The Catechist Certification Program in the Diocese of St. Augustine was developed to assist catechists (religious educators) who have heard God’s call to share the Gospel with others. In order to be effective in this ministry, the catechist must understand, love, live and proclaim the Christian message with enthusiasm and a sense of conviction. This proclamation of the Gospel in the parish community strives to lead students to a deepening knowledge about the faith, a greater participation in the liturgy, a prayerful connection to their God and a dedication to service to others.
The Catechist Certification Program:
- provides opportunities for the spiritual growth of the catechist
- provides an increase in the theological knowledge of the catechist
- provides opportunities for the catechist to expand their skills in teaching
The Catechist Certification Program is currently divided into two parts. The first level of formation consists of 20 hours of basic formation in the areas of: Scripture, Sacraments and Liturgy, Basic Beliefs, Church as well as skills classes: the Role of the Catechist, Administrative/Legal and Practical Skills. Level II consists of 60 hours of theological training in the areas of: Scripture, Liturgy and Sacraments, Morality, Church History, Prayer/Spirituality and Basic Beliefs.
Why Catechist Certification?
The Ministry of Catechesis (National Directory for Catechesis, USCCB, section 55)
- “Programs of formation should be designed to help them (catechists) acquire the knowledge and skills they need to hand on the faith to those entrusted to their care and assist them in living as disciples of Christ.”
- “Like all Christians, catechists are called to continual conversion, and growth in their faith, and, for this reason, are called to ongoing spiritual formation.”
- “Since effective catechesis depends on virtuous and skilled catechists, their ongoing formation should enhance the human, spiritual, and apostolic qualities and catechetical skills they bring to their ministry.”
The Office of Christian Formation provides assistance to parishes and institutions in accomplishing six tasks of catechesis (religious education) by providing consultation, evaluation and training.