Spirituality nurturing and being-nurtured: Experience of Sunday school teachers of Hong Kong churches on children’s spirituality

Wai Kuen TONG

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Theses


In most of the Christian churches in Hong Kong, children Sunday schools were established for nurturing children’s spirituality. Bible storytelling is the major activity in Sunday school lessons. Sunday school teachers are church goers and serve voluntarily. However, some of them feel frustrated as they have difficulties in engaging children.

Various research studied the characteristics of children’s spirituality and the influences of storytelling. Scholars suggested that adults can learn from children. Therefore, the author of this study is interested in the experience of Sunday school teachers on children’s spirituality in the lessons. Therefore, a conceptual framework of how the Sunday school teachers or Bible storytellers experienced children’s spirituality was established. A qualitative research was worked out and 15 Sunday school teachers were recruited. Semi-structured interviews were conducted and the verbatims were the major data. Five observation sessions were also done, providing supplemented data.

This study identified three kinds of Bible stories that are more attractive to children and visualization of the ancient world with suitable teaching materials also facilitated children’s engagement. When the children were engaged, the teachers experienced children’s spirituality in terms of relational consciousness and characteristics of children as spiritual beings.

For the relational consciousness, teachers experienced the children making meanings of Bible stories to God’s stories, self-story and others’ story. Interestingly, the teachers also perceived that they experienced spiritual growth in terms of feeling connected to self, God and others.

For the experience of the essential characteristics of children as spiritual beings, it was in terms of simple, wholeness, genuine, and joy. It impacted the teachers and they hoped to be “becoming like a child”.

Therefore, this study identified that the teachers were spiritually nurtured in terms of growth in relationships and being connected to the inner child. They are related to spiritual health and well-being. Such experiences reveal that the teachers can learn from children and the lessons become enjoyable. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Education
Awarding Institution
  • The Education University of Hong Kong
  • CHOW, Hung Kay, Daniel 周鴻奇, Supervisor
  • FAIRBROTHER, Gregory Paul, Supervisor
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Sunday school teacher
  • Bible storytelling
  • Children’s spirituality
  • Spirituality nurturing
  • Teaching experience
  • Theses and Dissertations
  • Thesis (Ed.D.)--The Education University of Hong Kong, 2021.


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