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Diocese > Formation > Training & Certification > Basic & Permanent

 Basic and Permanent Levels

After attending orientation sessions all leaders in faith formation, who do not have training or education in a theological field, all principals, assistant principals, teachers, catechists, youth ministry volunteers, and RCIA team members, are required to attend all five workshops in basic certification. After attending all five basic certification workshops, all teachers who are catechists, all leaders in faith formation, who do not have training or education in a theological field, catechists, youth ministry volunteers, and RCIA team members, are required to attend all five workshops in permanent certification​.
 
Principals and assistant principals will have the option to attend the permanent certification workshops to fulfill their on-going requirement. During this transition year, prior work in catechetical training will be considered for credit for basic and permanent certification by the Office for Evangelization and Faith Formation.
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 Basic Courses

Creed/What We Believe: This course/workshop will enable the student to appreciate the doctrine/beliefs of the Catholic Church that are presented in the Nicene Creed. Topics t​o be presented will include the Holy Trinity, the paschal mystery, Mary, and the church.
 
Sacraments/What We Celebrate: This course/workshop will give the participant a deeper understanding of the nature and role of sacraments in our life. It will include an in-depth look at the sacraments of initiation, the sacraments of healing, and the sacraments of service.
 
Morality/How We Live: Topics covered in this course/workshop will include: The dignity of the human person, sin, the moral law, the Ten Commandments, and the Beatitudes.
 
Liturgy and Prayer/On Bended Knee: In this course/workshop participants will critically reflect upon their understanding of the Eucharist, and its meaning and impact on their lives. They will look at the Lord's Prayer as the fundamental Christian prayer, liturgy, the Eucharist and service, and the many rich prayer traditions in the Catholic Church.
 
Ecclesiology/What the Church Is: This course/workshop will introduce the participants to the theological study of the church. They will become familiar with basic terms and concepts that are essential for understanding the church's nature and mission, and how these have been a constant theme in the church's evolution as a "living organism" throughout history.
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 Permanent Courses

Scripture/The Word: In this course/workshop participants will discuss an overview of salvation history; the cultural factors, which influenced the events around the writing of the Old and New Testaments; and what church documents tell us about the Bible, particularly the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
 
Christology/Who Do You Say I Am: In this course/workshop participants will discover what we know and believe about the central figure of the Christian faith, Jesus Christ, using Scripture, tradition and modern sources.
 
Church History/2,000 Years: This course/workshop will cover the Apostles and early church; the doctors and the Middle Ages; the reformation; and the Second Vatican Council and the church today.
 
Catholicism in America/The Church in America: This course/workshop will look at the history of the Catholic Church in America. The workshop will begin with a look at the landing of the ark and the dove and the founding of the California missions. It will also include a survey of the Plenary Councils of Baltimore, American saints and blesseds, and Catholicism in Western Pennsylvania.
 
Catholic Social Teaching/The Church in the World: This course/workshop will look at the seven key themes of Catholic social teaching outlined by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) in their document, Sharing Catholic Social Teaching: Challenges and Directions and the social doctrine of the church.
A variety of course formats have been designed so they can be as convenient as possible for participants.
 
  • One day workshop, which includes lunch and two breaks
  • Two – 2 ½ hour workshops that includes one break
  • Four - 75 minute workshops
  • An overnight retreat beginning Saturday and concluding Sunday, which would include two courses
  • Online option through Echoes of Faith

There are also a number of equivalents through Pathways, so please view the equivalencies or polici​es​ section for details. A Pathways certificate of completion will satisfy all the requirements for basic certification. (This equivalency will only be given to those who have earned a Pathways certificate since 2004-05). Certain training for Catechesis of the Good Shepherd will result in equivalencies in the training and certification process.