Formation for Catechists

The process in the Archdiocese of San Francisco for Catechist Formation begins in the parish.
The candidate offers his/her services to teach in the program.

There are two ways of receiving a certificate: Basic and Master.

The Office of Faith Formation offers this certification, reviews the work done, and grants the certificate.

Catechist Formation Courses

Office of Faith Formation

The call to the ministry of catechist is a vocation, an interior call, the voice of the Holy Spirit. (NDC, p. 228) and is discerned within the community.  To be truly effective, catechist should be appropriately formed, prepared and certified for this important ministry which carries out the teaching mission of the Church.

Basic and Master Catechist Guidelines

Goals and Objectives – Content of Course of Studies to Obtain a California Master Catechist Certificate and Catechist Certificate

Lineamientos para Obtener el Certificado de Catequista del Estado de California o un Certificado como Formador de Catequistas del Estado de California

Metas y Objetivos – Contenido del plan de estudios para obtener el Certificado de Formador de Catequistas o Certificado de Catequista en California

Basic & Master Catechist Course Work

The Office of Faith Formation for the Archdiocese of San Francisco credentials catechists with certification from the California Catholic Bishops Conference.

The Parish Catechetical Leader is responsible to mentor the candidate through the process, do ongoing observation & supervision. This can be done by the Parish Catechetical Leader or in conjunction with a master catechist.

In order to promote effective catechesis and standardize the quality of the formation of catechists under their jurisdiction, the Bishops of the California Catholic Conference, in consultation with the Directors of Catechetical Ministry, the Superintendents of Catholic Schools, the Directors of Youth Ministry and the Directors of Adult Faith Formation of the Dioceses of the State of California, have prepared and released updated Guidelines for the Formation and Certification of Catechists and Master Catechists.

Under the leadership of the Most Reverend Edward Clark, Auxiliary Bishop for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and Chair of the Education Committee of the California Catholic Conference of Bishops, and with the invaluable assistance of Sister Olive Murphy, RSM, Director of Religious Education for the Diocese of Santa Rosa , the Catholic bishops of California have updated the Guidelines for the Formation and Certification of Catechists and Master Catechists to include current R.C.I.A. practices and recent documents from the Vatican and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.  The project to update the Guidelines was begun under the leadership of the Most Revered Allen Vigneron, who is now the Archbishop of Detroit.

The Guidelines will be promulgated for use by the dioceses in their training programs, which lead to certification or re-certification of catechists.

Master Catechist Certification

Master Catechist Certification Process

Renewal Form
Goals and Objectives for BCF classes – English
Goals and Objectives for BCF Classes – Spanish
The Role Of The Master Catechist – MC Presentation

Certification and Renewal

Certification is good for 3 years and renewal requires 10 hours in the Course of Studies each year with a letter of renewal from the director/coordinator of the program.

This is granted through the Office of Faith Formation of the Archdiocese of San Francisco in accords to the Standards of the California Catholic Bishops Guidelines.

Foundational Training Course

The Foundational Training Course is a series of workshops conducted by the Office of Faith Formation and various approved programs to assist parish catechetical and youth ministry leaders in their practice of their ministry in accordance with the Certification Standards and Core Competencies set forth in the National Certification Standards for Lay Ecclesial Ministers, in particular, Standard No. 5 — the Professional Practice of Ministry.

Those who are new or nearly new in parish catechetical leadership role are strongly encouraged to attend.

The Course may also be taken as a ‘refresher’ by those who are already in catechetical leadership role or as a preparatory course by those who are considering catechetical leadership roles in the near future.

Course specifics, including the dates, will be announced. Participants may choose to attend all or any of the courses. At the end of the Course, participants who had attended the entire series will be awarded a Certificate of Completion at the annual Pius X Awards celebration.

For more information, please contact The Office of Faith Formation
Sr. Celeste Arbuckle, SSS
Director of the Office of Faith Formation
Phone/Fax: 415-614-5652
[email protected]
Archdiocese of San Francisco
One Peter Yorke Way, San Francisco 94109