Diocesan Institute for Catechetical and Pastoral Formation

The Diocesan Institute for Catechetical and Pastoral Formation provides academic and pastoral formation for Catholics involved in service to the Church and those seeking personal faith enrichment. The Diocesan Institute offers formation in the study of Sacred Scripture, Catholic theology, spirituality, and pastoral ministry. In so doing, the Institute helps adults to embrace their vocation as disciples of Jesus Christ to witness to their Catholic Faith in both word and deed.

Q: What certificates are offered through the Diocesan Institute for Catechetical and Pastoral Formation?

Click here to see a brief description of the various certificates that are offered through the Diocesan Institute.

Q: What is required to earn a catechetical certificate?

Click here to see Catechetical Certificates Course Requirements for a complete listing of the requirements for each of the various catechetical certificates offered through the Diocesan Institute for Catechetical and Pastoral Formation.

Q: Where and when are catechetical certification courses offered?

A: Catechetical certification courses are offered throughout the diocese during the year. Most courses are offered at diocesan parishes or schools, and most are offered in the evenings to accommodate those who work during the day. Three times a year, the Diocesan Institute for Catechetical and Pastoral Formation publishes a listing of certification courses which will be offered during the upcoming season.

Q: Where can I find a description of the courses that are required for catechetical certification?

A: Listed below are course outlines for many of the required certification courses. Click on any course title to see an outline for that course.

Q: How do I apply for a catechetical certificate?

A: Once you have completed all of the required coursework for a catechetical certificate, please send a completed Catechetical Certificates Application (along with the required supporting paperwork) and a Pastor’s Recommendation Form to the Director of the Office of Adult Education and Catechist Formation. Once the application has been reviewed and the completion of the certification requirements has been confirmed, your certificate will be mailed to you.

Q: I have earned catechetical certification in another diocese? Is this certification recognized in the Diocese of Harrisburg?

A: Yes, catechetical certification earned in another diocese is recognized in the Diocese of Harrisburg, pending approval of the Director of the Office of Adult Education and Catechist Formation. Often, the catechetical certification requirements in other dioceses satisfy the requirements for the Diocese of Harrisburg. Sometimes, however, those who have earned certification elsewhere may need to complete additional coursework to satisfy the catechetical certification requirements of the Diocese of Harrisburg. Please direct questions to the Director of the Office of Adult Education and Catechist Formation. Those who have taken certification courses (but who have not earned certification) in other dioceses may also receive credit toward certification in the Diocese of Harrisburg for courses taken elsewhere. Please direct questions to the Director of the Office of Adult Education and Catechist Formation.

Q: Can college credits in theology/religious education be applied toward catechetical certification requirements?

A: Yes, college credits in theology/religious education may be applied toward catechetical certification requirements, pending approval of the Director of the Office of Adult Education and Catechist Formation. To determine if college credits are applicable, please send a copy of your college transcript to the Director of the Office of Adult Education and Catechist Formation. If possible, please include a course description for each of the courses to be considered for certification credit.

Q: It is difficult for me to attend courses required for catechetical certification. Is there another way for me to complete the requirements for certification?

A: Currently, we are offering many of our Catechetical Certification courses via Webinar and videoconferencing. For more information, please contact Jane Waldeck by email or phone (717) 657-4804 x229.

Certificate Programs

The Diocesan Institute offers courses of study for certificates on the Basic and Advanced levels. There are varying requirements for admission and varied required courses.

The following provides a brief description of the certificates offered:

Sponsored by the Secretariat for Education
  • Basic Catechetical Certificate provides preparation for individuals, teaching in parish schools and parish religious education programs, beginning the ministry of catechesis.
  • Advanced Catechetical Certificate offers additional academic preparation and skills for the ministry of handing on the faith.
  • Certificate for Catechist of Adults offers a basic foundation of the Church’s teaching as well as specialized instruction in the area of adult methodology.
  • Certificate for Leaders of Scripture Study offers foundational information about Sacred Scripture, its study and interpretation, and the facilitation of groups.
  • Certificate for Coordinator of Adult Religious Education provides a basic foundation for those who would be entrusted with coordinating parish adult religious education.
  • Certificate for Coordinator of Religious Education provides the doctrinal and administrative foundation necessary for coordination of a religious education program.
  • Master Catechist Certificate is required for persons desiring to teach religion on the secondary level and who already possess a Baccalaureate or Masters degree in a field other than Theology.
  • Catechetical Certificates Course Requirements
  • Catechetical Certificates Application
  • Pastor’s Recommendation Certification
Sponsored by the Secretariat for Family Life and Evangelization

Certificate in Parish Ministry provides an opportunity to deepen one’s understanding of scripture, theology, and spirituality with a goal toward offering service in the Church. The certificate allows for specialization in the following areas of concentration:

  • Parish Ministry provides specialized formational opportunities and instruction, focusing on effective parish ministry.
  • Family Ministry provides specialized instruction on the essential components of effective ministry with families.
  • Liturgical Music provides specialized instruction on the essential components of liturgical music.
  • Liturgical Studies provides specialized instruction on the essential components of the Sacred Liturgy.
  • RCIA provides specialized instruction on the essential components of the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults.
  • Youth Ministry provides specialized instruction on the essential components of effective ministry to, by, for and with young people.
Sponsored by the Tribunal

Case Assessor Certificate is required of those individuals who would serve as a Case Assessor.

For further questions concerning specific certificates contact the diocesan Secretariat, which sponsors the particular certificate.

Contacts

Mr. Ryan Bolster

Diocesan Institute Director

Office: 717-657-4804 x225

Jane Waldeck

Administrative Assistant

Office: 717-657-4804 x229

Deepen Your Understanding

Courses offered for basic and advanced levels

Anyone seeking the enrichment of their faith or preparation for parish or diocesan ministry is encouraged to seek admission and register to attend courses. Participation in courses in the Institute will enrich both the individuals attending and the Church.