Basic Certification

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The Catechist is a faithful witness of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.  He or she is called to live that witness in service to the Church Christ founded.  Just like the disciples on the road to Emmaus, the Catechist has met the Lord along the way, has recognized Him in the breaking of the bread and the opening of the Scriptures and now shares with others the Good News of the Resurrected Christ (Luke 24:13-35).

In order to witness to and share with others the Catholic faith, the Catechist is formed in a systematic way through a path called basic certification.  This is a process by which a person gains the necessary knowledge and skills to effectively communicate the truths of the Catholic faith.

The Catechist begins the path to certification by taking a Lumen retreat. More information on upcoming retreats and equivalent retreats will be available once post covid restrictions are lifted.  The next step on the path is the learning and formational experience provided through live and online classes.  Currently due to the pandemic, only online courses are offered.




Basic Certification is achieved through the completion of the Lumen retreat (or equivalent) and required coursework. Submission of an application is done within three years from completion of the first course. Each year certification is renewed (recertification) by the completion of 12 hours of course work. Please click here for a Basic Certification Application form.

Catholic School Teachers must complete basic certification online via Catechetical Institute (CI) – Franciscan by enrolling in the Catholic School (CS) Track. In compliance with employee regulations, as an employee of the parish school you teach at, the annual cost of accessing your courses on CI is covered by the school.  This covers a year of as many courses as desired starting with the date that the school enrolls her teachers.  Please check in with your parish school to see if you are enrolled.

Once enrolled, registration for courses through CI is easy.  You may log-in anytime online through your student portal by visiting with your student ID.  You must have a student ID to enroll in any of our live or online courses.  Please locate first your Emmaus Student ID (formally IPM) and if you don’t have one or are a new user, follow these instructions to create a new Emmaus Institute ID.  Please click here (link).

For assistance with enrollment, please contact the Emmaus Institute at 714-282-3078.

Download the Both In-Person & Online Basic Certification Guidelines & Application

ONLINE – Download the Catechists Certification Guidelines

ONLINE – Download the Catholic School Teacher Online Certification Guidelines


  • Basic Certification Observation Form
  • Re-Certification Application Form

For detailed information on Re-Certification click here.

*The Catechetical Institute (CI) online course equivalencies for Basic Certification can be found here.  

No re-certification hours will be accepted nor retroactive hours credited during interim due to the one year extension. We will move forward with the new 3 step re-certification process.  Visit our Re-Certification page for more info, click here


This program is currently being finalized. Please check back at a later time for updates.

  • To view class schedule click here