Catechist Formation Program Requirements

The Archdiocesan Office of Evangelization and Catechesis (OEC) assists Catechetical Leaders to empower all catechists in the diocese to work towards full catechist certification. The Archdiocese encourages "all catechists shall work toward full catechist certification." The OEC offers all theological content courses and catechetics modules required for a catechist certificate. Currently, there are three levels of Catechist Certificate you can earn. Please see the actual forms to determine what hours and courses are needed for each level.

Catechist Applications Forms
Certificate Renewal Forms
Catechetical Ministry Service Award Application Form

Program Overview

The Catechist Formation program is designed to provide the necessary elements required for certification. There are 5 major components required for full Catechist certification. They are:

Theological Content 90 clock hours of theology
Catechetics Modules 20 clock hours of catechetics
Electives 20 hours of electives
Days of Prayer/Reflection 18 hours Days of Prayer/Reflection
Teaching Experience 3 years teaching experience
Human Sexuality only upon Renewal


A Level 1 Certificate can be issued for those who have completed the following number of hours:

Theological Content 30 hours
Catechetics Modules 6 hours
Days of Prayer           6 hours
Teaching Experience   1 year


A Level 2 Certificate can be issued for those who have completed the following number of hours:

Theological Content 60 clock hours of theology
Catechetics Modules 12 clock hours of catechetics
Days of Prayer/Reflection 12 hours Days of Prayer/Reflection
Teaching Experience 2 years teaching experience

 

A Level 3 Certificate can be issued for those who have completed the following number of hours:

Theological Content 90 clock hours of theology
Catechetics Modules 20 clock hours of catechetics
Electives 20 hours of electives
Days of Prayer/Reflection 18 hours Days of Prayer/Reflection
Teaching Experience 3 years teaching experience
   


Theological Content Courses (90 hours) (FTCM 3.0)
Equivalency credit can be granted for undergraduate or graduate level coursework in Theology and Education. Contact the Office at 713.741.8730 to request an evaluation of your college work.

The following courses are required to fulfill the theological content requirements for certification. Courses may be taken in any order; however, they are listed in a suggested order to best benefit catechist formation. 

Introduction to Scripture (10 hours)
This course presupposes that an individual has not had a general overview of the Bible and is interested in a more academic approach. The Introduction to Scripture course cannot cover everything one needs to know for navigating into the world of the Scriptures but one is given a few basic concepts to begin the journey. This course will focus how the Bible came about, what were some of the cultural factors which influenced the events around the writing of the Old and New Testaments, and what Church documents today tell us about the Bible. You are about to begin an interesting journey.

Old Testament (10 hours)
This course is the second of basic level introductory courses to Scripture. We recommend the courses be taken in sequence. The sequencing enables one to cultivate a strong biblical foundation for understanding and applying the Scriptures in one's life. The sequence is: (1) Introduction to the Scriptures, (2) Old Testament and (3) New Testament. This course paves the way for one to develop a deeper personal understanding and appreciation for the biblical context, structure (Canon), authoring, meaning and historical impact of the Old Testament. Participants are introduced to methods of reading biblical texts, understanding the story lines and process of interpretation with cultural contexts, and current trends in biblical research. Participants are also encouraged to respect the wholeness of the biblical texts. This approach assists one to acquire new skills and tools to navigate through the Old Testament and apply its wisdom to their spiritual lives and ministry.

New Testament (10 hours)
This course is the third of basic level introductory courses to Scripture. We recommend the courses be taken in sequence especially if one has had limited previous studies in Scripture. The sequencing enables one to cultivate a strong biblical foundation for understanding and applying the Scriptures in one's life. The sequence is: (1) Introduction to the Scriptures, (2) Old Testament and (3) New Testament. This course attempts to explore the stories in and behind the writings we call the New Testament. The course is a general overview introducing the cultural context, composition, themes and pastoral application of the New Testament accounts for growing in biblical knowledge. As in the Old Testament, we will study the texts from the threefold perspective of the World within the Text: Literature, The World behind the Text: History, and the World in Front of the Text: Our Culture. Through the study of biblical maps, articles, our text and class discussions, one can grow in New Testament knowledge, understanding and application to one's life and ministry.

Catholic Beliefs (10 hours)
This course will give a broad overview of Church doctrine with a strong emphasis on the Catechism of the Catholic Church, Daniel Pilarczyk's Being Catholic, and numerous articles by reputable Catholic authors, allowing the individual to see the relevance of the creedal statements to Christian living and showing the importance of handing down authentic doctrine to future generations. This course will enable individuals to recognize and use terms appropriately and to appreciate the function of doctrine for the Church through the ages.

Christology (10 hours)
Christianity stands on the person of Jesus Christ. Before Jesus uttered a single word or performed a single act, God revealed in this man his will for us. Jesus' very existence as fully God and completely human, excluding sin, and how Jesus is a divine person whose divine and human natures harmoniously co-exist in a mutual relationship where one neither absorbs nor divides from the other, reveals how God wants to relate to us. Jesus' very existence is a revelation from God that we are called to be in a permanent, harmonious relationship with God. Jesus' earthly ministry, climaxing in his death and Resurrection, made possible our ability to reconcile with God and become co-workers in bringing forth the Kingdom of God.This understanding of Jesus Christ is the fruit of the study of the mission and Person of Jesus Christ: Christology. This has been a central focus of study for theology since the beginning of the Church. What we believe and argue today about whom Jesus is and what he did was earned through much prayer, thought and argument. This course will enable students to learn and understand the foundations upon which all Christology rests, the theology developed from the apostolic age through the Council of Chalcedon in the fifth century A.D.

Sacraments (10 hours)
This course is an introductory overview of the theology of the sacraments, the public, liturgical prayer of the Church. The Church is never so much the Church as when it is gathered together for Liturgy. Jesus himself is Sacrament, the visible sign of the invisible God. Eucharist is THE Sacrament for it contains all that we are, all that the Church is, and all that Jesus says of God. Each of the sacraments will be discussed within the context of its role in the lives of the faithful: initiation into God's life, healing and reconciliation, and service to God's community.

Morality (10 hours)
The twenty-first century, characterized by rampant materialism and individuals' search for meaning, challenges Christians in the way they live and witness to their faith. In this course, the participant will examine the most important norms that guide a Christian way of life and the importance of the centrality of the Person of Jesus Christ in the Christian moral life. These norms will serve as the basis for a thoughtful reflection on the moral life. This reflection will acknowledge the developmental character of human moral development. The course will conclude with a personal reflection.

Church History 1 (10 hours)
Basic knowledge and deep appreciation of Church History enables us to understand how the Catholic Church has evolved through time. We see how the Holy Spirit was and continues to be present. We become familiar with men and women who attempted to define the nature and role of the Church in each period of history. The road was not easy as religious, political, economic and social tensions impacted the Church's unfolding story. Church History 1 is one of two parts of a basic introduction to the history of the Church. This course covers the period from Pentecost to the beginning of the Reformation. While we cannot cover in depth all the factors which influenced the development of the early Church we are able to begin the journey here.

Church History 2 (10 hours)
There are two parts to our Church History courses: Church History 1 and Church History 2. It is recommended that Church History 1 precede engaging in Church History 2 in order to understand the flow and development of the Church through her 2000-year-old history. Church History 2 navigates the participant from the Reformation (where Church History 1 ended) through the Second Vatican Council into the 21st century. Cultural, political, social and religious factors which influenced the Church's journey will be explored. Significant men and women emerged to support and challenge the Church's understanding of herself and her relationship with the world.

 

Catechetics Modules 
The following modules fulfill the catechetics requirements for initial and full certification. Each module will count only once towards either initial or full certification. Courses may be taken in any order, however, they are listed in a suggested order to best benefit catechist formation. The 10 (two-hour) modules are designed to include instruction regarding persons with disabilities, sensitivity to families, cultural diversity and justice issues. Instructors must use approved lesson plans and be in serviced to teach a particular module.

The Vocation of the Catechist (2 hours) – Using the United States Conference of Catholic's Bishops standards as well as the Texas Catholic Conference Guidelines for Formation of Parish Catechists, participants will discern their personal attributes that currently enhance their vocation as catechists.  Likewise, they will discern areas in which they need further study and training.  As a result of participating in this module, individuals will develop a personal growth plan to strengthen their efforts in Catechetical Ministry. 

Spirituality & Evangelization (2 hours) – Individuals will reflect on their own personal relationship with God (Christian spirituality) and how it impacts and enhances their role as evangelizers and catechists.  As a result of participating in this module, individuals will reflect on their current state of Christian spirituality and how they might strengthen it and share it with those they catechize. 

Catechetical Framework (2 hours) - Individuals will develop a personal plan to specify how they will continue to enhance their understanding of the Framework in their efforts in catechetical ministry (or Catholic School education).

Liturgical Catechesis (2 hours) – Individuals will reflect on the power of our Catholic liturgical celebrations to illustrate what we believe and how our liturgy can best be used to catechize others. 

Assessment Strategies (2 hours)– Learning the skill of assessing your students throughout the lesson.

Family: Domestic Church (2 hours)  – Individuals will reflect on how in their role as a catechist they can support the family also knowns as the "Domestic Church." Using the Church documents on family, as we as he USCCB's standards cited in 'Service Certification for Specialized Ecclesial Ministers' and the TCC Guidelines in Formation of Parish Catechists, participants will discern their role in building up and supporting the Domestic Church within their classrooms. As a result of participating in this module, individuals will develop a sense of what the "modern" family looks like in the Catholic Church and formulate a plan to support their parishes' families to live out their mission as the "Domestic Church."

Enculturating Catechesis (2 hours) – Individuals will be formed in awareness of cultural differences that will help them to engage learners more fully in their faith formation efforts. Participants will reflect on the definition of culture and best practices to engage those cultures in their faith formation sessions.  As a result of participating in this module, individuals will come to understand that culture is an integral part of he faith life of all learners across the life cycle.

Human  & Spiritual Development (2 hours) – Working toward their Archdiocesan catechetical certificate, participants will examine common characteristics of the learners for which they provide systematic catechesis. As the result of participating in this module, parish catechists will deepen their understanding of selected human and spiritual growth theorists and apply these theories to their age-appropriate faith formation lessons. 

Curriculum Training (2 hours) - Curriculum training for parish catechists using the Catechetical Framework for Systematic Faith Formation (Early Childhood through Adult. 

This catechist module details how the CFLFF Framework serves as the foundation for our Archdiocese’s curriculum: how the four Big Ideas were crafted under which age-appropriate Learning Targets were clustered, and how faith topics emerged which resulted in the design of grade level Essential Questions.

Lesson Design (2 hours)  - Curriculum Training: Lesson Planning for Catechists of Childhood Learners (Grades 1-6)

This training is specifically designed for catechists of Childhood learners (grades 1-6). It provides a realistic and practical explanation of how to plan faith formation for the catechetical year. Catechists will be introduced to suggestions as to how to best begin the year to discern the current understanding of their learners’ faith. Next, they will review a research-based lesson sequence and walk-through an example using the topic of prayer. Finally, they will learn what Archdiocesan resources are available, especially assessment activities and unit evaluations.

 

 

Human Sexuality (Only upon renewal of certificate.) - Age-specific for the area in which one works
To explore the importance of God's gift of human sexuality in light of the teachings of the Catholic Church.