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Frequently Asked Questions

 

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What is Equip for Ministry?

Equip for Ministry is a process for lay ministry formation in the Archdiocese of Baltimore.

Why is it called Equip for Ministry?

Saint Paul in his letter to the Ephesians talks about call and formation.  He writes that Jesus "gave some as apostles, others as prophets, others as evangelists, others as pastors and teachers to equip the holy ones for the work of ministry, for the building up of the body of Christ" (4:12)

Why do I need formation?

A very real answer is "because you are baptized." And the church owes you formation. The laity responds to their baptismal call to service in the mission of the Church. Pope John Paul II wrote "The call is a concern not only of Pastors, clergy, and men and women religious. The call is addressed to everyone: lay people as well are personally called by the Lord, from whom they receive a mission on behalf of the Church and the world. In preaching to the people Saint Gregory the Great recalls this fact and comments on the parable of the laborers in the vineyard: Keep watch over your manner of life, dear people, and make sure that you are indeed the Lord's laborers. Each person should take into account what he does and consider if he is laboring in the vineyard of the Lord". [1] Parishes and schools throughout the archdiocese should create a culture of formation where the baptismal call to service in the mission of the Church can be heard and responded to.

We all need formation. Lay ministers are in need of formation so that we can understand the ministry to which we are called, grow with one another in holiness, and gain competency in our work. Priests, deacons, religious, lay ecclesial ministers (those who serve on parish staffs in certain ministry positions including DREs, pastoral associates and coordinators of youth ministry, to name a few) all undergo formation. Their formation, as well as the formation of lay ministers targets four areas of formation.

Is Equip for Ministry simply a new name for the former of certification process?  No.  In a certification process a participant is working towards the ultimate goal of obtaining a "certificate of completion" to verify that they have completed a program.  The Equip for Ministry formation process differs in that the ultimate goal is not a certificate of completion at the end, but rather the goal is the formative process which one is engaging in while participating in Equip for Ministry.

So why does Equip for Ministry have Level One, Level Two and Recognition?  There are two levels in Equip for Ministry to address the need for both an introductory level of formation, as well as a deeper investigation of each area of formation.  Both level one and level two are built upon the four areas of formation outlined in Co-Workers in the Vineyard.  Level One introduces participants to the four areas of formation, and Level Two allows the participant to engage with each area in a more profound and specific manner.  As part of a culture of formation we desire to celebrate those who make a commitment to forming themselves as disciple and as ministers.  Recognition celebrates and acknowledges that a participant has engaged in reflection on the four areas, and is hopefully an encouragement to continue formation at an even deeper level.  Recognition also allows a lay minister who changes parishes or dioceses to develop with their new pastoral leader a continuing plan of formation which respects the formation that has already been done. 

What are the four areas of formation?

  • Human
  • Spiritual
  • Intellectual
  • Pastoral

What do each of those areas mean?

Lay ministers, in order to be effective in their ministries, need the qualities described in Co-Workers in the Vineyard for lay ecclesial ministers. Lay ministers must have "human qualities critical to form wholesome relationships and necessary to be apt instruments of God's love and compassion." They need "a spirituality and practice of prayer that root them in God's Trinitarian life, grounding and animating all they do in ministry." Called particularly at this point in our history, it is essential that they have "Adequate knowledge in theological and pastoral studies, along with the intellectual skill to use it among the people and cultures of our country." And finally, all need "the practical pastoral abilities called for in their particular ministry."

What do I need to do to register?

First, know the expectations your parish or school has for your role. This is best accomplished by meeting with the pastoral leader or his or her designee to discuss the requirements of the ministry and the formation it will entail.

Second, see if you meet the following requirements. We seek to enroll:

  • Catholics who are in good standing with the Church
  • Catholics whose belief in God and love for the Church makes them willing to authentically represent Church teaching
  • Persons who participate in the sacramental life of the church
  • People of prayer, conscious of the gift of faith in their life
  • Committed to on-going formation and working toward the formation required for a particular ministry in which they want to be involved

Finally, follow the button to register under the page "View all Courses". Should you have a problem, or if you do not have access to a computer, call Rosanne at 410-547-5405.

I heard this is considered blended learning. What does that mean?

A blended learning course has a significant portion of the learning experience on-line. This gives us the opportunity to meet together (crucial to formation) and to take some of the course work at home. It combines the best of both worlds. Blended learning also enables us to make really great teachers from our seminaries, parishes and schools available through the computer.

It should be noted that the Level One spirituality course is not a blended learning course.

What if I don't have a computer?

No problem. We will have a DVD format available for you. All you have to do is request it.

How much does a course cost?

A course costs $40.00. There are ways to get those costs reduced:

  • Parishes will sometimes pay part of the course costs.
  • Regional offerings that are approved by the archdiocese can have lower course costs.
  • There may be scholarship monies available. These are limited and can be applied for by calling emailing Rosanne Deludos.

How does the formation process work?

There are three levels in Equip for Ministry:  Level One, Level Two and Level Three.

The course content for Level One formation is based on the framework for lay ministry formation. Level One consists of four courses, one for each of the areas of formation: Spiritual, Human, Intellectual and Pastoral.

The courses for the Human, Intellectual and Pastoral areas of formation are eight weeks in length. Four weeks will be in person, to facilitate the building of community and four weeks will be on-line. Each course will designate which sessions are on-line and which are in person. For those who cannot access on line training, video assisted training will be provided.

The four areas of formation and the course associated with them are as follows:

  • Spirituality: A Call to On-Going Conversion Retreat
  • Human: Servant Leadership in the Church
  • Intellectual: Theology for Ministry

Pastoral Courses for Level One are as follows:

Pastoral Area

Level One Pastoral Course

Elementary Catechist K-5 (Parish)

Introduction to Elementary Catechesis

Middle/High School Catechist (parish)

Seminars in Youth Ministry

Catholic School Catechists K-5

Called to Teach - The Elementary Teacher

Catholic School Catechists 6-12

Seminars in Youth Ministry

Adult Faith Formation

Forming Adult Faith: Level I

Evangelization

Foundations in Catholic Evangelization: Level I

Marriage

Formation for Marriage Preparation Ministry

Youth Ministry

Seminars in Youth Ministry

Parish Social Ministry

Parish Social Ministry: Level I

Ministry to the Sick and Bereaved

Ministry to the Sick Bereaved: Level I

Liturgy

Liturgy in the Parish: Level I

Marriage Tribunal

Advocacy


That seems like an awful lot! Is it?

Our service and leadership in the Church calls us to be prepared and competent for the various ministries we undertake. While Equip for Ministry is a comprehensive formation program it is not designed to be overwhelming for participants.  In fact, most people will find that it isn't too much, and they will want even more.  That's why we have created Level Two.

What about Level Two? What's required for Level Two?

The course content for our Level Two formation is based on the framework for lay ministry formation.  The course requirement is decidedly more extensive than Level One.

As with Level One, the course requirements for the Spiritual, Human, Intellectual and Pastoral areas of formation will be eight weeks in length. Additionally, the four and four hybrid model will be used for Level Two. For those who cannot access online training, video assisted training will be provided for Level Two as well.

Pastoral Area

Three Required Courses for Intellectual Area of Formation

Elementary Catechist K-5 (Parish)

Liturgy and Sacraments

Moral Theology

Either Christian or Hebrew Scriptures (choose one of these two Scripture courses)

Middle/High School Catechist 6-12 (parish)

Christian Scripture

Catholic Social Teaching

Liturgy and Sacraments

Catholic School Catechists K-5

Liturgy and Sacraments

Moral Theology

Either Christian or Hebrew Scriptures (choose one of these two Scripture courses)

Catholic School Catechists 6-12

Christian Scriptures

Catholic Social Teaching

Trinity and Christology

Adult Faith Formation

Trinity and Christology

Liturgy and Sacraments

Moral Theology

Evangelization

Trinity and Christology

Liturgy and Sacraments

Moral Theology

Marriage

Trinity and Christology

Liturgy and Sacraments

Moral Theology

Youth Ministry

Christian Scriptures

Liturgy and Sacraments

Catholic Social Teaching

Parish Social Ministry

Catholic Social Teaching

Moral Theology

Either Christian or Hebrew Scriptures (choose one of these two Scripture courses)

Ministry to the Sick and Bereaved

Liturgy and Sacraments

Moral Theology

Christian Scriptures

Liturgy

Liturgy and Sacraments

Hebrew Scriptures

Christian Scriptures


Pastoral: A course specific to your particular ministry


Pastoral Area

Level Two Pastoral Course

Elementary Catechist K-5 (Parish)

Elementary Catechesis: Level II

Middle/High School Catechist (Parish)

Youth Ministry Next

Catholic School Catechists K-5

Called to Teach II– The Elementary Teacher

Catholic School Catechists 6-12

Youth Ministry Next

Adult Faith Formation

Forming Adult Faith: Level II

Evangelization

Foundations in Catholic Evangelization: Level II

Marriage

Formation for Marriage Preparation Ministry II

Youth Ministry

Youth Ministry Next

Parish Social Ministry

Parish Social Ministry: Level II

Ministry to the Sick and Bereaved

Ministry to the Sick Bereaved: Level II

Liturgy

Liturgy in the Parish: Level II

Marriage Tribunal

Advocacy


And what about Level Three?

Lay Ministers who have been granted an academic certificate, academic degree or 18 academic credits across spiritual, human, intellectual and pastoral areas within an appropriate field and have completed the Spirituality for Ministry Component will be recognized at the Level Three.

Where can I find the schedule of classes?

You can go to the course schedule page that is constantly being updated  Click Here

 

What is the process for recognition?

There are three levels of recognition for Lay Ministers and Catholic School teachers within the Archdiocese of Baltimore.

Level One

Each Lay Minister will have successfully completed the four Basic Components (Spiritual, Human, Intellectual, and Pastoral)

Level One recognition is valid for a five year period and is not renewable. Within that five year period of time, every Lay Minister is encouraged to continue their formation by engaging in courses in the Four Component Areas of Spirituality, Human, Intellectual, and Pastoral. Upon the completion of one Spiritual, one Human, three Intellectual (determined by each specific ministry) and one Pastoral Component, the Lay Minister will be recognized at a Level Two.

Level Two

Level Two recognition is valid for a five year period of time and may be renewed as many times as necessary by the Lay Minister.

Level Two may be renewed at the end of the five year validity period by successfully completing one Spiritual Component, one Human Component, one Intellectual Components, one Pastoral Components. Courses taken at approved academic institutions whether on campus or online may be accepted for renewal of recognition.

Level Three

Lay Ministers who have been granted an academic certificate, academic degree or 18 academic credits across S, H, I, and P within an appropriate field will be recognized at the Level Three.

Level Three is valid for a ten year period of time and may be renewed either by academic work (six credits) in the context of your pastoral ministry and across the four areas of formation or by successfully completing one Spiritual, one Human, one Intellectual, one Pastoral Components.

Where can I find additional information?

Additional information for Equip for Ministry: A Process of Formation for Lay Ministry in the Archdiocese of Baltimore can be found at the archdiocesan website www.archbalt.org /equip, or by calling the following archdiocesan offices:

Division of Catechetical and Pastoral Formation - 410-547-5405410-547-5405

Division of Youth and Young Adult Ministry - 410-547-5372410-547-5372