Catholic School Teacher Certification

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 Catholic School Educators, achievement of the required Provisional Certification is accomplished by completion of these FOUR Classes:  Philosophy of Catholic Education, Morality w/ CVOL, Creed, and Sacraments.  To be considered compliant these must be taken within 2 years of your HIRE DATE.

Within the next 5 years, ALL teachers must obtain 45 hours enrichment for advanced certification.  To maintain advanced certification, 30 hours are required every 5 years.


COURSE DESCRIPTIONSFOR BASIC CERTIFICATION OF CATHOLIC SCHOOL TEACHERS

Basic Catechetical Certification is earned by successfully completing a four component course. Three of the four components: CREED, SACRAMENTS, and MORALITY are based on the Catechism of the Catholic Church. The fourth component is a methods course based on the age or area the catechist will be teaching (elementary religious education, elementary Catholic school, youth ministry, junior high/middle school, special religious education, sacraments, RCIA/CIC, adult religious education).

The three doctrine courses are systematic with the integration of prayer, vocabulary, catechetical principles, presentation, discussion, appropriate assignments and evaluation. The methods courses are process based and include practice and evaluation. The doctrine courses are referenced to the Sacred Scriptures, The Teaching of Christ 5thedition, General Directory for Catechesis, National Catechetical Directory, and A Review of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. The MORALITY component includes the Catholic Vision of Love.

The four components may be taken in any order. It is necessary to complete all four components to gain basic/provisional certification.

 

PHILOSOPHY OF CATHOLIC EDUCATION

This fifteen-hour course is a required course for teachers/catechists teaching in Catholic elementary and secondary schools.  The course begins with an introduction to Philosophy and a brief history of Catholic education, along with a reflection on the role of service in the life of a Catholic school teacher. Participants will be engaged in a process of sharing their own learning experiences and talk about expectations that they have for their students. 

A survey of church documents on Catholic education are studied from “To Teach as Jesus Did” to “Renewing Our Commitment to Catholic Elementary and Secondary Schools in the Third Millennium.”

It is the function of the principal, in accord with the pastor and other parish personnel, to relate his/her common catechetical ministry to the mission of Jesus and the Church. It is important for teachers to understand the role of the principal as the catechetical leader of the school, and for teachers to possess the ability to measure all activities against Jesus’ teaching about the Kingdom.  The desired end result of this course is that each teacher develops an understanding of the role of the Catholic school teacher, including awareness of the need for a Catholic community and Christian service.

 

CREED: THE PROFESSION OF FAITH

This six week or fifteen hour doctrinal component of basic certification addresses the topics of: God, The Father Almighty, Creator of Heaven and Earth; Jesus, God’s Word Incarnate; Paschal Mystery; Holy Spirit: Revelation of the Trinity; and Church. Formal material regarding Prayer in the Christian Life is also addressed in this course. Both Scripture and prayer are utilized in each lesson. The purpose of each doctrinal component is to ground the catechist in an adult understanding of the faith. He or she in turn will be charged to translate this same faith in appropriate ways to the age/grade level of students he or she will be teaching. Practical assistance with the later translations will be provided in the Methods Components and in further workshops and courses taken for enrichment. The course is geared toward all catechists working with any age group cradle to grave: parish religious education and Catholic schools, special religious education, youth ministers, catechists for adults and RCIA catechists. Parents and any interested adults can also benefit greatly from the course.

 

SACRAMENTS: CELEBRATION OF THE CHRISTIAN MYSTERIES

This six week or fifteen hour doctrinal component of basic certification includes the topics of: The Sacramental Economy and Actions of the Church; The Sacraments of Initiation, Part A: Baptism and Confirmation; The Sacraments of Initiation, Part B: Eucharist; The Sacraments of Healing; and Sacraments at the Service of Communion. Formal material regarding the Traditional Prayer (Our Father) is addressed during the course. Scripture and prayer are utilized for each lesson. This course addresses an adult understanding of the faith. It is geared toward all catechists working with any age group cradle to grave: parish religious education and Catholic schools, special religious education, youth ministers, catechists for adults (marriage preparation, preparation for infant baptism) and RCIA catechists. Parents and any interested adult can also benefit greatly from the course.

 

MORALITY: LIFE IN CHRIST

This seven week or twenty-one hour course is a combination of topical material from the Catechism of the Catholic Church and foundational material for the Catholic Vision of Love. The topics include: Dignity of the Human Person; Created Both Free and Responsible; the Problem of Personal Evil: Sin; Salvation—The Moral Law, Grace and Justification; Human Community/Social Teaching; and Guidance in the Practice of Love of God and Neighbor. These first six lessons based on an adult understanding of faith draw upon Scripture and prayer and integrate objectives from the Catholic Vision of Love. The seventh lesson is necessary for those catechists who will be teaching the Catholic Vision of Love Lessons to Grades 5-8 and is optional for all other participants. The seventh lesson covers the Foundational Principles for the Catholic Vision of Love, the student background and the four specific lessons for each grade level 5-8. The course is geared toward all catechists and is appropriate for parents and interested others.

CATECHETICAL METHODS

The purpose of this fifteen hour course is to provide an overview of methods which will assist the catechist in understanding how to present catechetical lessons to students in all stages of learning – early childhood to middle school.

Various master catechists from the individual grade levels present themes and ideas to better explain the objectives of "Growing in God’s Covenant" , the Catholic School Catechetical Guidelines. It is necessary for school catechists to take this course as they may be assigned to a primary level for the first year of teaching, and to a middle school level the second year of teaching. Taking this overview can be a help with this re-assignment.

 

METHODS (ELEMENTARY RELIGIOUS EDUCATION)

Elementary Methods is designed for catechists whose ministry focuses on children in grades K-6. This six week or 15 hour course is geared toward the volunteer catechist and makes no assumption of any college level education courses in the catechist’s background. The course is a mixture of foundational principles and practical skills. It includes such topics as: Catechesis and Human Development, Learning Styles, Methods, Classroom Management and Discipline, and Catechetical Materials I & II. The course is based primarily on the General Directory for Catechesis and particular documents and policies developed by the Diocese of Pittsburgh such as the Catechetical Curriculum Guidelines and Principles, Policies and Guidelines for Parish Programs of Religious Education. The pedagogy and faith concepts grounding the methods are based on the Scriptures, the Catechism of the Catholic Church and The Teaching of Christ 5thedition.

 

METHODS (JUNIOR HIGH/MIDDLE SCHOOL RELIGIOUS EDUCATION)

Junior High/Middle School Methods is designed for catechists whose ministry focuses on young adolescents in grades 6-8. Much like the elementary methods, this six week or 15 hour course is geared to the volunteer catechist. It also includes a mixture of foundational principles and practical skills geared toward the young adolescent. The topics included are: Catechesis and Human Development, Learning Styles, Methods, Classroom Management and Discipline, and Catechetical Materials I & II (the latter addresses media and culture). The primary resources for the course are the General Directory for Catechesis, the Catechetical Curriculum Guidelines and Principles, Policies, and Guidelines for Parish Programs of Religious Education. Scripture, the Catechism of the Catholic Church and the Teaching of Christ, 5theditionundergird the pedagogy and faith concepts addressed in this course.

 

METHODS (YOUTH MINISTRY/ADOLESCENT)

Adolescent Methods is designed for youth ministers and catechists whose ministry focuses on youth in grades 9-12 and utilizes a large number of resources from the universal Church, the United States Catholic Conference (USCC), and the Diocese of Pittsburgh. This methods course will expand upon the foundations of comprehensive youth ministry as presented in the USCC 1997 document "Renewing the Vision: A Framework for Catholic Youth Ministry." Additional material is also presented on adolescent spiritual, physical and psychological development as well as diocesan policies as they pertain to youth ministry.

 

METHODS (SPECIAL RELIGIOUS EDUCATION)

Pathways to Welcome and Inclusion: Catechesis and Methods for teaching students with disabilities.

This six week course will introduce the catechist to the major disabilities and present ideas on methods for catechizing special needs students. Special attention would be given to children with Learning Disabilities, ADD/ADHD, Autism and Behavior Disorders. The Church documents pertaining to persons with disabilities will be shared as well as ideas on the pastoral concerns of people with disabilities and their families.

Course fees apply to ALL PARTICIPANTS.   It is the expectations that parishes or schools will pay the fee for all catechetical and school personnel and have provided for such in the parish/school educational budget.   Interested adults are responsible for their own payment of the course fees.   (Contribution to the course fee enables the continuation of quality programs for the future.)


Staff: 
Judy Kirk, Director, Department for Religious Education