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Who We Are


Subcommittee on Certification for Ecclesial Ministry and Service


Most Reverend Gerald F. Kicanas

Bishop of Tucson


Most Reverend Arturo A. Cepeda

Auxiliary Bishop of Detroit

Most Reverend John O. Barres          

Bishop of Allentown

Most Reverend George Rassas

Most Reverend Earl A. Boyea  

Most Reverend Robert Reed                  

Auxiliary Bishop of Chicago

Bishop of Lansing

Auxiliary Bishop of Boston



Dr. C. Vanessa White


Director - Tolton Pastoral Ministry Program, Catholic Theological Union   

David A. Lichter, D. Min.

Executive Director - National Association of Catholic Chaplains

Sr. Angela Gannon, CSJ


Coordinator - Sponsored Education Ministries, Sisters of St. Joseph

Fr. Wayne Cavalier, OP

Executive Director - Congar Institute
Linda M. Couri, M.S.W., L.C.S.W.
          Director - Institute for Lay Formation


Harry Dudley, D.Min.

Assistant Director

Jessica Granados
Staff Assistant

Mandate/Goals for the Subcommittee

The subcommittee assists the bishops in reviewing and approving certification standards and procedures to be used on a voluntary basis by arch/dioceses and national organizations in the certification of specialized ecclesial ministers. It also offers consultative services aimed at improving the quality of lay ministry formation programs that are sponsored by arch/dioceses and by academic institutions.

This mandate includes the following areas of responsibility:

  1. Embody the concerns and priorities of the bishops of the United States for ministry, namely, that those who minister in the name of the Catholic Church, each according to his or her status in the Church, are humanly and spiritually mature, well-prepared through education and formation, possess professional competence and pastoral skills, and adhere to the authentic teaching of the Church.

  2. Review and approve sets of competency-based certification standards and certification procedures that have been developed for voluntary use by dioceses and national associations for various ministry specializations in such roles as campus minister, parish catechetical leader, youth minister, pastoral associate, director of music ministries, as well as hospital, prison, and seafarer chaplaincies.

  3. Promote the development and application of voluntary certification standards for specialized ministry that are based on expectations and competencies reflected in the four areas of formation outlined in the U.S. bishops' document, Co-Workers in the Vineyard of the Lord, namely, human, intellectual, spiritual and pastoral.

  4. Offer consultation, upon request, to lay ministry formation programs in arch/dioceses and academic institutions for the purpose of improving the quality and effectiveness of these programs in accord with the guidance offered by Co-Workers in the Vineyard of the Lord and by other relevant pastoral documents of the USCCB and the universal magisterium.
  1. With other committees, sub-committees, task forces, and offices of the USCCB, especially the Committees on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth (LMFLY), Evangelization and Catechesis (EC), Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations (CCLV), Cultural Diversity in the  Church (CD), and Catholic Education (CE).

  2. With bishops, Church institutions and leadership personnel of national ministry associations, academic institutions, and diocesan offices.

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