Catechist Training and Formation
Parish Directors/Coordinators are responsible for the training and formation of catechists, including helping them grow in their spirituality. Some of this training will necessarily take place in the parish. Formation is offered at the Diocese level, as mentioned in the following articles.
To ensure that catechists can lead adults, children, and youth to a deeper relationship with Christ, catechists are expected to be certified or be in the process of certification. The requirements for catechist certification follow the guidelines approved by the California Catholic Conference of Bishops. In the Diocese of San Jose, catechist certification is a collaborative effort involving the catechist, the parish catechetical director, and the Diocese. Below are the requirements.
For certification, a catechist must:
- Complete the Introduction to Catechetical Ministry course
- Complete the Pastoral Ministry Formation course
- At least one observation of one catechist’s class by a Master Catechist or the Director of the Catechetical Program
- Have at least one year of experience as a catechist.
Introduction to Catechetical Ministry is a 6-session course covering the Nature and Purpose of Catechesis and Methodology. A catechist can complete the course by attending:
- The three sessions in the Fall and three sessions in the Winter. Offered by the Diocesan Office of Faith Formation, or
- This formation can be done at the parish level or in clusters led by a Catechetical Director/Coordinator who holds a Master Catechist Certification or equivalent qualification.
Pastoral Ministry Formation is an 18-session course of foundational theology formation for ministers that replaces “Faith Beyond 2000 Part I and II.” Upon completion, pastoral ministers (including catechists) receive a “Pastoral Ministry Certification” issued by the Institute for Leadership in Ministry.
- The 18 sessions are offered from October to March by the Diocesan Office of Faith Formation and the Institute for Leadership in Ministry.
Observation, experience, and Sexual Misconduct Requirements:
- Have at least one observation by a Master Catechist or experienced Director of Catechesis with a written evaluation of performance.
- Satisfactory completion of one year as a catechist.
- Verification of completion of the Diocesan Safe Environment requirements.
Request for Certification
When a catechist has met all of the requirements for certification, the Catechetical Director/Coordinator submits the following to the diocesan office:
- A request for certification
- Supporting documentation
Expiration and Renewal
Catechist certification expires after four years. The catechist shall complete at least ten hours annually in the content areas mentioned above to renew this certificate. When a certified catechist has met these requirements, the Director/Coordinator submits a “request for recertification” form to the diocesan office.
Course of Study for Catechist Certification
- Introduction to Catechetical Ministry:
Nature and Purpose of the Catechesis
Roles and Person of the Catechist
Catechetical Process and Lesson Planning
Faith and Human Development
Learning Styles, Teaching Styles
Technology and Catechesis
Introduction to Catechetical Ministry may be facilitated by either a Master Catechist or by an eligible Director of Catechetical Ministry with equivalent formation.
The Diocesan Office of Faith Formation will present a Certificate of Completion for those who complete the Introduction to Catechetical Ministry.
If the catechist attends Introduction to Catechetical Ministry offered by the Diocese, the Diocese will keep an attendance record.
The Director of Catechesis will report the completion of any Introduction to Catechetical Ministry session made in the parish and the required work from the sessions.
- Pastoral Ministry Formation:
|Revelation/Faith||Sacraments of Healing|
|Jesus the Fullness of Revelation||Sacraments at the Service of Communion|
|Introduction to the Old Testament||Mary and the Saints|
|Introduction to the New Testament||Prayer in the Christian Life|
|The Holy Spirit||Living a Moral Life|
|The Creed||Catholic Social Teachings|
|The Church||Ministry and Culture|
|Sacraments of Initiation||Call of Laity in Mission and Service|
The Institute for Leadership in Ministry will present a Certificate of Completion to those who complete the 18 sessions and homework assignments.
The Diocesan Office of Faith Formation will keep the attendance records and assignments turned in for each session.
Makeup sessions given in parishes or parish clusters must be presented by Master Catechists and approved by the Diocese.
Equivalent sessions in Faith Beyond 2000 Part I and II can substitute Pastoral Ministry Formation sessions if taken in the last three years.
If sessions are missed, the sessions should be taken in the following years until completing all 18 sessions.
Equivalences from other Courses
When a catechist has taken sessions from other courses that follow the revised Diocesan outlines, catechists may substitute the equivalent Pastoral Ministry Formation sessions. Catechists who substitute sessions must complete the corresponding assignments and turn them into the Diocesan Office of Faith Formation. All assignments are posted on the diocesan website and may also be obtained by e-mail upon request.
Introduction to Catechetical Ministry Equivalences
|INTRODUCTION TO CATECHETICAL MINISTRY (2020)||INTRODUCTION TO CATECHETICAL MINISTRY (BEFORE 2020)|
|Nature and Purpose of Catechesis||Getting Started as a Catechist|
|Roles and Person of the Catechist||Roles of the Catechist, Person of the Catechist|
|Catechetical Process and Lesson Planning||–|
|Faith and Human Development||Faith and Human Development, Part I & Part II|
|Learning Styles, Teaching Styles||Methodology|
Faith Beyond 2000 and Pastoral Ministry Formation Equivalences
|PASTORAL MINISTRY FORMATION||FAITH BEYOND 2000 PART I & II|
|Revelation/Faith||Revelation and Response|
|Jesus the Fullness of Revelation||Jesus the Fullness of Revelation|
|Introduction to the Old Testament||Introduction to the Old Testament|
|Introduction to the New Testament||Introduction to the New Testament|
|The Holy Spirit||The Holy Spirit|
|The Christian Creed||The Christian Creed|
|The Church||The Church|
|Sacraments of Initiation||Sacraments of Initiation|
|Sacraments of Healing||Sacraments of Healing|
|Sacraments at the Service of Communion||Sacraments at the Service of Communion|
|Mary and the Saints||Mary and the Saints|
|Prayer in the Christian Life||Prayer and Spirituality, Part 1 and Part 2|
|Moral Principles||Morality, Part II|
|Catholic Social Teachings||Social Justice|
|Ministry and Culture||Faith formation: Family, Culture and Church|
|Call of Laity in Mission and Service||–|
Parish catechetical leaders are expected to maintain their catechists’ formation and service records and encourage their on-going training and formation. Catechists are also encouraged to keep records of sessions they attend and provide copies of certificates of completion to their parish catechetical leader.
Advanced Catechist Certification
Master Catechist Certification