Evangelization and Catechetical Ministry: Guidelines

Guideline: 1
Guideline: 2
Guideline: 3
Guideline: 4
Guideline: 5
Guideline 6:
Guideline: 7
Guideline: 8
Guideline: 9
Guideline: 10
Guideline: 11
Guideline: 12
Guideline: 13
Guideline: 14
Guideline: 15
Guideline: 1



The Parish Director of Catechetical Ministry is the professional staff person responsible for the coordination and administration of the total religious education program of the parish under the supervision of the Pastor. Depending on the size and structure of the parish, this person may be assisted by other staff persons responsible for one or more specific areas, i.e., sacramental preparation, elementary religious education, youth ministry programs, young adult programs, adult religious education programs, Hispanic programs, etc.

In parishes where there is more than one Director, close cooperation and communication with each other, under the leadership of the Pastor, shall be emphasized to insure unity in all programming.

Responsibilities of the Director of Catechetical Ministry (DCM)


  • To develop a philosophy of religious education for the parish in collaboration with other professional staff and parish leadership.
  • To assess the total religious education needs of the parish in collaboration with other professional staff and parish leadership.
  • To establish goals, objectives and strategies for parish catechetical ministry in collaboration with other professional staff and parish leadership.
  • To assess progress toward goals at regular intervals, in collaboration with other professional staff and parish leadership.


  • To design or otherwise assure strong catechetical programs to meet the needs at each level.
  • To enable leadership to respond to the needs at various levels.
  • To oversee all programs and supervise those conducted by coordinators and volunteers.
  • To assure the selection of appropriate catechetical texts and materials according to diocesan guidelines, in collaboration with professional staff.
  • To encourage parental participation in appropriate programs.
  • To evaluate all programs at regular intervals, in collaboration with professional staff.


  • To recruit, screen, inservice coordinators and others responsible for servicing programs, in collaboration with professional staff.
  • To be a resource person to all coordinators.
  • To recruit, screen, inservice catechists.
  • To provide training for catechists in accordance with diocesan guidelines.
  • To provide opportunities for on-going education and spiritual formation of personnel.
  • To inform personnel of opportunities for professional courses/workshops for spiritual growth.
  • To recognize, encourage and support the catechetical efforts of those involved in the programs.
  • To evaluate all personnel and supervise paraprofessionals and volunteers in collaboration with professional staff.


  • To organize and supervise the parish Religious Catechetical Center.
  • To oversee proper use of parish facility.
  • To develop job descriptions for program coordinators in accordance with diocesan guidelines.
  • To develop a budget in collaboration with professional staff.
  • To be responsible for overseeing the expenditures of money.
  • To assure the maintenance of catechist and student records.
  • To prepare and recommend policies and procedures regarding parish religious education to Pastor/Education Committee/Parish Pastoral Council in collaboration with professional staff.
  • To coordinate the scheduling of all religious education programming.
  • To conduct meetings of catechetical staff.
  • To organize a parish Catechetical Resource Center.


  • To meet regularly with the pastor and pastoral team.
  • To serve as an ex officio member of the parish board for educational ministry or parish pastoral council.
  • To communicate policies and procedures to parents, students, catechists, team members and other adults in collaboration with the professional staff.
  • To prepare a master calendar for catechetical ministry in collaboration with professional staff and parish leadership.
  • To maintain close communication with the Diocesan Office for Evangelization and Catechetical Ministry.
  • To participate in local community and ecumenical religious education activities.


  • To be available to parents, students and adults for consultation, advice, referral.
  • To serve as a resource to parish groups when appropriate.
Guideline: 2



The Coordinator is the compensated or non-compensated person responsible, under the Director of Catechetical Ministry, for the implementation of the catechetical program in a specific area.

The Program Coordinator may also be a paid professional staff person, such as the Coordinator of Youth Ministry, the RCIA Coordinator, the Coordinator of Adult Faith Formation, the Parochial School Coordinator, etc. Where the coordinator is a paid professional staff person, diocesan guidelines for qualification and job description of the position are normative. In any case, the Coordinator of a particular program should be knowledgeable and competent in the program area, and should take advantage of on-going education and growth through courses and workshops.

Responsibilities of the Program Coordinator

  • To collaborate in the development of philosophy of catechesis, needs, assessment, goal setting and evaluation.
  • To give input regarding budgetary needs, program planning and scheduling, procedures and policies for catechetical or evangelization programs.
  • To recruit personnel needed for particular program (catechists, aides, substitutes, team members, facilitators, sponsors, etc.).
  • To insure readiness of facility.
  • To provide materials for catechists and aides.
  • To provide community experiences for group for which she/he is responsible.
  • To participate in catechetical or evangelization meetings, where appropriate.
  • To avail of opportunities for professional, personal and spiritual growth.

Responsibility for the program area should be commensurate with the professional preparation and experience of the coordinator, safeguarding at all times the integrity of the total catechetical education program of the parish.

Guideline: 3


These competencies are taken from Guidelines for the Certification of Parish Catechetical and Youth Ministry Coordinators, developed by the California Catholic Conference of Diocesan Directors of Catechetical Ministry and the Region XI Diocesan Directors of Youth Ministry, 1989.

Core Competencies

  • Apply appropriate principles of human development, especially faith and moral development to a catechetical program.
  • Utilize appropriate methodologies of child-centered and/or adult-centered learning;
  • Implement a program of catechist formation according to diocesan certification norms;
  • Select an appropriate curriculum design consistent with the [National Directory for Catechesis] and diocesan norms;
  • Articulate a vision of catechesis and the catechetical process in light of the applicable documents and pastoral letters of the Church;
  • Assist people to understand and interpret their life and faith experiences in light of Scripture, the Church’s tradition and their culture;
  • Discern and call forth the talents and gifts of various individuals in order to develop and sustain diverse leadership within a program;
  • Promote multilingual and multicultural ministry by involving the parish community in Christian faith experiences reflecting the ethnic diversity of the Church;
  • Provide opportunities to experience and participate in Christian service, especially linking such opportunities to the fostering of peace and justice;
  • Apply appropriate managerial principles and administrative skills to the coordination of a parish program;
  • Provide opportunities for participation in prayer, personal spiritual development and communal worship while maintaining sensitivity to the cultural practices of the faith community;
  • Develop systems to extend program opportunities to groups and individuals less likely to participate because of factors such as physical or developmental disabilities, educational disadvantages, language barriers or social alienation;
  • Assure that appropriate legal and moral responsibilities are provided for within the context of a parish program;
  • Maintain a collaborative relationship with other pastoral staff, parish ministry leadership, diocesan offices and colleagues in the field;
  • Facilitate the planning, implementation and evaluation of both long-range and short range program goals in light of the specific needs and ethnic-cultural composition of the parish.
Guideline: 4



The preferred academic qualifications in our diocese for the professional Director of Catechetical Ministry are:

  • The Masters in Religious Education; or
  • A Masters in Religious Studies or Theology with an understanding of contemporary catechetics;
  • An Advanced Degree with a Certificate in Catechetical Ministry issued by the San Diego Diocesan Institute.

The preferred academic qualifications in our diocese for the Program Coordinator are:

  • B.A. in Religious Education or in Religious Studies or Theology with an understanding of contemporary catechetics;
  • Diploma in Religious Education issued jointly by the Diocese of San Diego and the University of San Diego between the years 1977-1993.
  • Certificate in Catechetical Ministry issued by the San Diego Diocesan Institute.
Guideline: 5


The Certificate in Catechetical Ministry provides fundamental Catholic theological, doctrinal, and catechetical formation for interested adults wishing to pursue ministry in the areas of Director of Catechetical Ministry, Program Coordinator, or California Master Catechist Certification.

This certificate program offers college-level courses which provide:

  • a general orientation to basic aspects of Church teaching, in the areas of Revelation, Scripture, Jesus Christ, Church, Liturgy, Sacraments, Morality, and Spirituality;
  • a basic orientation in catechetics, catechetical method, and growth and development of the whole person;
  • a course of study which strengthens a person’s talents and gifts for ministry by enriching their understanding of Catholic faith within a pastoral perspective;
  • training to interpret the challenges of contemporary Catholic living and to integrate the Gospel message into both life and ministry.


Completion of the certificate requires:
Current California Catechist Certification or the following courses

C110—Introduction to the Catechism of the Catholic Church (15 hrs) and
S100—Faith Growth: Childhood/Early Adolescence (15 hrs) or
S105 Faith Growth: Adults (15 hrs) and
S120—Catechetics (15 hrs)

(Completion of C110, S120, and S100 or S105 grants California Catechist Certification)
and a minimum of 255 clock hours taken for credit and obtained through the following courses

  • C120—Local Church (15 hours)
  • C200—Introduction to Morality (30 hrs)
  • C210—Introduction to Old Testament (30 hrs)
  • C220—Introduction to New Testament (30 hrs)
  • G100—Fundamental Theology (15 hrs)
  • G120—Introduction to Spirituality (30 hrs)
  • G130—Christology (30 hrs)
  • G140—Ecclesiology (30 hrs)
  • G150—Introduction to Liturgy and Sacraments (30 hrs)
  • G200—Multicultural Pastoral Focus (15 hrs)

Candidates may be dispensed from courses on demonstration of equivalent background, but may transfer in only 90 clock hours from other institutions.


Tuition for 15 hour courses is $50.00.
Tuition for 30 hour courses is $70.00.
Special rates are available for parish groups of 4 or more.
Books and handouts will be approximately an additional $15-25 per course.


Acceptance into the certificate program requires:

  • Completion of a Ministry Profile Form available from the Diocesan Institute Office.
  • Active membership in a parish.
  • Capability of study at the college level.

Candidates may go at their own pace in pursuing the Certificate in Catechetical Ministry, depending on the availability of courses. Ordinarily it will take a minimum of two years to complete.


Candidates should consult the Student Handbook for complete course descriptions and information regarding prerequisites for various courses. The Handbook is available online at: www.sdcatholic.org/institute.


Courses are offered at a central diocesan site as well as, periodically, at parish sites in Noth County, South Bay, East County and the Imperial Valley. Courses are held on weekdays, evenings, or in intensive summer sessions. Course schedules are available by mail or online at: www.sdcatholic.org/institutte.htm.


Candidates agree to attend class regularly, to be active participants in class discussion, to complete reading, and take exams. Participants will receive grades and transcripts.

For further information regarding Institute Courses and Certificate Program, please call




Persons interested in completing ministry formation as a DCM or Coordinator, should also take the following courses/workshops offered by the Office for Evangelization and Catechetical Ministry: Practical Aspects of Ministry of DCM/Coordinator and Supervision Workshops. The Office for Evangelization and Catechetical Ministry serves as a liaison for Pastors seeking to hire a DCM and persons seeking employment. For further information regarding ministry as DCM or Program Coordinator, please call 858-490-8232.

Guideline 6:


(prepared by the Office for Human Resources, Diocese of San Diego)


GENERAL DESCRIPTION: Responsible for providing Christian formation, religious education and sacramental preparation to members of the parish faith community.


Religious Educator positions are found in parishes at one or more levels. The series includes the following four levels:

Director of Catechetical Ministry II: Fully responsible for a comprehensive parish religious education program including adult Christian formation. This includes supervising other Religious Education personnel; managing the office; recruitment and training of volunteers; planning programs for adults, teens, children; evaluating program curricula and acting as parish resource person in methods and some areas of theology. The classification requires a MDiv/MA Degree in Religious Studies, Religious Education, or related field and three to five years of experience in the field.

Classification Level: M-5 FLSA Status: Exempt

Director of Catechetical Ministry I: Directs several dimensions of a comprehensive parish religious education program OR has full responsibility for a less comprehensive parish religious education program. This typically includes supervising support staff personnel; recruitment and training of volunteers; planning programs for adults, teens and children; evaluating program curricula and acting as parish resource person in methods and some areas of theology. The classification requires a MDiv/MA degree in Religious Studies, Religious Education, or related field with no experience OR graduate level background in theology/catechetics with experience in the field.

Classification Level: M-4 FLSA Status: Exempt

Catechetical Program Coordinator II: Responsible for a parish religious education program, utilizing a variety of resources to complement the Coordinator’s background and skills. This typically includes managing the Religious Education Office; supervising staff; recruitment and training of volunteers; planning programs for adults, teens or children; and evaluating program curricula. The classification requires a Bachelor’s Degree in Religious Studies or related field, or Certificate in Catechetical Ministry, and parish experience.

Classification Level: M-3 FLSA Status: Exempt

Catechetical Program Coordinator I: Responsible for implementing and overseeing a narrowly conceived religious education formation program or one facet of a total parish program. The classification typically supervises volunteer staff, recruits catechists, plans and chairs meetings, schedules classes and facilities, orders materials and books and, in general, carries out program organizational details for the Pastor, Religious education director or Coordinator. The classification requires the related education and experience to perform basic religious education responsibilities. Participation in an educational program toward a Certificate in Catechetical Ministry helpful.

Classification Level: M-2 FLSA Status: Exempt


GENERAL DESCRIPTION: To develop and implement activities and programs designed to build up the faith life of adults in the parish for the purpose of enriching the faith life of the whole parish. Assesses needs of parish adults for spiritual, intellectual, emotional and religious growth. Conducts or coordinates programs, counseling and spiritual direction.


Director of Adult Faith Formation: The Director of Adult Faith Formation is responsible for directing, facilitation and conducting a number of adult faith activities and programs in a parish. The programs typically include RCIA, RENEW, scriptural study, retreats, support groups, Small Christian Communities, etc. The position is responsible for budget preparation, needs assessment and retraining of volunteers. He/she operates with a high level of delegation from the pastor and should have a Masters Degree in Religious Studies, Religious Education, or a related field or equivalent experience and education as well as spiritual leadership skills.

Classification Level: M-4 FLSA Status: Exempt

Coordinator of Adult Faith Formation: The coordinator is responsible for conducting and directing adult faith formation activities and established programs in a parish. The program at this level does not possess the breadth described by the Director level above. The coordinator would serve more as a direct contact and resource for small groups and facilitate prepared educational programs. The position would probably not have budget responsibility nor would it coordinate speakers series. The position operates with oversight and assistance provided by the pastor and should require a Bachelor’s Degree in a related field, certification in catechetical ministry or equivalent experience and education.

Classification Level: M-2 FLSA Status: Exempt

Guideline: 9


The Diocese of San Diego provides an Employee Assistance Program for all employees of the diocese through Horizon Health. The program is free to employees and eligible household members.

The Employee Assistance Program (E.A.P.) provides confidential services for a wide range of concerns that include:

  • Difficulties in Relationships
  • Emotional/Psychological Issues
  • Stress and Anxiety Issues with Work or Family
  • Alcohol and Drug Abuse
  • Grief Issues
  • Legal or Financial Issues
  • Personal and Life Improvement
  • Depression

To access services, please call the toll free number—1-800-342-8111 or log on to www.horizoncarelink.com (login—dosd; password—eap).

The service is paid for by the employer as an employee benefit. Assessment, referral and up to eight face-to-face counseling services are available.

Guideline: 10


The following rules of conduct are taken from the Personnel Manual for the Diocese of San Diego. The following categories include, but are not limited to, those types of conduct that are considered unacceptable and may be the basis of disciplinary action up to and including termination:

  • Inability or unwillingness to work harmoniously with others;
  • Insubordination;
  • Violation of safety regulations;
  • Unauthorized removal of church property;
  • Gambling on parish time or property;
  • Possession, use, distribution, dispensing or selling of illegal drugs;
  • Working under the influence of alcohol or other intoxicants;
  • Harm or threat of harm to persons or property;
  • Possession of a weapon or explosives on church property;
  • Unexcused absences or tardiness;
  • Sleeping on working time, wasting time;
  • Misrepresenting, falsifying or concealing information;
  • Improper use of parish resources;
  • Failure to protect parish business interests;
  • Soliciting others or distributing literature without permission;
  • Conviction of a felony, or misdemeanor involving moral turpitude;
  • Other criminal conduct even though not resulting in a conviction;
  • Unsatisfactory job performance;
  • Behavior which seriously and/or publicly violates the official teachings of the Catholic Church;
  • Sexual misconduct or sexual harassment.

Revised October 1, 1995
Personnel Manual, Diocese of San Diego

Guideline: 11


Purpose: The Office for Evangelization and Catechetical Ministry fosters the evangelizing, catechizing mission of the Church by assisting parishes in forming true disciples of Christ through a) missionary activity directed to non-believers; b) initial proclamation directed to those inquiring about the faith; c) initial catechetical activity directed to catechumens and to candidates seeking full communion; d) pastoral activity directed to the baptized but uncatechized and the unchurched and e) permanent catechesis centered around ongoing conversion, discipleship, maturity in faith and fullness of life in Christ.

The Office offers vision and framework for evangelization and catechetical ministry that is grounded in Scripture and based on The Diocesan General Plan, The Catechism of the Catholic Church; The National Directory for Catechesis, Go and Make Disciples, and Our Hearts Were Burning Within Us. The office provides formation for catechists, preschool through adult, including those with special needs and serves in the formation and resourcing of parish catechetical and evangelization leadership in the areas of Catechetical Programming; Evangelization; RCIA; Adult Faith Formation; Infant Baptism; and Small Christian Communities.

Goal One: To promote enthusiastic evangelization and systematic, authentic catechesis embracing Catholics of all ages who are in need of ongoing evangelization and thorough catechesis.

Objective A: To assist and encourage parish evangelization and catechetical leadership through ongoing formation, inservice, consultation and support.

Strategies: To offer regular inservice meetings, days of reflection and retreats; to provide courses and workshops on evangelization and catechesis; to provide orientation to new leadership; to review curriculum; to communicate pertinent information; to maintain adequate statistics; to consult on individual basis as needed; to serve as a liaison for hiring parish catechetical and evangelization leadership.

Objective B: To give priority to and promote adult catechesis as the principal form of catechesis.

Strategies: To offer courses, workshops, inservices and suggested resources on adult formation, discipleship, Scripture, inculturation of the Gospel and transformation of the culture; to promote intergenerational and whole parish catechesis.

Objective C: To make accessible audio-visual and curriculum resources for use in programs of evangelization and catechesis.

Strategies: To provide resources through Media and Resource Centers in San Diego and Imperial Valley; to provide a media catalog and resource lists, to consult and recommend media for programming; to provide workshops on the use of media; to maintain a curriculum library.

Goal Two: To form, certify and renew catechists and master catechists.

Objective: To provide formation and renewal opportunities for master catechists and for catechists of preschoolers through adults, including special religious education.

Strategies: To offer Basic Catechist Formation Courses throughout the diocese; to offer specialization courses and workshops in areas such as Preschool, Special Religious Education, Catechetical Methods, Adult Faith Formation, Evangelization, Infant Baptism, RCIA; to provide master catechist formation as needed; to provide renewal opportunities through conferences and workshops; to assist with coordination and implementation of the Annual Conference for Church Ministers; to integrate media and technology into formation programs wherever possible; to issue all certificates and maintain certification and renewal records for all catechists and master catechists.

Goal Three: To promote evangelization and integral catechesis to those who do not know Christ and have not been baptized, and to Christians seeking full communion.

Objective: To assist parish evangelization and initiation leadership through ongoing formation, inservice, consultation and support.

Strategies: To offer courses, workshops and inservice opportunities in developing the evangelizing and initiating dimensions of ministry; to organize parish participation in the Diocesan Rite of Election and Call to Continuing Conversion; to provide consultation and to suggest resources.

Goal Four: To promote the new evangelization and integral catechesis for Catholics who are alienated, inactive or unchurched.

Objective: To raise awareness and support parishes in efforts to evangelize or re-evangelize and to assist in developing the welcoming and evangelizing dimension of parish ministry.

Strategies: To offer inservice opportunities, courses and workshops in developing the evangelizing dimension of ministry; to provide training for Visitadores por Cristo; to serve as a resource.

Goal Five: To integrate pertinent church documents and the six tasks of catechesis into programming.

Objective A: To provide opportunities for leadership, catechists, and adults to explore content, implementation and integration into parish ministry.

Strategies: To offer inservices to Catechetical and Evangelization Leadership; to review and/or revise courses and materials in light of documents where appropriate.

Objective B: To implement aspects of the National Directory for Catechesis which need to be integrated into the work of the Office for Evangelization and Catechetical Ministry.

Strategies: To discuss the implications and implementation with OECM staff and pertinent diocesan offices; to revise the Master Catechist Formation Course, handbooks, guidelines and materials in light of the NDC; to determine the feasibility of integrating and developing initiatives called for by the NDC, such as curriculum guidelines, evaluation of parish catechetical programming, and certification of parish catechetical leadership.

Objective C: To keep updated on current developments in catechesis and evangelization.

Strategies: To study new ecclesial documents and their implications for evangelization and catechesis; to integrate advancements in media and technology, where appropriate.

Guideline: 12


  • Mission/Philosophy/Goals
  • Overview of Programs
  • Name, phone number of Pastor/DCM/Coordinators
  • Role of DCM/Coordinators
  • Role of Catechetical/Religious Education Board
  • Office Hours
  • Names of Catechists/Assistants/Staff

(may include certification status)

  • Calendar
  • Overview of Curriculum
  • Expectations of Parents (role of parents in religious formation)
  • Policies/Requirements for Sacraments
  • Schedule of Class Times
  • Fees/Scholarships
  • Attendance Policy
  • Student Insurance
  • Discipline Procedures
  • Homework
  • Progress Reports
  • Times when Students are Supervised

e.g. students should be dropped off ten minutes before class and picked up within ten minutes of end of class

  • Accommodating Persons with Special Needs
  • Emergency Procedures
  • Safety Procedures
  • Safe Environment Procedures
  • Calling in absences
  • Early dismissals with note from parents
  • Children can only go home with designated persons
  • Medical information
  • Fire drills
  • Earthquake preparedness
  • Bomb threats
  • Procedures regarding bicycles, skates, skateboards, etc.
  • Parking procedures
  • Student Threats
  • Resources available in parish
Guideline: 13


In addition to the items in the parent handbook, a catechist handbook could include:

  • Catechist certification/renewal requirements
  • Attendance at inservice meetings
  • Attendance at conferences, etc.
  • Information on size of classes
  • Arrival times/dismissal times
  • Safety information (as in Handbook for Evangelization and Catechetical Leadership)
  • Screening Procedures for Catechetical Personnel
  • Safe Environment Procedures
  • Affidavit Regarding Convictions
  • Child abuse reporting
  • Role of assistants
  • Procedure for catechist absences
  • Lesson plans
  • Use and reservation of equipment and audio visuals
  • Collaboration w/parochial school teachers, if applicable
  • Communication w/parents through DCM
  • Food/drink policy
  • Field trip policies
  • Reimbursement policies
  • How to obtain materials
  • Copying procedures
  • Policies on fund-raising
Guideline: 14


Family Information

  • Family Last Name
  • Address
  • City/State
  • Home Phone
  • Email Address
  • Mother’s Name
  • Mother’s Religion
  • Occupation
  • Work Phone
  • Religion
  • Marital Status
  • Father’s Name
  • Father’s Religion
  • Occupation
  • Work Phone
  • Marital Status
  • Emergency Contact Person
  • Emergency Contact Phone
  • Relationship to Family

Student Information

  • Name
  • Date of Birth
  • Religion
  • Grade
  • School
  • Male/Female
  • Brothers and Sisters in Program
  • Sacraments Received—Date, Parish, Address of Parish
  • Special Needs (e.g.—Custodial questions)
  • Special Learning Needs
  • Medical Problems
  • Name of Parish where Student Last Attended Religious Education

Bookkeeping Information

  • Date paid
  • Check number
  • Amount
  • Copy of Baptismal Certificate


Maria Olivia Galvan
Chancellor and Director of Pastoral Ministries
Phone: (858) 490-8232
Joseph Horejs
Associate Director
Phone: (858) 490-8232
Maria Olivia Galvan
Chancellor and Director of Pastoral Ministries
Phone: (858) 490-8232
Leticia Trent
Associate Director
Phone: (858) 490-8222
Lupita Perez
Administrative Assistant
Phone: (858) 490-8232
Lisa Vaca
Administrative Assistant
Phone: (858) 490-8230