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Changing the World: Confirmation for the Missional Church


A revised and updated confirmation curriculum focused on missional identity from Mark Hinds and the Presbyterian Outlook. This is a digital product. 

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Changing the World is not about joining the church; it’s about joining the missional project entrusted to the church. 

Requiring adolescents to join the church by professing their faith is a relic of a church concerned with its own power and survival. The focus is on institutional life rather than the call to discipleship. Changing the World shifts the emphasis from increasing membership rolls to helping teenagers claim their missional identities and vocations.


Changing the World strengthens confirmands:

  • in their identities as God’s image-bearing stewards of the goodness and beauty of creation.
  • in the Spirit’s gifts of wisdom and understanding, counsel and might, knowledge and the fear of the Lord, and joy in God’s presence.
  • as members of the priesthood of all believers, commissioned for missional engagement in the world.

What’s new in the revised and updated version?

In March 2021, Presbyterian Outlook released Confirmation for the Matthew 25 Congregation: Commissioned to Change the World. After numerous requests, we’ve broadened the curriculum’s scope beyond the PC(USA)’s Matthew 25 initiative to include churches committed to the missio Dei, the mission of God. The resulting, revised material is Changing the World.

The revised and updated version includes: 

  • new worship ideas and meditative readings, 
  • sermon suggestions, 
  • doable service project ideas
  • inspiring stories of young people changing the world
  • closer attention to the distinctions between equality, equity, and justice
  • foot washing as the culmination of the retreat
  • clearer prompts for covenant-making 
  • role-playing scenarios
  • “A Handbook for Parents and Mentors”


“‘Confirmation’ is such a curious practice in the church. It is somewhere between a sacrament and a rite of passage. It catches teenagers at a moment of potential rebellion. It might be a bane to leaders and an inconvenience for parents. Mark Hinds knows all of this and offers us a wise, upbeat, updated guide to the close specificities of implementation of both serious instruction and liturgic consummation. He is at ease in Scripture and pop culture. Users of this remarkable guide may indeed find ‘confirmation’ rescued from its burdensomeness and reignited as a welcome, urgent task of ministry. This guide is indeed ‘hands-on,’ just like the ‘laying on of hands.’”

— Walter Brueggemann, William Marcellus McPheeters professor emeritus of Old Testament, Columbia Theological Seminary

Changing the World is as bold and exciting as its title. Confirmation is one of my favorite rites of passage and church celebrations — there are so many possibilities and it can be a time for deep learning and amazing work of the Spirit. This curriculum reads fresh, rich, and creative with wonder-full philosophy, theological perspectives and pedagogy. I love the tangibility and all the different kinds of learning available to all involved.”

— Lynn A. Turnage, Director for Programs, Montreat Conference Center

“The Changing the World confirmation retreat curriculum demonstrates a thoughtful and welcoming approach to the confirmation process rather than rote lessons. It includes plenty of plans for discussion and activities before, during, and after a confirmation retreat, as well as ways to connect with mentors in the congregation. I’m looking forward to being the church with the youth who come through this program!”

Colleen Earp, Program Director, Massanetta Springs Camp and Conference Center 

Changing the World enables us to affirm, as a community, what we have always believed each young person to be: gifted disciples of Jesus since their baptism. It also creates an opportunity for godparents and mentors to carry out Christ’s mission by investing in the lives of young people. The curriculum’s format lends itself to a single congregation’s effort to call forth their youth or a presbytery-wide design for all their young Christians. Changing the World is a welcome change in spiritual formation.”

— Rev. Keith D. Sundberg, APCE Educator of the Year 2019 and Resource Presbyter of the Presbytery of Lake Erie


Changing the World begins with a 24-hour retreat for confirmands and their mentors. The format can be amended to suit your church — perhaps a single-day retreat or a program of several weeks. Mentors and confirmands meet eight times after the retreat to reflect on wisdom and discernment, justice, hospitality, compassion, unity, humility, grace and gratitude. Changing the World provides outlines for each of these eight meetings.

What do I get when I purchase?

You will receive a digital version of the Changing the World curriculum when you order today. The .pdf includes: 

  • theological rationale
  • a pre-retreat to-do list
  • a guide for mentors
  • a detailed itinerary for a 24-hour retreat (including three worship liturgies, a service project, and four lessons)
  • a confirmation liturgy
  • sermon ideas for confirmation Sunday
  • a post-retreat to-do list
  • guidelines for eight post-retreat check-ins between confirmands and mentors
  • “A Handbook for Parents and Mentors”

What’s “A Handbook for Parents and Mentors”?

During our “Confirmation in the post-Christendom Church” webinar to promote the new curriculum, Outlook editor Teri McDowell Ott and curriculum author Mark Hinds heard that it would be helpful to have an additional supplement that prepares parents and adult volunteers to engage confirmation in a missional way. And so we made “A Handbook for Parents and Mentors.”

This handbook contains essays on:

  • A New-Old Approach to Confirmation.
  • Do the Opposite.
  • Twelve-Year-Old Jesus.
  • Kids Who Change the World.
  • The Missional Confirmation Worship Service.
  • Create a Space.
  • Moratorium.
  • A Space to Practice Obedience to the Truth.
  • Train Children in the Way They Should Go.
  • Check-Ins.
  • Why?

It is included for free with your purchase of Changing the World. Once you have the digital product in hand, you can share it with multiple members of your congregation. We just ask that you don’t post it publicly.

If you would like to purchase the handbook separately as a way to preview the curriculum, you can do so here.

Want a sample?

Click here to view a sample.

Mark D. Hinds, Ed.D., is a retired writer, editor and publisher for Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) curriculum development. He has degrees from Trinity University, Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary and the Presbyterian School of Christian Education (now Union Presbyterian Seminary). His 1994 dissertation was titled The Book of Proverbs: Toward Alternative Pedagogical Principles for Confirmation in the PC(USA). He was the primary writer and project leader for the Big God Big Questions confirmation curriculum. In retirement, he enjoys writing for the church. Mark lives in Louisville, Kentucky, with his partner and spouse, Rev. Dr. Peggy C. Hinds.