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Offices Formation & Education Catechetical Formation Parish Catechist Certification

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Parish Catechist Certification

At the center of every process of catechesis is the living encounter with Christ. “Accordingly, the definitive aim of catechesis is to put people not only in touch but in communion, in intimacy, with Jesus Christ…” (Directory for Catechesis, 75, Catechesi Tradendae, 5).


In union with the Catholic Church’s mission to evangelize, the Office of Catechetical Formation seeks to promote and support the comprehensive formation of catechists for all ages and families, “making catechists aware that as baptized persons they are true missionary disciples.” (Directory for Catechesis, 132)

Catechists are called to continual conversion and growth in their faith and, for this reason, are called to ongoing spiritual formation. (National Directory for Catechesis, 55 C).


The Office of Catechetical Formation provides opportunities for the education, formation and certification of parish catechists, as well as supporting the local parish community’s efforts in the formation of its catechists. The development of catechists as missionary disciples, through parish and diocesan efforts, is called to focus upon helping catechists to:

  • Develop an understanding of the relationship between evangelization and catechesis
  • Faithfully proclaim the Kerygma, God’s revelation through Jesus Christ
  • Grow in the skill of accompaniment and knowing how to be present to others
  • Appreciate the importance of being a credible witness of the Catholic faith and learn how to share the faith in various ways
  • Understand the importance of ongoing education and formation in the knowledge of Sacred Scripture as well as the teachings and practices of the Catholic Church
  • Learn the best practices of catechists in the areas of methodology to include creative techniques and resources, relationship-building, awareness of learners’ circumstances and needs, and respect for each person’s relationship with God

The Parish Catechist Certification Process in the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland exists currently in three stages: Basic, Advanced and Master.

All catechists ministering in parishes of the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland should participate in the process of acquiring Basic Certification, renewing this certification with ongoing learning and formation. Catechists are encouraged to consider advanced levels of certification.

Download Basic Certificate for Parish Catechesis

Contact your local Parish Catechetical Leader for more specific information about Parish Catechist Certification, or contact the Office of Catechetical Formation at https://www.dioceseofcleveland.org/contact 

Catechist education and formation opportunities are available through the Digital Academy https://auth.digitalacademy.org/Curricula/Login, an online platform maintained by the Office of Catholic Education to provide education and formation for parish catechists and Catholic school teachers. For further information about the Digital Academy, contact Dolores Bruno at dbruno@dioceseofcleveland.org   

The Diocese of Cleveland also has a long-standing partnership with the Virtual Learning Community for Faith Formation https://vlcff.udayton.edu/ for the formation of catechists and teachers, and for adult faith formation in general. This partnership provides substantial discounts for members of the diocese. For further information about the VLCFF, contact Denise Smithberger at dsmithberger@dioceseofcleveland.org

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