Certification for those Who Teach the Faith
Catechist certification is not just another hoop for you to jump through. It provides you with knowledge and skills to make you a more confident catechist.
Passing On the Faith: The Most Important Job You'll Ever Do
Anyone who volunteers to work as a firefighter expects to be trained in putting out fires, both for their safety and to make them effective at what they do. Catechist certification is not just another hoop for you to jump through. It provides you with knowledge and skills to make you a more confident catechist. It gives you the understanding to answer some of those out-of-left-field questions that young people are so good at coming up with. And it deepens your insight and understanding of the faith. No one who has received certification has ever told us that they did not gain from it, in fact, lots of catechists have told us how glad they were that they did it. Certification is a gift you give yourself.Greater understanding. More confidence. Deeper faith. What's holding you back?
Multiple Options for Today's Busy Lifestyles
In today's fast-paced world, it seems there's never enough time to accomplish everything we want to. There are meetings to attend, children to be picked up or dropped off, work, family responsibilities, and a million other things vying for your attention.
We know that one size definitely does not fit all, so we have developed a variety of different options to help you find a certification process that works with your life.
But the first step is to decide to do it. Once that door is opened, you will find a variety of options waiting for you. One of them is sure to work for you, whether you are a busy executive or a full-time care-giver, certification is within your reach. For details on Certification Options, please contact the Ministry of Catechesis and Evangelization at 609-403-7153.
- Level 1 gives you the foundation and skills to get started as a catechist. Normally, we hope that all catechists will complete Level 1 in their home parish within the first few months of beginning to teach the faith. But we know that sometimes this is impossible, so parishes have begun to share their schedules to allow those who miss a class to pick it up elsewhere.
- Perhaps the easiest, quickest, and most thorough approach to certification is through one of our online partners. The Office of Catechesis currently has partnerships with both the University of Dayton and Notre Dame University, which give us discounts on the course fees, usually courses cost just $20-$50. The U Dayton VLCFF program and the Notre Dame STEP program both offer mini-courses that can be accessed from any computer, any time of day.
- Those who have never taken an online course may be a bit intimidated, but once you try it, you realize that it's no more difficult than sending an email.
- Notre Dame STEP offers a 6-week mini-course called The Core Course: Intro to the Catholic Faith. Completion of this course gives you 30 credits (of the 40 needed for full certification). The rest may be gained by attending individual sessions or taking any other mini-course. To register, go to http://step.nd.edu/.
- U Dayton VLCFF offers 5 short mini-courses that provide full certification. They are Survey of Catholic Doctrine, Intro to Scripture, Sacraments, Intro to Christian Morality, and Praying With Children. To register, go to http://vlc.udayton.edu/.
- For those who are not comfortable with online courses, there are several other options. Some parishes are providing certification sessions on-site, during regular catechist meetings.
- In addition, the Ministry of Catechesis & Evangelization will be working with parishes to schedule sessions across the diocese. And every few years, there is a diocesan-wide Catechetical congress that brings catechists together from all parishes to learn and share.
- Talk to your Catechetical Leader to determine which of these opportunities works best for you. Take that first step.
Certificate Program for Coordinators
The Certificate Program is for those who coordinate various parish catechetical ministries. Its goal is to develop the religious education leader along with a parish-based team. The two year curriculum blends spiritual and theological education with practical administrative skill development in three areas: Religious Education, Adult Faith Formation, and the Catechumenate (RCIA). (A fourth track for Special Religious Education is scheduled to begin in the summer of 2011.)
Upon completion of the program, the individual is commissioned by the Bishop for service in the Diocese of Trenton.
Professional Development Days
Professional Development Days are conducted regularly for religious education leaders who are committed to furthering the prophetic teaching mission of Jesus Christ in the world.
Convocation of Catechetical Leaders
The Ministry of Catechesis & Evangelization convenes the religious education leaders for an annual overnight experience, where nationally-known speakers present current thinking on various religious education issues. At a concluding Eucharist, the Bishop publicly affirms and renews the commitment of our parish catechetical ministers.
Trenton Religious Education Directors (T.R.E.D.)
TRED is an organization made up of parish catechetical leaders (Directors, Coordinators, or Administrators of Religious Education). The purpose of the organization is to mutually support one another in Catechetical Ministry and to provide a communication link with the Diocesan Office of Catechesis.
It is helpful to know that you are not alone as a parish catechetical leader. It is beneficial to gather with others to share ideas, best practices and prayer. Cluster meetings are sponsored by T.R.E.D. These meetings are held regularly during the year among five cluster groups across the diocese. The scheduled meetings and the location of these meeting are determined by each cluster. Different topics are discussed, practical ideas are shared, theologies are shared, and friendships are formed. Concerns, ideas, and suggestions are communicated to the leadership of TRED and to the diocesan Office of Catechesis through the cluster representatives.
The TRED Executive Board is made up of the representatives from the five clusters. Each cluster chooses two members to serve as representatives on the TRED Executive Board. The Diocesan Office of Catechesis and the TRED Executive Board meet three to four times a year. The concerns, issues and suggestions from the clusters are shared with the Office of Catechesis by the representatives at these meetings. The Executive Board chooses a President, Vice-President, Secretary and Treasure. The President chairs the meeting.
RELAX and RENEW
Toward the end of May or the beginning of June TRED sponsors an overnight retreat known as RELAX and RENEW. This overnight retreat includes collective prayer, a spiritual presentation, reflection time, Mass and fellowship. In most recent years the evening socials have included entertainment by Joe Finn, Irish dancing, Hawaiian dancing, and games.
TRED is a member driven professional organization. Membership is open to all who serve in a parish catechetical leadership position in Religious Education in the Diocese of Trenton. There is an annual membership fee to join TRED. This fee is normally paid by your parish.
Bishop John C. Reiss Religious Education Scholarship
The Bishop Reiss Scholarship funds courses in theology or a related ministry field. Any catechist, teacher or a catechetical leader may apply. Scholarships are awarded annually. For more information on this scholarship fund, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Parish Catechetical Grants
Parish grants are awarded periodically. For information on current grant opportunities, contact the Ministry of Catechesis & Evangelization at: email@example.com.