Doctor Martin Luther wrote the Small Catechism in 1529 in order to help parents teach their children the basic truths of the Christian faith. The word “catechism” means that the teaching takes place through a set of questions and answers. This little book has become a classic of Christian literature and is used to instruct children in thousands of Christian churches around the world.

The six main parts of Christian doctrine that are covered in this book are:

  1. The Ten Commandments.
  2. The Apostles Creed.
  3. The Lord’s Prayer.
  4. The Sacrament of Holy Baptism.
  5. Confession and the Office of the Keys.
  6. The Sacrament of the Altar.

This course will summarize the teachings contained in this book and prepare students to use it to teach children.

Course Objectives

The objectives of this course are to help students:

  1. Gain a clear, solid knowledge of the six key parts of Christian teaching contained in the Small Catechism.
  2. Learn how to apply these important teachings to the faith and life of a Christian.
  3. Become better prepared to teach the Small Catechism to others.


  • This course is open to any GBI student.
  • This course is an elective course in all three certificate programs.
  • All students who enroll in this course should have a basic understanding of the Bible.
  • In order to receive credit for this course, the student must be in attendance for at least 75% of the instruction periods, actively participate in the instruction periods when present, and complete on time and in a satisfactory manner any assignments and/or tests given by the instructor.

Before Class Preparation

Class members will read and reflect on the assigned pages/questions and complete the study guide for each lesson.

In Class Procedures

The instructor will lead and guide a discussion of the study guide material with the students (through a translator, if necessary) and assign the new preparation material for the next lesson. The instructor will give the final exam at the conclusion of the class.

Teaching Materials

Luther’s Small Catechism with Explanation by Dr. Martin Luther

Luther’s Small Catechism Study Guide (bilingual edition) by Dr. James G. Witt, III

Course Length

The course will generally take 30 hours of instruction time in 15 2-hour lessons plus a final exam.

Last modified March 22, 2022: init (bf3ceed)