This paper proposes and validates a three degrees of freedom element formulation that accounts for torsion and transverse bending of three-dimensional curved elements in explicit numerical analyses methods such as Dynamic Relaxation. Using finite difference modeling, in-plane distortions and moments, the increment of twist (and hence torsion) and out-of-plane bending deformations are determined. Numerical stability and convergence limits of the element are discussed. Two sets of circular arc test cases validate the accuracy of the element against theoretical and six degrees of freedom finite-element results. This element is widely applicable and found in strained grid shells and spline stressed membranes.