About international Confirmation Training
70 adolescents from Finland and from all over the world are admitted to each Confirmation Training course in the order they sign up.
Structure of the Confirmation Training
The Confirmation Training contains three modules:
The preliminary module consists of taking part in the activities of your home parish. If you are an expatriate Finn, you can take part in the activities of your local Lutheran parish. The second module is completed as remote assignments sent out during the winter. The third module is a nine-day camp in Finland.
1. Participation in parish activities
When you receive your first camp letter in October/November, we will also send a letter to you to be given to your home parish. This is to inform your parish that you are going to attend the Confirmation Training provided by LNK – The Finnish Association for Children and Youth and to ask your parish to help you attend their activities.
It is the duty of the parish to help you participate in their activities to complete the preliminary module. However, if this does not work out, we have our own instructions on how to participate in the activities of your home parish.
To assist you in this module, the Church Council has prepared a Parish Contact Card (seurakuntayhteyskortti) for organisations providing confirmation training. This card should be filled out with two pieces of information: the date of the first meeting scheduled between the confirmand and the parish worker, and a plan on how the confirmand is going to participate in the activities of the parish.
Expatriate Finns are required to use the Parish Contact Card, too, and it is available in English. If you cannot participate in the activities of an Evangelical Lutheran Church, you can complete the module by taking part in the activities of another Christian church. If this is not possible either, you can participate in the online activities of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Finnish or Swedish.
2. Remote assignments
All the participants of the confirmation training have to complete the same remote assignments: a letter (October/November), an email letter and an invitation to the Moodle learning platform (February) and a letter (May). You have to find out whether you have attended religious education and, if you have, what it has been like. If you have not attended religious education, you get a few extra assignments. You are considered to be completed each assignment when you have answered all the questions. If you do not hand in your remote assignments before the camp, you will have to complete them during the camp in your free time.
3. The camp
The camps of the International Confirmation Training are held at the Partaharju Centre in Pieksämäki. The camps take place one after the other from early June to early August (in the summer on weeks 28–31).
Contact with parents
In connection with your first Confirmation Training letter, we will also send a letter to your parents. This letter will contain some basic information about the Confirmation Training and its program during the winter. It also contains a brief summary of the Confirmation Training curriculum.
Your parents have a very important role in the Confirmation Training, and we will ask them to write a letter addressed to the staff of your Confirmation Training. At the beginning of the camp, every participant will fill out a form containing important safety information such as the contact details of a close relative who can be contacted in case of emergency.
Otherwise, the camp staff does not need to contact your parents during the camp. Around one in two participants have their parents or relatives visit them at the camp on the visiting day. The visiting day has a full program so that even the participants who do not get visitors find the day rewarding. On the last day of the camp, parents and relatives are invited to attend the Confirmation Mass.
The Confirmation Mass is going to be at Partaharju Amphitheater. Confirmation photos are taken at the morning of the day and can be purchased after the Confirmation Mass. At the beginning of the Mass, the confirmands will enter the amphitheater in a procession and sit on their reserved seats at the front. We will give more detailed instructions before the start of the Mass. The Mass will take about an hour and a half, and it will be conducted bilingually (in Finnish and in English). Taking photos is allowed from your own seats.
After the confirmation, one godparent of each confirmand will be asked to go and stand behind their godchild. They will bless their godchildren together with the teachers of the confirmation training. After the Mass, the confirmands will leave in a procession.
Confirmation Training staff
The International Confirmation Training provided by LNK- The Finnish Association for Children and Youth has a staff of seven employees. At least one of the employees is a pastor and one is a music teacher. The rest of the staff mostly consists of students of youth work and theology. There are three assistant teaches who are at least 18-year-old and who have served as young confirmed volunteers “Biggies” for a few times.
LNK adheres to the criteria for Confirmation Training teachers set out in the Finnish Church Order and requires that its staff has sufficient knowledge of the faith they teach.