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Our Courses

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We run the CBU (previously CBM) online course every year.

In this course, you will learn how to write and/or illustrate high-quality, biblically-based, picture storybooks in a way that makes the Gospel of Jesus relevant and familiar to children in their own culture.

This course is focused on producing illustrated storybooks for children among the unreached people groups of the world.

CBU is part of the University of the Nations (YWAM) and is worth 5 credits towards a UofN degree. YWAM membership is not required to enrol in CBU.

Our next CBU will begin in September 2024

We have a NEW additional module on

Early Childhood Development for Writers & Illustrators! 

impact the next generation!

& be inspired

​Join us to

enhance your creativity,

grow your skills,

to create children’s books

that communicate the good news across cultures and

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Application for 2024 is now open!

WRITING COURSE

 

When is it?

September 9th - October 4th, 2024

 

If writing is your thing and you’d like to write a Biblically-based story that would communicate the love of the Father to unreached children in a culturally relevant way, then this course is for you.

 

How much is it?

$100 USD

We offer scholarships for students from World B and C Countries. 

 

ILLUSTRATING COURSE

 

When is it?

October 7th - November 29th, 2024

 

If drawing and illustrating is your thing and you’d like to learn how to illustrate children’s storybooks that can impact the unreached children in a culturally relevant way then this course is for you.

 

How much is it?

$200 USD

We offer scholarships for students from World B and C Countries. 

or you can do BOTH! for only $250 USD

Here's an incredible story of fruitfulness from one of our students

Students' Feedback...

"I learned a lot about storytelling and illustration techniques. The CBM online seminar taught me how to reach unreached children."

CINDY, HONG KONG

"I found the course to be an amazing and wonderful challenge... The information is presented by some of the most caring and experienced instructors in this industry."

MATT, USA

"The idea of collaborating with the Holy Spirit to create projects with Him that bring Him Glory and invite others to experience the Kingdom was huge... "

JOHANNA, WRITING AND ILLUSTRATING FOR CHILDREN IN TUNISIA

"It was very satisfying for me to have such a comprehensive course taught by Christians... It was good to hear things from the right point of view."

SUSANNA, BURKINA FASO

The CBM online Seminar was truly a godsend at a point in my life where it was crucial to push forward in my journey on writing  Christian Children's Literature. The sessions were practical and packed with wisdom and it was structured to push us to apply what we were learning in the sessions. The community interactions really inspired me to open my eyes to the very real need around me and to pray for how God would put to use what He has equipped me with through this seminar. Many thanks to the entire CBM team that took personal interest in each of us and rooted for us and guided us along this journey. 

NIKITA, INDIA

Check out some of our student's work...

Meet the Instructors...

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Avril Van Der Merwe

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Avril van der Merwe is the author of How Cheetah Got His Tears (Puffin Books, 2017), Once Upon a Rhinoceros (Puffin Books, 2018), and I Don’t Want to be a Hyena (Puffin Books, 2019), Don’t Be Shy, Bushbaby (Puffin Books, 2021), as well as several prize-winning children’s stories set in Africa. She developed a love of illustrated children’s fiction during a decade working as a Montessori pre-primary teacher in Cape Town, and high school English teacher in Johannesburg. Avril grew up in South Africa, but now lives in Seattle, USA, where she works as an inspirational writer and speaker, while continuing to write children’s stories and adult fiction. She also holds a PhD in Biblical Studies. An ordained Pastor through the Fellowship of Christian Assemblies.

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Kyla W

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Kyla is a professional children's book illustrator based in Manitoba, Canada. With a background in missions and creating contextualized resources for unreached people groups, she has developed a skillset to bring stories to life with her art. Kyla strives for excellence and versatility in her work, so she can be flexible to each new project’s needs. Her heart is that she would pursue deeper obedience to God with her artistic voice and that the works she creates would serve to edify and inspire her readers.

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Yuko Green

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Yuko is an illustrator and author who lives and works in the Big Island of Hawai’i. She has written and/or illustrated more than thirty five children books and many children activity books, mostly with Hawaiian themes. Her illustrated picture book: Tales of Tutu Nene was awarded the “Best Illustrator” category Bronze Medal in 2012 Moonbeam Book Award, nonfiction book: Winter is for Whales won the 2008 IPPY Book Award in Children’s Book category, and Over on the Island received the 2008 Moonbeam Children’s Book Award. 

 

Besides writing and illustrating children’s books, Yuko enjoys teaching art at various settings, from kindergarten to university level. Yuko graduated with a MA in Illustration from Savannah College of Arts and Design (SCAD), and a BA in Art from the University of Washington. Yuko is a member of the Society of Children’s Book  Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI). Yuko has taught "Children's Book Illustration" at the University of the Nations (YWAM), 

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Myra D

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Myra is the founder and team leader of Create Seeds. She graduated with a BD in graphic design with honours from the Swinburne National School of Design, Melbourne. She quickly got a job offer at a major children’s book publisher, Hinkler Books in Melbourne, Australia. During that time she had illustrated 4 educational books that were published and distributed nationally in Australia. 

 

In the last 3 years, she had illustrated two other Children’s Story Books, ‘Stella the Rosella’ and ‘The Great Victor’. Both books have been published. ‘The Great Victor’ has won a gold medal award from the ‘Readers’ Favorite’, an international book award contest.

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Rick L

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Rick grew up on a pig farm, in Canada, with a love for animals and drawing, which he began as soon as he could hold a pencil. After achieving a Bachelor of Fine Arts at Calvin University, he worked as a freelance artist while also training bird of prey in various wildlife parks. However, after feeling a tug on his heart to “teach kids about life through art” he pursued a degree in art education at the University of British Columbia. His career as an art teacher opened up a variety of opportunities to teach in both Canada and the USA, as well as on the mission field in Papua New Guinea, Tanzania, and Cambodia, all with his wife, Becky, and their 4 sons. He now uses his gifts for creative teaching and art to reach people with “the news of the FULLEST life.” This journey has led him and his family to YWAM where he now serves with Create Seeds as an illustrator and teacher.

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Nathan Maetzener 

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Nathan was a former staff of Create International. He has illustrated contextualised artwork for different unreached people groups including the Bengalis and Iranians.

 

After his time with Create International, Nathan was pursuing a career in the animation industry. He graduated from Max the Mutt College of Animation, Art and Design.

 

Nathan has over 6 years experience working on animated content for television. He has worked on series such as Final Space and Bravest Warriors in the animation department and also has experience working as a storyboard artist. He is attracted to fun and challenging new projects and always on the lookout to collaborate with others that want to produce quality content. Presently he's storyboarding for atomic cartoons for various series for television and streaming services.

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Graham Fleming

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Illustrator, designer, storyteller, husband, and father. Graham Lewis Fleming is a creative catalyst, varied in his approach and pursuits. He leads the School of Illustration and practicums at U of N. He leads workshops on digital art, visual storytelling, and publishing children's books. He has guided children as young as five years old in making their own books. He continues to further his own education with online courses. Graham makes his home in Tokyo, Japan.

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Liesbeth McClure

Liesbeth McClure, originally from the Netherlands, now resides in Australia with her husband. Liesbeth’s expertise in Early Child Development stems from both her career as a YWAM registered nurse, and from raising her three beautiful daughters. Liesbeth has a Diploma in Applied Science as well as a Graduate Diploma of Education and is a primary school teacher. Liesbeth feels blessed to be working with children of all ages as she watches the beauty of their growth and she finds great joy in playing an active role in their development at all stages. 

 

When not teaching, Liesbeth can be found reading, crocheting, baking sourdough bread, creating beauty and fruitfulness out of chaos in her garden, playing with her pets, or getting her dose of Vitamin Sea from the ocean.

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