At some point in your ministry you may be asked about writing Bible study curriculum. Perhaps you will be asked to write for a camp, retreat, or group bible study series. Today I want to share some lessons that will help you.

Short Guide to Writing Bible Study Curriculum – Know the Details

Up front you need to know some details. If you want to successfully write Bible study curriculum, and be asked to do it more than once, you need to know the expectations so that you can meet them. First, when is the deadline? Try and leave yourself a week of time to be finished before the deadline. Then you can use one afternoon to give it a full-scale edit. 

Second, what format do they expect the document to be in? If they tell you it doesn’t matter, I suggest you send them multiple types of document formats. I would send a PDF, and a microsoft word document. Both of those are extremely common and can be used by a variety of different text editors. The advantage of sending a PDF over a word document is that your fonts and special characters will look exactly as you have planned. For example, when I use a Hebrew font, I can guarantee that the PDF will display it properly. The advantage of sending a MS word document is that it will be more editable. You can use “styles” that will auto format different sections of the document. The editor can do the same to quickly adjust things the way that they want it.

Be Extremely Clear by Using Headings and Including a Key to Your Formatting

I like to write in MS word, and then save as a word document and PDF. I always include a page up front that describes why certain things are bolded/italicized, etc. That page also describes why things are arranged as they are. 

Next I’ll use a section break and then a “level one” heading style as a description of the first section, and then write in the “normal” style. For example, if I’m writing a camp curriculum that includes group Bible studies and personal devotionals, I’ll have both of those as separate sections, beginning with a “level one” heading. Each day’s Title will be a level 2 heading, and the subheading will be a level 3 heading. Then the content will be written in the normal style. 

If I want to highlight something, or maybe make a pull out quote, I can use something like an “intense quote” style. 

By using these types of styles within your document you will make it easier for your editor to make changes so that the overall style of the document can match the needs of the person laying out the print format.

Write in a Conversational Style

When you write curriculum you don’t need to worry about sounding academic (unless that was stated up-front). Feel free to use contractions, and use the 2nd person. I would even suggest you use first person examples when necessary. 

Don’t be afraid to use an authoritative voice. While you don’t want to come across as a stuffy academic, you also don’t want to come across as a novice making suggestions. I usually try and write with a voice of a person who is slightly ahead of the intended audience. I like to use the big brother tone. Still, you’ll want to adopt the appropriate tone and voice for the assignment that you have been given. 

Conclusions about Writing Bible Study Curriculum

With these few things in mind, I think you can successfully write a Bible study curriculum that will connect with the readers, and please the editor. Remember that you have to do both. If the reader loves the content but the editor has to work really hard to correct your errors, or get your file to play nice – you’ll probably not be invited to write again. So write to the intended audience, but do everything you can to make the editor happy!

You can find a sample curriculum that I wrote here.

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