Catechetical Coordinator Program

Catechetical Coordinator Program


The Catechetical Coordinator Program is a three-year program designed to form the laity for ministry within the Catholic Tradition.  The program serves several constituencies, including adults involved in leadership positions in the parish as Coordinators of Religious Education, Coordinators of Youth Ministry, or Coordinators of Adult Faith Formation.  With the successful completion of the program, students will receive Catechetical Coordinator Certification.

This program is for those persons who are seeking to:

  • Grow in their faith and spirituality
  • Grow as human persons in the Divine Image
  • Engage in deep, systematic study of the Scriptures, Church History, Catholic Doctrine, the Sacraments, and the Catechism
  • Take classes with top scholars and Archdiocesan leaders, including faculty from the University of Saint Mary of the Lake and Benedictine University
  • Develop confidence and practical skills for active participation in the life of the Church
  • Participate in a cohort, learning in a supportive community and building valuable relationships with other Catholics who are passionate about their faith

Adult learning style classes consist of lecture, small and large group discussions as well as written integration assignments.  While this is a non-graded program, students are evaluated at the end of each course as to their successful completion and comprehension of the content, both academically as well as personally and pastorally.

Classes meet weekly on Monday evenings throughout the academic year.  The sites include:

  • University of Saint Mary of the Lake, Mundelein – In person
  • Saint Xavier University, Chicago – Not this year due to COVID
  • Benedictine University, Lisle – Not this year due to COVID
  • Online

Academic courses include:

  • Introduction to Divine Revelation – Year I
  • Introduction to Catholic Doctrine – Year I
  • Introduction to Christian Anthropology – Year I
  • Introduction to Church History – Year II
  • Introduction to Sacraments, Liturgy and Worship – Year II
  • Morality & Catholic Social Teaching – Year II
  • Christology – Year III
  • Theology of the Holy Spirit: Pneumatology for our Times – Year III
  • Eccelsiology – Year III

All students begin the year with an Opening Retreat weekend in August.  In addition to the yearly retreat, participants come together for prayer, input, and reflection, usually one Saturday a month.  We begin our monthly Formation Days with Mass at 8:30 am  and end at 3:30 pm.

The formation process engages the students in the four dimensions of ministry formation: human, spiritual, intellectual and pastoral.  It also includes 300 hours of supervised ministerial practicum and additional Online courses. There are three different Tracks for being a Catechetical Coordinator depending on which role you wish to pursue.

The Coordinator of Religious Education has three Online ministerial courses:                                             1) Human Development and Faith                                                                                                               2) Religious Education, Evangelization and Cultures                                                                               3) Principles of Religious Education.

The Coordinator of Youth Ministry has Year I & Year II Summer Worshops:                                               9 – 1 hour Workshops and 3 Elective Workshops per year

The Coordinator of Adult Faith Formation has 5 Online ministerial courses:                                               1) Our Hearts Were Burning  3 week Workshop                                                                                       2) Foundations & Vision for Adult Learning & Faith Formation                                                           3) Parish as a Learning Community                                                                                                             4) Many Faces of Adult Learners                                                                                                                   5) Leadership Roles & Skills for Adult Learning & Faith Formation

Formation Days include:                                                                                                                                 Years I & II

  • Opening Retreat, Year I & Year II
  • Dimensions of Formation
  • Human Formation I & II
  • Spiritual Formation I & II
  • Intellectual Formation
  • Pastoral Communication Skills for Ministry
  • Pastoral Formation
  • Catholic Identity
  • Closing Day of Reflection
  • Year III
  • Opening Retreat
  • RCIA Intensive Workshop, Parts I & II (CAFF’s)
  • Three Paths to Holiness
  • Canon Law
  • Catechetical Methodology I & II
  • Catechist Formation & Certification
  • RE Curriculum Development
  • Closing Day of Reflection

The 2020-2021 Catechetical Coordinator calendars (Year I & II are identical to the Lay Leadership Calendars) are available below:

Catechetical Coordinator Year I Calendar, 2020-2021

Catechetical Coordinator Year II Calendar, 2020-2021

Catechetical Coordinator Year III Calendar, 2020-2021

Program Cost

The cost of the program is $1,400 per year plus a $75 technology fee per year.  There is an addition cost for the online ministerial courses in Year III, cost varies for the different Tracks.  CRE Track is $105 per course, CAFF Track is $105 per course, and CYM Track is $240 for workshops.  Books are purchased by the student.

Students may choose to pay the full amount independently or negotiate with their parish or sponsoring agency to share the cost.

Information Nights

Information Open House “Come & See” meetings are posted on the IPL Facebook for the 2020-2021 academic year.

Getting Started

If you are a baptized and confirmed adult Catholic, and have a high school diploma (or GED), all you need is a desire to grow in knowledge of the Catholic Faith.

You can find more information about the program by attending one of the “Come & See” online meetings, by downloading the brochure, or by contacting us by email or phone (see contact information below).

You can download and print the 2020-2021 Catechetical Coordinator Application and Recommendation Form shown below.  There is a $50 non-refundable application fee.

Catechetical Coordinator Application 2020-2021

Catechetical Coordinator Recommendation Form 2020-2021

Application Process

Applications are accepted through August 1st.  Early applications are encouraged.  Once an application, application fee, recommendation form, and a photocopy of your Baptism Certificate are received, you will be contacted for a personal interview.  Any late applications will be considered based on availability.

Catechetical Coordinator Certification, Renewal of Certification, or Ministerial Practicum

Refer to the Certification web page for detailed information.


Click on the links below for valuable resources:

Participant Handbook-Catechetical Coordinator Program

Documents of the Second Vatican Council

USCCB Laity, Marriage, Family, Life, and Youth

General Directory for Catechesis

National Directory for Catechesis (hard copy only)

On Catechesis in Our Time (Catechesi Tradendae)

For More Information

Please contact Michelle Shaffer, Associate Director of the Institute for Pastoral Leadership, University of Saint Mary of the Lake, at mshaffer@usml.edu or  847-970-4926.