Credentials Yes or No?

Updated on April 11, 2011
M.G. asks from San Jose, CA
10 answers

Do Sunday school teachers need credentials just as public school teachers?
What background does one have to have to teach Sunday school?

What can I do next?

  • Add yourAnswer own comment
  • Ask your own question Add Question
  • Join the Mamapedia community Mamapedia
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

Featured Answers



answers from Pittsburgh on

I'm thinking the only credentials they need is willingness to volunteer, commit, and the ability to be dragged into the position! LOL
Seriously, even most religious schools can have 'anyone' as teachers!

4 moms found this helpful

More Answers



answers from Dallas on

The Sunday school teachers at our church are not necessarily credentialed teachers. They are parents who have been trained by our church. Some are SAHMs, grandparents, doctors, vets, pathologists and yes, teachers. For the safety of the children, the church runs a background check on the people who are teaching Sunday school. They ALWAYS have two adults teaching in one classroom..

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Redding on

Sunday school teachers don't need credentials. They are usually just trusted and long term members of a given church who enjoy having Sunday school for the kids.
My friend volunteered as a teacher at her church and a couple of Sundays I helped her tote in pens, crayons, stickers and how ever many copies of a little church lesson for coloring she'd made.
Sunday school teachers don't get paid. They're usually just someone who is already involved in the church or has little kids of their own in the program.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Sacramento on

Churches have their own requirements of Sunday School teachers, and those vary from denomination to denomination, and even sometimes from church to church. However there is no governmental regulation of what churches do regarding credentialing of teachers.
Having said that, I encourage anyone who is thinking of enrolling their children in a Sunday School or other church program to carefully examine the policies of that particular church. Be sure that there is some type of background check done on each person who works with the children. Some churches require fingerprinting, others simply a background check. Also be sure the policy for teaching includes at least two adults at all times in the classroom. For most classes, it would be preferable for the two adults to be a man and a woman though these should not be a married couple. The reason a married couple should not be the only two adults in a room is because of the legal restrictions on married partners testifying against each other. We all like to think that a church is a place where kids will be safe, no matter what. However when we are being realistic, we realize that this is not always the case. A church needs to follow strict guidelines to protect the children, their workers and the church's best interests. And parents should always expect the church where they are placing their child to be following such guidelines.
As a parent and also a long time volunteer with children in church activities, I can't tell you how appalled I've been at the lax attitudes of many parents when handing over their young children to a stranger, just because that stranger happens to be in a church run classroom. I've even had tiny babies handed to me with a diaper bag and the parent seemed irritated at having to take the time to give us some basic information such as the name, age and particular needs of their child, and how to contact the parent in case of an emergency.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Oklahoma City on

No, sunday school teachers are usually just someone that is asked to volunteer and expected to show up somewhat prepared on their own. Very few churches even offer "How to be a Sunday School Teacher" classes.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

No, Sunday school teachers do not need to have credentials. They are often volunteers, some of whom may teach as a profession but not necessarily. The background checks - if any - may depend from church to church, but there are no set standard regulations. In my experience, volunteers may fill out a paper application and get approval by the department head or pastor. Training may or may not be provided and curriculum may or may not be synchronized across classrooms depending on the resources of the church. What is often required is an understanding of their faith (which should match that of the church) and ability to communicate that in words.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Springfield on

In the Catholic Church our Sunday School teachers are parishioners, usually parents, sometimes young adults, but all volunteers. Most have no credenctials. All are required to under go background checks and attend an afternoon seminar called Protecting God's Children.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Modesto on

I am so sad to read these our parishes, YES we also ask parents/grandparents to help teach catechism and sunday school, however, each one of them is required to be fingerprinted, and pass a class at I know many are actually "credentialled" religious education teachers, as well.

If you are "questioning" something within your should go to your parish office to see what is required. I believe they are all supposed to be following the same guidelines, it's just whether or not they are followed.

On a positive note, if you are considering becoming a sunday school teacher, I highly recommend it :o) It's amazing how much one can learn for themselves, and the love and laughter that surrounds the environment. I am "just a mom" that got involved with our church, and now I've been teaching for 7 years and wouldn't have it any other way. I just love it!

Good luck!

~N. :O)



answers from Sacramento on

If you are talking about at church, there is no "credential" for Sunday school teachers as far as I know. Each church may do things differently, but at my church being a Sunday school teacher is a calling. Our Bishop asks certain people to perform this service for a time and we all take turns at it. Mostly I think it's probably done by volunteers at other church's.



answers from San Francisco on

There is a simple answer to your question and there is also no simple answer to your question.

Simple answer: No, there is no government regulated credentialing process for Sunday school teachers the way there is for public school teachers. Separation of church and state and all.

Not simple answer: That said, the credentials and qualifications for teaching Sunday School will vary between faith traditions, denominations and sometimes even individual churches.

I'm wondering about the context of your question. Are you just curious? Did something happen? Do you want to become a Sunday School teacher? I would say that regardless of why, the best thing to do is ask the pastor of the church in question. He or she will be able to provide you with the answer you are looking for.

For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us

Related Questions