PARISH CATECHETICAL LEADER GUIDELINES


Professional Religious Educators (DRE / CRE)

Paraprofessional Religious Educators (ARE)

Archdiocese of Boston Certification Guidelines for Professional Religious Educators           

The single most critical factor in an effective parish catechetical program is the leadership of a professionally trained parish catechetical leader (p.224 #5 National Directory for Catechesis (NDC), USCCB, 2005)

The Director of Religious Education (DRE):

A person applying for certification as a Director of Religious Education in the Archdiocese of Boston must be recommended in writing by the pastor of the parish in which s/he is serving attesting that s/he has the necessary personal qualities, administrative skills and the proper preparations through advanced academic training and significant experience to coordinate and direct the overall or major portion(s) of the parish catechetical program.  While it is impossible, except in a very small parish, for only one person to do everything in the program, it is possible for a person to oversee the entire program, and supervise others who would be responsible for specific areas of responsibility. A DRE is required to have a Masterís Degree in Religious Education, or a Masterís Degree in Theology, or a Masterís Degree in Pastoral Ministry with a minimum of 12 hours in Religious Education/Education or a Masterís Degree in Education with a minimum of 15 credits of theology; and three years experience in parish religious education programs and demonstrate administrative ability. A DRE must also pass a CORI check, complete the Protecting Godís Children/ VIRTUS Program and be trained as a trainer in the Child Safety Programs offered by the Archdiocese, the chastity program mandated by the Archdiocese,  as well as be versed in and sign, the Code of Conduct and Ethics for the Archdiocese of Boston. Social . Social and electronic media are a daily part of everyoneís life .The DRE must be well acquainted and proficient in the use of media for the sake of the mission.  A DRE will stand for recertification every 4 years; the DRE must submit proof of ongoing formation and education of 12 hours each year.* A Certification Board, established through the Office of Religious Education, and convened and chaired by the Assistant Director of Religious Education for Catechetical Leadership, will assess the qualifications of the candidate and recommend for certification or re-certification.  [A DRE may be certified on an individual equivalency basis determined by the Archdiocesan Assistant Director responsible for parish directors of religious education.]

(Job description, just compensation,  Ref. New England Conference of Diocesan Directors of Religious Education Ministry Analysis Form, revised 2011)

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The Coordinator of Religious Education (CRE):

A person applying for certification as a Coordinator of Religious Education in the Archdiocese of Boston must be recommended in writing by the pastor who employs her/him.  The CRE is one who has the necessary personal qualities and administrative skills and proper preparation through basic training and some experience to coordinate a significant part of the entire parish catechetical program.  A CRE is required to have a Bachelor Degree or its equivalent, and must have the equivalence of 12 credits in theology or religious education, 12 credits in education and at least three years experience as a full time catechist in religious education. A CRE must pass a CORI check, complete the Protecting Godís Children/Virtus Program, be trained in the Child Safety Programs offered by the Archdiocese,  the chastity education program mandated by the Archdiocese, as well as be versed in  and sign the Code of Conduct and Ethics for the Archdiocese of Boston. Social and electronic media are a daily part of everyoneís life.  The CRE must be well acquainted and proficient in the use of media for the sake of the mission.    A CRE will stand for recertification every 4 years; the CRE must complete and submit in writing a list  of 12 hours of ongoing formation and education each year*.  A Certification Board, established through the Office of Religious Education, and convened and chaired by the Assistant Director of Religious Education for Catechetical Leadership will assess the qualifications of the candidate and recommend for certification or re-certification. [A CRE may be certified on an individual equivalency basis determined by the Archdiocesan Assistant Director responsible for parish directors of religious education.]

(Job description, just compensation, Ref. New England Conference Diocesan Directors of Religious Education Ministry Analysis Form, revised 2011)

 
Personal Qualities of the Director/Coordinator

Both the DRE and the CRE shall be: 
   
         a.        Fully initiated, practicing Roman Catholic, committed to the Church
   
         b.       Person of prayer;
   
         c.       Committed to the cause of Christ and His Church;
   
         d.      Understanding of the relationship of evangelization to catechesis
   
         e.        As catechists first, dedicated to the value of excellence in religious education and sincerely desirous of engaging in this ministry;
   
         f.        Capable of relating well to the people of the parish, professionals and volunteers;
   
         g.       Willing to serve as a reconciler of polarities in a parish but never at the expense of the faith;
   
         h.       Flexible and open to new ideas and capable of discernment and critical evaluation of these ideas;
   
         i.         Well balanced in her/his personal life, possessing maturity, prudence, patience, tact and a sense of humor.

   Administrative Skills, Responsibilities and Duties of the Director/Coordinator
  
(Ref. Parish Directors/Coordinators of Religious Education: Role and Lay Compensation Guidelines)

Pastors and parish commissions, which hire directors or coordinators, must formulate clear and specific agreements with them concerning their duties, in line with diocesan policies.  These agreements should also specify the spiritual, psychological, and financial support of the Catechetical Leader (pp 224-226, NDC, USCCB, 2005)

 *The continuing education/formation work/courses must conform to the core competencies or specialized competencies outlined in the National Certification Standards for Lay Ecclesial Ministers approved by the United States Bishops Commission on Certification and Accreditation (2011) or be approved by the Office of Religious Education Assistant Director for Catechetical Leadership.

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 Archdiocese of Boston Certification Guidelines for Paraprofessional Religious Educator

 Purpose of the Position of the Paraprofessional Religious Educator  
The paraprofessional religious educator (Administrator of Religious Education) is responsible for the administration of a parishís catechetical program on a particular level or for a particular group or groups.
Functions include working with the Pastor, the director, and other staff members in recruiting catechists and being responsible for the general day-to-day operation of the program.  For this work, a good background in catechetics, administration, and communication skills is needed, together with parish ministry experience.


The Administrator of Religious Education (ARE):
 

The ARE is a paraprofessional under direction of the Pastor, Pastoral Team, Director of Religious Education or Religious Education Commission, responsible for particular areas of the program in consultation with appropriate resource people as necessary.  The duties of the ARE would include:  supervising secretarial personnel, managing a religious education office, recruiting teachers, planning and chairing meetings, scheduling classes, maintaining facilities, ordering materials. The ARE would have the same personal qualifications as the DRE/CRE as well as pass a CORI check, complete the Protecting Godís Children/Virtus Program, be trained in the Child Safety Programs offered by the Archdiocese, the chastity education program mandated by the Archdiocese, as well as be versed in the Code of Conduct and Ethics for the Archdiocese S/he should have at least a high school education and at least three yearís of experience in parish ministry as a certified catechist, a grasp of sound Catholic doctrine, and be actively pursuing certification as an Administrator of Religious Education through the Archdiocesan Certificate Course for AREs.   Social and electronic media are a daily part of everyoneís life.  The ARE must be well acquainted and proficient in the use of media for the sake of the mission.  (Job description, just compensation, Ref. New England Conference of Diocesan Directors of Religious Education Ministry Analysis Form, revised 2009)

  

N.B.     All who hold catechetical leadership positions need to continue their education in order to bring fresh insights to their ministry.  They should participate in Archdiocesan programs of in-service education and formation.  Parishes are encouraged to provide funds to help them attend catechetical institutes, conventions, retreats, and accredited summer school programs. (NDC p.225 #5)

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