Catechetical Coordinator Program
The Catechetical Coordinator Program is a three-year program designed to form the laity of the Archdiocese of Chicago and the Diocese of Joliet for ministry within the Catholic Tradition. The program serves several constituencies, including adults involved in leadership positions in the parish as Coordinators of Religious Education, Coordinators of Youth Ministry, or Coordinators of Adult Faith Formation. With the successful completion of the program, students will receive Catechetical Coordinator Certification.
This program is for those persons who are seeking to:
Grow in their faith and spirituality
Grow as human persons in the Divine Image
Engage in deep, systematic study of the Scriptures, Church History, Catholic Doctrine, the Sacraments, and the Catechism
Take classes with top scholars and Archdiocesan leaders, including faculty from the University of Saint Mary of the Lake and Benedictine University
Develop confidence and practical skills for active participation in the life of the Church
Participate in a cohort, learning in a supportive community and building valuable relationships with other Catholics who are passionate about their faith
Coordinator of Youth Ministry Program: This special program is for anyone seeking formation as a Coordinator of Youth Ministry. Here is a description of that formation program:
Adult learning style classes consist of lecture, small and large group discussions as well as written integration assignments. While this is a non-graded program, students are evaluated at the end of each course as to their successful completion and comprehension of the content, both academically as well as personally and pastorally.
Classes meet weekly on Monday evenings throughout the academic year. The sites include:
University of Saint Mary of the Lake, Mundelein
Saint Xavier University, Chicago
Benedictine University, Lisle
Academic courses include:
Revelation and the Creed
Liturgy, Sacraments & Prayer
Church History and Vatican II
Introduction to Catechetical Documents
Sacramental and Liturgical Theology
Catholic Morality and Catholic Social Teaching
All students begin the year with an Opening Retreat weekend in August. In addition to the yearly retreat, participants come together for prayer, input, and reflection, usually one Saturday a month. We begin our monthly Formation Days with Mass at 8:30 am and end at 3:30 pm.
The formation process engages the students in the four dimensions of ministry formation: human, spiritual, intellectual and pastoral. It also includes 300 hours of supervised ministerial practicum, and three ministerial courses: 1) Human Development and Faith, 2) Religious Education, Evangelization and Cultures, 3) Principles of Religious Education.
Formation Days include:
Opening Retreat, Year I
Introduction to the Dimensions of Formation
Human Formation I & II
Spiritual Formation I, II & III
Pastoral Communication Skills for Ministry
Closing Retreat, Year II
Catechetical Methodology I & II
Youth Ministry Leadership I & II (CYMs)
RCIA Intensive Workshop, Part 1 (CAFFs)
RCIA Intensive Workshop, Part 2 (CAFFs)
Closing Retreat, Year III
Ministerial Practicum Requirements
As the student grows in his or her sense of mission in ministry, the program provides the support necessary to flourish through a supervised Ministerial Practicum. During the Ministerial Practicum, the student completes 300 hours of leadership in a ministry setting (approximately 6 hours per week over one calendar year) and the supervisor reports directly to the Associate Director regarding a learning plan and subsequent student evaluations.
Necessary forms are available below:
The 2019-2020 Catechetical Coordinator calendars are available below:
For the CRE and CAFF roles, the cost of the program is $1,350 per year. In addition, there are 3 ministerial courses in Year III which are $225 each. Books are purchased by the student. There is an additional graduation fee of $30 for Year III students which covers the rental of the cap and gown.
For the CYM role, the cost of the USML portion of the program is $1,000 per year. The cost of the Office of Lifelong Formation portion of the program is $800 per year (Year 1 and Year 2). There is an additional USML graduation fee of $30, and CMD graduation fee of $55.
Students may choose to pay the full amount independently or negotiate with their parish or sponsoring agency to share the cost.
Information Open House "Exploring Lay Ministry" for the 2019-2020 academic year will be held June 8, 2019 from 9 am- 2 pm at the University of Saint Mary of the Lake (dates for other locations to be determined). Come for the information session, experience a mini Formation Day presentation and a mini Classroom Session. Refreshments will be provided.
University of Saint Mary of the Lake- SCHEDULED Sat, June 8, 2019 9 am- 2 pm
400 Building, Room 102
1000 East Maple Avenue, Mundelein, Illinois
Saint Xavier University- SCHEDULED Mon, June 10, 2019 7- 9 pm
Andrew Conference Center, Room 102
3700 West 103rd Street, Chicago, Illinois
Joliet Diocese/ Blanchette Catholic Center- SCHEDULED Thurs, June 13, 2019 7 - 9 pm
16555 Weber Road
Crest Hill, Illinois
Check our website in April for any changes of rooms, dates or times for the Information Nights.
If you are a baptized and confirmed adult Catholic, and have a high school diploma (or GED), all you need is a desire to grow in knowledge of the Catholic Faith.
You can find more information about the program by attending one of the Information Nights, by downloading the brochure, or by contacting us by email or phone (see contact information below).
You can download and print the 2019-2020 Catechetical Coordinator Application and Recommendation Form shown below. There is a $40 non-refundable application fee.
Applications are accepted through August 1st. Early applications are encouraged. Once an application, application fee, recommendation form, and a photocopy of your Baptism Certificate are received, you will be contacted for a personal interview. Any late applications will be considered based on availability.
Catechetical Coordinator Certification
The requirements for certification as a Coordinator of Religious Education (CRE), Coordinator of Youth Ministry (CYM), or Coordinator of Adult Faith Formation (CAFF) are shown below:
Catechetical Coordinator Certification Requirements (CRE / CAFF)
For students who are pursuing certification, these two documents highlight important aspects of formation needed for a CRE, CYM or CAFF:
Personal Growth Plan: Complete this plan at the beginning of your 3-year Catechetical Coordinator Program.
Self-Assessment: Complete this assessment during your final year of the Catechetical Coordinator Program.
Catechetical Coordinator - Renewal of Certification
The requirements for the renewal of certification as a Coordinator of Religious Education (CRE), Coordinator of Youth Ministry (CYM), or Coordinator of Adult Faith Formation (CAFF), including the Application for Renewal of Certification, are shown below:
Click on the links below for valuable resources:
Participant Handbook-Catechetical Coordinator Program (revised 8-10-18)
National Directory for Catechesis (hard copy only)
For More Information
Please contact Michelle Shaffer, Associate Director of the Institute for Lay Formation, University of Saint Mary of the Lake, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 847-970-4926.