Faith for Catholic Teachers
“Education is integral to the mission of the Church to proclaim the Good News. First and foremost every Catholic educational institution is a place to encounter the living God who in Jesus Christ reveals his transforming love and truth.” (Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, Address to Catholic Educators, 2008)
The Diocese of Leeds recognises the important work of teachers in helping pupils to encounter Christ and to develop a deeper understanding of the Catholic faith. There are two principal programmes for teachers in Catholic schools who wish to develop their knowledge of the faith, both of which are open to Catholics and non-Catholics alike:
Catholic Foundations Stones: Written by former Diocesan Administrator Bishop John Wilson, Catholic Foundation Stones is an introductory course which aims to convey the essentials of Catholic faith with a particular focus on information helpful to staff in Catholic Schools. The course is designed to be easy to deliver, with participants needing only a workbook and a course leader who has a good grasp of Catholic faith and has time to read through the workbook before each session. It takes place across 12 sessions which last no more than 90 minutes. The Diocese encourages Catholic schools to offer Catholic Foundation Stones to teachers: for information and support about offering or taking the course, see the contact information below.
Foundations in Faith: Foundations in Faith is the Diocesan programme for study leading to an award of the Catholic Certificate in Religious Studies (CCRS). CCRS is a qualification awarded by the Board of Religious Studies on behalf of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales. Over a two-year course, 8 modules are studied which give participants both a firm grounding in Catholic theology and also an introduction to the practical application of Catholic doctrine in educational and wider settings. Core modules include study of the Old Testament, the New Testament, Christ, the Church, Sacrament and Morality. A choice of further specialist modules varies, but may include topics such as Catholic Social Teaching, Lay Chaplaincy in Schools, Liturgy, Catholic Schools and R.E., Family Life Ministry and Youth Ministry. Progress on each module is assessed by means of a short academic essay. CCRS is a qualification valued by Catholic schools across the country, and offers an opportunity for personal spiritual growth alongside intellectual development. In Leeds, CCRS courses run both at Hinsley Hall, and at Leeds Trinity University.
Some teachers who wish to deepen their faith still further may wish to pursue further study, for example through the online course leading to the Certificate in Pastoral Ministry from the Institute of Pastoral Studies at Loyola University, or courses taught within the UK at the Maryvale Institute.
For further information about either of these programmes, or to register interest in attending a course, please contact Gregory Stacey, Diocesan Co-ordinator of Catechesis (Adult Formation and Research).