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Catechist Formation and Certification

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The Office of Faith Formation promotes lifelong faith formation for Arkansas Catholics by empowering, resourcing and certifying parish catechetical leaders, coordinators of Christian initiation, parish catechists and Christian initiation teams. We strive to implement the General and National Directories for Catechesis, the Rites of Christian Initiation and other Church documents related to catechesis, Christian formation and initiation.

Catechist Certification Program

Catechist certification is a program for catechists in parishes and schools that ensures that those who teach the Catholic faith have the necessary understanding and knowledge to share the faith with those they teach. There are three levels of catechist certification: basic, intermediate and advanced.

To obtain certification, catechists must complete courses in the subjects such as the creed, Scripture, catechetics, prayer and spirituality and liturgy and sacraments. It is vital that all who serve in ministry continue their formation and earn certification. Those who are already certified must maintain their certification by attending programs and workshops annually. To learn more, see Catechist Certification Guidelines.

There are several ways to earn credit toward certification. The following lists some of the more common ways to earn credit, but other workshops and programs offered by the Diocese of Little Rock or other dioceses, as well as national conferences and college course work may also be considered for possible credit. To find out if a program would be accepted for credit, Contact Us.


Little Rock Theology Institute

Little Rock Theology Institute is a three year academic program for adults wishing to learn more about the Catholic faith. Students may attend for personal enrichment, to earn catechist certification or earn a bachelor’s degree in theology. The classes, which are offered monthly from September to June, are taught by diocesan staff and professors from various Catholic colleges and universities in the United States and Canada. Participants meet on Fridays from 7-10 p.m. and Saturdays from 8 a.m.- 4:30 p.m. at St. John Catholic Center in Little Rock. To learn more, see the following:

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St. Andrew School of Evangelization

The St. Andrew School of Evangelization challenges participants to answer Jesus' call to evangelize to the ends of the earth, forming new evangelists for the new evangelization of the third millennium. It is named after the Apostle Andrew because of his example in evangelizing his brother, Peter. Its mission is to follow Andrew's example in finding people like Peter who can love, serve and proclaim the Lord better than ourselves. This ministry is available in English and Spanish. It began in the Diocese of Little Rock in March 2011. Internationally, there are more than 2,000 schools of evangelization in 63 countries worldwide. Participants may attend for their spiritual development or to earn credit toward catechist certification. Courses are offered year-round at the diocese and on the parish level. To learn more, go to St. Andrew School of Evangelization or download the following brochure:

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Virtual Learning Community for Faith Formation

The Virtual Learning Community for Faith Formation (VLCFF) is a growing initiative to offer adult religious education and faith formation anytime and anywhere via the internet. The goal is to support the Church's professional ministry of religious education and faith formation through cyberspace. The VLCFF is coordinated and sponsored by the Institute for Pastoral Initiatives (IPI) at the University of Dayton, Ohio, a Catholic Marianist Institution. Classes are offered in English and Spanish.

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Professional Day

The Arkansas Catholic Professional Day for Teachers is a daylong workshop for elementary and secondary Catholic school teachers, principals and parish religion teachers in Arkansas. During this September event, participants have the opportunity to earn professional development hours as required for continued certification. This event includes educational workshops, exhibitors and an awards ceremony for teachers celebrating 25 years of service in Catholic schools. All Catholic schools are closed on this day. The program is sponsored by the diocesan Catholic Schools Office. For more information, contact Theresa Hall at (501) 664-0340.

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Bible Institute

Each summer, Little Rock Scripture Study hosts a Scripture scholar to lead this weekend-long event to encourage participants to not only grow in their knowledge of the Scriptures, but also to grow in their relationship with the author of the Scriptures. The schedule includes presentations throughout the weekend, Mass, music, prayer, small group faith sharing and discussions with the speaker. This event is held at St. John Catholic Center in Little Rock in June. For more information, go to Bible Institute or contact Nancy Lee Walters at (501) 664-6102.


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