Formation Toward Christian Ministry

The Formation Toward Christian Ministry (FTCM) program offers basic theology and spiritual development to Catholic adults who want to deepen their commitment to Jesus and more fully answer their baptismal call to service as a mature disciple. As a core program offered by the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston, FTCM provides authentic Catholic teachings taught by approved instructors with Masters or Doctoral degrees in theological disciplines. There are several formation programs within the Archdiocese that require FTCM as either a portion of their overall program or as a pre-requisite for entry into the program. These include, among others, catechist formation, catechetical leader formation, and youth ministry leader formation.

Information about Summer Intensive Program
Schedule for Fall 2017
Schedule & Registration Form for Semester 1 Fall 2017 or Register for Semester 1 Online
Schedule & Registration Form for Semester 2 Fall 2017
Schedule & Registration Form for Semester 3 Fall 2017

Who should take FTCM?

All Catholic Adults who are:

  • Seeking greater understanding of their faith
  • Already engaged in ministry
  • Discerning their call to church ministry

FTCM provides the theological content courses required for Diocesan certification as a catechist. In addition, FTCM is a pre-requisite for Catechetical Leadership preparation, Youth Ministry Leadership training, and Diocesan certification as a liturgist.

Program Overview and Courses

FTCM is a 108-clock hour process delivered over the course of three semesters. Classes meet on weekday evenings or in all- day Saturday format, depending on parish request. Each class session includes prayer, content presentation, and group dynamics. Each semester also includes participation in a Day of Reflection as a means to integrate content into daily living. A completion ceremony, at which the Bishop presides, concludes the three-semester course of study.

Semester 1

Introduction to Scripture Basic concepts regarding reading Scripture 10 hours
Old Testament Navigate through and apply the Old Testament 10 hours
New Testament Know, understand, and apply the New Testament 10 hours
Day of Reflection: Biblical Spirituality Allowing Scripture to saturate our experience of prayer 6 hours

Semester 2

Catholic Beliefs Basic concepts in Christian theology and doctrine 10 hours
Christology Who the Church understands Jesus to be 10 hours
Sacraments The Liturgy and the Sacraments 10 hours
Day of Reflection: Ecclesial Spirituality Allowing the Church and our membership in it to shape our experience of prayer 6 hours


Semester 3

Morality Living as a Catholic Christian disciple 10 hours
Church History 1 From the Resurrection to the Reformation 10 hours
Church History 2 From the Reformation to Today 10 hours
Day of Reflection: Missionary Spirituality Connecting our vocation to mission to our experience of prayer 6 hours

Can Courses be Taken Online?

All 9 courses that are a part of FTCM may be taken online through the University of Dayton's Virtual Learning Community for Faith Formation (VLCFF).Information about that program can be found at http://vlcff.udayton.edu 

One cannot do individual classes in this way, only entire courses. Fees for courses taken through the University of Dayton are independent of any fees paid to the Archdiocese. Monetary credits cannot be transferred between the Archdiocese and the University. Days of Reflection can only be done in-person in the Archdiocese.

Textbooks/Materials

Books are an essential tool in FTCM. There are some books that participants will be expected to have present with them and to have read in preparation for each session.

Participants are welcome to choose either paper books or, when available, e-books. Participants using e-books are advised to make sure that the book is downloaded to their reading devices prior to arriving as there is no guarantee of consistent access to the internet via Wi-Fi.

Required Books for Every FTCM Class

  • A Catholic Bible
  • The Catechism of the Catholic Church

One is free to acquire these books from wherever one wants. The Catechism can, for example, be found on most online book retailers, including Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Any Catholic edition of the Bible is acceptable for use. 

Additional Required Books

Each of the nine courses that are a part of FTCM have at least one other additional book that is required for that course. These books are not available for purchase from the Office of Evangelization and Catechesis and must be acquired elsewhere. Both Amazon.com and BarnesAndNoble.com carry all of the required books in their online stores. Links are given below. Additionally, at least three local Catholic bookstores have indicated that they plan to stock each of these books as well. They are Our Lady of Guadalupe Store, 13107-D West Bellfort, Sugar Land, TX 77478; The Sacco Company, 2323 San Jacinto St., Houston, Texas 77002; and Houston Catholic Books and Gifts, 7902 Loutta Road, Spring, TX 77379. The list of these books, by course, follows:

 

Introduction to Scripture

Harrington, Daniel J., S.J. How do Catholics Read the Bible? Rowman and Littlefield, Publishers. 2005 ISBN: 0742548716; ISBN-13: 978-0742548718 (Available form Amazon and Barnes and Noble)

Old Testament

Boadt, Lawrence. Ed. Richard Clifford and Daniel Harrington, Reading the Old Testament Paulist Press 2012. 2nd Edition ISBN: 0809147807; ISBN-13: 978-0-8091-4780-9 (Available from Amazon and Barnes and Noble)
Dowley, Tim The Student Bible Atlas Augsburg Fortress Publishers, 2015 ISBN: 1506400108; ISBN-13: 978-1506400105 (Available from Amazon and Barnes and Noble)

New Testament

Carmody, Timothy R. Reading the Bible (A Study Guide) Paulist Press 2004 ISBN: 0809141892; ISBN-13: 978-0809141890 (Available from Amazon and Barnes and Noble)
Dowley, Tim The Student Bible Atlas Augsburg Fortress Publishers, 2015 ISBN: 1506400108; ISBN-13: 978-1506400105 (Available from Amazon and Barnes and Noble)

Catholic Beliefs

Pilarczyk, Daniel E. Being Catholic St. Anthony Messenger Press, 2006. ISBN: 0867167084; ISBN-13: 978-0867167085 (Available from Amazon and Barnes and Noble)

Christology

Luttenberger, Gerard H. Who do you Say that I Am? An Introduction to Christology CreateSpace (Self-Publishing), 2012 ISBN: 1466384344; ISBN-13: 978-1466384347 (Available from Amazon and Barnes and Noble)

Sacraments

Stasiak, Kurt Sacramental Theology: Means of Grace, Ways of Life Loyola Press, 2001. ISBN: 0829417214; ISBN-13: 978-0829417210 (Available from Amazon and Barnes and Noble)
Mick, Lawrence E. Understanding the Sacraments Today (Revised Edition) Liturgical Press, 2006. ISBN: 0814629253; ISBN-13: 978-0814629253 (Available from Amazon and Barnes and Noble)

Morality

Connors, Russell B Christian Morality: In the Breath of God (Catholic Basics: A Pastoral Ministry Series) Loyola Press, 2001 ISBN: 0829417222; ISBN-13: 978-0829417227 (Available from Amazon and Barnes and Noble)

Church History 1

Vidmar, John, OP. The Catholic Church Through the Ages: A History Paulist Press. 2005. ISBN: 0809142341: ISBN-13: 978-0809142347 (Available from Amazon and Barnes and Noble)
  OR  
Vidmar, John, OP. The Catholic Church Through the Ages: A History, Second Edition Paulist Press. 2014. ISBN: 0809149044: ISBN-13: 978-0809149049 (Available from Amazon and Barnes and Noble)

Church History 2

McGonigle, Thomas A History of The Christian Tradition: From the Reformation to the Present Paulist Press. 1996. ISBN: 0809136481; ISBN-13: 978-0809136483 (Available from Amazon and Barnes and Noble)

Contact Information

Brian Garcia-Luense
Email Brian Garcia-Luense
713-741-8795