Frequently Asked Questions
1. How can I send my comments or questions to the Sunday School general presidency?
Please send an e-mail to the offices of the Sunday School general presidency at firstname.lastname@example.org.
2. What instructions are available to a newly called ward or stake Sunday School president?
Chapter 12 in Handbook 2: Administering the Church, contains information about the Sunday School. Additional information is available in the Sunday School section of www.lds.org
3. How do I know what will be taught in the various Sunday School classes each year?
Before the beginning of each year prieshood leaders throughout the church are sent a summary of what should be taught in each class in each organization. This information should be discussed by the Sunday School president with the members of the ward council well before January 1st so that additional manuals can be ordered if needed. A copy of these instructions are available on the church’s website and can be found by clicking here.
4. Why are attendance rolls taken in Sunday School if attendance is not reported to Church headquarters?
Class rolls should be taken to determine who is not attending. As noted in Handbook 2, section 12.3.2, members of the ward Sunday School presidency are to “Review attendance records. Plan ways to encourage increased participation in Sunday School.” As a part of this work, the Sunday School president, who is a member of the ward council, should discuss with the members of the ward council ways that these non-attending members may be fellowshipped and invited to return to full activity and which person or group should take the lead in initiating contact.
5. Is there still a calling for a Teacher Improvement Coordinator?
The responsibilities of the teacher improvement coordinator have now been assumed by the Sunday School Presidencies. As noted in letter from the First Presidency letter dated November 17, 2006, “The positions of stake teacher improvement coordinator and ward teacher improvement coordinator have been discontinued. Quarterly teacher improvement meetings have also been discontinued.” The letter goes on to state that, “Ward Sunday School presidencies should:
- Assume the responsibilities previously held by ward teacher improvement coordinators.
- Assist priesthood and auxiliary leaders in orienting, instructing, and providing ongoing support for teachers.”
6. Can the Teacher Improvement Course still be taught?
The course is now called the Teaching the Gospel course and it should be taught regularly in each unit. The Bishop and the ward council decide how often it is taught. Generally, the Bishop will assign the Sunday School presidency to teach the course using material from Part G of Teaching, No Greater Call. Working together with the Bishopric and Ward Council the Sunday School Presidency will decide when to hold the course, who to invite to take it, and whether to teach it over 12 weeks as outlined in the manual or to use a different schedule. It is important to adapt the schedule, location and timing of the course to meet the needs of participants. Everyone who is called as a teacher should take this course.
7. Can a sister serve as a member of a Sunday School presidency?
No. Only brethren may serve as a Sunday School President, Counselor, or Secretary (see Handbook 2, section 12.2)
8. Can a Marriage and Family Relations class be taught during Sunday School?
Yes. The current curriculum includes a Marriage and Family Relations course. While this class may be taught during Sunday School, it is under the direction of the bishopric. The Sunday School presidency should provide the initial teacher orientation and ongoing support for the teacher of this class
9. Can a Family History class be taught during Sunday School?
Yes. The class uses the Temple and Family History manual and may be taught during Sunday School, as determined by local priesthood leaders. This class is under the direction of the bishopric. The Sunday School presidency should provide the initial teacher orientation and ongoing support for the teacher of this class.
10. May anyone attend the Gospel Principles class?
Yes. This course is offered for investigators and others who want basic gospel instruction. It uses the Gospel Principles manual.
11. Is it necessary for 12-year-olds to stay with their Primary class until the end of the year, even though they have advanced from Primary?
Handbook 2, section 11.4.3 states, “During Primary class time, new 12-year-olds normally attend their Valiant 11 Primary class until the end of the year. However, the bishop and the presidents of the Primary, Young Men, Young Women, and Sunday School may counsel together to determine if these 12-year-olds would benefit more from attending the Sunday School class for 12- and 13-year-olds. As these leaders counsel together, they consider the needs of the children and the times of the year when individual children will reach age 12. Their decision applies to all young men and women who reach age 12 that year.”
12. When a youth turns 14, does he or she advance immediately to the 14-year-old class?
No. According to Handbook 2, section 12.4.1, “The Sunday School presidency generally organizes youth ages 12 to 18 into classes according to their age on January 1. For example, the presidency may organize a class for all young men and women who are 14 or 15 years old on January 1. The youth stay in that same class until the next year.”
13. What can I do as a leader or teacher to help someone who has a disability?
You can find suggestions about how to teach children, youth, and adults who have disabilities at www.lds.org. This site includes information for leaders, teachers, and others who want to learn more about specific disabilities, tips on helping those who have them, and links to other sites for more information.
14. What resources will I be given to help me teach?
The following official Church resources can help you teach the gospel. As part of your orientation as a newly called teacher, you should discuss these resources and request other assistance as needed.
- The scriptures. You should have a copy of the scriptures. If not, arrange to borrow a copy from the meetinghouse library until you can acquire your own copy.
- Teacher’s manual. Each Sunday School course has an official teacher’s manual. Links to the manuals are found on the Sunday School website.
- Class member study guide. The class member study guide for the course, if available, should be given to each class member. Links to the study guides are found on the Sunday School website.
- Teaching, No Greater Call. A resource book called Teaching, No Greater Call contains guidelines and suggestions relating to teaching. The book is broken into numerous small segments. You may wish to study one or two segments each week to become familiar with these additional learning and teaching resources. Review “How to Use This Resource Guide” at the beginning of the manual for a very helpful orientation.
- Class attendance roll. Your leaders will help you obtain a copy of the class attendance roll listing the names of all Church members who should attend your class, regardless of whether they attend or not.
- Meetinghouse library. Contact your ward librarian, visit your meetinghouse library, and discuss with the librarian what resource materials are available in the library or online to assist you in learning and teaching the gospel.
- Sunday School Web site. The Church’s website (www.lds.org) has a section for the Sunday School that includes many resources for teachers and leaders. You should also visit the Teaching the Gospel section of the website.
15. Should I be set apart for my new calling?
Yes. A member of the bishopric calls and sets apart Sunday School teachers (see Handbook 2, section 12.2.1. A member of the ward Sunday School presidency or the secretary is encouraged to keep a list of all Sunday School teachers and the date when they are set apart by a member of the bishopric.
16. What training will I receive as a teacher?
As part of your training to teach Sunday School, you will want to participate in the following activities:
- Receive orientation as a newly called teacher. The ward Sunday School presidency has the responsibility to meet individually with each newly called teacher, preferably before the teacher’s first class, to provide an orientation.
- Counsel with leaders. You are encouraged to contact the member of the Sunday School presidency who has been assigned as your leader. At least once every three months, you should meet to counsel together about your calling.
- Complete the Teaching the Gospel course. This course provides a foundation that will help you teach the gospel more effectively. It includes lessons on teaching the doctrine, teaching by the Spirit, loving those you teach, inviting diligent learning, creating a learning atmosphere, using effective methods, and preparing lessons. It also includes guidelines to help you continually improve as a teacher.
17. Who is responsible for the Meetinghouse Library?
According to Handbook 2, section 12.6.1, “Each meetinghouse should have a library with resources to help members learn and teach the gospel. The ward Sunday School presidency oversees the meetinghouse library.” Meetinghouse libraries vary according to the available space and needs of members. Members of the Sunday School presidency orient newly called librarians, provide ongoing support and training, and recommend an annual budget after consulting with the ward librarian.