Certification Process  

Archdiocese of Boston

 Catechist Certification

                Record form

Administrator of Religious Education  

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Catechist Certification



In deciding to become a catechist, you have answered God’s call, the call of your baptism.  You have made an important decision, one that will enrich your life.

What is a Catechist?
The word catechist comes from the Greek word “echo”.   Catechists are people who ECHO the Word of God. 

“Catechists must hand on the teachings of Christ to those being catechized; …Catechists must make the words of Christ their own: ‘My teaching is not my own but is from the one who sent me,’ and they confess with Saint Paul, ‘I handed on to you … what I also received.’”   National Directory for Catechesis (Ch 4:29E)

How do I get Started?
Your Parish Catechetical Leader and your Catechist Manual are your best resources.  Be sure to attend all catechist meetings and take advantage of  enrichment opportunities that are offered.  Be sure to read all the introductory information in your manual and follow the suggestions for your lesson planning.  Beyond that, the most helpful course of action you can take is to deepen your own knowledge and understanding of the faith and develop or hone teaching skills.  The process of becoming a certified catechist attends to both faith formation and skills.

Why do I need to be Certified?     
This process of certification allows catechists to become formed in their own adult faith.  You will have the opportunity to update and renew your understanding of Catholic teachings in an adult context.  It will give you greater confidence both in your ministry and your own personal growth as a disciple of Christ..  The methods component of certification provides participants with concrete, practical information and strategies to be effective teachers.

Requirements for Certification
The Certification process has two components: an overview of core Catholic beliefs, and catechetical methods.  Several options are available to fulfill these requirements.

Option 1: Lay Ministry Formation Program
is held at various locations throughout the Archdiocese, usually in the evening.  For registration information or if your parish would like to host a course, contact the Office of Religious Education.  Two courses are required for catechist certification:

   1.      Formation in the Faith: Overview of Core Catholic Beliefs CP-100 Eight two-hour sessions
   2.      Catechetical Methods RE120   Eight two-hour sessions

 Option 2:  Echoes of Faith

Echoes of Faith is a Video Program led by a trained facilitator. The program may be held in any parish or cluster.  Call the Office of Religious Education to inquire about facilitator training.

  1. Foundational Theology - 10 two-hour sessions 

  2. Catechetical Methods - Five two-hour sessions

  3. Roots of Our Faith* - One two-hour session
    *Roots of Our Faith is a two-hour presentation built in to the Catechetical Methods course (RE 120) offered through the Lay Ministry Formation Program.  It is also offered during the year in regions throughout the Archdiocese.  Whatever option is used for catechist certification, candidates must participate in a Roots of Our Faith class.

Option 3: Online Courses
Archdiocese of Boston, through the Office of Religious Education, has partnered with the University of Dayton, a Catholic Marianist Institution, to provide on-line learning opportunities for adults.  The Virtual Learning Community for Faith Formation (VLCFF) is sponsored by the Institute for Pastoral Initiatives (IPI) and offers Internet courses to support catchiest formation and adult faith formation.   Online courses that fulfill Archdiocesan requirements for Catechist Certification are Catholic Beliefs and Catechetics (detailed information about catechetics courses is available from the ORE).  The courses are five weeks long and most of the reading material is available on-line or can be purchased through the VLCFF.  Participants must have access to a computer with Internet connection.  Participants do not have to be computer experts but should be comfortable using the computer. Visit the VLCFF web site for more information:  www.udayton.edu/~vlc
(The VLCFF staff provides excellent support to participants who are anxious about taking an on-line course.)  Upon completion of a course notification is sent to the ORE where the information is recorded.

Option 4: Catechist Certificate Program  (part of the Theological Institute for the New Evangelization)
This Catechist Certificate program will lead to catechetical certification recognized by the Archdiocese of Boston. The program is directed by David and Angela Franks and meets monthly beginning in the fall. To learn more about the program read the information brochure and register online, go to  http://www.tineboston.org/cc_index.html

For options 1 and 2 (parish/cluster based certification programs) scroll down to print out the Certification Record Form  to keep track of your progress during certification process.

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                                              Archdiocesan Lay Ministry Formation Program    (Live Speakers)  

NAME ________________________________________________________________________________
DRE _________________________________________________________________________________
CITY _____________________________________ REGION_____________________________________


date                    location                                  signed

Overview of 
Catholic  Beliefs

1.    Adult Spirituality 

1. ________________________________________________________________

2.    Faith and Revelation

2. ________________________________________________________________

3.    Old Testament

3. ________________________________________________________________

4.    New Testament


5.    Jesus Christ

5. ________________________________________________________________

6.    Church


7.    Sacraments

7. ________________________________________________________________

8.    Morality and Prayer

8. ________________________________________________________________


date                                  location                                  signed

RE 120 Methodology

1.  Contemporary Understanding
 of  Religious Education

1. ________________________________________________________________

2.  Defining Faith, Belief & Religion

2. ________________________________________________________________

3.   Knowing Learners: Social & Cultural Influences

3.  ________________________________________________________________

4.   Roots of Our Faith

4. ________________________________________________________________

5.   Lesson Planning I

5. ________________________________________________________________

6.   Learning Styles

6. ________________________________________________________________

7.   Lesson Planning 2

7. ________________________________________________________________

8.   Discipline

8. ________________________________________________________________


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                                                        CERTIFICATION  RECORD  FOR                          
                                                         Echoes of Faith (Video Assisted Series)
NAME ______________________________________________________________________________
DRE _________________________________________________________________________________
CITY _____________________________________________    REGION____________________________


 date                                       location                                                                 signed

1.    We Believe-Part 1

1. _________________________________________________________________

2.    We Believe-Part 2

2. _________________________________________________________________

3.    Liturgy/Sacraments– Part 1

3. _________________________________________________________________

4.    Liturgy/Sacraments– Part 2

4. _________________________________________________________________

5.    Morality – Part 1

5. _________________________________________________________________

6.    Morality – Part 2

6. _________________________________________________________________

7.    Prayer – Part 1


8.    Prayer – Part 2

8. _________________________________________________________________

9.    Scripture- Part 1

9. _________________________________________________________________

10.  Scripture – Part 2

10. ________________________________________________________________

CATECHETICS   (Methodology)
1.   Adult Faith Formation 1. ________________________________________________________________

2.   Introduction to the Learner

2. _________________________________________________________________

3.   Getting Started

3. _________________________________________________________________

4.   Role of the Catechist

4. _________________________________________________________________

5.   Person of the Catechist

5. _________________________________________________________________

6.   Methods Grade____

6. _________________________________________________________________

7.   How Do We Learn

7. _________________________________________________________________

8.   Roots of Our Faith*   RE130

8. _________________________________________________________________

*Roots of Our Faith is a two-hour presentation built in to the Catechetical Methods course (RE 120) offered through the Lay Ministry Formation Program.  It is also offered during the year in regions throughout the Archdiocese.  Whatever option is used for catechist certification, candidates must participate in a Roots of Our Faith class.

For further information contact: Office of Religious Education  - 617.779.3625    

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Administrator of Religious Education Certification

What is an Administrator of Religious Education (ARE)? The ARE is a paraprofessional catechetical leader, under the direction of the Pastor or Director of Religious Education, who is responsible for particular areas of the program in consultation with appropriate resource people as necessary.  The ARE is not a substitute for the professional Director or Coordinator (DRE/CRE). 

 The ARE possesses:

      ·        At least a high school diploma
·        Minimum of three years experience in parish religious education programs
Demonstrated skills in administration
A grasp of sound Catholic doctrine
Commitment to ongoing education and formation
Catechist certification through the Office of Religious Education

Personal qualifications of an ARE:

      ·        Roman Catholic, committed to the Church
Person of prayer
·        Dedicated to excellence in religious education
·        Sincerely desirous of engaging in the ministry of catechesis
Capable of relating well to people
Willing to serve as a reconciler but never at the expense of the teachings of the Church
Flexible and open to new ideas, with discernment and critical evaluation
Well-balanced in her/his personal life
Possessing maturity, prudence, patience, tact and a sense of humor

Responsibilities of an ARE:

The duties of an ARE would include: 
Supervising secretarial personnel
Managing a religious education office
Recruiting teachers
Planning and chairing meetings
    ·        Scheduling classes
Maintaining facilities
Ordering materials, etc.  

Why do I need to be certified?  
The process of certification allows catechetical leaders to become formed in their own adult faith.  You will have the opportunity to update and renew your understanding of Catholic teachings in an adult context.  At the same time, it will provide you with the leadership and organizational skills necessary to administer a parish religious education program.

Since some of the courses have changed over the last few years, students who were previously registered in AIM are asked to consult with the Office of Religious Education as to equivalent credit for the present requirements. 

Through an arrangement with the University of Dayton, we offer you the possibility to participate in Internet courses.  You may join a virtual classroom with opportunity to dialogue with your instructor.  A computer with Internet access is required.  Call the Office of Religious Education for details as to which of these courses may be taken to satisfy the requirements for ARE certification.

Requirements for certification:  
The Office of Religious Education grants ARE certification after successful completion of catechetical courses and the Lay Formation Program.  The Lay Ministry Formation program is currently in transition.  Many of the advanced courses for ARE certification previously offered through the AIM program are offered through the on-line program of faith formation at the University of Dayton.

Lay Formation:
Courses listed on the left are required for certification.   Some of these requirements can be met through courses from the University of Dayton. 

Required courses
University of Dayton - five week on-line courses
Virtual Learning Community of Faith Formation
Trinity  Catholic Beliefs
Understanding Liturgy & Sacraments Sacraments
Scripture Scripture 1; Scripture 2
Living the Christian Life   Conscience
The Church Today Ecclesiology
Church Year in Prayer no equivalent course available

Practicum ST301, ST302
Practicum and Theological Reflection.  These include a period of supervised ministry and scheduled retreats.

The vocation of the laity to catechesis springs from the sacrament of Baptism.  The Lord Jesus invites men and women, in a special way, to follow him, teacher and formator of disciples.  This personal call of Jesus Christ and its relationship to him are the true moving forces of catechetical activity.   
                                                                                                                        General Directory for Catechesis #231


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