The Association for Catechumenal Ministry

Fostering the Full Implementation of the Order of Christian Initiation

We Offer R.C.I.A. Training through Quality Seminars

ACM conducts seminars for dioceses according to a three-tier program.

The first seminar, one day in length, is for the clergy (priests, deacons, seminarians) of a diocese. The second seminar is for clergy as well as lay members of RCIA teams (including sponsors, liturgy personnel, etc.) and is two to three full days. The third seminar, also two to three full days of training, is for catechists who teach in RCIA, both clergy and laity.

This series of seminars is based on the strategy of serving the Church in a distinctively ecclesial manner. ACM’s seminars work through the office of the Bishop, and are directed to serve his intentions and desires for the full implementation of the Rite of Christian Initiation among his parishes. Out of respect for the sovereignty of each Ordinary, ACM does not come to do training in a diocese unless invited by the Bishop. Click here to view comments from evaluations of past seminars. Click here for a two-page printable summary of ACM's seminars and pricing structure.

ACM will conduct a series of three seminars (made up of a Clergy Day, Team Training, and Catechist Training) for a flat fee to be negotiated with each diocese, plus the cost of an RCIA Leader's Manual for each seminar participant (purchased from Liturgy Training Publications at a seminar discount). The flat fee includes: 1) Speaker fees for ACM presenters; 2) Travel costs for ACM presenters up to the amount of $500 per presenter (travel costs above this amount will be assessed to the host diocese); 3) Other supplemental seminar handouts. Lodging and meals are not included in the flat fee. ACM presenters are willing to stay in nearby diocesan accommodations (rectories, convents, retreat houses) if the diocese so desires.

Clergy Day Seminar

The set of seminars begins with a Clergy Day at the diocesan level that is designed to give priests, deacons, and seminarians a concise and clear summary and overview of the RCIA process. This day will be an opportunity for clergy of a diocese to gather around their bishop to understand the nature of the catechumenate as it comes from the heart of the Church. Concerns of clergy will be addressed and questions will be answered. Presentations will treat both the theoretical and practical aspects of how to make RCIA work in a parish setting, as well as the essential roles of the bishop, priest, deacon, and laity.

Team Training Seminar

A diocesan Team Training Seminar would typically follow a diocesan Clergy Day either immediately or several weeks later. Two to three full days of training are provided, focused on the needs of parish directors, sponsor coordinators, and other team members. This format is designed to provide a comprehensive and organic understanding of the full catechumenal process, as well as a practical grasp of how to successfully implement it. The full application of liturgical, pastoral, and catechetical aspects of the process is explained, as derived from the guidelines to the Order of Christian Initiation from the Holy See and the National Statutes from the U.S. Bishops Conference.

Catechist Training Seminar

A diocesan Catechist Training Seminar would typically follow a diocesan Team Training Seminar at some later date. Again, two to three full days of training are given, focused specifically on the needs of parish priests, RCIA directors and catechists. This format is designed to teach the fundamentals of methodology in catechesis as it is applied in a catechumenal setting. Participants will be instructed in the following areas: teaching for conversion, using the ecclesial method, how to do liturgical catechesis and scriptural catechesis, incorporating the Catholic family story, organizing and systematizing the catechesis in the catechumenate, doing apologetics in the precatechumenate, and incorporating prayer and personal witness into the catechetical endeavor.

Seminarian Seminar

ACM conducts training in seminaries for a significantly reduced fee. The duration, content, and format of training held in a seminary are all negotiable. Generally it is recommended that seminarians be exposed to this training after they have completed the majority of their coursework on sacramental theology.

Special RCIA Topics Seminars

The Association for Catechumenal Ministry (ACM) has received many requests from dioceses for seminars on particular aspects of RCIA ministry. We are always willing to accommodate the specific training needs of a diocese. Over the years ACM has developed the following specialty seminars that address the most common requests. These seminars can vary in length according to what depth of training a diocese desires. Most are designed for a single day, beginning in the morning and concluding prior to dinnertime. Pricing for these seminars would depend upon the number of expected participants, the number of speakers requested, and the resources used (typically this would include at least the RCIA Leader's Manual). The pricing on the opposite page for specialty and follow-up seminars can be used as a general guide.

Developing the Catechumenate for Children

  • Assessment of need of seminar participants
  • Why is this process needed?
  • Who belongs in this process?
  • How to begin?
  • How to inform and form parents?
  • Why peer sponsors?
  • Questions and answers

The Catechumenate for Rural Parishes

  • Assessment of needs of seminar participants
  • Overall principals
  • Forming a rural catechumenate team
  • Suggestions for the pastoral aspect
  • Suggestions for the liturgical aspect
  • Suggestions for the catechetical aspect
  • Questions and answers

Strategies to Have a Great Neophyte Year

  • Assessment of need of seminar participants
  • Why the neophyte year?
  • What is the role of the team?
  • Role of the sponsor?
  • Role of the parish community?
  • Suggestions for integration into the community
  • Handling difficult needs
  • Questions and answers

Serving Conversion in the Four Periods of the RCIA Process

  • Assessment of need of seminar participants
  • Why different periods?
  • What should be happening?
  • Teaching to and from the rites
  • What about candidates in the annulment process?
  • Suggestions for those “in waiting”
  • Questions and answers

Making RCIA Catechetical Gatherings Work

  • Assessment of need of seminar participants
  • Developing annual calendars
  • Choosing catechetical topics
  • Discerning of catechists
  • Training of catechists
  • On-going support of catechists
  • Format of catechetical gatherings (for various periods)
  • Questions and answers

Developing an Evangelizing and Welcoming Parish

  • Assessment of need of seminar participants
  • Role of the parish community in RCIA
  • Ways for catechizing the community about RCIA
  • Suggestions for parish involvement
  • Challenges (opportunities for growth)
  • Questions and answers

Finding, Training, and Working with Sponsors

  • Assessment of need of seminar participants
  • Role of sponsors in the RCIA process
  • Forming a sponsor community
  • Initial training of sponsors
  • Discerning sponsors
  • On-going support
  • Questions and answers

The RCIA Rites in Action

  • Assessment of need of seminar participants
  • Why rites?
  • Discernment process for participant's readiness
  • Liturgical details before the celebration-timeline
  • Handling the details
  • Reflection after the celebration of rites
  • Questions and answers

Going Deeper: Team Formation Seminar

  • Assessment of need of seminar participants
  • Why a team approach?
  • Writing team "job" descriptions
  • Forming a RCIA team
  • Facilitating team meetings
  • On-going support for team members
  • Questions and answers