WESTWOOD U: CONFIRMATION & CONGREGATIONAL LEARNING
Westwood U is an ecosystem of lifelong faith formation at Westwood. The approach re-thinks how faith is taught as part of a community of believers. Our goal is to order to connect to our faith with greater relevance in context of a complicated world.
Westwood U starts at confirmation and continues through every generation, moving learners of all ages from education towards transformation.
Confirmation starts with Westwood U
Westwood U's confirmation is a place where everyone is invited—kids, parents, grandparents, friends—to education, faith development, and growth. In addition to monthly student-parent sessions with Westwood's pastors and staff, students choose study topics and class times as well as intergenerational learning and growing opportunities. This model creates ways to explore faith by tapping into the life experiences of multiple generations.
Read about what to expect, check out what courses are offered and see what works for your schedule in the Westwood U course catalog.
Register here for one course or multiple—it's up to you! Registration is required for all courses, and please note that some classes go fast.
Jump to grade or topic information below.
For more information about Confirmation at Westwood, contact Dannica Olsen, Director of Youth Ministry.
Register your child(ren) today for a faith journey designed for the youth of today and the world they live within. Scholarships are available.
7th and 8th Grade
Choose your own adventure!
What courses are offered?
There are three categories for the courses offered at Westwood U. Several courses from each category are offered throughout the year.
service to our neighbors and congregation
fellowship, faith, and nurturing experiences
How many of each should I take?
While completing the required number of Westwood courses, students will need to take a minimum number of 3 courses in each category. Of the 12 credits, 3 in each of the 3 categories will be required. The remaining 3 credits are up to you!
Year 1 (7th grade) = 5 courses and Bible Milestone
Year 2 (8th grade) = 5 courses and Elder Wisdom Milestone
Year 3 (9th grade) = 5 courses, Faith Mentoring, and your Faith Statement
It's flexible, so take any combination of courses at any time. However you get to the number needed is up to you!
The information above, for 7-8th grade, is also relevant to 9th graders. However, 9th graders also add Faith Mentors and writing their Faith Statement to the mix!
Connecting to others.
Each confirmand selects a faith mentor of their choice, someone other than a parent, to have a mentoring relationship with during the spring of their 9th grade year. This person should be someone whom the 9th grader sees as a strong person of faith, and not just a warm body.
Options include, but are not limited to: Baptismal sponsor, past Sunday school teacher, elder wisdom adult from 8th or 9th grade, a faithful young adult from the congregation, etc.
Connecting to one's faith.
Each 9th grader will write or present a statement of faith via another creative medium. They will begin the work on this faith statement in the summer before their 10th grade year, and they will be presented before the rite of confirmation in their 10th grade year.
As a part of this commitment, each 9th grader will hear a faith statement from several caring adults in their lives. Their confirmation guides, youth director, parent(s), mentor, and perhaps a few others along the way. This is a rich way of passing on the faith, thru language spoken directly from close caring adults.
Parent Student Learning
Parent Student Learning, or P/SL for short, happens once a month for confirmands and their parents. Each age group has a time of learning with the Pastors and other ministry leaders. We believe it's crucial for parents to be a part of their child's faith journey and development.
A powerful approach to understanding faith.
Learning with you student is a unique to see what your child is learning, and a phenomenal entry point to conversations about faith—which many people find hard to talk about. Parents also often tell us they learned the things they didn't fully absorb from their own confirmation classes. It's an approach that gives students and their parent a better understanding of what it means to be people of faith.
Click on the video to see an example class.