Catholic Teaching on Chastity, Family Life, and Human Sexuality EducationCourse Level: Basic

Course Summary

In their 2007 Chaste Living Guidelines the US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) stated that chastity education"”teaching the proper use of sexuality within relationships"”should be mandatory for all Catholic schools, religious education programs for children, and youth ministry programs. While many dioceses today have a chastity/human sexuality/family life requirement in their catechetical guidelines, few have a course of instruction to prepare teachers and catechists to teach the topic. For this reason, many teachers and catechists feel unprepared, and so are reluctant to teach this part of the Church's message. The lack of qualified teachers also limits the number of parishes and schools who can even offer such a course of study.

This three-session course will introduce teachers and catechists to the Church's documents pertaining to chastity education, help them to understand what is expected of a teacher in chastity education, and offer appropriate teaching methodologies for teaching such a course of study. Included in this course is pertinent information a teacher or catechist will need if he or she is responsible for teaching a child-safety educational component.

Successful completion of this course earns 1.5 CEU's. Click here for more information about CEU's.

General Course Objectives

  • Understand the Church’s official teaching concerning the need to teach human sexuality, chastity, and family life skills to children.
  • Recognize and understand the teacher's/catechist's role as family life educators, working in partnership with parents to educate children.
  • Consider appropriate methodologies for teaching this course of study.
  • Understand the importance of teaching relationship skills as part of the faith formation process.
  • Learn what it means to teach child safety education as part of a chastity education process.

Course Materials

  • No books required. All readings are online.

Course Structure and Highlights

  • Week 1: Understanding Church Teaching Related to Human Sexuality and Family Life Education
    • Understand the difference between sex education and chastity education
    • Know the Church's stance on education in human sexuality and why this is considered so important today
    • Recognize how relationship skills are essential components of chastity education
    • Learn the definition of words associated with chastity education
  • Week 2: Understanding Theology of the Body, Child Safety and Chastity Education
    • Understand the Church’s teaching on the sacredness of the human body
    • Understand the importance of human sexuality/chastity education for the ongoing faith formation for children and young people.
    • Understand the key components of child safety education
    • Understand the importance of appropriate relationship skills and why they need to be taught to children
  • Week 3: The Family Life Teacher/Catechist
    • Understand the Church's guidance for teaching in a Family Life program
    • Learn appropriate teaching methodologies for this topic
    • Understand the key components of child safety education
    • Understand the importance of appropriate relationship skills and why they need to be taught to children