Certification Process and Paperwork
A quick overview of the certification process. The paperwork and details associated with this process are explained below.
Proof of Attendance
Whenever a catechist, youth minister or school religion teacher attends a course or workshop for certification credit he or she should file a certificate of attendance (attendance slip) – listing their name, the title of the course and its presenter’s name, the location where they attended the course and the date – with their parish catechetical leader or Catholic school principal. When possible the attendance slip should also include the level (Basic / Intermediate / Advanced) and topic (ie, “IC – Sacraments”, “AC-T/S: Morality”) for which this course provides credit. Alternatively, the sponsoring organization may provide the parish/school with a list of its attendees who completed a course and this information is then recorded on the individual’s certification transcript.
Parishes and Catholic schools are expected to maintain a diocesan catechist/youth minister/religion teacher certification transcript for each catechist, youth minister or Catholic school religion teacher who is active in the parish or school catechetical program. Due to the different topics required for the different certification tracks or specializations, there is a separate certification transcript for each track or specialty, which may be downloaded by clicking on the following links:
While the official copy of the transcript is to be kept on file at the parish/school (and reviewed and updated by the institution each year), individual catechists, youth ministers and teachers are encouraged to keep to keep track of the course they have taken and certification levels attained as a backup to the official, parish/school-based copy. The individual is responsible for both assisting their parish or school in updating their transcript(s) and for maintaining their own accurate records. The information recorded in the certification transcript should be used by the parish/school-based catechetical/youth ministry leader or principal as a basis to determine what certification levels have been reached. Consequently, the parish/school-based catechist, youth minister & school religion teacher certification transcript contains irreplaceable information for the catechist/youth minister/religion teacher. Transcripts of inactive catechists, youth ministers or religion teachers should be kept by the parish or school in an inactive file or returned to the individual.
Each summer the Director of Catechist Formation reviews and processes requests from parish catechetical/youth ministry leaders and Catholic school principals to certify their volunteers/staff who have completed the required courses for either provisional, basic, intermediate (levels I-V), full or advanced certification as catechists of children, youth ministers, catechists of adults, intergenerational catechists or Catholic school religion teachers or the renewal of their full or advanced certifications. The Request Form for Catechist or Youth Minister Certification is available as Appendix 23E of the 2014 edition of the Guidelines and Policies for the Formation & Certification of Catechists, Youth Ministers & Catholic School Teachers and is available to parish/school catechetical leaders from the diocesan intranet.
With the exception of participants at a diocesan/OECFL sponsored basic certification retreat – who received their provisional catechist of children or youth minister certification at the conclusion of the retreat – under normal circumstances only those individuals whose catechetical/youth ministry leader or principal has submitted their names on the Request Form for Certification will be issued certification by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany, now through its Catholic School Office.
After the Director of Catechist Formation has processed a certification request he will issue the appropriate certificate. The certificate is sent to the parish/school requesting their certification so that it can be presented at the local level.
Each September the Director supplies our diocesan newspaper, The Evangelist, with the names of all catechists, youth ministers and Catholic school teachers who have been issued certifications during the previous twelve months. Traditionally this listing is published as part of the paper’s observance of Catechetical Sunday.
The 2016-17 listing of catechists of children, youth ministers, catechists of adults and intergenerational catechists who received diocesan certification over the past year. The Albany Diocese would like to thank these men and women for putting in the time and effort to take part in the training and formation that leads to diocesan catechetical certification. The names of teachers in our Catholic schools who received certification this year will be published for Catholic Schools Week in January.
The Diocese does not keep individual catechist record cards or transcripts. Instead, it maintains a database of catechists/youth ministers/school religion teachers who have qualified for a particular level of certification (either as a catechist, youth minister or school religion teacher) and whose catechetical leader has formally requested that they receive such certification (see “Certification Requests” above). This data, which is updated each summer, simply lists the catechist’s/youth minister’s/teacher’s name, parish/school, level of certification, and date of certification and does not include a listing of the courses taken to qualify for any particular level of certification. Consequently, questions regarding what specific courses an individual catechist, youth minister or religion teacher has taken towards their certification should be referred to their parish or school’s catechetical leader as that is where the information is supposed to be kept. (This is why we recommend that individuals keep a duplicate copy of their transcript as a backup.)