Catechist Certification Program

Catechists are persons who pass on their faith in and love of Jesus Christ through example, prayer, and teaching.  This requires a personal commitment to Jesus as God and Savior and is expressed through active participation in the Liturgy, personal prayer, moral living, and continued study.  The catechist also recognizes a calling from God to the work of catechesis.  Through proper discernment, they recognize the gifts, strengths and desire to fulfill this great work.  


Any person who answers the call to the mission of Catechesis has the right to be supported in their work by vigorous coursework through which they receive the formation they need to succeed.  The Office of Catechesis provides such a process which will help the Catechist grow in knowledge and love of God as well as proper approaches and methodologies of catechesis. Without this personal commitment and developed skills for teaching, catechesis simply doesn’t happen.  Below you will find the list of steps which make up the DOL process, including a list of workshops. These workshops are also offered locally at the Called to Echo the Good News Formation events so that Catechists have the option of live or online formation.


The Diocese of Lansing has partnered with the Catechetical Institute of Franciscan University of Steubenville (CI) to provide formation online while the live workshops are being developed.  This partnership allows each individual institution in the DOL to register with the CI for an annual fee of $300. Once a parish or school is registered their Catechists (or other individuals) may create their own accounts for free and have access to all of the content that the CI provides. There is no limit to how many individual accounts may be created per institution.   


Go to the link below to check out the CI and register your institution.  (Look for the blue buttons.)


Catechetical Institute at Franciscan University (CI)




How to receive Catechetical Certification:

Complete the four steps listed below.


  1. Be assigned to a Mentor (Assigned by your DRE/Principal or the Office of Catechesis. Click here for details about Mentoring.)

  2. Attend Kerygma Encounter retreat

  3. Complete workshops for each level of certification under the guidance of a mentor

  4. Workshops are completed only after a mentor has approved the completed work on the CI system.  The CI will maintain this data for completed workshops.  Catechists should keep their own record of completed workshops and share this with their DRE/Principal.




Mentorship (this replaces the Internship process from the previous program)

Mentorship is an important part of the Catechist Formation program. There are a number of steps to the Mentoring process which the DRE/Principal will ensure that the catechist completes.  All of these are essential elements in the formation for the catechist.  More details about Mentoring.


The Five Steps of Mentoring:

  1. Faith Sharing with Mentor or Peer Catechist
  2. Observing Experienced Catechist
  3. Curriculum Mapping (DRE or Lead Catechist)
  4. Being Observed/Evaluated (DRE or Lead Catechist)
  5. Reflection with Mentor

This process requires a mentor relationship.  A Mentor, according to Merriam-Webster's dictionary, is "a person who is a positive, guiding influence in another person's life."  The mentor will aid the catechist during their formation and work as a catechist. The mentor is intended to:

  1. Provide a personal relationship between the catechist and another catechetical leader

  2. Aid the personal growth of the catechist

  3. Provide accountability for the catechist 


A mentor will be assigned to each catechist by their DRE in conjunction with the Office of Catechesis.



Kerygma Encounter Retreat

This retreat has been written specifically for the catechist. It is imperative that catechists hear and contemplate the mysteries of God's plan for all of humanity, including themselves, and each of their students.  It is a one day retreat and will be hosted around the Diocese throughout the year.  Check back to our 'home' page, "Parish Religious Education", where we will list the opportunities to attend this wonderful event.  GO HERE for more information about this retreat.

Click here for information about attending or hosting a Kerygma Encounter.


Foundational Parish Catechist Certification (See alternate list below for School Teachers)


  1. The Vocation of the Catechist
  2. Jesus: The Christocentricity of Catechesis
  3. Sacred Scripture: The Big Picture
  4. The Deposit of Faith: An Introduction to the Catechism
  5. The Ecclesial Method
  6. Essential Link Between Liturgy and Catechesis



Courses for Advanced and Masters Level Certifications

There will be two more levels of Certification: Advanced and Master.  The number of workshops for each level has not been determined as many workshops are under development.  The Advanced Level will include several required workshops which will expound on the truths proclaimed in the Kerygma Encounter, like Grace: God's Plan of Loving Goodness, Sanctification, Glorification, and the Incarnation to name a few. 


The list below represents workshops which are live on the CI system now and will be a part of these two levels. Catechists are free to begin taking any of these workshops knowing that they will receive credit for them in the certification process.



  1. Pedagogy of Revelation & the Response of Faith*
  2. Christ: His Person and Works*
  3. The Blessed Virgin Mary*
  4. Holy Spirit, Converter of Hearts
  5. Prayer: Introduction to the Spiritual Life of the Catechist*
  6. Life Everlasting: The Four Last Things
  7. Scripture, the Heart of Catechesis*
  8. Introduction to the Old Testament*
  9. Introduction to the New Testament*
  10. Praying with Scripture: Lectio Divina
  11. Life of the Trinity
  12. Elective
  13. Elective
  14. Elective
  15. Elective
  16. Elective
  17. Elective


*These workshops correlate to topics from the previous Catechist Formation Program. 

Equivalency list can be found in the "Resources" section of the sidebar on this page.



Keeping Record of the Process:

DOLdata will no longer support the new coursework for Catechist Formation. All the existing data will remain in the database for future reference.  The Office of Catechesis will implement a new data management system in the near future.  Courses completed with the CI will be recorded in their online system.  If you wish to keep these on file, please use the temporary form which reflects the new course work. The form is located in the "Resource" section of the sidebar on this page.




Transfering Catechist Certification coursework from other Dioceses:

We have many catechist who come to us from other dioceses. Many of them have had excellent catechist formation. We also have parishes that have used excellent formation materials along with our catechist formation program. We wish to acknowledge these where the formation is equivalent to ours. Please contact the Office of Catechesis to seek credit for previously completed formation in other Dioceses. Tim Carpenter, Diocesan Director of Religious Education,




Catechesis of the Good Shepherd

Policy concerning acceptance Catechesis of the Good Shepherd for Diocesan Catechist Formation Certification:

For Catechesis to work properly Catechists must receive proper formation in both doctrine and method.  The first step in Catechist formation in the Diocese of Lansing (DOL) is a retreat experience entitled, Kerygma Encounter Retreat.  This is an essential element of formation as it presents to the Catechist God’s plan for every human person, union with Him through the person of Jesus Christ and the work of the Holy Spirit.  This truth is the essence of all Catechesis.  The second step for catechists is to begin completing formation courses in methodology and doctrine.  Catechists working in an Atrium using the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd method, should begin or continue formation approved by the National Association of the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd United States. 

The Office of Catechesis recognizes the value of Catechesis of the Good Shepherd (CGS) as a sound and effective form of religious formation.  CGS provides a very thorough formation for catechists in both methodology and theology.  Catechists are required to complete 90+ hours of formation in each level before they lead catechesis in the atrium setting.  The Office of Catechesis recognizes this formation as sufficient in itself and will grant completion of levels of certification in the Diocesan Catechist Formation Program according to the following system:

CGS Formation Level                                                        Diocesan Catechist Formation Certification Level
Level I  +  DOL Kerygma Encounter Retreat         =              Foundational and Advanced Certification
Level II                                                                   =              Masters Certification
Level III                                                                  =              Enrichment

  • To apply for Diocesan certification catechists will need to supply, to their DRE or principal, a copy of the CGS certificate they received from The United States Association of The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd.

There will be no need for CGS catechists to also complete the coursework which comprises the Diocesan Catechist Formation program (other than the Kerygma Encounter Retreat).  They are welcome to attend the doctrinal workshops within the Diocesan program for enrichment purposes but will not be required to do so.

For more information about Catechesis of the Good Shepherd go to the