Emerging Models of Catechesis: A Study of Faith Formation Models

Next Session: Feb 24, 2020


This course is designed for parish ministers and team members involved in planning and implementing faith formation for all ages and anyone interested in learning more about emerging models of catechesis. The course provides a survey of emerging models and approaches to faith formation. The course points to texts, journals, web sites and parishes that provide and practice the models described. The course encourages conversation and mutual learning about all approaches to parish faith formation across the life span with the goal of assisting those who bear this responsibility.

Course Content

Unit 1

  • Overview of the Church’s call for life long faith formation.

Unit 2

  • Two leading models: “Whole Community Catechesis” and “Total Community Catechesis.”

Unit 3

  • Intergenerational Learning and “Generations of Faith.”

Unit 4

  • “Catechesis of the Good Shepherd” and Celebrating Milestones as a means of faith formation.

Unit 5

  • Family Faith Formation and Christian Practices as models of catechesis.

Course Format

  • Six weeks in duration, with one week for orientation.
  • Typically 15-20 students in each course.
  • Lecture material and supplemental readings provided online.
  • Written assignments (150-200 words) required.
  • Facilitator moderated chat sessions with students in course.

Required Texts

  • All course materials are available online in the course.

Participation Requirements

  • Read assigned texts; keep notes, questions, and comments for class discussion.
  • Participate in the class discussion using the Forums area: post at least 2 comments, questions, or responses per unit.
  • Write 150-200 words in response to the assignment in each unit.
  • Participate in at least 3 scheduled chat sessions throughout the course.
  • Complete the course evaluation.

Time Expectations

3 to 5 hours per week, depending on your learning style and schedule.

Course Certificate

A certificate of completion awarding 25 contact hours will be sent upon completion of all course requirements.


Lisa Orchen

Lisa Orchen

Lisa Orchen graduated from the University of Notre Dame with a BA in 1988 and returned to Notre Dame to earn a Master of Divinity in 1994. She is a certified Chaplain with the National Association of Catholic Chaplains and has served as a hospital chaplain, Director of Campus Ministry and as a Pastoral Associate for a vibrant parish in Connecticut. She serves as a trained catechist for the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd, writes for Liturgy Training Publications and leads archdiocesan workshops and retreats.

The basis for this course is the STEP Core Course: An Introduction to the Catholic Faith, which was developed by Mary Jane Silvia, Director for Youth Ministry, and Mary Ellen Mahon, Director for Catechetical Formation in the Diocese of Manchester, New Hampshire.  Lisa edited the course content and adjusted additional readings to better suit the experience of Catholic school teachers.  In addition, Lisa will be the primary though not the only facilitator of this course.