In updating and revising the certification and adult education programs in the Diocese of Madison, we approach the process in two general phases. Presently, we are establishing the course offerings for Basic Certification. Secondly, we will revise and further develop the means for obtaining Advanced Certification on an ongoing basis.
CORE (Basic) Courses
This course track is designed to provide a systematic foundation in the fundamentals of our Catholic faith. Ideally, every adult Catholic would continue to grow in greater communion with Jesus Christ by deepening their understanding and assimilation of these truths into his or her daily life. These courses could also provide an exceptional academic component for RCIA and confirmation prep programs. Those who successfully complete these courses are awarded a Certificate in Catholic Foundations.
Sacred Scripture (12 hrs)
Introduction to Sacred Scripture
Salvation History in Sacred Art (2 hrs)
Scriptural and Theological Foundations (2 hrs)
The T3 bible Timeline (DVD Series) (8 hrs)
Doctrine (14 hrs)
The Creed: what Catholics Believe (6 hrs)
Life in Christ: Introduction to Christian Morality (8 hrs)
Christian Spirituality (12 hrs)
Sacraments: Celebration of the Christian Mystery (6 hrs)
Christian Prayer (6 hrs)
CORE (Basic) Catechetical Methods
These courses listed below are designed to assist all Catholics in understanding the Church’s teaching on Evangelization and Catechesis: their origin, purpose, necessity and method. Since all baptized Catholics are called, and naturally inclined, to bring others to Christ, all adults would benefit from these courses, but especially parish religious education catechists, youth ministers, and those involved in adult religious education. Those who successfully complete this track in addition to those of the Catholic Foundations track, are awarded a Basic Catechetical Certification.
Methods (12 hrs)
Evangelization. (6 hrs)
Catechesis. (8 hrs)
CORE (Basic) Level Course Descriptions
“Catechesis is an education of children, young people and adults in the faith, which includes especially the teaching of Christian doctrine imparted, generally speaking, in an organic and systematic way, with a view to initiating the hearers into the fullness of Christian life… I am stressing the need for organic and systematic Christian instruction, because of the tendency in various quarters to minimize its importance.” (John Paul II, Catechesi Tradendae)
In our efforts to provide the most effective systematic catechetical training possible, the Basic Courses are designed to be taken sequentially. Therefore, new participants are to take the courses CAT 101 through CAT 111 in proper order, qualifying for each successive course after having completed the previous requirements. CAT 115 through CAT 119 may be taken earlier. The proper order of the courses, along with their respective descriptions, is as follows.
CAT 101 Introduction to Sacred Scripture (12 hours) (SS 1-12)
(Sacred Scripture) Divided into three parts:
(SS 1-2) Introduction: Salvation History in Sacred Art (2 hours)
How quickly can we summarize “the big picture” of salvation history? Utilizing a power-point presentation of masterpieces in Sacred Art, this course traces the entire scope of salvation history from creation, the fall, God’s preparation for the Christ as recorded in the Old Testament, the Incarnation, public life, passion, death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus Christ the Savior, and His abiding presence and action in His Church founded on “the rock” of St. Peter and his successors. As an introduction to Salvation History, this course is ordered toward preparing participants in properly categorizing every other topic they will study in the Basic Course Track.
(SS 3-4) Scriptural and Theological Foundations (2 hours)
We will introduce and discuss the foundational concepts and principles necessary for the study of theology. Such concepts include: the study of Man and his capacity for God, how we can know God and many of his properties through reason alone, how God has revealed himself most fully in the person of Jesus Christ, the transmission of divine revelation in the Church, the origin and principles of Sacred Scripture, and the nature of faith as an assent to what God has revealed.
(SS 5-12) The T3 Bible Timeline by Mark Hart (DVD Series) (8 hours)
An 8-Part DVD introduction to The Bible Timeline learning system, this course is designed to provide a concrete yet relatively brief overview of salvation history, from Genesis through the resurrection of Christ and the establishment of the Catholic Church. Students will learn about the spiritual benefits of Bible study, and how to enter deeper into "His-story" as they begin their study of the Scriptures. This study is an excellent introduction to the full, 24-Part Bible Timeline study, and offers a compelling overview of God's plan of salvation. The eight successive hours cover the following topics:
SS 5 Introduction to the Bible
SS 6 The Early World
SS 7 The Patriarchs
SS 8 Egypt & Exodus, Joshua, and Judges
SS 9 The Kingdom of God: United and Divided
SS 10 The Exile, the Return, and the Maccabean Revolt
SS 11 Jesus and the Gospels, The Messianic Fulfillment
SS 12 The Early Church and the Church Today
CAT 107 THE CREED: What Catholics Believe (6 hours) (CRD 1-6)
Catechism of the Catholic Church Pillar I (Doctrine)
We recite the Nicene Creed every Sunday and Holy Day of Obligation, but how aware are we of the beliefs we are professing? Unpacking the articles of the Creed, using both the tools of faith and reason, we discover the compelling truths we are privileged to have received from Christ and His Church. The Creed summarizes the most fundamental truths of our faith, aiding in our own catechetical development, and providing the means to pass the Faith along to those we teach.
CRD 1 God the Father Almighty
CRD 2 Creation
CRD 3 The Fullness of Revelation: Jesus Christ
CRD 4 The Holy Spirit
CRD 5 The Holy Catholic Church
CRD 6 The Blessed Virgin Mary & the Last Things
CAT 109 THE CELBRATION OF THE CHRISTIAN MYSTERY (6 Hours) (SAC 1-6)
Catechism of the Catholic Church Pillar II (Christian Spirituality)
The mysteries confessed in the Creed are communicated and actualized in the sacraments of the Church, making Christians “children of God” and “partakers of the divine nature”(CCC, 1692). This course provides a deeper understanding of the divine origin, nature and central role of the sacraments in our lives. It will provide a thorough introduction to each of the seven sacraments and other liturgical celebrations.
SAC 1 The Sacramental Economy
SAC 2 The Sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation
SAC 3 The Sacrament of the Eucharist
SAC 4 The Sacraments of Healing: Reconciliation and Anointing
SAC 5 The Sacrament of Holy Orders
SAC 6 The Sacrament of Marriage and Other Liturgical Celebrations
CAT 111 LIFE IN CHRIST - CHRISTIAN MORALITY (8 Hours) (LIF 1-8)
Catechism of the Catholic Church, Pillar III (Doctrine)
What is the purpose of the moral life? What does it mean with regards to who we are, what we are to become, and the means of getting there? What is the role of the natural moral law, Christian Revelation and the formation of conscience in living the “abundant life” Christ came to give us (John 10:10)? What is the teaching of the Catholic Church regarding the unique moral issues we face today?
LIF 1 The Dignity and Vocation of the Human Person Part I
LIF 2 The Dignity and Vocation of the Human Person Part II
LIF 3 The Human Community
LIF 4 God’s Salvation: Law and Grace
LIF 5 The Ten Commandments Part I
LIF 6 The Ten Commandments Part II
(LIF 7-8) The Gift: Your Call to Greatness (DVD) (2 hours)
This short course provides an outstanding introduction to John Paul II’s revolutionary Theology of the Body, a message which has been a life-changing experience for countless Christians throughout the world. Participants will, perhaps for the first time, gain a refreshing contemporary vision of who they are and what they are called to be. God’s plan for us is stamped right into our bodies, and understanding this plan will give you a new lens through which to see your life, your relationships, and the world around you.
CAT 115 CHRISTIAN PRAYER (Prayer and Spirituality) (6 Hours) (PR 1-6)
Catechism of the Catholic Church Pillar IV (Christian Spirituality)
All of us are made for an intimate communion with the Holy Trinity through prayer and the sacraments. In growing closer to God, we become more of who we are meant to be and experience the abundant life Christ came to give us. We will learn how to grow in friendship and “abiding” love with Jesus Christ and the Father, through the Holy Spirit, according to Christ’s own example, directives on “how to pray,” and recourse to the sacramental means He Himself established for this purpose.
PR 1 Prayer in the Christian Life
PR 2 Jesus and the Age of the Church
PR 3 The Tradition of Prayer
PR 4 The Life of Prayer
PR 5 The Lord's Prayer: “Our Father!” Part I
PR 6 The Lord's Prayer: “Our Father!” Part II
CAT 117 EVANGELIZATION (Methods) (6 hours) (EVG 1-6)
CAT 119 CATECHESIS (Methods) (6 hours) (CTS 1-6)
This course will examine the watershed encyclical 'On Evangelization in the Modern World' by Pope Paul VI which beautifully explains and unpacks this central mission of the Church exploring its key principles and various methods. The connection between evangelization and catechesis will be emphasized, revealing how they are distinct yet always in interplay as they operate to draw people into union with the Holy Trinity.
Since 'God's Story' & 'Your Story' are two of the essential aspects of evangelization, we will also spend some time reflecting on the 'Seven Act Drama of Salvation History' and how it corresponds to the deepest desires of the human heart, as well as taking some time to learn how to craft 'Testimonies,’ stories of how God has personally transformed us. We will then learn about tools to help us prepare to evangelize. To share the faith we need to know and live it ourselves. The Catechism of the Catholic Church is a great gift
in our time as the sure norm for handing on the faith. We will explore the Catechism and discover the structure and many treasures it contains.
This course begins by examining Pope John Paul II's Apostolic Exhortation 'On Catechesis in Our Time.' This document gives us the key principles and various methods needed to make our catechesis holistic and serve the overall mission of evangelization. There is also a brief overview of some key principles for catechesis from the General Directory of Catechesis, the universal Church's catechetical handbook, which has been largely shaped by the pontificate of Pope John Paul II and the publication of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. We will also spend some time reflecting on
developing 'holistic catechesis', integrating doctrinal, biblical, liturgical, and experiential aspects of the faith.
Drawing from these same sources, we will then focus on the lay faithful's role in catechesis, including lay catechists, members of the parish, parents and teachers in light of their mission and call to spread the faith. Time will be devoted to the ways and means of catechesis, as well as ways to effectively impart it, including taking an authentically Catholic look at lesson planning. We will learn effective ways to search the Catechism and other sources of Church doctrine with modern technology, and take a chance at practicing the only 2,000-year-old and 100% effective method used to touch the hearts of the faithful with the truth and beauty of the Catholic Faith.
 Exceptions may be made to this requirement with the written permission of the Office of Evangelization and Catechesis.
Options for CORE (Basic) Course Delivery
Regularly Scheduled Courses
Utilizing the gifts and efforts of several experienced and qualified teachers, a certain number of standard Basic Courses will be offered at several locations around the diocese. Listings of available courses are available at the SOWDI web page on the Diocese of Madison web site, and in brochure format. Participants may register on line. For classes requiring an instructor, a minimum of 12 registered participants is necessary.
Sponsoring Your Own Basic Course
Should schools or parishes wish to sponsor SOWDI Basic Courses at their own locations they can download and complete the Course Request Form on the Seat of Wisdom Diocesan Institute web page and send it to the OEC office, via regular mail, fax, or e-mail. For this option, monetary fees will normally apply to the sponsoring entity. (Scroll up to the module on the left of this page called "Seat of Wisdom Documents" to locate and download the "Course Request Form.")
Other Options for completing Basic Courses
Other means for completing the equivalent of the Basic Courses will be identified and selected by the Office of Evangelization and Catechesis, including online studies, DVD presentations, other self-study programs, or some combination thereof.
DVD presentations must be hosted by a competent coordinator (for example, the parish catechetical leader). The role of the local coordinator is to personalize the formation process, guide discussion and application, facilitate written assignments, etc. Parishes or schools may simply purchase the DVD presentations and use them indefinitely, or they can be checked out from the Audio and Video Library of the Office of Evangelization and Catechesis. The list of selected DVD programs and online studies will be developed on an ongoing basis, and available on the diocesan website on the Seat of Wisdom Diocesan Institute page.
Any possible fees associated with an online offering chosen to fulfill this requirement are the responsibility of the student, parish or school, or any combination thereof.
Same footnote as above applies to this coursework.
Exceptions may be made to this requirement with the written permission of the Office of Evangelization and Catechesis.