Ongoing Faith Formation and Catechetical Certification

Goals

The goal of the catechist formation process is to assist catechetical leaders and catechists in their ministry of supporting parents as the primary educators of their children so that together the Good News of the Gospel can be faithfully and effectively passed on to everyone.

The goal is that every catechetical leader as well as catechists in the Diocese of Pueblo achieve and maintain certification.

General Guidelines

As of June 2014, a more detailed narrative description of the Pueblo Theological Institute Curriculum is being developed.  Until promulgated, the overview provided here on the Diocese of Pueblo Website will suffice as General Guidelines.

 

 pyramid

Pueblo Theological Institute.  The pyramid above represents the ascending levels of catechetical formation, starting with the wide base of more foundational, introductory material for a greater number of people, then ascending through an integrated curriculum towards more advanced materials for those who are preparing for more specialized ministerial responsibility.  Beyond achieving the highest levels of formation, all disciples are called to lifelong and ongoing formation, growing spiritually, intellectually, and in moral character and in relationship with others.

Parishes have a wide latitude in choosing the appropriate materials for ongoing formation and catechetical certification, so long as they meet certain basic criteria. 

- From trusted Catholic sources

- Facilitated by a qualified instructor in a public, group setting

- Reflect sound, foundational, and comprehensive content

- Faithful to Catholic tradition and teaching

- Reflect valid and up-to-date research and methodology

- Provide a balance of information and group discussion

- Include prayer and be formational for discipleship

- Minimally one hour in duration per “credit”

 Multiple units are not necessarily awarded for presentations that exceed one hour, unless the presentation is designed to provide a survey of multiple topics that are included in the competencies for certification.  This may be the case for full-day retreats or workshops.  In such cases, each unit awarded for certification credit should focus primarily on the subject for which credit is being offered, and the minimum of one hour should be the general guideline for each unit. 

Tracking Forms

The standard tool for everyone engaging in Ongoing Faith Formation and Catechetical Certification is the diocesan “Tracking Form.”  Click on these links to download the following:

Ongoing Faith Formation and Catechetical Certification Tracking Form

Scripture Certification and Ongoing Formation Tracking Form

These “tracking forms” are intended for anyone who is engaging in an intentional process of ongoing faith formation and certification through the Pueblo Theological Institute.  These tracking forms outline the process by which completed units of credit can be recorded over time.

The requirements for certification are outlined in such a way that the person can determine what their formational needs are and prioritize available formation opportunities to meet those needs.  The tracking forms are specifically designed so that ongoing formation is self-directed, meaning that each person is responsible for monitoring his/her own formation needs and maintaining a broad range of catechetical development, rather than specializing in or over-loading on topics that are of particular personal interest.

University of Dayton Online Courses

Online courses require some exceptions, but should generally reflect group process and mutual support.  The University of Dayton online courses offered in the Diocese of Pueblo exceed these criteria and any one-time catechetical presentation.  These courses are currently the preferred means of formation and certification.  Completion of the University of Dayton Online Certificate Programs are the equivalent of achieving Master Catechist status. 

Click this link for a Correlation of University of Dayton Online Courses to Diocesan Catechetical Certification.

Resources for Ongoing Formation 

No one program or resource is “adopted” by the Diocese of Pueblo as the standard text for ongoing formation and certification, although some are naturally more popular and come more highly recommended.  Diocese of Pueblo sponsored “live” formation opportunities include annual Catechetical Enrichment Days, Spring Study Days and periodic Emmaus Retreats. 

The diocesan catechetical office will endeavor to post how a given formation opportunity correlates to the competencies listed on the tracking forms.  Participants may have to choose how best to apply credit, when a presentation may reasonably correlate to multiple competencies but comprise one unit of credit.

Why Certification?  Building Communion

Certification is strongly advised and participants are encouraged more than they are required to participate.  However, discretion must be exercised by ministry leaders in helping those who serve as catechists to discern the importance of broad-based, ongoing and intentional formation.

As a general rule, not more than 1/3 of the credit applied for diocesan certification should be achieved by formation offered outside of the Diocese of Pueblo.  The same criteria under “General Guidelines” for credit apply to credit achieved outside of the Diocese of Pueblo.

Credit is generally applicable for five years.  Levels of certification achieved are recognized for five years. Credit achieved within three years of beginning to track credit for certification in the Diocese of Pueblo (2013 and thereafter) may be transferred to the current process for certification.

Graduates of programs previously offered by the diocese, namely “Level 2,” “Echoes of Faith,” and “New Wine,” are recognized as currently certified.

Participants are encouraged to continuously challenge themselves in pursuing ongoing faith formation, regardless of the implications for certification.

Participants and catechetical leaders can appeal to the diocesan catechetical office, if they believe that a formation opportunity on a worthy topic that is not specifically defined within the “areas of competency” on the tracking forms may be applied for “elective” diocesan credit.  Good faith must be shown in engaging the topics enumerated on the Tracking Forms.