The Diocese of Owensboro is transitioning from fifteen core courses to a more flexible process that allows for parish and diocesan events to count toward certification. As we transition to this updated process, please contact us with any questions. The fifteen courses still count toward certification and can be taken on-line. Contact our office for web access numbers.

The certification process for all Parish Catechists and Catholic School Religion Teachers entails four levels.

  • Basic Certification
  • Advanced Certification
  • Master’s Certification
  • Ongoing Certification

Basic Certification– Basic certification has two components. The first is the immediate requirement of Safe Environment Training before one is allowed to be involved in a religious education setting with children. The second component is that within the first year of service, ten hours of basic training is required. You many already have this training based on your education and life experience of the past five years, but this will need to be determined and documented for basic certification.

Advanced Certification– Each catechist and teacher is then required to complete Advanced certification within six years of their initial start date. Advanced certification includes the ten hour basic certification and an additional 50 hours. Again, this seems overwhelming at first glance, but many are able to document a fair amount of formation based on your last five years of education and life experience. All diocesan events and training held in your own parish will provide you with certification hours.

Master’s Certification– The Master’s level certification is completion of the above Advanced Certification with the addition of a Master’s Degree in religious education, pastoral ministry or similar. Include a copy of your Diploma with the Master’s Certification form.

Ongoing Certification– Ongoing certification requires 15 hours every three years.

Record Keeping- Record keeping is your responsibility and when you achieve each level, you make a copy and turn it in for the appropriate parish signature and then email it in. All questions can be directed to Dcn. Jay VanHoosier in the Office of Faith Formation, jay.vanhoosier@pastoral.org or 270-683-1545.


The certification process includes three important dimensions

Three Dimensions:

  1. Catechist (Human/Spiritual)
  2. Content (Intellectual/Knowledge of Faith)
  3. Pastoral (Skills/Methods)

Catechist– The person who is ministering to others needs ongoing training in the Human and Spiritual dimensions of personal and faith development. Advanced certification is the goal and requires 18 hours of formation in this dimension. This includes, but is not limited to the following:

  • Personality assessments
  • Self-awareness/knowledge training
  • Developing one’s prayer life
  • Gifts inventories
  • Retreats/Days of reflection
  • Trainings that foster spiritual growth

Content– The content of the Catholic faith forms our deepest understanding of what it means to be disciples of Jesus. Our 2000 year Catholic history and Jewish roots going back much further, lead us to understand the revelation of God and the teachings of our Church. Advanced certification is the goal and requires 24 hours of formation in this dimension. The following short list of areas of content represents a much longer lifelong list:

  • Catholic Theology
  • Scripture
  • Salvation history
  • Christology
  • Sacraments
  • Church Documents
  • Catholic Social Teaching
  • The Mass

Pastoral– The pastoral area represents leadership, relationship skill development and methods that aid the catechist in caring for the whole person in the process of sharing the Good News of God’s love with those they are called to teach and lead. Advanced certification is the goal and requires 18 hours of formation in this dimension. The following lists a few of the many important areas that represent this dimension:

  • Listening
  • Time management
  • Boundaries and balance in life and ministry
  • Conflict resolution
  • Stages of human and faith development
  • Understanding needs of a particular group