Called and Empowered
In Catholic K-8 schools, they are certified teachers who have received additional certification to teach religion. In Catholic High Schools, they are usually people with a degree in Theology or religious Education. In parishes, they are parishioners like you who are provided with opportunities to be certified as catechists, those who teach the Faith.
To be certified, teachers or catechists may take any one of several routes. They may complete a course of study through the Institute for Lay Ecclesial Ministry or the LaSalle Pastoral Ministry program, they may take online mini-courses through the University of Dayton or Notre Dame university, or they may attend 26 presentations, each 2 hours long, offered locally by master catechists.
We are proud of our teachers and thank them for their dedication in pursuing and achieving certification.
Parish and School K-8 Religion Teachers
Each parish and school has its own unique approach for handing on the faith. There are a number of different texts available, all of which have been approved for use by the US Bishops. In addition, each parish uses different models of education, based on the needs of the parish and its facilities. Some parishes have only classes which meet weekly from September to May while others offer a variety of models – summer programs, inter-generational learning, whole community catechesis, etc.
If you have come to this page, it is because you are a teacher of religion, a catechist. The diocese asks all catechists to be certified, because we want you to do your job well and to be confident in what you are saying to your students. Certification gives you the knowledge and skills to manage a group of learners, answer their questions confidently, and enjoy the ministry to which you have been called.
Do You Have These Shoes in a Seven?
We know that one size does not fit all, and for that reason we provide several different avenues for certification. Perhaps the easiest and quickest way to certification is through on-line mini-courses through the University of Dayton or Notre Dame University, which can be accessed from any computer. Parishes and schools also offer sessions taught in the evenings or on Saturday. Some parishes even imbed certification classes into the normal teaching schedule. For more information on certification programs and classes required, click here.
Finding a Religious Education Program
The First Place to Look
The town where you live is part of a local parish which has a Religious Education Program.
Go to our parish listings find the parish in your town. The name and contact information for the parish Director or Coordinator of the Religious Education will appear under parish information.
You can contact the Director or Coordinator about registering your child for Religious Education, for the First Communion Program, to volunteer to help out as a teacher, aide or assistant; or simply for information.
Religious Education is more than Instruction
Knowledge of the faith is important. But being Catholic is about more than just knowing; it is about living. Practicing the faith and learning the teachings go hand in hand. We learn the values and put them into practice in the parish community and in our daily lives. We learn to pray and spend time in prayer to develop and deepen our relationship with God. We learn about service and serve those in our community who are in need. Religious Education forms and transforms us and it is ongoing and lifelong.
Who Leads the Religious Education Program?
The pastor of the parish is the leader of Religious Education. But every parish also has a leader of the parish Religious Education program who is appointed by the pastor. The program leader is a trained professional (either Directors who have Master of Arts degrees in Theology or Coordinators who have certification from the diocese), who oversees the program, chooses the textbooks, and recruits and supports the teachers who give the instruction.
Teachers, also known as catechists, are almost all volunteers. Teachers are offered training to sharpen their teaching skills and sessions to help them better understand the content of what they are teaching. If you would like to volunteer to teach religion you might find the link on the left above a great place to start.