Franciscan University Catechetical Institute

The Diocese of Allentown has partnered with the Franciscan University Catechetical Institute to provide quality catechesis and formation to all members of the Diocese. The Catechetical Institute offers workshops and certification tracks related to many areas of ministry. Any member of a parish, school, or institution in the Diocese of Allentown can create a free account and begin accessing the multitude of resources available on the learning platform. Please see below for answers to our Frequently Asked Questions:

1. How do I create an account to begin completing my certification?

To create your account, visit franciscanathome.com/diocese-allentown. Under “Register Online,” select the second blue block stating, “My parish or school is already registered, and I would like to set up my individual free account under that institution.” Under Institution, select your parish, school, or institution. Click the Sign Up button and follow the steps to create your personal account. You will need to provide an active email address and create an account password. Once your account is complete, visit your user dashboard to begin your learning track. 

2. Is certification through the Catechetical Institute required or voluntary?

If you are employed as a member of the faculty or staff in a Diocesan school, or are serving in a parish ministry role as a Director / Coordinator of Religious Education, Catechist, or Youth Minister, certification through the Catechetical Institute is required. However, certification is not limited to individuals in the listed roles. Any member of a parish, school, or institution in the Diocese of Allentown can visit https://franciscanathome.com/diocese-allentown and create a free individual account to begin taking courses and pursuing certifications on the platform.

3. What are the certification requirements associated with my role?

On your account Dashboard, scroll down to “Institution Tracks: Diocese of Allentown.” There you will find the certification tracks being used in the Diocese of Allentown. See the table below to determine which certification you should obtain, based on your school or parish role.

Role

Certification Track

Catholic School faculty, staff, and administration at elementary or secondary level

Catholic Schools Track: Complete “Catholic School Certification” level by December 31, 2022.

Catechist (Child & Adult Catechesis); Coordinator of Religious Education; and Director of Religious Education

Catechist Track: Complete “Foundational Catechist Certification” level by December 31, 2022.

Youth Minister

Youth Ministry Track: Complete “First Year Youth Ministry” level by December 31, 2022.

*Please note: The Diocese of Allentown Tracks have been modified and are different from the original Franciscan Tracks, even though some of them have similar names. If you are pursuing the Catholic Schools Track or the Catechist Track to fulfill a requirement, please be sure to select the track listing under “Diocese of Allentown,” not the listing under “Franciscan Tracks.”  

4. How long do I have to complete my certification?

All those in roles with certification requirements must complete their respective certification track by December 31, 2022 (18+ months from program launch). If you are unsure which certification track you are required to complete, please see the table in Question #3. Individuals in roles requiring additional levels of certification will be given further time to complete their additional certification levels. More information on the additional certification levels and which roles will require them will be made available in 2022.

5. Do I need to be certified through the Catechetical Institute prior to being hired in a Diocesan school, or prior to beginning a role in parish ministry leadership?

No. Those seeking employment in Catholic schools or parishes, or seeking parish ministry roles, do not need to obtain certification prior to beginning their role. However, they must begin completing the certification track appropriate to their role once they begin serving in their position.

6. I have already obtained my Master Catechist Certification through the retired ICF program. How will I complete my renewal credits to keep my certification active?

Courses taken through the Catechetical Institute will now count as renewal credits toward existing Master Catechist certifications. Events and programs that previously counted as renewal credits under the retired ICF program will no longer be applicable. Teachers currently receiving a stipend for the completion of their Master Catechist certification will continue to receive the stipend as long as their certification remains active. To keep certifications active, those with Master Catechist certifications must complete any certification requirements under the Catechetical Institute which are associated with their current school or parish role (see Question #3).

7. How will I obtain my certificate once I complete the required track?

Once you have completed all the workshops in a learning track, the system will notify the Office of Adult Catechesis & Evangelization, and your certificate will be released to you via the learning platform. If you have trouble receiving your certificate, contact Alexa Smith at asmith@allentowndiocese.org.

8. I serve in multiple parish/school roles, each of which have their own certification requirement. Does this mean I need to complete multiple certificates?

No. If you serve in multiple roles that have separate certification requirements (such as being both a Catholic School Teacher and a Catechist, etc.), you should complete the certification track that corresponds to your primary role. For example, an individual who is employed as a Catholic School Teacher and who also volunteers as a Catechist at their parish should complete their required level of certification under the Catholic Schools Track, as their employed position as Catholic School Teacher is the primary role.

9. I do not hold a school or parish position that requires me to complete a certification track. Can I still create an account and take workshops for spiritual enrichment?

Yes. The school/parish subscription to the Catechetical Institute covers an unlimited number of users. Even if you do not have a school/parish role that is associated with a certification requirement, you can create an account on the platform anytime to begin learning.