The Lutheran Initiative

Lutheran schools have a rich history of providing Bible-based Christian education to children and families. The Character Formation Project is quickly becoming a partner for more and more Lutheran schools seeking a program and tools to intentionally focus on character growth.

Here’s why Lutheran schools are choosing to join the Christian Character Formation Project:

1.  CCFP grows character from the inside out. Our unique approach cultivates a sense of Greater Purpose and ultimately creates internal motivation. Character that grows not because someone says it must; rather, growth is motivated and guided by the power of the Holy Spirit working within the Christian (Hebrews 13:20, 21).

2.  CCFP effectively shapes school culture. We equip each student with the skills to grow personally, to collaborate with others, and make good decisions. In addition, through our collaborative approach, CCFP helps teachers gain a better understanding of who children are outside the context of school, improving communication between schools and families. Our fully integrated mobile platform and mobile app allows students, staff and families to embark on the character formation journey together. As a result, character growth becomes embedded into the life and culture of the school.

3.  Low prep time, big impact. Teaching CCFP lessons 15 minutes a day, four days per week is a recommended standard. The CCFP lesson plan framework found on our platform allows teachers to significantly reduce their prep time – in one instance to just 30 minutes.

4.  Learn from other schools. A unique space on the platform dedicated to Lutheran schools contains all the lessons, important Lutheran-specific materials, and information in one convenient place for all Lutheran schools in the Project network. Then, each partner school will have an opportunity to send up to two people to a character formation retreat after the first year of implementation to reflect on and share what they are learning while engaged in the Project.

5.  CCFP is committed to accessibility and affordability. We envision a world with unlimited opportunity and freedom for all children to pursue their full potential to fulfill Greater Purpose. At the same time, we’re aware of the challenges of limited financial resources in schools. For this reason, we’re working to engage generous philanthropic partners who are willing to invest in schools that are committed to the Christian Character Formation Project.

Learn how other schools use CCFP!

Download our case studies and what some of our partners say about the project:

Christ Community Lutheran School, St. Louis, MO
St. Paul’s Lutheran School, Jackson, MO
What partners are saying

What Others Say | Homeschool Content

Thought-provoking questions lead to meaningful discussions:

“One of the best parts of homeschooling is having the freedom to focus on growing character in our children.  It is a true blessing to be the primary influence in the lives of our children and CFP makes it easier to build a solid foundation grounded in Jesus.  I wholeheartedly recommend this program. It is engaging, well rounded and I love the thought provoking questions.  The lessons have started many deep discussions.”  – Lisa Morison, Homeschool Parent 

“THANK YOU for creating this curriculum!  It has been an absolute blessing and honor to go through this with my kids. It has given me a framework for discipleship in our homeschool in an engaging platform that truly reinforces character through the scriptures and has given us a launching point to serving each other and our community. I’ve been blown away by the discussions we’ve had, we always look forward to the videos and songs, and though we haven’t done all of the service projects and optional enrichment, this has truly enriched our homeschool!” – Shannon Dennett, Homeschool Parent, Castle Rock CO

What Others Say | Christian Content

Read about the Christian Character Formation Project in The Lutheran Reporter: ‘Gospel-driven’ approach to character formation helps students find identity in Christ

“Things are going very well with the Character Formation Project. Teachers have been fantastic and receptive to the training and prep work connected with it; that’s vital to the program’s impact and success. Teachers are using the language of the virtues and relating student situations to to the lessons they use when working with students.”

– Paul Marinko, principal, St. Paul’s Lutheran School, Fort Wayne, Indiana

“Our school has piloted this program for more than a year, and there may be no better curriculum out there to build Christian character in our students. The curriculum has the power to transform our schools as we advance the kingdom of God through our students and their families… I am convinced that there is nothing more important that we do in our schools than teach kids about their Identity in Christ, their Purpose of making God known in the world, and how these truths play out in their everyday Actions to advance the Greater Purpose of God’s kingdom. This is as good as gold for our Lutheran schools.”

– Jonathan Butterfield, executive director, Christ Community Lutheran School, St. Louis


“The Christian Character Formation Project grounds one’s Identity in God’s sure and certain Word, while exploring one’s Purpose and activating one’s faith in love towards God and others. I have personally witnessed how the CCFP has transformed lives, both young and old, through the study of God’s Word.”

– Matt Hoehner, LCMS pastor and contributing CCFP author


“So thankful you brought this amazing character developing curriculum to our school! I thought I’d share [A VIDEO] of what one student created and posted. I LOVE the conversations we have throughout the lessons. Thanks again for all you do.”

– Rachel Klug, 2nd grade teacher, Christ Community Lutheran School, St. Louis


“My heart for children’s ministry at The Vail Church is that children would come to know the Lord in a personal way, and that they would understand and love his Word. Working with the Character Formation Project has been such a positive experience for me personally, and for our children’s ministry! I love that the Character Formation Project shares my passion for true life-change through a personal relationship with Jesus and a focus on character-forming virtues. Not only do they offer talented curriculum writers, but they are always willing to take any steps needed to guide and train our staff and volunteers to feel confident to teach the lessons and understand the character forming process. The children enjoy the lessons each week; I am so encouraged to know that they are opening their Bibles each Sunday and engaging with biblical characters. They are challenged to recognize virtues in their lives in light of their identity in Christ, and they are learning their purpose of making him known in the world.”

– Heather Bergquist, Children’s Ministry Director, The Vail Church, Avon, CO


“I was searching for an answer to questions today’s educators face: ‘How can we as a school foster the social-emotional growth of our children? How do we equip them to handle everything on the spectrum, from praise to snubbing to name calling, and everything in between? There are programs and curricula out there that teach kids what good behavior looks like, but most of these programs miss the crux of today’s social-emotional issues: It is Christian character that produces good behavior. I’m interested in trying to build people up and help them understand that you can’t always eliminate bad behavior. It will happen among kids. The Christian Character Formation Project provides us the structure and the framework to have these conversations and empower kids to deal with every situation they encounter.”

–  Tim Mirly, Principal, St. Paul’s Lutheran School, Jackson, MO

Christian Content and Services

Supporting your journey to lasting Christian character.

When you choose the Christian Character Formation Project, your content is Christ-centered and the character formation process is motivated and guided by the Holy Spirit. Character grows not because someone insists it must; rather, growth is motivated and guided by the power of the Holy Spirit working within the Christian (Hebrews 13:20, 21).

CFP triangle
A Christ-centered, fulfilling and virtuous life is expressed when one’s God-given Identity, Purpose, and Actions are lived out fully and in complete alignment.

Here’s how our unique character formation process takes place within the Christian context:

  • With regard to Identity, the Christian materials focus on our Christian identity, linked to our status as children of God who believe in God’s promises (I John 3:1)
  • With regard to Purpose, the Christian materials address our purpose as Christians: to make God known through our serving leadership
  • Regarding our Actions, Christian acts are motivated by our Identity and Purpose. Virtues provide the framework for practicing the Christian life. Virtue is not an end in itself but rather a means to serve Greater Purpose

Activate. Experience. Internalize.The 3-step character formation process is also Biblically based, using Biblical narratives: 

  • The technique first examines what God has revealed through the protagonist (hero) of the story, putting the reader into the protagonist’s shoes for reflection. (Experience)
  • It then invites the reader to connect the hero’s story with his or her own experiences. (Internalize)
  • Finally, it encourages personal character growth, with actions motivated and guided by the Holy Spirit. (Activate)

“For this very reason, make every effort to
supplement your faith with virtue.” – 2 Peter 1:5

Christian content features:

  • 180 vivid Biblical narratives
  • 303 Facilitator Guides that provide background information about the narratives
  • 630 lesson plan sets that guide participants through the discovery questioning technique with the 3-step character formation process
  • Recommended content tailored for various age levels, PK-12
  • Expandable for all educational settings including classrooms, Sunday schools, homeschools, youth groups and after-school care programs
  • Content is supported by an intuitive online platform along with a mobile app that promotes engagement between parents, teachers, students and/or other mentors
  • Both digital and print-friendly materials
  • An excellent complement to Biblical and doctrinal studies
  • Video training modules guide users through the platform and build familiarity with the character formation process.
  • Onsite training available

Additional customization and support

Our online platform is designed to make accessing the materials convenient and affordable. It increases engagement, enables co-creation, and unlocks the potential of the collective of Character Growers.

Your subscription also can include:

  • Customization of character programming to align with your unique application or setting
  • A combination of online video training modules and onsite training by experienced, world-class trainers

Learn How to Join

Join us!

We’ll support your journey to lasting Christian character.

If you are seeking a more intentional approach to character growth for your educational setting, organization or family, we provide the tools and the community to support your journey toward strong, internally motivated character that transcends time and consequences.

The Character Formation Project is used in a wide variety of educational settings: Schools, homes and homeschooling organizations, Sunday schools, churches, and professional development settings. We count nearly 125,000 students and 35,000 teachers who have experienced the program through our partnership agreements. Approximately 5,000 Character Growers are connected and engaged on our delivery platform.

Our partners are using our platform to increase engagement in character formation throughout their schools and organizations. Some are customizing programming to align with their particular goals or settings.

Talk with us about customizing a subscription to fit the unique needs of your school, church or organization.


Ellen Bartling, Ph.D. | Managing Director
The Character Formation Project
20935 West Swenson Drive, Suite 101
Waukesha, Wis. 53186

Homeschool Subscription

Designed to stimulate rich conversations
and grow lasting character 
from the inside out

The Homeschool Subscription is an affordable package of digital curriculum and access to our online community of Character Growers. It was created by our team of veteran educators together with homeschool parent advisors.

Our Year 1  and Year 2 homeschool subscriptions draw from the Christian content section of our vast library. It is a Biblically based journey that equips and trains children and the adults around them to live Christ-centered, fulfilling lives that serve a Greater Purpose.

“For this very reason, make every effort to
supplement your faith with virtue.” – 2 Peter 1:5

Homeschool Subscription Features:

  • Choose Year 1 or Year 2 subscription, each with 36 lessons
  • Each lesson designed for use 4 days per week, 15 minutes per day
  • Appropriate for learners at a variety of age levels
  • Great for starting rich, meaningful conversations
  • Limited prep time
  • Digital and print-friendly materials
  • Intuitive online platform along with app for mobile use and sharing
  • Expandable for all educational settings including classrooms, Sunday schools, youth groups and after-school care programs
  • All of this for just $99!

Subscribe today!

When you join the Character Formation Project, you’re subscribing to more than behavioral training or self-improvement. You’ll grow Christ-centered, internally motivated children and families whose character transcends context and consequences.
Buy Now

Christian Character Formation Project

  • Ruth

  • Moses

  • Noah

  • Queen Esther

    Queen Esther
  • Mary

  • King David

    King David
  • Abraham

  • The Apostle Paul

    The Apostle Paul


The Christian Character Formation Project is a
Biblically based journey that equips and trains children
and the adults around them to live Christ-centered,
fulfilling lives for Greater Purpose.

Schools and OrganizationsHomeschool Lutheran Initiative

teenagers looking at book

Why Character?

Character is an internal energy that inspires us to act, restrains us from acting, and gives us the wisdom or moral compass to know when each action is appropriate. Everything we do in life is driven by our character. When character is acquired and held internally, it leads to a virtuous life, lived for a Greater Purpose.



Greater Purpose is a cause or passion we love deeply,
for which we would relinquish our own self-interest.
It is a context bigger than ourselves. The Christian Character
Formation Project 
grows character in the context of Scripture
and God’s plan for each of us here and in eternity.
The Christian’s Greater Purpose is to glorify God
and to make Him known.


Character is not what I do. It is who I am.

family looking at tablet

The Christian Character Formation Project guides participants through a unique process that deepens their understanding of Identity (who I am), Purpose (why I exist), and Actions (how my actions serve a Greater Purpose). Our process unfolds within the greater context of Scripture and the advancement of God’s plan for us here and in eternity. The result is internally held character that motivates acts of virtue.

Seven key virtues are explored and practiced throughout the process. While these virtues are an essential part of the process, virtuous living is not the end goal. Rather, virtues are a means to accomplish Greater Purpose.

Smartphone viewing Character Formation Project material


Our team has developed hundreds of vivid narratives, lesson
plans and facilitator guides specifically for Christian educational
environments. Our online platform and app for mobile devices
enable parents, teachers, students, families and other mentors
to collaborate on the character formation journey.

  • Limited prep time
  • Rich conversation starters
  • Mobile and print-friendly versions
  • Online and onsite training modules available
  • Join a community of character growers

Learn how your family, school, church or organization
can join the Character Formation Project.

Learn How to Join View Products & Content