Certification Levels

Tracking Forms for Planning, Monitoring and Recording Ongoing Faith Formation

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

PROVISIONAL CERTIFICATIONIn order to begin serving as a catechist in the Diocese of Pueblo, parishes are asked to complete the following processes before a volunteer begins teaching.  The policies regarding Criminal Background Check and Protection of Children / “Shield the Vulnerable” apply to all who will have contact with children (under 18 years old) as a part of their volunteer service to the parish or diocese.

- Volunteer Application (Diocese of Pueblo)
- Shield the Vulnerable / Protection of Children Program
- Criminal Background Check
- Parish Interview to be a catechist/volunteer
- Parish Catechetical Program Orientation

LEVEL ONE, “Certified Catechist” is a basic level certification that broadly covers the range of theological and methodological topics, based on overviews of the topics. 

Catechists are encouraged to complete Level 1 certification within three years of beginning as a parish catechist; Each additional level should be completed, if possible, within three years of achieving the previous level.

The competencies for “Level One” outlined in the Tracking Form represents an overview or basic introduction of each topic, conducted by a qualified instructor and approved for certification credit by the diocesan catechetical leader (“Bishop’s Pastoral Associate”). 

Each of the following competencies for “Level One” represents an overview or basic introduction to each topic:


(Complete All)

- Belief in God / Holy Trinity
- Jesus
- Holy Spirit
- Church
- Liturgy and Sacraments
- Morality
- Prayer
- Scripture
- Church History

(Complete 1)
- Evangelization and Discipleship
- Discernment of Vocation / Gifts
- Christian Family Life

(Complete 5; "Engaging in ongoing faith formation" (REQUIRED)
+ 4 electives, one from each category, A, B., C and D)

A. Ministry of Catechesis
- Engaging in ongoing faith formation (REQUIRED)
- Nurturing healthy prayer/spiritual life
- Empowering parents as ‘primary catechists’
B. Lesson Planning and Preparation
- Using a catechist manual / student text
- Value of back-up lesson plans
- Utilizing technology in catechesis
- Making best use of the learning environment
C. Classroom Facilitation and Management
- Appropriate discipline in the classroom
- Facilitating group discussion /communication
D. Teaching Methods and Techniques
- Integrating prayer
- Integrating Scripture
- Integrating art and music
- Integrating storytelling

Specific Programs of General Interest

To apply for diocesan credit, all of the programs listed below must be comprehensively completed in a group setting.

Catholicism series (Fr. Robert Barron / Word on Fire) satisfies most of the requirements for “Level One” Theological Formation, except Morality, Scripture and Prayer. 

“Echoes of Faith Plus” Theology Series and Catechist Set satisfies all of the requirements for “Level One” Theological and Human/Spiritual Formation. Completion of “Echoes of Faith Plus” Methodology Set satisfies all of the requirements for “Level One” Catechetical Methodology.

A Well-Built Faith (Paprocki / Loyola Press) satisfies the requirements for “Level One” Theological Formation, except for Jesus, Holy Spirit, Scripture and Church History.  Completion of The Catechist Toolbox (Paprocki / Loyola Press) satisfies the requirements for “Level One” Catechetical Methodology.    

“Catching Fire, Becoming Flame” DVD / Book Series (Haase / Paraclete Press)  [Click LINK to download correlation]


LEVEL2 / “Advanced Certification” delves deeper into specific categories of theological and methodological formation.  Credits to achieve this level accumulate and are applicable to Level 3. 

Requires the completion of “Level 1” to receive “Level 2” certification, but credits can be completed at any time.

I. THEOLOGICAL FORMATION; Complete 8 units within specific content categories, as follows: 

- 1 unit from the following options …
    - Our Desire and Capacity for God
    - Divine Revelation
    - Creation

- 1 unit from the following …
    - Jesus
    - Holy Spirit

- 1 unit of the following options …
    - Church
    - Blessed Virgin Mary
    - Call to Holiness / Communion of Saints '

    - “Last Four Things” – Death, Particular Judgment, Paousia, and Eternal Life

- Both of these Sacament units are required
    - Baptism and Confirmation
    - Eucharist – Theology and Structure of the Mass

- 1 unit from the following …
    - Sacraments of Healing – Penance and Anointing the Sick
    - Sacraments in the Service of Communion – Matrimony and Holy Orders

- 1 unit from the following …
    - Sin and Conversion
    - Commandments, I –III
    - Commandments, IV – X
    - Catholic Social Doctrine

- 1 unit from the following …
    - Prayer
    - Catholic Spirituality

- Living a Moral Life
- Mystagogy – Experiencing the Mystery

- Building a Culture of Life

III. CATECHETICAL METHODOLOGY; Complete 5 units, at least one from each of the following categories:
A. Ministry of Catechesis
i) The Language of Catechesis
ii) History and Development of Catechetical Ministry / Essential Source Documents
iii) Personal authenticity/discerning a call to ministry
iv) Integrating faith formation with family, parish and community life
v) Role of liturgy in evangelization and catechesis

B. Lesson Planning and Preparation
i) Age and lesson appropriate activity planning
ii) Using PowerPoint / other technology effectively
iii) Setting the physical environment / learning space
iv) Resourcing - Collecting tips, activities and resources

C. Group Facilitation and Management
i) Ethics and boundaries for catechesis
ii) Collaborative learning in catechesis

D. Teaching Methods and Techniques
i) Active learning
ii) Christ-centered formation
iii) Learner-centered teaching
iv) Getting out of the classroom – field trips, service learning and other activities
v) Theological Reflection

E. Learning Styles / Student Diversity
i) Diverse learning styles / multiple intelligences
ii) Cultural diversity in the classroom
iii) Learning disabilities / developmental challenges
iv) Stages in faith development / age appropriateness

LEVEL 3 / “Master Catechist” challenges catechists to explore the depth of all aspects of theological formation.  Completion entails covering all of the individual theological formation sessions in Level 2 that were not completed for Level 2 certification.  Whereas Level 2 required only one unit per “category,” to complete Level 3, all of the sections must be completed.  Master certification is not the same as a “Master’s Degree.”

LEVEL 4 / “Ongoing Formation” is the ‘maintenance’ level for those who want to receive an annual endorsement of the certification they have already achieved.

This level is designed to encourage catechists who are already certified at a Level 3 / Master certification level to maintain their ongoing formation throughout the period in which their certification is active, which is five years.  To receive an annual endorsement of “ongoing formation,” the catechist or lay ecclesial minister should endeavor to complete ...

- 4 units of theological formation annually, or at least one University of Dayton online class;

- 1 unit of spiritual / human formation annually; and

- 2 units of methodological enrichment annually.

Participation in Catechetical Enrichment Days, Emmaus retreats, Spring Study Days and various parish-based opportunities, such as parish missions, would provide a good basis for ongoing formation.  Participating in a guided retreat or day of reflection for spiritual renewal would satisfy the spiritual / human formation unit.

Transferability and duration of applicable credit

Formation credit taken prior to beginning Diocese of Pueblo Catechetical Certification (2013 or thereafter) can be transferred or otherwise applied to certification, if it meets all of the criteria listed in the guidelines above, and if the credit was achieved within three years of beginning to track formation for diocesan credit.  Credits taken through previous diocesan or parish programs, such as Emmaus retreats, Ministry Congress, or Study Days are applicable to the current tracking system, and moving forward, will be advertised and structured to identify how credit may be applied.

Once taken, credits do not expire for five years.  


Scripture Certification and Ongoing Formation Tracking Form is intended for those who wishes to be certified to facilitate a small-group scripture study, or for anyone who simply seeks to monitor their own process of comprehensive study of the Holy Scriptures.  Credit can be taken at any level at any time. However, prior to being eligible for "Advanced" or "Master" certification in Scripture, one must have completed the requirements for the previous level.

"Certified / Level 1" of Scripture Certification requires approved credit of 4 units: 1) Introduction to Scripture - 1 unit in Content, 1 unit in Methodology; 2) Overview of Old Testament (1 unit) and Overview of New Testament (1 unit). Completing the University of Dayton Online Course "Introduction to Scripture" will fulfill Level 1 requirements and may add units towards "Advanced / Level 2."

“Advanced / Level 2” of Scripture Certification requires 6 of the 9 possible units, which are "Overviews" of Scriptural Genres, evenly divided between Old and New Testaments (or 3 units each).

"Master / Level 3" Scripture Certification requires completion of ALL "Advanced" level Overviews not previously taken for Level 2, plus 10 units of specific books, 5 (or more) from Old Testament and 5 (or more) from the New Testament.

Designations of Parish Catechetical Leaders

A “Director of Religious Education” (DRE) has a Master’s Degree in Religious Education, Theology, Sacred Scripture or Pastoral Ministry.

A “Coordinator of Religious Education” (CRE) is a title reserved for all other catechetical leaders, who oversee the faith formation ministry in a parish.  The national standard is to designate a catechetical leader as an “administrator” if he/she does not hold a Bachelor’s Degree, but this has not been the custom in the Diocese of Pueblo.