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Requirements for Formation
and Certification of Catechists


In April 1996, the Bishops of the California Catholic Conference agreed upon revised Guidelines for the Formation and Certification of Catechists and Master Catechists.


Requirements for certification in the Diocese of Sacramento are:


A.  The Selection and Formation of Catechists


Pastors and catechetical leadership in parishes and schools have the duty to:


A. Screen candidates and evaluate their potential to become faith-filled and dynamic catechists

B. Require candidates to complete the formation program for Catechist Certification as sponsored/developed by the diocese within the time period specified by the diocese

C. Select, orient, commission, supervise and annually evaluate catechists

D. Provide catechists with opportunities for continued personal, spiritual and professional development


B.  Course of Studies to Obtain a Basic Catechist Certificate

The course of studies is consistent with the General Directory for Catechesis, National Catechetical Directory and carefully follows the Catechism of the Catholic Church. 

Doctrinal Development


Profession of Faith - at least eight hours of study to include:

Revelation in Scripture and Tradition/Faith Response
Trinity and the Image of God
Christology and Redemption
Church/Mary and the Saints


arrowGoals & Learning Outcomes


Celebration of the Christian Mystery - at least eight hours of study to include:

Paschal Mystery/Liturgy
Sacramental Theology
Sacraments of Initiation
Sacraments of Healing/Sacraments at the Service of Communion


arrowGoals & Learning Outcomes


Life in Christ - at least eight hours of study to include:

Dignity of the Human Person-Virtues, Sin, Grace, Redemption
Ten Commandments and Beatitudes
Catholic Social Teaching
Conscience Formation/Decision Making


arrowGoals & Learning Outcomes


Christian Prayer - at least eight hours of study to include:

Call to Prayer/Prayer/Worship
The Lord's Prayer
Forms of Prayer/Prayer Styles/Leading Prayer
Introduction to Scripture


arrowGoals & Learning Outcomes


The Nature of Catechesis/Catechetical Development - at least eight hours of study to include:

Faith and Human Development
Evangelization and the Nature of Catechesis
Catechetical Process/Family and Culture as Context for Catechesis
Learning and Teaching Styles/Use of Media/Resources


arrow Goals & Learning Outcomes


Spiritual Development of the Catechist - at least ten hours to include:

Prayer experiences
Spiritual Direction

C.  A catechist will receive a California Catechist Certification upon:


  1. Satisfactory completion of the program identified above
  2. One year of catechetical experience
  3. Evaluation of performance (this includes an observation and evaluation of at least one catechetical session)


D.  Equivalency


Basic catechist certification may be obtained through petitioning under the following conditions:


  1. Recent completion of a degree program or college-level course work in religious education from a Catholic College, evidence of on-going professional development, and proven experience in Catechetical ministry; or
  2. Proven catechetical experience of at least four (4) years, of on-going professional development, and demonstrable knowledge of the content areas.


E.  Expiration and Renewal of Catechist Certification


Certification expires at the end of four (4) years from the date of issue. The bishops' guidelines call for the following criteria for renewal:


  1. Completion of at least ten (10) hours annually in the above mentioned content areas.  It is strongly recommended that Church History and Scripture be included in renewal hours.
  2. The choice of courses must have the prior approval of the Department of Evangelization and Catechesis and Catholic School Department.
  3. Application for renewal.


Catechist Certificate


All dioceses in California recognize the validity of this certificate.





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