Certification for the Foundations of Catechesis
How do I get certified as a catechist?
Your Parish Catechetical Leader (DRE, CRE, DFF, DCM, etc.) or your Certification Coordinator is essential in assisting you in the process of Catechist Formation.
UPDATE: Echoes of Faith 3.0 is now an approved online version for use in Basic Catechetical Certificate. For more information, catechists should contact their Director or Coordinator of Religious Education. DREs and CREs should contact Roman Flores to find out how to enroll catechists in this program.
Who needs to be certified as a catechist?
All persons, within the Diocese of Fresno, who are catechizing (teaching) others in the Catholic faith (Doctrine, Tradition, Scripture, Practices, Theology, etc.), must be certified in the Foundations of Catechesis as outlined by the Diocese of Fresno.<‘p>
Does this “only” apply to people who are “teaching” in Faith Formation programs?
No. This applies to all non-ordained or lay persons who lead or instruct others in the Catholic faith. This would include all Sacramental Preparation, Baptism, Confirmation, Eucharist, Marriage, Reconciliation, Rite of Christian Initiation, educators in Catholic schools, bible study, home-schooling, and all faith formation. If you are in any capacity teaching, facilitating, or leading a class that passes on the Catholic faith, you must be certified.
How long do I have to complete my certification?
Once you begin the certification process, you have two (2) years to complete the process. You must use the FC Report Card to document your progress. An extension can be considered for unusual circumstances.
Is my certification valid outside of the Diocese of Fresno?
Not at this time. Certification under the current process is a valid certification recognized by the Diocese of Fresno. Although the Foundations of Catechesis certification process follows the guidelines outlined by the California Catholic Conference of Bishops, it does not meet all of the criteria outlined for a California Catechist Certification.
What are the requirements for Catechist Certification in the Diocese of Fresno?
You may also download the FC Requirements from the website, but the following is a list of the specific requirements for certification:
- Complete Echoes of Faith Plus formation program which includes: Five Theology Topics; Three Catechist Topics; and Two Methodology Topics
- Completion of a minimum of eight (8) hours of personal spiritual development.
- Attendance of one Fresno Diocesan Congress
- Intern Observation: The candidate will observe a Master catechist using the Intern Observation Form and give written comments on the methods, skills, techniques, and tools used for the faith formation session.
- Candidate Assessment: The candidate will be observed and assessed by a Master Catechist or an “approved veteran” catechist within a classroom setting using the Candidate Assessment Form.
What courses make up the Echoes of Faith Plus formation program?
Theology: (4 hours per title)
- I Believe / We Believe
- Liturgy and Sacraments
- Prayer and Spirituality
- The Scriptures
- Catholic Morality
Catechist: (2 hours per title)
- Getting Started as a Catechist
- Roles of the Catechist
- Person of the Catechist
Methodology: (2 hours per title)
- The Learner
- Adult Faith Formation
- Methods—by grade levels
What style of learning is used in the Echoes of Faith Plus formation program?
Echoes of Faith Plus is a learner-driven, facilitator-led style of learning. The facilitator is there to guide the group through videos and discussions. It is through the faith and experience sharing that the learning takes place. Facilitators are Master Catechists or “approved veteran” catechists who are capable of providing answers to the learners’ questions, as needed. Each course has a series of video segments and discussion questions, which are accomplished through various styles of group discussion. All participants in the group are expected to participate and share in the discussions.
Do I have to take the Echoes of Faith Plus courses through my parish?
No, although this would be the ideal situation, as you will be most familiar with that community. Course offerings that are open to all persons are listed on the Diocesan website at Catechist Formation Schedule. Once a person has attended the Orientation Session and acquired his or her own books from their own parish, they may attend a class at any location listed on the website.
What exactly is ‘Personal Spiritual Development’?
Personal spiritual development is any development that assists in the growth of your personal spiritual life and relationship with God. It can be spiritual direction, lectio divina, prayer groups, Eucharistic adoration, parish missions, retreats, or anything that brings you to reflect upon your spiritual life and draw you into a closer conversion and relationship with God. It is not bible study, workshops, lectures, or a Diocesan Congress, and it is not “learning” or “instructional” in nature— where you are taught techniques, processes, or information.
Can another regional Congress be substituted for the Fresno Diocesan Congress requirement?
No. Our Bishop has asked that we maintain this requirement locally so that catechists may be given the opportunity to network, build community, and meet other catechists within our Diocese.
For the Observation and / or Assessment component, who would be able to fulfill that requirement for me?
It is preferred that the person assessing you, and the person you are observing be a Master Catechist. However, this is not practical in all situations. In order to complete these forms a Master Catechist or an “approved” certified catechist may complete the form.
I’ve completed all of the requirements, now what do I do?
After you have completed all of the requirements, and filled out the Certification Report, present your Report along with your Observation and Assessment forms to your Parish Catechetical Leader, Catechetical Coordinator, or Pastor. You will need to schedule an Exit Interview to review your paperwork, sign your documents and plan your strategy for ongoing formation to maintain your certification. Please, be sure to make copies of all documents for your records.
How long is my certification valid?
Certification is valid for four years from date of issue.
What do I need to do in order to maintain my certification?
In order to maintain your certification you must re-certify every four years. The following must be documented on your Recertification Form, completed, and submitted before the expiration date of your current certificate:
- Completed form for the Foundations in Catechesis Re-Certification
- Documentation of 40 hours of ongoing faith formation over the four year period. (Acquiring 10 hours per year)
- Documentation of a minimum of eight (8) hours of personal spiritual development
- Attendance of one Diocese of Fresno Congress within the last three (3) years
- Current Submission and completion of each of the Observation and Assessment forms
- Current participation as an active catechist in your parish
- Forms must be submitted through your Catechetical Coordinator, or Pastor. The new documentation will be reviewed, submitted, processed and a renewed certificate will be sent to your parish. Always be sure to maintain copies of all records of your ongoing faith formation for re-certification purposes. It is the responsibility of each catechist to maintain and submit the proper documentation.