Paid Religious Education (RE) Staff in Quaker Meetings

Conversation Circles: February 21 & 23, 2023

Quaker religious education (RE) is entering a new phase as Friends meetings rebuild ministry to children, youth and families or start anew. We’ve heard that during the covid-19 pandemic, yearly and monthly meetings with paid RE staff were more likely to maintain programming for children and youth than meetings relying solely on volunteers. Yet unprogrammed Quaker meetings, with their emphasis on the ministry of every Friend, may hesitate to create roles that place responsibility for vital aspects of the meeting on paid staff.

Committee members, religious educators and youth workers (paid and volunteer), meeting clerks and interested Friends are invited to this online conversation to explore why, whether and how to invest in paid staff to support ministry to children, youth and families. You will come away with principles, considerations, and connections to move forward in your meeting.



  • What models of paid support for child and youth programs are used by unprogrammed Friends meetings at the monthly, quarterly or yearly meeting level?
  • How do meetings benefit (or not) from having paid staff for education and ministry to children, youth, and families?
  • What roles do RE staff play in education and pastoral care of families? What roles do RE committees play?
  • How can we help our Meeting community gather around children’s religious education?
  • How can QREC support Friends who feel called to RE ministry in monthly meetings? 

Conversation Starters:

  • Melinda Wenner Bradley, Director of programs, Philadelphia YM
  • Elizabeth Freyman, Curricuulm Coordinator, Abuquerque Friends Meeting
  • Keenan Lorenzato, Youth Program Coordinator, Pacific Yearly Meeting


  • Andrew Wright, Youth and Children’s Ministries Coordinator, Durham Friends Meeting, NCYMC


Learn more: Visit the QREC Resource Library and subscribe to our announcements

An Introduction

The Quaker Religious Education Collaborative (QREC) is an international, cross-branch, grassroots network of Friends sharing a stewardship for lifelong Quaker faith formation through religious education. We formed in April 2014 and now serve more than 300 Friends in our network. We actively engage and support each other across languages and continents. We gather for regional and annual conferences and offer monthly Conversation Circles via an online conferencing platform. 

Steering Circle

We share leadership as part of our collaborative mission, making decisions using the Quaker ‘sense of the meeting’ process, sitting in expectant, worshipful waiting for the emergence of shared truth. Read more…

Working Circles

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Our work  takes place in ‘circles’ or small groups of Friends who labor on a common task, usually meeting by video conference due to the geographic diversity of the membership. Read more…

The Resource Library

Finders Guide, a sampling of the collection

The QREC Resource Library is a place to share lessons and other educational information in support of our work as Quaker religious educators. This library is a forum for curricula, articles, videos and other educational materials on Quaker themes. You will also find principles, policies and procedures to strengthen operation of your child, youth and adult religious education programs.

Children's Education

Adult Education


African Quaker Library

Youth Education

Small Meetings

Young Adult Friends

Biblioteca QREC


Find renewal, companionship, and help for nitty gritty issues in Quaker religious education, all the while opening spaces for Spirit to work and listening together for God’s way forward.

QREC holds an annual conference and retreat. In addition we hold online Conversation Circles and post other religious education events as we learn about them.

Conversation Circles

Online conferences for Quaker religious educators to share about their work. Conversations are scheduled for two sessions per topic to encourage international participation.  Join the conversation…

Other Events

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Religious education events of interest to Quakers from all parts of the world. Please let us know about upcoming online or in-person events happening in your area. See the list of upcoming events…

Love at the Heart

Spiritual Practices


Active Caring

Quaker Family Culture

Finding the Light

Faith at Home

Home is the heart of faith formation for all families. This is especially true for Friends. As an experiential religion, Quakerism is best learned through living in loving community. Indeed, the vast majority of faith formation for our young Friends happens at home in the busy swirl of daily life.

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Get Involved

QREC depends on all of us sharing our gifts and skills as religious educators. Here are some of the ways you can get involved…