Education and Catechist Formation

Religious Education for Children

the Church is bidden by God and by events – each of them a call from Him – to renew her trust in catechetical activity as a prime aspect of her mission." (Pope John Paul II, Catechesi Tradendae, n. 15)

Diocesan Mission Statement for Religious Education

Parish communities of the Diocese of Lansing are committed to developing opportunities for the faith formation of all children and teens so that they may:

  • receive our Church's living heritage and integrate it with their own lived experience
  • grow in discipleship based on a developing relationship with Jesus
  • learn to make responsible and mature decisions in the light of their faith
  • relate responsibly and justly to all God's people and creation

Catechist formation
This is a major ongoing activity. The policy of the Diocese of Lansing is that every catechist, whether in a Catholic school or in a parish religious education program, be certified, or in the process of achieving certification. There are no exceptions to this policy.

Although there is a strong diocesan vision and direction for catechist formation, it is a parish based and parish driven activity directed by the parish Director of Religious Education and Other Catechetical Leaders. Certification includes 22 formation topics, a program of internship, and ongoing catechist formation enrichment after certification has been achieved. Parishes and regions continually offer single day and weekly series of catechist formation opportunities. Information about upcoming programs is available with parish Directors of Religious Education, Coordinators of Youth Ministry, and Elementary Catholic School Principals.

The following topics are included in the initial certification process:


  • The Ministry of the Catechist
  • The Learning Process and Faith Development
  • Lesson Planning/Using the Catechetical Text As a Tool
  • Some Effective Catechetical Techniques
  • Managing Student Behavior


  • What is Faith
  • Mystery of the Triune God
  • Creation and Incarnation
  • Jesus Christ
  • Mary and the Saints/Eternal Life


  • Church
  • Liturgy/Worship
  • The Sacraments
  • Prayer


  • Overview of the Bible
  • Old Testament Themes
  • Key People of the Old Testament
  • New Testament Gospels
  • New Testament Acts and Letters
  • How To Use the Bible With Different Age Levels

Moral Development

  • Moral Development/Conscience Formation
  • Catechesis and Social Justice

a. Observing Experienced Catechists
b. Being Observed
c. Studying the Scope and Sequence of the Text
d. Becoming Familiar With Resources
e. Opportunity For Faith Sharing
f. Year-end Reflection With Immediate Supervisor

Workshops, Inservices, and Conferences

The Office of Catechesis, along with other members of the Department of Education and Catechesis, conducts education commission workshops for parishes which want them. The workshop covers what an education commission is, what it is not, and practical tips for making an education commission effective.

A family religious education inservice describes a variety of approaches to family religious education, many resources available for families to enhance at home the religious education their teens and children receive in Catholic schools or parish religious education programs, and a process for program leaders and selected parents to use in determining a concrete approach for developing this aspect of parish life.

The Parish Catechetical Review Inservice is a one session workshop to assist a parish working committee as it begins its work of reviewing a parish's faith formation programs for adults, teens, and children and determining ways in which those programs can be developed over the next 5-7 years.

High school religious education curriculum inservices on each of the 10 themes of the Diocesan High School Religious Education Curriculum are available to parishes as a way to enrich their high school program leaders, catechists, and adult youth ministry team members.

Diocesan Catechetical Day, held every two years, is a diocesan conference offering workshop for program leaders, catechists, and volunteers for adult education, RCIA, youth ministry, high school religious education, grade school religious education, and religious education for persons with disabilities. The program includes a keynote presentation by a national speaker and 80 workshop modules.