Deepening your relationship with God
In Catechesis of the Good Shepherd adults are given the opportunity to embrace a method of catechesis (or religious education) that will deepen one’s relationship with God. Catechist formation in Catechesis of the Good Shepherd is both instructive as well as experiential. It captivates both the head as well as the heart. It has a holistic approach for the adult, enriching the adult in a background of scripture and liturgy, theology and prayer, as well as the pedagogy of the young child, helping the adult to see what face of God the young child most needs in order to enter into a relationship with God. Therefore, Catechesis of the Good Shepherd requires the adult to receive training in the method in a way that is “retreat-like,” giving time and space to absorb the richness of what it means to live one’s baptismal covenant and grow in the love and knowledge of God.
Training in The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd
- Level I catechist formation is for adults seeking to serve children who are three to six years old. This training is at least 90 hours. This is the foundational training for all succeeding levels of catechist formation. All the key themes and presentations that are essential to this method of catechesis are introduced at this level so it is important for an adult to begin at this level. It is also valuable for the adult in understanding the child’s developmental needs and religious capacities at this level.
- Level II catechist formation is for adults seeking to serve children who are six to nine years old (or first through third grade). This training is at least 96 hours and continues the themes first introduced in Level I catechist formation. It expands upon those themes according to the developmental needs and capacities of this age child. New themes are also introduced at this level especially around the History of the Kingdom of God, Moral Parables, and the sacrament of Holy Eucharist. Sacramental preparation is also a key component of this catechist formation.
- Level III catechist formation is for those seeking to serve children who are nine to twelve years old (or fourth through sixth grades). This training is about 110-120 hours and builds upon the previous two levels of training. It continues to broaden the scope of scriptural and liturgical themes according to the child’s ability and developmental needs. In-depth Old Testament scripture studies are introduced at this level along with a broader look at God’s Plan in the History of the Kingdom of God and the Judeo-Christian roots of Christianity.
Courses in The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd have a variety of formats as often they are structured to suit the needs of a particular community. Some courses are monthly, while others are quarterly, and, still others are one-two weeks over two summers. Courses in The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd are led by formation leaders who are recognized leaders through the United States Association of The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd. These formation leaders have not only completed all three levels of catechist formation in The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd, they have personally written an album for the level they will lead, had it reviewed by another formation leader, served on courses in which they have received mentoring by another more experienced formation leader, and they have entered a formal process of discernment and review for recognition as a formation leader.