Answering the Call to Be a Catechist

Catechists must be able to be, at one and the same time, teachers, educators, and witnesses to the faith (General Directory for Catechesis, 237).

Being a catechist requires being in relationship with Jesus Christ. In order to form disciples, a catechist must be a disciple of Jesus, the Master Teacher. The catechist must have first said "yes" to Jesus. However, St. John Paul II reminds us, "This 'Yes' has two levels: It consists in surrendering to the word of God and relying on it, but it also means, at a later stage, endeavoring to know better and better the profound meaning of this word," (Catechesi Tradendae, 20).

Catechist Certification in the Archdiocese of Washington

View the Archdiocese of Washington Certification Brochure

To help catechists better know and explore the profound meaning of their faith, the Office for Catechesis has developed an archdiocesan catechist formation program. This program provides catechists with the necessary theological content and catechetical methodology to ensure that they are equipped to share the faith with children, youth and adults in the archdiocese.

The following are essential requirements to serve as a catechist:

  • Be a fully initiated member of the Catholic Church
  • Participate faithfully in the sacramental life of the Church, and
  • Lead a life that is doctrinally and morally consistent with the person of Jesus and the teachings of the Church

Certification Requirements Overview

  • Complete background checks and child protection training as outlined in the Archdiocese of Washington Child Protection Policy;
  • Complete Living Catholic (must be done in a live course by Archdiocese of Washington employees);
  • Complete the five core courses of Faith Foundations (Creed, Scripture, Sacraments, Prayer, and Morality) either in-parish from an archdiocesan approved instructor or online through My Catholic Faith Delivered.
  • Complete the catechist formation course Catechesis 101 either in-parish through an archdiocesan approved instructor or online through My Catholic Faith Delivered.
  • Participate in a one-day Archdiocese of Washington catechist formation retreat.