CATECHIST FORMATION AND CERTIFICATION

The Certificate Program for
Parish Catechetical Leaders

Diocese of Colorado Springs


This Certificate Program has been developed for the Directors and Coordinators of formation programs within the Diocese of Colorado Springs, whether full or part time staff or volunteer. This includes directors and coordinators of:

  • Sacramental Preparation Programs
  • Preschool and Elementary Religious Education programs
  • Youth Ministry
  • Adult Formation Classes
  • The RCIA Process

In an effort to promote and provide quality lifelong formation to the faithful, we recognize the importance of educating and supporting our Parish Catechetical Leaders in their efforts. This program utilizes The Effective DRE series, a joint project of NCCL and Loyola Press. The material is based on the National Certification Standards for Professional Parish Directors of Religious Education and on the core certification standards of the newly adopted National Certification Standards for Lay Ecclesial Ministers.

There are two separate series in the Certificate Program - Skills Development Series and Theology Series.

The Skills Development Series addresses the basic competencies required to effectively run a Parish Program. The courses include:

  • Developing a Parish Program
  • Understanding Catechesis
  • Building Community
  • Communicating Effectively
  • Forming Ministerial Relationships
  • Keeping Records and Budgets
  • Maintaining Professional Balance
  • Recruiting and Training Volunteer Catechists
  • Catechizing for a Just World

The Theology Series provides an introduction and orderly understanding and interpretation of the truths of revelation. The courses include:

  • Ecclesiology
  • Mary and the Saints
  • Theological Reflection
  • Church History
  • Morality
  • Sacramental Theology
  • Scripture
  • Ecumenism
  • Christology

 Along with these we will include courses on Multiculturalism and Protecting God’s Children.

The Core Certification Standards for both series are:

  • Personal and Spiritual Maturity
  • Lay Ecclesial Ministry Identity
  • Roman Catholic Theology
  • Pastoral Praxis
  • Professional Practice

 Two certificates, one in each series, will complete the program. All Participants in the program are responsible for keeping and verifying their records. When all requirements for a series have been met, the participant must have their records approved by their Pastor/Parish Administrator and then submit copies of them to the Office of Total Catholic Education at the Diocesan Catholic Pastoral Center. The TCE office will then keep records of all applications for and certificates issued. 

The Certificate Program for Volunteer Catechists

Diocese of Colorado Springs


This Certificate Program has been developed for the volunteer catechists involved in parish formation programs within the Diocese of Colorado Springs. This includes:

  • Sacramental Preparation Programs
  • Preschool and Elementary Religious Education Programs
  • Middle School and Youth Ministry
  • Adult Formation Classes
  • The RCIA Process

 In an effort to promote and provide quality lifelong formation to the faithful, we recognize the importance of educating and supporting our volunteer catechists in their ministries. The program for Basic Certification utilizes the Echoes of Faith series, developed and sponsored by NCCL and produced by Tabor Publishing/RCL. This is a video-assisted resource that familiarizes the catechist with the foundations of Catholic doctrine and tradition and summarizes for them the principles of sound catechetical theory. The Diocesan Resource Center has three sets of this program, including one Spanish language set, for parish use.

The program is divided into three sections. The first section includes classes in:

  • Getting Started as a Catechist
  • The Roles of the Catechist
  • The Person of the catechist
  • Introduction to the Learner
The Theological classes include:

  • I Believe/We Believe
  • Liturgy and Sacraments
  • Introduction to the Scriptures
  • Prayer and Spirituality
  • Catholic Morality
The Methodology classes are age appropriate sessions that help the catechist understand the age level they are teaching and suggest methods and activities to help them in the classroom.

In addition to the classes, catechists must attend one Spiritual Retreat a year.

The requirement for Basic Certification will be 30 classroom hours divided into 6 classroom hours of basic catechetical instruction, 20 classroom hours of theology and 4 classroom hours of methodology. An Intermediate Certificate will be issued with completion of 15 additional classroom hours, 10 of which must be in theology, and a retreat (a total of 45 hours). An Advanced Certificate will be issued with the completion of 15 additional classroom hours, 10 of which must be in theology, and a retreat (a total of 60 hours).

Individual parishes or regions can utilize this program in ongoing sessions to provide formation to their catechists. Catechists wishing to become certified will be responsible for keeping and verifying their own records. When all requirements for the basic program have been met, the catechist must have their records approved by the Director or Coordinator of the formation program they are involved in. The Director or Coordinator will then keep the original records at the parish and send copies to the Office of Total Catholic Education at the Diocesan Catholic Pastoral Center to request certification for the catechist. The TCE will then approve and issue certificates back to the parish.