Introduction to CatechesisCourse Level: Intermediate

Course Summary

Vatican II called for a renewal in Catechesis. From the close of Vatican II until the present time various Church documents have been published guiding both the content and process of catechesis by both Rome and the bishops of the United States. The General Directory for Catechesis (GDC), the National Directory for Catechesis (NDC) and the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) speak of "the definitive aim of catechesis is to put people not only in touch, but also in communion and intimacy, with Jesus Christ" (GDC #90, NDC p55 and CCC #426). This course will present the ministry of catechesis in light of this statement. It will consider catechesis from the perspective of evangelization and how baptismal catechumenate is an inspiration for catechesis. The course will focus more on the process and methods for catechesis than the content. Thus the course will also look at who is to be catechized, appropriate methods, lesson planning, creative catechesis and the importance and vocation of the catechist.

Successful completion of this course earns 2.5 CEU's. Click here for more information about CEU's.

General Course Objectives

  • Understand the relationship between evangelization and catechesis
  • Appreciate the various Church documents that guide catechesis especially the National Directory for Catechesis (NDC)
  • Discover the influence of the baptismal catechumenate on the catechetical process
  • Identify the purpose, goals, tasks and essential content of catechesis
  • Understand different learning styles in creative catechesis
  • Learn the importance of appropriate methodology for catechesis for various age groups and the importance of lesson planning
  • Understand the vocation of the catechist, the various roles in catechesis and the responsibilities of a catechist

Course Materials

  • Required Book: USCCB Department of Education National Directory for Catechesis United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, 2005 ISBN: 978-1574554434

Course Structure and Highlights

  • Week 1: Evangelization and Catechesis
    • Identify and understand the various influences on our personal faith development
    • Learn the ways the Church evangelizes
    • Explain the relationship between evangelization and catechesis
    • Discover the various Church documents on Catechesis, especially the National Directory for Catechesis
  • Week 2: Tasks of Catechesis and Learning Styles
    • Identify and explain the six tasks of catechesis
    • Discover how the baptismal catechumenate is the inspiration for all catechesis
    • Learn the criteria for presenting the Christian message
    • Discover different learning styles and their impact on catechesis
  • Week 3: Process, Methods and Lesson Planning in Catechesis
    • Understand the meaning of divine pedagogy
    • Learn the various methods of teaching the faith for different age groups
    • Learn steps for developing a lesson plan
    • Discover the relationship between catechesis and liturgy
    • Learn what is meant by saying that Catholic social teaching is at the heart of all catechesis
  • Week 4: Those to be Catechized: Creative Catechesis
    • Reflect on the need for different catechetical approaches for various ages, cultures and life situations
    • Articulate how catechesis can be seen as an "apprenticeship" for the Christian life
    • Discover various creative methods for passing on the faith
    • Learn the elements and tasks of catechesis for adults, infants and children, young people, the aged and those in special situations
    • Understand the relationship between faith and culture
  • Week 5: Vocation of the Catechist and Roles of Catechesis
    • Understand the vocation of the catechist as a public ministry of the Church
    • Discover the different roles in catechesis: family, faith community, bishops, clergy and catechists
    • Value the initial and ongoing formation of catechists
    • Appreciate the responsibilities of being a catechist
    • Understand the organization of catechesis in one's own parish and diocese