Intended Audience: CRE’s, Principals, Youth Ministers looking to become Certified in their current role as Catechetical Leader. Theological Courses can be taken individually to count towards Re-Certification credit for Certified Catechists.
What is the Certificate of Studies in Catechetical Leadership?
The Certificate of Studies in Catechetical Leadership is a joint Archdiocesan program sponsored by the Office for Catechesis and Youth Ministry, the Department of Catholic Schools, and the University of Saint Mary of the Lake/Institute for Ongoing Formation (USML/IOF).
The Certificate of Studies in Catechetical Leadership Program is designed to:
- Provide parish and Catholic School Coordinators of Religious Education/Catechesis, and Coordinators of Youth Ministry with the theological, catechetical and ministerial content and skills for effective ministry in the parishes and Catholic elementary and secondary schools in the Archdiocese.
- Meet the requirements for Archdiocesan Certification of parish or school catechetical leaders and Coordinators of Youth Ministry in the Archdiocese of Chicago.
Certificate as a Catechist or equivalent formation (See Pillars of Catholic Faith Link here)
“The single most critical factor in an effective parish catechetical program is the leadership of a professionally trained parish catechetical leader.”
(National Directory for Catechesis)
There are eight core theological courses and five core ministerial courses and workshops common to all CREs and CYMs. Additional ministerial courses may be required according to specialization. All courses meet the 2006 United States Conference of Catholic Bishops National Standards for Catechetical Leaders and Youth Ministers. Students are required to complete assigned class work for these courses to receive credit.
After the successful completion of all the courses the candidate will receive a Certificate of Studies in Catechetical Leadership from USML. Upon proof that the candidate has achieved USCCB Competencies for Catechetical Leaders and Youth Ministers, an evaluation of ministerial practicum, by the particular agency, the Archdiocesan Office for Catechesis and Youth Ministry will grant the candidate Archdiocesan Certification as a Catechetical Leader. The Archdiocesan certification process for catechetical leaders serving as a Coordinator of Religious Education and /or Coordinator of Youth Ministry is approved by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops/Commission on Certification and Accreditation.(USCCB/CCA.)
Eight Theological Courses Provided by the Institute for Ongoing Formation
This course provides the historical, theological & literary perspectives of the various books. Biblical foundations of social justice are also covered. In addition to grasping the basic material, the participants learn to: move from an uncritical toward a critical interpretation of the Bible; integrate the Old Testament with their spiritual and personal life; discover ministerial implications based on the Scriptures; and reflect on the communal dimensions of faith.
This course begins with introducing participants to the world of the New Testament and how the gospels were written. Each gospel's specific setting, structure, and theological themes are explored. Parables, miracles, and the passion and resurrection narratives are covered. Bridging from Luke into Acts; the rest of the course covers the early Christian community, Paul and his purpose in writing and Paul's literary style.
This course will investigate the search for the historical Jesus; the humanity and development of Jesus; the Church's articulation of its understanding of Jesus through church councils and magisterial teaching; the Jesus of history vs. Jesus of faith; the insights of contemporary Christology and; living the paschal mystery in one's own life.
This course focuses on the dynamic mission of the Church as it has unfolded over the past two thousand years. Participants examine our Catholic heritage as manifested in the key events and people.
This course is designed to be pastoral and ministerial in its approach, providing a background for authentic planning, preparation, and celebration of parish sacramental life. Participants come to appreciate the sacramentality of life, to understand the church as a Eucharistic community, and view the other sacraments in this context. Participants study principles of and acquire practice in leading communal prayer.
Christian Spirituality and Prayer
This course will examine the history and foundations of spirituality and prayer throughout the history of the Catholic Church. Participants will reflect on their own spirituality, analyze the role of religious education in supporting and guiding spiritual formation and prayer in the various cultural and age settings, and develop practical skills for preparing liturgy and worship experiences.
Based on Scripture and theological principles this course will focus on our call to holiness. It will explore the teachings of the Church on freedom and moral decision making, human sexuality, social justice, and the applications of Christian morality to current issues, such as: human life and death, genetic experimentation, war and peace, care of the earth, etc. Participants will be challenged to think globally and act locally.
In the Nicene Creed, which we recite at Mass each Sunday, we profess our belief in one, holy, Catholic and apostolic Church. This course will examine the origin, purpose, nature, and mission of the Catholic Church. Participants will examine, in particular, the doctrine of the Church presented by the Second Vatican Council and the post-conciliar Magisterium.
These eight theological courses are recommended options for those who are looking for recertification hours for their Catechist Certification, and do not require you to apply for the Certificate of Catechetical Leadership Certification Program. Each course is worth 16 credit hours, with a significant component done ON LINE. Face to face portions are typically held at Dominican University. Courses are $150 each.
Schedule: Schedule of Theological Courses is in progress. Please check back or contact Megan (LINK)
To register for a single Theological Course (as opposed to enrolling in the Certificate Program) contact: Megan Deichl, Associate Director, Institute for Ongoing Formation Phone: 847.837.4558 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Individual Courses may be taken by Certified Catechists for Certification Renewal.
Five Ministerial Courses and Workshops
Ministerial Courses and Workshops are offered by either the Office of Catechesis & Youth Ministry or the Office of Catholic Schools. Which courses are required depends on the position held.
All who are interested in enrolling in the Certification in Catechetical Leadership Program, should begin by filling out the application and contacting Megan Deichl (link) at USML or Juan Castillo at the Office for Catechesis & Youth Ministry.
All courses meet the 2006 United States Conference of Catholic Bishops National Standards for Catechetical Leaders and Youth Ministers
Certified Catechists needing Recertification Credit
A Certified Catechist is expected to continue growing in their faith and is required to renew their Certification every five years. There are many way to earn the 50 hours (10 per year) for recertification. The Pillars of Catholic Faith may not be retaken for those hours.
The programs below are approved for re-certification available through the Institute for Ongoing Formation/USML. For other opportunities, school personnel should call Esther Hicks, Director of Catholic School Identity at 312.534.5242.
Summer Scripture Seminar Links:
Catechetical Leadership Links:
Pastoral Leadership I “Spirit & Vision”
Intended Audience: Priests in the Archdiocese of Chicago, who have received their first appointment as Pastor or Administrator, and those who are seriously considering applying to become a pastor.
The Monday evening through Thursday conference is mandatory for first-time pastors/administrators of the Archdiocese of Chicago. New pastors from other dioceses are welcomed to attend. This initial level program helps to foster priestly fraternity so that the group can continue to be a resource of support after the sessions. The purpose of the conference is also to provide newly appointed pastors/administrators with a deeper understanding of the duties and responsibilities they will assume. Through a series of presentations by experienced pastors, this conference examines the various roles of a pastor. The pastor needs to have a solid spiritual foundation in daily prayer. He is both the leader of a faith community and an administrator. He has specific canonical responsibilities. The pastor should develop a pastoral plan for the parish. The new pastor should acquire a sense of the “best practices” for pastoral leadership. All of these topics are covered in this workshop. For further information please click on “contact us.”
This workshop is held in spring, usually the first week of May at USML.
Rev. Martin Zielinski, Vice President , Institute for Ongoing Formation
Phone: 847-970-4875 or Email: email@example.com
Megan Deichl, Associate Director, Institute for Ongoing Formation
phone: 847-837-4558 or Email: firstname.lastname@example.org