Advanced Catechist Certification

Advanced Catechist Certification in the Archdiocese of Detroit is a two-part process that can be completed at three different levels—initial, intermediate or advanced. It is intended for catechists in parish programs such as adult faith formation, youth ministry and K-8 or for those in Catholic grade schools. Note: this certification is NOT for Catholic High School Religion Teachers.

“Since effective catechesis depends on virtuous and skilled catechists, their ongoing formation should enhance the human, spiritual, and apostolic qualities and catechetical skills they bring to their ministry…Since catechists nurture the faith that was implanted by the Holy Spirit in those being catechized, their formation should include training in catechetical methodology.  Catechists do not merely instruct their students about Christ; they lead them to Him.” (National Directory for Catechesis, 55.E)


Steps for Advanced Catechist Certification

These steps are for Advanced Catechist Certification. To get started, please contact your parish.

1) Choose 1 of the following options:

On Fire for the Faith is the new catechist formation process which includes an orientation course and 20 modules organized into 4 mini-courses based on the pillars of the Catechism.  This course will satisfy the theological component of the catechist certification process.  Other requirements include an Encounter Retreat, internship, and discussion with your DRE or principal.

On Fire for the Faith is replacing the 27-topic system, although the 27-topic system will be honored until June 30, 2022.

A Master Catechist presents 27 separate catechist topics, each a two-hour session offered in vicariates and parishes throughout the Archdiocese of Detroit. The catechist's participation in all of the 27 topics and an internship is necessary for Advanced Catechist Certification. Each two-hour course is led by an expert of theology and pastoral studies. Sessions focus on a variety of topics including Sacred Scripture, Sacraments, and evangelization. This delivery system will be available until June 30, 2022.


Franciscan University Catechetical Institute - This is an online program to achieve Initial Certification as a Catechist. This is an equivalency to Topics 1-6 in the 27 topics delivery system. Equivalencies will be granted in the revised Catechist Formation process.


Echoes of Faith Plus/3.0 


Catechesis of the Good Shepherd:  Implementation of the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd requires training for adults at each level or age group: Level One focuses on children ages 3-6. The training course features 90 hours of lectures, participation in discussions, lesson presentations, and assistance with preparing materials and the catechist’s album. The Level One course is foundational for all three levels of CGS.

 Catechesis of the Good Shepherd Brochure:


2)  Internship 

Pastoral care and guidance from a superior:

    • Observing experienced catechists
    • Studying the curriculum/scope and sequence
    • Being observed by a supervisor
    • Becoming familiar with resources
    • Reflecting with a supervisor
    • Participating in a retreat or day of reflection


Ongoing Annual Formation Following Certification:

Faith development is a lifelong process through which we continue to come to a deeper understanding of our life in Christ. A call to the ministry of catechesis also necessitates ongoing formation and continual skills development.

Therefore, once catechists have achieved Advanced Certification, they consistently participate in ongoing formation opportunities that foster faith growth and expertise in the Church's catechetical mission.

From the Archdiocesan Catechetical Policy #7:

"After achieving advanced catechist certification and in order to maintain certification, a catechist is responsible for ongoing formation approved by the Parish Catechetical Leader or Adult Faith Formation Coordinator."

Ongoing formation constitutes any opportunity that:

  • Enhances the catechist's catechetical skills
  • Enriches the ministry of the catechist
  • Deepens the catechist's understanding of the Catholic faith
  • Nurtures the catechist's personal faith life
  • Supports principles that foster ongoing growth and adult learning