Phone: 216-696-6525

Toll Free: 1-800-869-6525

Address: 1404 East 9th Street, Cleveland, OH 44114

Why Catholic? Meet Bishop Edward C. Malesic
Offices Parish Life Lay Ecclesial Ministry Becoming an LEM

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Diocesan Certification Program

The formation process provided by the diocese for candidates seeking Lay Ecclesial Ministry certification is comprehensive and intended to provide participants and the diocese with men and women who will exercise ministerial leadership in a parish or other ministerial settings with the competence needed to assume these responsibilities. The process consists of Human, Spiritual, Intellectual and Pastoral formation. Many of these elements overlap and are provided for in a variety of ways. These formational elements have been developed over the years in response to the needs of the diocese, the candidates, and parishes, and in consideration of the documents of the USCCB.

Preparation for ecclesial ministry in the Diocese of Cleveland has four formation dimensions: Human, Spiritual, Intellectual and Pastoral, which are further outlined in the text of Co-workers in the Vineyard, pages 36-47.

Human formation 

...seeks to develop the lay ecclesial minister’s human qualities and character fostering a healthy and well-balanced personality, for the sake of both personal growth and ministerial service.

Spiritual formation

...aims to arouse and animate the hunger for holiness, desire for union with the Father through Christ in the Spirit, daily growth in love of God and neighbor in life and ministry through the practice of spiritual prayer that foster these attitudes and dispositions.

Intellectual formation

...seeks to develop the lay ecclesial minister’s understanding and appreciation of the Catholic faith, which is rooted in God’s revelation and embodied in the living tradition of the Church. It consists chiefly of study of 

The minimum core areas of demonstrated competency, outlined below, may be obtained through courses taken at an approved college or university. Each class must follow the required formation curriculum and provide candidates with a minimum of 2 semester credit hours.

Sacred Scripture: Hebrew Scriptures and Christian Scriptures

Systematic Theology: Ecclesiology and Sacramental and Liturgical Theology and 2 electives chosen from: Christology; Trinity; Christian Anthropology (Human Nature, Sin and Grace); Pneumatology; or other as approved

Moral Theology: Fundament Moral Theology and Catholic Social Teaching

Pastoral Skills: Canon Law

  • Ministry Specialization Training OR
  • 1 Pastoral Skills elective (2 credit course or total of 30 contact hours in approved workshops)

The Lay Ecclesial Ministry Office is aware that those who come to the certification process, may have a wide variety of academic backgrounds, ministry experience, or competency. We are committed to working with each applicant to assure that their experience, education, and demonstrated competence in ministry is applied to the requirements of the process when and wherever appropriate.

Pastoral formation

...cultivates the knowledge, attitudes and skills that directly pertain to effective functioning in the ministry setting and that also pertain to pastoral administration that supports direct ministry.


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