Catechist Formation and Certification
The Office of Faith Formation promotes lifelong faith formation for Arkansas Catholics by empowering, resourcing and certifying parish catechetical leaders, coordinators of Christian initiation, parish catechists and Christian initiation teams. We strive to implement the General and National Directories for Catechesis, the Rites of Christian Initiation and other Church documents related to catechesis, Christian formation and initiation.
Catechist Certification Program
Catechist Certification is a program for catechists in parishes and schools that ensures that those who teach the Catholic faith have the necessary understanding and knowledge to share the faith with those they teach. There are three levels of catechist certification: primary, intermediate and advanced. To obtain certification, catechists must complete courses in the subjects such as the creed, Scripture, catechetics, prayer and spirituality and liturgy and sacraments. It is vital that all who serve in ministry continue their formation and earn certification. Those who are already certified must maintain their certification by attending programs and workshops annually. Credit toward certification may be earned in the following ways:
Catechetical Study Day
- This annual event provides ongoing formation for principals, teachers, catechetical leaders, catechists, deacons, sacramental preparation coordinators, youth ministers, liturgical ministers, music, worship leaders and pastors. This day includes keynote speakers (English and Spanish) and focus sessions.
"Catechesis involves an essential partnership of the family, the parish community and those who serve as catechist at all levels. Because catechesis is the sharing of faith, it is people intensive. It requires faith-filled, knowledgeable and skilled people who strive to grow in faith themselves and also to share their faith with others. Those who serve as catechist carry out, in the name of the Church, the systematic or intentional efforts to enable people to grow in faith." (NCCL, "National Certification Standards for Professional Parish Directors of Religious Education," p. v)
- Little Rock Theology Institute is a three-year academic program for adults wishing to learn more about the Catholic faith. Students may attend for personal enrichment or earn catechist certification. Those who already have a bachelor’s degree may pursue a second bachelor's degree in theology from St. Gregory’s University in Shawnee, Okla. The classes, which are offered monthly from September to June, are taught by diocesan staff and professors from various Catholic colleges and universities. Participants meet on Fridays from 7-10 p.m. and Saturdays from 8:15 a.m.-4:30 p.m. at St. John Catholic Center in Little Rock. To learn more, see the following:
- St. Andrew School of Evangelization
- The St. Andrew School of Evangelization challenges participants to answer Jesus' call to evangelize to the ends of the earth, forming new evangelists for the new evangelization of the third millennium. It is named after the Apostle Andrew because of his example in evangelizing his brother, Peter. Its mission is to follow Andrew's example in finding people like Peter who can love, serve and proclaim the Lord better than ourselves. This ministry is available in English and Spanish. It began in the Diocese of Little Rock in March 2011. Internationally, there are more than 2,000 schools of evangelization in 63 countries worldwide. Participants may attend for their spiritual development or to earn credit toward catechist certification. Courses are offered year-round at the diocese and on the parish level. To learn more, go to St. Andrew School of Evangelization or download the following brochure:
- Virtual Learning Community for Faith Formation
- The Virtual Learning Community for Faith Formation (VLCFF) is a growing initiative to offer adult religious education and faith formation anytime and anywhere via the internet. The goal is to support the Church's professional ministry of religious education and faith formation through cyberspace. The VLCFF is coordinated and sponsored by the Institute for Pastoral Initiatives (IPI) at the University of Dayton, Ohio, a Catholic Marianist Institution. Classes are offered in English and Spanish.
- Catechists may also earn credit toward certification by attending Arkansas Catholic Professional Day for Teachers, a workshop hosted by the Catholic Schools Office as well as the annual Bible Institute offered by Little Rock Scripture Study. LRSS also offers several Bible studies that may be taken year-round.
Other workshops and programs offered by this diocese or other dioceses, as well as national conferences and college course work may also be considered for possible credit. To find out if a program would be accepted for credit, Contact Us