Certificate in Catechetical Leadership — Aquinas College - Nashville, Tennessee

Certificate in Catechetical Leadership

Courses coming soon…

Do you want to improve the catechetical formation in your parish?
Do you want to develop a catechetical plan and vision for your parish?
Do you want to base your programs and teaching on solid principles given to us by the Church?

Designed For

Catechetical leaders (DREs, CREs, youth ministers, RCIA directors, deacons)


The bishop is primary catechist of a diocese. Parish priests and lay catechists participate in this teaching office which is one aspect of the Great Commission by Christ. This mission is carried out in unity but in a diversity of communities. The Certificate in Catechetical Leadership provides a foundation for that unity of mind and heart and provides the tools to discern the diverse methods and approaches to each individual parish. In this way, the unity of each parish with its diocese becomes apparent and accomplishes the tasks of evangelization and catechesis. The course of studies provides the learner with a foundation of theology, philosophy, and catechetics for the leader who is actively working in the parish. These courses provide not only intellectual formation, but also the space where catechetical leaders can share their ministerial experience and be inspired by each other for the application of catechetical principles and ideas.

(All classes are recorded and sent same day to participants so that if you cannot attend live online course, you can still access the materials and keep up.)



Structure and Format

The Certificate in Catechetical Leadership consists of four courses and is usually completed in about 12 weeks.

Each course consists in four sessions over a two week period (two sessions per week) along with reading. There will be a small assignment of a practical nature with each course along with reading. 

The format of the courses will be a combination of seminar-style discussion on topics, readings, and practical application along with course lecture.

All classes are recorded and sent same day to participants so that if you cannot attend live online course, you can still access the materials and keep up.

Course Descriptions

 1. Christ and the Deposit of Faith (Theology)

Description: Christ and the Deposit of Faith is a survey of Catholic doctrine with the intensive purpose of a catechetical application. We will address the articles of faith, sacramental fundamentals, and general moral principles. At the end of this course, the student will be able to:

  • understand the unity of doctrine that is contained in the Deposit of Faith
  • integrate the goal of catechesis and the Deposit of Faith
  • apply the Christocentric principle to all catechetical activity


  1. The Catechetical Documents (Catechetics)

Description: To think and act with the heart and mind of the Church, we need to be well-grounded in the documents of the Church. In this course, we will look at four foundational documents in the areas of evangelization, catechesis and the laity. We will read and go over together Evangelii nuntiandi (Pope Paul VI), Catechesi tradendae (Pope John Paul II), Evangelii gaudium (Pope Francis), and the General Directory for Catechesis (1997).

NOTE: In the next course, we will cover the newer Directory for Catechesis (2020) since one of its aims is to build upon the GDC (1997) and deal specifically with the relationship between evangelization and catechesis.

At the end of this course, the student will be able to:

  • understand and articulate the Church’s vision of catechesis with regard to nature, aim, and goals
  • practically demonstrate how the catechumenal model is basis for all forms of catechesis
  • ground catechetical decisions in the documents of the Church


  1. Evangelization and Catechetics: Theory and Method (Catechetics)

Description: Catechesis is the Church’s effort “to make disciples, to help people to believe that Jesus is the Son of God, so that believing they might have life in his name, and to educate and instruct them in this life and thus build up the Body of Christ” (Catechesi tradendae, 1). The purpose of this course is to inform catechists of the nature and scope of their participation in the Church’s mission; to form them in the skill of handing on the faith; and with God’s grace, transform them into disciples who bear joyful witness to the Lord and to his holy Church. We will look in depth at the Directory for Catechesis (2020). At the end of this course, the student will be able to:

  • identify the guiding principles of all catechetical activity
  • understand and place themselves within the mission of the Church as a whole
  • form their own catechists according to the principles outlined by the Church


  1. Catechetical Leadership (Leadership and Practical Theology)

Description: Catechetical Leadership seeks to draw upon the previous courses along with diocesan-level guidelines in order to bring about fruitful activities and undertakings at the parish level. In a spirit of community and collaboration, this course will look at many elements that make up catechesis and the duties of the catechetical programs. At the end of this course, the student will be able to:

  • apply tools learned to the discernment of catechetical activities in their parish
  • inspire new activities and improve current ones with principles and policies that are focused on the communication of the Gospel and the needs of the local community
  • gain a better understanding of the following elements and their relationship within catechesis:
    • Organization and prioritization of ministries
    • Canon law
    • Sacramental norms and records
    • Proper role of clergy, laity, parents, and catechists


For more information, please contact:

Jason Gale, L.Div., Director
Center for Evangelization and Catechesis
615-297-7545 x469

Discounts will be given to dioceses registering multiple catechetical leaders. Please contact us.



Aquinas College welcomes all students regardless of race, color, ethnicity, or national origin who desire to be part of the faith-based mission of the College to all the rights, privileges, programs and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the College. It does not discriminate based on race, color, ethnicity, or national origin in administration of its education policies, admission policies, scholarships and loan programs.

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