Certifications and Policies
The catechesis of adults … is the principal form of catechesis, because it is addressed to persons who have the greatest responsibilities and the capacity to live the Christian message in its fully developed form. The Christian community cannot carry out a permanent catechesis without the direct and skilled participation of adults, whether as receivers or as promoters of catechetical activity (John Paul II, Catechesi Tradendae, 43).
Accommodating the objectives of both adult faith formation and catechetical certification, the Seat of Wisdom Diocesan Institute (SOWDI) will offer the following certifications. Additional certifications may be offered with the future development of additional programs.
CORE/Basic Course Certificates
Certificate in Catholic Foundations: Awarded to those completing the Basic Courses, or their approved equivalents, in the categories of Sacred Scripture, Doctrine, and Christian Spirituality.
Anyone currently holding FOREM Basic certification or a diploma from DLI will be automatically recognized as having earned this level of certification.
Basic Catechetical Certification: Awarded to those completing both the “Catholic Foundations” course requirements described above and the course track in Basic Catechetical Methods.
As is the current policy for all Catholic dioceses of the Province of Milwaukee in the State of Wisconsin, this certificate is required, within the applicable timeframe of appointment (see below), for certain individuals who participate in the catechetical mission of a diocese, including but not limited to: parish catechists and Catholic school teachers.
Anyone currently holding a FOREM Basic certification will be automatically recognized as having earned this level of certification.
Advanced Course Certificates
Certificate in Advanced Catholic Foundations: Awarded to those completing all the “Catholic Foundations” requirements described above and the necessary Advanced courses in the categories of Sacred Scripture, Doctrine, and Christian Spirituality.
In the future, this certificate may be expected of those holding certain designated ecclesial functions.
Anyone currently holding advanced FOREM certification will be automatically recognized as having earned this level of certification.
Advanced Catechetical Certification: Awarded to those completing the Basic Catechetical Certification, the Advanced Foundations course requirements described above, and a sufficient set of courses in Advanced Catechetical Methods.
As is the current policy for all Catholic dioceses of the Province of Milwaukee in the State of Wisconsin, this certificate is required, within the applicable timeframe of appointment, for leaders who participate in the catechetical mission of a diocese, including but not limited to: parish catechetical directors and coordinators, school presidents and principals, and religion teachers in Catholic schools.
Anyone currently holding advanced FOREM certification will be automatically recognized as having earned this level of certificaiton.
Current FOREM Intermediate Certification Discontinued
The Intermediate Level certification which was part of the process under the FOREM program has been discontinued. Our Intermediate Level FOREM certificates will thus be recognized until their next respective expiration date which is three years from their being awarded or renewed upon the satisfactory completion of their requirements.
While this certificate itself will no longer be awarded or renewed, the hours earned in the process of its completion will be honored and applied toward the achievement of Advanced Level Certifications.
Particulars of Participation in SOWDI Certification Program
The general processes of beginning in the certification program, keeping records, applying for and renewing certification, at the completion of respective requirements, will remain essentially unchanged from the FOREM certification program. For explicit directions on how to participate in the program, see the “Participation” web page.
The normative way for new participants in the certification process to pursue Basic certification is to attend SOWDI Basic courses as they are offered in various locations throughout the diocese. Due to the systematic nature of catechetics, the first four courses (CAT 101 through CAT 111) are designed to be taken sequentially. Therefore, new participants are to complete the courses in proper order.
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 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 posted on our website as they are identified and approved.
Any possible fees associated with an online offering are the responsibility of the student, parish or school, or any combination thereof.
Parish catechetical directors and coordinators, school presidents, principals and teachers, should have earned Basic Catechetical Certification within three years of being appointed by a Catholic school or parish in the diocese.
Parish catechetical directors and coordinators, school presidents, principals and teachers who teach Religion class, should have earned Advanced Catechetical Certification within seven years of being appointed by a Catholic school or parish in the diocese..
Parish Catechists should have earned Basic Catechetical Certification within five years of being appointed by a Catholic parish in the diocese.
 These dioceses include the Archdiocese of Milwaukee and the Dioceses of Madison, Green Bay, La Crosse, and Superior. All five have collaborated to develop these standards through their collaborative organization, the Wisconsin Catholic Conference (WCC), which serves the bisops of the State of Wisconsin.
 Participants in all of these categories appointed between September 1, 2006 and September 1, 2009, may consider the start date for this timeframe requirement to begin September 1, 2009.
 The policy articulated in the previous footnote applies here as well.
 Parish Catechists may simply consider the start date for this timeframe requirement to begin September 1, 2009, or the date of their appointment, whichever is later.