Catechist Formation

Catechist Formation in the Diocese of Lansing

A Catechist in the Diocese of Lansing is one who has a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. They have the desire to teach and have responded to a call from God to participate in the Church’s mission to lead and encourage others to the same.

The Catechist will foster that relationship through:

     · An active prayer life

     · Regular Participation in the sacraments

     · Living a moral life

     · Diligent study


Click Here for Catechist Formation Opportunities


Catechist Formation Coursework:

The Catechist Formation Program consists of a number of formation opportunities including a retreat, courses on catechetical  approaches and methodologies, courses on doctrine, spirituality and morality. These formation opportunities are offered locally in parishes by qualified leaders in the field who have been approved by the Diocesan Office of Catechesis.  There is also an on-line program from the Catechetical Institute of Franciscan University which will be available soon.  The program is currently being overhauled but courses continue to be 



Catechist Formation

The policy of the Diocese of Lansing is that every catechist, whether in a Catholic school or in a parish religious education program, be certified, or in the process of achieving certification. There are no exceptions to this policy.

Although there is a strong diocesan vision and direction for catechist formation, it is a parish based and parish driven activity directed by the parish Director of Religious Education and Other Catechetical Leaders. Certification includes 22 formation topics, a program of internship, and ongoing catechist formation enrichment after certification has been achieved. Parishes and regions continually offer single day and weekly series of catechist formation opportunities. Information about upcoming programs is available with parish Directors of Religious Education, Coordinators of Youth Ministry, and Elementary Catholic School Principals.


The following topics are included in the initial certification process:


  • The Ministry of the Catechist
  • The Learning Process and Faith Development
  • Lesson Planning/Using the Catechetical Text As a Tool
  • Some Effective Catechetical Techniques
  • Managing Student Behavior


  • What is Faith
  • Mystery of the Triune God
  • Creation and Incarnation
  • Jesus Christ
  • Mary and the Saints/Eternal Life


  • Church
  • Liturgy/Worship
  • The Sacraments
  • Prayer


  • Overview of the Bible
  • Old Testament Themes
  • Key People of the Old Testament
  • New Testament Gospels
  • New Testament Acts and Letters
  • How To Use the Bible With Different Age Levels

Moral Development

  • Moral Development/Conscience Formation
  • Catechesis and Social Justice


a. Observing Experienced Catechists
b. Being Observed
c. Studying the Scope and Sequence of the Text
d. Becoming Familiar With Resources
e. Opportunity For Faith Sharing
f. Year-end Reflection With Immediate Supervisor



Transfering Catechist Certification coursework from other Dioceses:

We have many catechist who come to us from other dicoeses. 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. We also want to make sure that the theological formation that they have had is accompanied with small group discussion and instruction on applying what they have learned to the classroom setting. For this reason we provide a chart of Diocese of Lansing Approved Equivalencies for Catechist Formation. Please review this chart regarding the granting of approved equivalencies from our Office of Catechesis.