I haven’t used youth ministry curriculum much in the past, but have preferred to adapt books or other material. However, there is a lot of good material out there. Here are six that I found; I’m sure there are many others.
- Student Life Bible Study – I like Student Life’s stuff — their videos on knowing the Word are particularly good. This is a downloadable 6-year plan which aims to take the students through the entire Bible.
- Lifeway’s Known – Also a downloadable 6-year plan based on a “comprehensive strategy for student spiritual development.” [review by Tim Schmoyer here]
- Through the Bible – Biblical Theology for youth! 12 lessons which aim to help students navigate the Big Picture.
- Teach Me Your Way – The first youth curriculum put out by Desiring God. One of my friends was key in this, and she is solid theologically so my hunch is that the content herein is excellent.
- Group’s Grapple – We are trying the downloadable version of this for our Jr. High right now.
- Teach the Text – “A God-focused curriculum for preschool and preteens”
- [Aug 2009 addition] Live Curriculum – Doug Fields and Group Publishing have teamed up on this 4-year downloadable curriculum.
- [Feb 2010 addition] Lifeway’s Fuel – Another offering from Lifeway; based on their Know, Own, Known paradigm. Seems more video-driven than Known (above). I have an email into Lifeway as to exact difference between these two offerings.
- [Feb 2010 addition] FaithWeaver offers curriculum for all ages. It would be nice to see a church all studying the same thing; seems like this would facilitate better discussions at home.
- [Sept 2012 addition] The Gospel Project – “The Gospel Project for Students helps teens develop a bigger perspective on Scripture and how the story of Jesus Christ ties it all together. Every week, in every passage, your students will encounter the gospel through the in-depth study of biblical theology, apologetics, missions, and the grand narrative of Scripture. Because nothing has the ability to transform a teen’s life like the gospel.” (This is what we are currently using; it is good — quite in-depth, but will need to be tailored for your context (as will any curriculum).)
Related, here is an excellent post critiquing some aspects of children’s curriculum (which is applicable to youth and adults).
I wish there was a chart comparing youth curriculums based on content, activities, and theology (like this one comparing marriage books).