As stated in the program introduction, the primary objective of the Seat of Wisdom Diocesan Institute is to help put adults “not only in touch but in communion, in intimacy, with Jesus Christ,” that His joy may be in us, and our joy may be complete (cf. Jn 15:11). Understanding that this supernatural joy experienced in authentic discipleship “naturally inclines and charges the faithful, as members of God’s family, to continue the mission of Christ the Redeemer through evangelization and catechesis,” it is the natural expectation that such formation will not only serve the spiritual benefit of participants, but all those they touch in their lives and serve in an official instructive capacity.
The simple procedures for participation in the certification program below are aimed at helping participants get started in the program, track their progress, and apply for certification once particular milestones are achieved. There is also an explanation on how SOWDI courses may be requested, or other resources approved.
Getting Started in the Program
1. If you have never achieved certification at any level through the Diocese of Madison FOREM or DLI process, nor any other diocese:
a. You start by registering and attending the first course, Salvation History in Sacred Art, where a brief introduction to the program will be provided, including all of the appropriate directions and materials, with the course itself. Since four of the CORE/Basic Courses are designed to be taken sequentially (CAT 101 through CAT 111), new participants are to take the courses in proper order, qualifying for each successive course after having completed the previous requirements.
b. You then progress through the CORE/Basic, and Advanced levels, applying for certificates according to your goals or requirements. A certificate is presented when you complete and apply for your desired levels.
2. If you have completed some college course credits from the theology department of a Catholic College or University, but have not yet achieved CORE/Basic level certification:
a. You request a review of your file and transcripts by the Office of Evangelization and Catechesis.
b. The Office will give credit for courses taken which comply with the Seat of Wisdom Diocesan Institute program.
c. You will be advised on what is needed to complete CORE/Basic and / or Advanced levels.
3. If you have already achieved a level of certification in the Diocese of Madison:
a. Your level of certification continues to be recognized provided you have followed the requirement concerning the maintenance of the level in that program. (Certification at any level is valid for 3 years; it can be renewed at the same level if 36 credit hours of additional in-service have been completed in a 3 year period.)
NOTE: If the newly designated (or their equivalent) SOWDI CORE/Basic level courses have not been taken by a person who has achieved CORE/Basic certification previously, taking these courses and applying them to one’s Advanced certification is required.
4. If you are just moving into the Diocese of Madison from another diocese:
a. If you have achieved a level of certification elsewhere:
► You submit your file to the Office of Evangelization and Catechesis for review.
► The OEC will determine what level of certification you have in the Diocese of Madison.
b. If you have not achieved any level of certification elsewhere, but have completed some Catholic college or university theology department course credits, you follow the procedure in Section #2 above.
c. If you have not achieved any course credits toward certification elsewhere, you follow the procedure in Section #1 above.
Keeping Records and Tracking Your Progress
In the Seat of Wisdom Diocesan Institute certification program, each person is responsible for keeping his or her own record of courses completed. A binder and forms will be provided for this purpose by the Office of Evangelization and Catechesis (OEC). These forms are usually available from each parish and school program administrator as well and can be downloaded from Seat of Wisdom Diocesan Institute web page.
Each course will provide a basic questionnaire or learning tool which can be retained for the participant’s future reference and provide administrative verification of the course’s successful completion. Course instructors or facilitators will be directed to evaluate the student’s learning tool upon completion of the course, and to indicate his or her successful completion by signing the Learning Tool / Course Credit Form. These forms are to be appropriately stored in the participant’s SOWDI binder.
As has been the option in the past, DREs, CREs or school principals may keep the respective documents of their own teachers or catechists. Individual records will not presently be kept by the OEC. However, as resources allow, the OEC will be investigating means of maintaining these records and having them electronically available via the internet.
Applying for Certification
When a person has completed a level of certification, he or she submits their well organized summary packet to the OEC according to the directions below. The documents are reviewed by the OEC, and if the requirements have been fulfilled, the OEC recommends certification to the bishop. The applicant’s packet is then returned to them with their new certificate, or it may be reserved for the purpose of being awarded by the bishop at special celebratory Mass.
A record of certification level achieved is kept by the Office of Evangelization and Catechesis.
Directions for Certification Application
- Thoroughly and legibly complete all respective Course Summary Sheets. (Course Summary Sheets and other necessary documents can be downloaded from the "Seat of Wisdom Documents" module above and to the left on this page.)
- Beneath each respective Course Summary Sheet place the Learning Tool and / or Course Credit Form for each class listed on the summary sheet in the order they are listed collectively. You may stack several of these summary sheets with their respective course credit forms together in one mailing.
- On the top of this packet, place your Participant Identification Sheet, slide it into a 9 X 12 or 10 X 13 inch envelope and mail it to:
Seat of Wisdom Diocesan Institute
Office of Evangelization and Catechesis
Diocese of Madison
702 S. High Point Rd.
Madison, WI 53719
Certification applications will be reviewed and approved in the months of July and August. Please submit your application by July 1st of the respective year. Your applicant packet will be returned to you with certification results by September 15th.
Requesting Seat of Wisdom Diocesan Institute Courses
The Office of Evangelization and Catechesis will regularly facilitate standard Seat of Wisdom Diocesan Institute Basic Courses at specific times and places around the Diocese of Madison. These specific courses, along with their times and places will be posted on the Diocese of Madison website in the OEC / Seat of Wisdom section.
Should schools or parishes wish to make them available at other times, or if they desire courses from the Advanced category, they can download and complete the “Course Request Form” and send it to the OEC office, via regular mail, fax, or e-mail. Requests may also be made for courses on catechetical subjects that are not yet listed as available, and the OEC will do its best to provide them. For this option, monetary fees will normally apply. (Scroll up to the module on the left of this page called "Seat of Wisdom Documents" to locate and download the "Course Request Form.")
Planning Your Own Advanced Course
Wishing to facilitate ease in providing excellent Advanced certification courses, the Seat of Wisdom Diocesan Institute has compiled a generous and growing list of approved Audio / Video, live and text resources for this purpose.
If, however, you are an administrator of a religious education program (a priest, DRE, CRE, or principal) and wish to organize your own Seat of Wisdom Advanced course for your parish or school catechists, this option remains available at the present time.
The process for obtaining approval is as follows:
1. Complete one of the Application for Course Approval forms prior to the program being given. Forms can be downloaded from the Seat of Wisdom Documents section of this page to the left (scroll up).
2. Send the Application to the OEC. It will be reviewed, and if it is consistent with the goals of the Seat of Wisdom Certification Program, it will be approved. A copy will be returned to you, and a copy kept on file at the OEC.
3. Record the information on your permanent file, and keep the copy of the Application in your file.
4. Download the Application for Course Credit / Learning Tool form, fill in the pertinent information which correlates with the signed Course Approval form, and have copies available for participants who attend and complete the respective class.
 A “grace period” for certification renewal applicants (from September 1, 2006 to September 1, 2009) may be available and will be reviewed on a case by case basis.
Standards For Educators in Catholic Parishes and Schools, Wisconsin Catholic Conference, 2008, Preamble.