Certification is a process that documents the attainment of specific standards and competencies required for the fulfillment of a specialized ecclesial ministry. It requires a process for assessing that a given candidate has the education, formation, and professional skills necessary to serve in a particular role.
One resource for establishing and approving certification standards and procedures is the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Commission on Certification and Accreditation (USCCB/CCA).
The Mission Statement of the USCCB/CCA is as follows:
The USCCB/CCA serves as an accrediting commission of the Catholic Bishops of the United States, establishes accreditation standards, policies, and procedures, and accredits quality ministry formation programs sponsored by institutions listed in The Official Catholic Directory that prepare persons for ministry. The USCCB/CCA also establishes and approves certification standards and procedures for the certification of specialized ecclesial ministers by arch/diocese and organizations.
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The current USCCB/CCA Certification Handbook is being revised for study by the USCCB Department of Education. Please contact Director of Certification, Jean Marie Weber at email@example.com or call 414-486-0139 ext. 14 for current information. The publications National Certification Standards for Lay Ecclesial Ministers Serving as Parish Catechetical Leaders, Youth Ministry Leaders, Pastoral Associates, and Parish Life Coordinators and the National Certification Standards for Pastoral Ministers are resources that can be helpful in setting goals for the formation and certification of those who are completing formation programs. These standards are available from any of the joint publishers: The National Association for Lay Ministry (www.nalm.org), National Conference for Catechetical Leadership (www.nccl.org), and the National Federation for Catholic Youth Ministry (www.nfcym.org)