OACE Pathways to Formation

Four Learning Paths

We all want what's best for the young people in our lives. When God calls us to serve in youth ministry we may not always feel like we have the knowledge or ability to provide young people with the guidance and mentorship that they need. Recognizing that not everyone enters into ministry with the same gifts and background, the Office of Adolescent Catechesis and Evangelization offers a variety of formation pathways to help those who minister with young people and provide them with the flexibility to be trained in a wide range of formation areas.

The HEART learning path is geared towards all volunteers and key leaders and is required to be completed before moving onto the other learning paths/formation areas which build upon and deepen one understanding of many of the initial material presented there.

  • Download a PDF copy of the OACE Formation Pathways Overview.
  • Download a PDF copy of the Formation Roadmap
  • Download a PDF copy of the OACE Course Release Timeline

Twelve Formation Areas

Each of the four pathways to formation is comprised of three formation areas. Together these 12 formation areas will provide a robust formation opportunity for volunteers and key leaders alike. Click on each of the icons to learn more about that particular learning path/formation area.

HEART Learning Path

Disciple Formation  Area - Formation for living and serving as a disciple in youth ministry.

Witness Formation  Area - Formation for living as a witness of Christ to young people.​​​​​

Mentor Formation Area - Formation for accompanying young people and families.

HEAD Learning Path

Evangelist Formation Area - Formation for embracing and cultivating a mindset of practical evangelization.

Catechist Formation Area - Formation for comprehending the ministry of catechesis and the role of parents, the parish, and the catechist.

Liturgist Formation Area -  Liturgical and sacramental formation for those serving in youth ministry.


HANDS Learning Path

Missionary Formation Area - Explore the call to mission and the development of missiology.

Advocate Formation Area - Understand advocacy and how to advocate for youth and families.

Apostle Formation Area - Analyze the apostolic nature of the church and the function of the lay apostolate.


HABITS Learning Path

Administrator Formation Area - Comprehend and apply essential technical, human, and conceptual administration skills. 

Organizer Formation Area - Learn a  practical approach to strategic planning and team management.

Communicator Formation Area - Explore necessary skills to effectively communicate in a variety of settings.


Formation Roadmap

Download a PDF of the Formation Roadmap

Step 1 - Complete the HEART Learning Path

  • These three formation areas are available on-demand and can be done in any order.
  • This learning path is required before you can take courses in the other learning paths.

Step 2 - Determine Your Formation Needs

  • Identify formation areas you need to develop to best serve in your ministry role.
  • Make a personalized plan to work through the various formation areas/learning paths.

Step 3 - Take Courses as Needed/On-demand

  • After the HEART learning path, there is no set order you must take courses in.
  • Each formation area will provide unique knowledge and skills in a specific area.
  • Equivalencies can be requested for past formation or education courses previously taken.

Step 4 - Earn Learning Path Recognition

  • Completing each Learning Path will earn you a training certificate.
  • Completing all four Learning Paths will make you eligible to apply for certification.