SVOTS Launches Online Catechist Certification Program



June 24, 2024—We are no longer accepting applications for the online certification program for catechists. Available spots for the 20242025 cohort have been filled.

If you are interested in joining a future cohort, please fill out the questionnaire at this link.

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St Vladimir’s Online School of Theology is now accepting applications for its online certification program for catechists, Laying Foundations for Teaching the Faith. The new program is launching for the 20242025 academic year.    

Orthodox parishes across North America are experiencing a surge of interest in the Holy Orthodox Christian faith, leading to more opportunities to teach and learn in parish life. The parish priest is the center of the teaching ministry in parish life, but having trained, certified, and knowledgeable lay catechists to support the work of the pastor scales up the kind of welcome, education, and integration newcomers receive when coming to our communities.

In this “teach the teacher”-style certification program lay catechist candidates will engage topics including:

  • management of group dynamics;
  • key biblical, church history, theological, and liturgical subjects, especially how to teach them;
  • awareness of various resources for catechetical training;
  • guidance in approaching contemporary and contentious questions;
  • encouragement of stewardship and devotion to the local parish; and
  • matters of worldview and self-knowledge in our complex time.

Guest instructors will bring a depth of experience and expertise for concrete learning that will build up to the catechist candidate designing and leading learning opportunities in their own parish. Throughout the twenty-six (26) synchronous and asynchronous sessions, spaced over the course of one academic year (September 2024May 2025), the lay catechist candidate will also work closely with their priest. The candidate’s priest will even join the program at certain appropriate moments to keep the learning in this program rooted in parish life.

St Vladimir’s Online School of Theology is able to run the space-limited first cohort of this certification program for $900; this certification is scheduled to cost $2,400 after this first offering. Parishes are encouraged to invest in their talent and their own growth by funding a trained catechist in their communities. Priests and interested lay catechist candidates are invited to email the facilitating instructor, Archpriest Kirill Sokolov, Ed.D., at online@svots.edu to ask questions or express interest.