Will Our Children Have Faith?

Third Revised Edition


Aug/2012, 208 Pages, PAPERBACK, 5.5 x 8.5

ISBN-13: 9780819228000



• Includes a Study Guide, by faith formation specialist Sharon Ely Pearson

Originally written in 1976, revised in 2000, and translated in six languages, this classic critique of Christian education is newly revised and expanded and includes Westerhoff’s overview and perspective on the state of Christian education over the past forty years— plus his role in that history.

According to Westerhoff, instead of guiding faith formation within the family, the church, and the school, we relegate religious education to Sunday morning classes. There, children learn the facts about religion, but how will they learn or experience faith? How can we nourish and nurture the faith of children, instead of only teaching the facts?

John H. Westerhoff taught at numerous Episcopal, Roman Catholic, and Protestant theological schools around the world, retiring in 1994 as the Professor of Theology and Christian Nurture at Duke Divinity School. He is the author of more than twenty-five books, including Will Our Children Have Faith?, Living Faithfully as a Prayer Book People, and A Pilgrim People. He lives in Atlanta, Georgia.

Will Our Children Have Faith? was first published in 1976. It was intended to be solely a ‘tract for our times,’ but whether our children will have faith is still the question about which I worry. It is a question that implies looking at many factors: the historical, social, and cultural context in which we live; our understanding of the Christian life of faith; our understanding of how persons acquire their world views, values, and lifestyles; and our ability to be the sort of community that can nurture and nourish such understandings.”
—John Westerhoff

"The Rev. Dr. John H. Westerhoff III—preeminent theologian, educator, and author—has been a familiar name in Christian education during the last quarter of the twentieth century. There are few comprehensive books on religion since 1976 that do not reference or cite him as a strong representative of certain approaches. He has published over 500 articles and thirty-four books. His most enduring and significant work, Will Our Children Have Faith?, has been used extensively in college and seminary religious education classes and is translated into six languages. It is regarded as one of the most important books in the field of Christian Education.

This new revised edition includes Westerhoff’s overview on the state of Christian Education over the past forty years and his role in that history. Featuring a study guide by Christian formation specialist Sharon Pearson, it offers fresh perspectives and insight for those who know the subject area well, while remaining the foundational text for a new generation of readers—from parents to seminarians to practitioners.

'Children will never have faith unless there is a community of faith for them to live in and be influenced by,' according to Dr. Westerhoff, and he continues to challenge all of us to be intentional about sharing our faith with others, so that yes, our children will have faith."

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