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Confirmation Sub-theme 6: Intentional Commitment to Inquiry-based Learning

In case you missed it on our social media channels last week, we posted about the sixth of  nine recurring sub-themes in confirmation and related practices found in our qualitative researchIntentional Commitment to Inquiry-based Learning With and Across Generationsplus an illustrative church portrait. Stay tuned for the rest of the sub-themes, and portraits illustrating many of them, in the coming weeks!

Feel free to browse the entire portrait collection here.

Subtheme 6: Intentional Commitment to Inquiry-based Learning With and Across Generations
Portrait: St. John’s Episcopal Church in Oakland, CA and Their “Confirm not Conform” Youth Confirmation Program

Our representative portrait for confirmation sub-theme 6, INTENTIONAL COMMITMENT TO INQUIRY-BASED LEARNING WITH & ACROSS GENERATIONS, is that of St. John’s Episcopal Church in Oakland, CA and their Confirm not Conform youth confirmation program! CnC co-founder Rev. Molly Darling said of the program’s development: “As we worked with youth, we realized we needed a new message and a distinct methodology. Our confirmation class had to be about respecting the growing empowerment of the youth and the onset of more adult responsibilities. The class needed to show, in content and form, that we believed young people are capable of making their own faith choices. Our task was to expose them to ideas, religious teaching, transformative experiences, and let the Holy Spirit and their own engagement do the rest. Our program needed to focus more on their questions than our answers, and put us in the role of companions and guides rather than [didactic] instructors. The result was Confirm not Conform, a program that celebrates young people’s spirituality, creativity, and responsibility.” You can read St. John’s Episcopal Church’s portrait at

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