Reformation 500


The year 2017 will mark 500 years since Martin Luther nailed his 95 thesis to the door of the All Saints’ Church church in Wittenberg, Germany on October 31, 1517, sparking the Protestant Reformation.

The following resources are recommended for congregations planning to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the Reformation in 2017. They are available to check out from Grace Presbytery’s Resource Center; studies are available for preview and information for purchasing them is provided with the description. Contact Director of the Resource Center Leah Wyckoff ( for more information.

Group Studies

  • Growing in Grace & Gratitude lesson: Luther Learns from Paul (Congregational Ministries Publishing, PC(USA)). One session for children ages 5-10 that explores themes of the Protestant Reformation based on Ephesians 2:1-10 and Martin Luther’s story. Available as a free download from this PC(USA) Store link
  • Papa Luther: A Graphic Novel and Leader Guide (Augsburg Fortress). The exciting story of Martin Luther, told through the eyes of his children Hans and Magda in a colorful, 88-page “comic book.” Geared especially toward children ages 8 to 13, but will intrigue all ages. A free downloadable leader guide helps kids connect with the story. Purchase from Augsburg Fortress.
  • The Protestant Reformation (Congregational Ministries Publishing, PC(USA)). Five-session study for youth and young adults that examines church history, including a look at Martin Luther’s life and his impact on the Reformation and a session on the life of John Calvin and his work, as well as other men and women who were faithful to God’s call. Download available for purchase from the PC(USA) Store.

For Adults:

  • The Protestant Reformations (Congregational Ministries Publishing, PC(USA)). Six-session study by Donald McKim that explores the multiple Reformations that took place during the sixteenth century, the theological issues that divided them, and their influence on our life of faith today in the US. Participant book and leader guide available for purchase from the PC(USA) Store.
  • Reformation Questions, Reformation Answers: 95 Key Events and Issues (WJK). In an easy-to-use question-and-answer style, this book by Donald McKim highlights the key facts, people, and theologies of the Protestant Reformation, as well as major legacies of the historical movement.

Congregational Resources

  • Reformation 500 Sourcebook (Augsburg Fortress). Guidebook for congregations marking the 500th anniversary of the Reformation in 2017. Includes ideas for planning worship, education events, music festivals, service projects and connections with other Christians, including Roman Catholics. Available for purchase from Augsburg Fortress.
  • A History of Christianity: Episode 4 “Reformation: The Individual Before God.” One-hour video on DVD with Oxford history professor Diarmaid MacCulloch that explores the Reformation and how a faith based on obedience and authority gave birth to one based on individual conscience.
  • Luther. Full-length movie on DVD, released in 2003, that retells the story of Martin Luther and his efforts to reform the church, which led to the Protestant Reformation.
  • Rick Steves’ Luther and the Reformation. DVD of travel guide Rick Steves as he follows the footsteps of Martin Luther—distilling the story of that bold monk, the chaos of the Reformation, and the larger political, economic, and theological context into an engaging, inspiring, and enlightening program. Includes the public television special on Luther and the Reformation (one hour) and bonus features.
  • John Calvin: His Life and Legacy video study. World-renowned scholars and Reformed church leaders come together to tell the power story of the 16th century pastor John Calvin. Five-session study includes video filmed in stunning photography in Dordrecht and Geneva and brings together the history, the beauty and the context of Calvin’s time and teaching.



Grace Presbytery will post information about this important anniversary on this page throughout 2017. There will be articles and essays, including those that are part of the “Theological Conversation” series sponsored by Presbyterian  Mission Agency.

Click here to read about the Theological Conversations series

Click here to read the first paper in the Theological Conversations series, “Theology and Bravery” by Laura Cheifetz (opens as a .pdf)

Click here to read the second paper in the Theological Conversations series, “The First 500 Years,” by Jerry Andrews.

 Click here to read the third paper in the Theological Conversations series, “Words Matter,” by Mary Beth Anton.