think teachers can transplant full-grown concepts into the minds of learners as they passively listen to the teacher. This view of the teacher's role destroys mutual respect and inhibits development.

Mutual respect calls for teachers who see themselves as learners.

Stonehouse, C. (2006). After a child's first dance with God: Accompanying children on a Protestant spiritual journey. In K. M. Yust, A. N. Johnson, S. E. Sasso, and E. C. Roehlkepartain (Eds.), Nurturing child and adolescent spirituality: Perspectives from the world's religious traditions. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc. (p. 101)

"Many children seem to easily love Jesus and readily accept the premises of faith given to them. This faith is not a transplant of their parent's or their Sunday school teacher's faith, however. It is the set of beliefs and values the child puts together from his or her interpretation of what has been taught, their life experiences, and their encounters with God."

Stonehouse, C. (1998). . Joining children on the spiritual journey: Nurturing a life of faith. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books. (p. 21)

"The spiritual life of the child is forming at a deep level. Healthy personality development prepares children for openness to God, whereas developmental dysfunction creates barriers to a life of trusting, growing faith. To not be concerned about spiritual formation during childhood is to ignore the very foundations of the spiritual life."

Stonehouse, C. (1998). Joining children on the spiritual journey: Nurturing a life of faith. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books. (p. 186)

"The method of introducing children to the gospel that we are discussing here is based on the belief that God's Spirit does lead children to the truth they need. Our part, as adults worshiping with children, is to provide children a setting and in a few words give them one of God's stories. We then get out of the way so that the Spirit of truth can lead the children to meet God in the story and to discover precious realities suited for them. The Spirit of God knows the mind and heart of the child and how best to communicate. We must never forget that we are merely assistant teachers or worship leaders, but God does give us the privilege of assisting, and he honors us by sometimes speaking through us to the children."

May, S., Posterski, B., Stonehouse, C., and Cannell, L. (2005). Children matter: Celebrating their place in the church, family, and community. Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co. (p. 51)

"The Gospels do not give us stories of children in the process of coming to faith, but … Jesus referred to children as 'little ones who believe in me' (Matt. 18:6; Mark 9:42). Most young children believe easily and love sweetly. These are gifts Jesus accepts as precious and real. As was true for the adult disciples, the child's belief and love need nurture, development, and the maturing that takes place as one follows Jesus. We might think of the child's belief and love for Jesus as the embryo of faith, a most crucial reality, a beginning but real relationship with God."

Stonehouse, C. (1998). Joining children on the spiritual journey: Nurturing a life of faith. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books. (p. 12)

"Adults who care about children need to understand the inner workings of the developing child. If we do not understand those processes, we will not know when our methods are not contributing to spiritual growth. We will not be able to identify the missing pieces in the child's experience or know how to compensate for the lack. When we understand the process, we will be aware of ways to release the faith community's potential to foster the spiritual life of children."

Stonehouse, C. (1998). Joining children on the spiritual journey: Nurturing a life of faith. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books. (p. 62)

"The church needs a new awareness of the importance of childhood. Children are now becoming the persons they will be and are laying the foundations on which to build life and faith. They are being formed through what they experience in their homes, schools, and the faith community. We must not be satisfied with giving them one or two lessons a week in formal Christian education settings. Our concern for the formation of children must embrace the family and the school as well as the church."


Recommended Readings

Books

Stonehouse, C. M., & May, S. (2010). Listening to children on the spiritual journey: Guidance for those who teach and nurture. Grand Rapids. MI: Baker Academic.
May, S., Posterski, B, Stonehouse, C., and Cannell, L. (2005). Children Matter: Celebrating their place in the church, family, and community. Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co. [Korean translation also available]
Stonehouse, C. (1998). Joining children on the spiritual journey: Nurturing a life of faith. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.

Book Chapters

Stonehouse, C., & May, S. (2008). The Story and the spiritual formation of children in the church and the home. In H. C. Allen (Ed.), Nurturing children's spirituality: Christian perspectives (pp. 366-379). Eugene, OR: Cascade Books, a division of Wipf & Stock Publishers.
Stonehouse, C. (2006). After a child's first dance with God: Accompanying children on a Protestant spiritual journey. In K. M. Yuse, A. N. Johnson, S. E. Sasso, E. C. Roehlkepartain (Eds.), Nurturing child and adolescent spirituality: Perspectives from the world's religious traditions. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
Stonehouse, C. (2004). Children in Wesleyan thought. In D. Ratcliff (Ed.), Children's spirituality: Christian perspectives, research, and applications (pp. 133-148). Eugene, OR: Cascade Books, a division of Wipf & Stock Publishers.

Articles

Stonehouse, C. (2008, July - December). Child theology matters: Offering guidance for practices of Christian nurture. Dharma Deepika, A South Asian Journal of Missiological Research, 28(12), 18-32.
Stonehouse, C. (2004, May). The Scripture Union theology of childhood resource paper: A Wesleyan response Journal of Christian Education, 47(1), 35-42.
Stonehouse, C. (2002). Knowing God in childhood: A study of godly play and the spirituality of children. Christian Education Journal, 5 NS, 27-45.

OTHER RESOURCES

The most complete collection of Dr. Stonehouse's works may be found in the B. L. Fisher Library at Asbury Theological Seminary, Wilmore, KY. (859) 858-2233. http://asburyseminary.edu/home

Author Information

Mari Gonlag, Ph.D.

Mari Gonlag (Ph.D., Trinity Evangelical Divinity School) serves as Professor of Religion and Director of the Center for Women in Ministry at Southern Wesleyan University in Central, South Carolina.Previous writing about this person: Gonlag, M. (2004). Catherine M. Stonehouse: Servant of the church, the academy, and children. Christian Education Journal, Series 3, 1 (3), 36-42.

Biola University
13800 Biola Ave. La Mirada, CA 90639
1-562-903-6000