The items on this page have been noted by the USCCB Subcommittee on Certification for Ecclesial Ministry and Service as useful for the formation and development of ecclesial ministers in various areas of service.

Reclaiming Wholeness

Reclaiming Wholeness

Featuring Joseph Cardinal Tobin, this web presentation of the Catholic Prison Ministries Coalition provides a platform for those in prison ministries to become compassionately aware and gain a deeper understanding of the issues surrounding addiction...

Resources for Minister Development

USCCB Select Resources for Lay Ecclesial Ministry (1990s - Present)

Co-Workers in the Vineyard

Co-Workers in the Vineyard of the Lord (2005) is a resource for diocesan bishops and for all others who are responsible for guiding the development of lay ecclesial ministry in the United States.

Colaboradores en la Viña del Señor (2005) es un recurso para los obispos y para todos los responsables de guiar el desarrollo del ministerio eclesial laico en los Estados Unidos.

Document in English

el documento en español


Professional Ministry Glossary

This glossary produced by the USCCB Subcommittee on Certification for Ecclesial Ministry and Service (2020) contains working definitions used in various USCCB publications. It is not intended to be definitive or exhaustive, but to serve as guidance for those seeking a common way of defining specific terms related to ministry formation and certification. The USCCB subcommittee recommends this glossary as a reference, when needed, to clarify terms used in professional ministry development.

View the Glossary


Students talking in a campus breezeway. iStock photo.

A National Study on Catholic Campus Ministry (2018) was commissioned by the USCCB Secretariat of Catholic Education to advance Catholic identity in higher education and to rejuvenate the vision of Catholic campus ministry nationally. Based on the data gathered, the report offers practical suggestions to develop and enhance Catholic campus ministry, including the need and value of ongoing ministerial formation for campus ministers at all levels of ministry.

View the Report

You may also read the 2020 more detailed Qualitative Study here.

USCCB Procedures for Resolving Conflict (2002) features historical resources from the bishops' conference related to processes and procedures for addressing conflict in the life of the Church. This 2002 text is based on the 1972 text On Due Process and a 1979 text from the Committee on Conciliation and Arbitration, Procedures Adopted by the General Membership. These procedures can be a helpful resource for dioceses and other church organizations seeking to implement policies and processes to address situations of conflict.

View the text.

Lay Ecclesial Ministry: The State of the Questions was produced by the Subcommittee on the Laity in 1999. This predecessor document to Co-Workers in the Vineyard of the Lord was a report on the subcommittee's project "Leadership for Lay Ecclesial Ministry," which researched the ways in which lay ministries had developed in the life of the U.S. Church over several decades and what ways the NCCB could resource these efforts going forward.

View the document


Responsibility, Rehabilitation and Restoration

Responsibility, Rehabilitation, and Restoration: A Catholic Perspective on Crime and Criminal Justice

A Statement of the Catholic Bishops of the United States (2000)

In developing these reflections, the bishops consulted with Catholics who are involved in every aspect of the criminal justice system: prison chaplains, police officers, prosecutors, defense attorneys, judges, probation and parole officers, wardens, correctional officers, crime victims, offenders, families of both victims and offenders, and treatment personnel. In our parishes, schools, and Catholic Charities agencies, Catholics see firsthand the crushing poverty and the breakdown of family life that often lead to crime and at the same time care for prisoners, victims, and their families. All of that experience and wisdom has been helpful in forming this document.


Read the Document

An educational video highlights Building Intercultural Competencies for Ministers (BICM) a resource developed in 2017 by the Secretariat of Cultural Diversity in the Church to assist ecclesial leaders in cross-cultural ministry capabilities and areas of need related to diversity, inclusion and belonging.

Learn more about this resource

The USCCB Lay Ecclesial Ministry Summit for bishops was held in 2015 to mark the 10th anniversary of the issuing of Co-Workers in the Vineyard of the Lord

View information from the summit


Co-Workers: Bishops and Lay Ecclesial Ministers in Conversation (2020) was a series of video conversations produced by the Secretariat on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth to mark the 15th anniversary of Co-Workers in the Vineyard of the Lord.

View the video series

Sponsored Webinar: Reclaiming Wholeness: Addiction | Recovery | Community (2022)

Four out of five people who are incarcerated enter confinement under the influence of a substance or with an existing substance use disorder. With this conversation the Catholic Prison Ministries Coalition (CPMC) provides a platform for chaplains, ministers, loved ones, community members, and those in recovery to become compassionately aware and gain a deeper understanding of the issues surrounding addiction and incarceration.

Four voices, Jim Wahlberg (The Big Hustle, What About the Kids?), Evelene Duhart (Ignatian Spirituality Project), Lisa DeLaura (Just of DuPage), and host His Eminence Cardinal Joseph Tobin (Archdiocese of Newark) came together to share their wisdom and stories, their road to recovery, and how they accompany others impacted by this disease.

View the webinar here or the video panel on this page.



Book: "Transforming Ministry Formation" (2021)

Edited by Edward P. Hahnenberg, Marti R. Jewell, Theodore James Whapham (Paulist Press, 2021)

Transforming Ministry Formation is a theological and practical exploration of ministry formation in the church today. Drawing on the wisdom of thirty years of experience from the Association of Graduate Programs in Ministry (AGPIM), these essays survey the changing ministerial landscape of the Catholic Church in the United States, identifying some of the most important challenges and best opportunities facing those involved in ministry.

The volume makes a distinctive contribution to the field of practical theology by taking up ministerial formation as the subject for theological reflection. Highlighting the particular challenges involved in training lay ministers, it explores the range of ministries—from liturgy to youth to health care—that these ministers are already leading.

Videos: Catholic Prison Ministries Testimonials (2021)

Prison Ministry Catholic Prison Ministries Coalition logo

As people of faith we are called to center the margins, reaching out to and accompanying those who have been neglected or forgotten. Collaborating with the Catholic Prison Ministries Coalition, the USCCB Subcommittee on Certification for Ecclesial Ministry and Service supported to production of testimonials on the value of Catholic prison ministries from the perspectives of a bishop, several lay prison ministries leaders, and formerly incarcerated persons who benefited spiritually from the presence of Catholic prison ministries.

View the playlist of testimonial videos

Note: CPMC, together with the National Association of Catholic Chaplains, develop formational resources with prison ministries competencies approved by the USCCB Subcommittee on Certification for Ecclesial Ministry and Service.

CARA Report: Catholic Lay Ecclesial Ministry Formation in the U.S. (2021)

This report from the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate provides information on all lay ecclesial ministry programs including degrees and certificates offered, distribution of academic vs diocesan-based programs, distance and online coursework and characteristics of program candidates.

View the report

Conflict Literacy and Management Skills for Ministers (2020)

provided by Dr. Ann Garrido, author of Redeeming Conflict: 12 Habits for Christian Leaders and reprinted with her permission (2020)

Tension is part of every healthy community—including Christian community.  People only argue about things that they care about and where conflict is reported absent from a community’s life, it is often an indication that the community doesn’t have capacity to talk about their disagreements, or worse, the community has become apathetic about their mission and life together and simply no longer care.

Persons serving in church leadership roles should not expect that because the community they are serving is Christian they will not have to deal with conflict, or that something is wrong with the community because there is conflict.  Rather, they should anticipate that conflict will be a part of every community’s life and equip themselves to be able to manage and transform that conflict in healthy directions that deepen the community’s commitment to mission and a common life.  The vision and skills required to “do conflict well” are suggested throughout the four-fold structure of Co-Workers in the Vineyard and the PPF, and at the same time could possibly be drawn out a bit more explicitly.

In this document, Dr. Garrido has identified areas where some degree of conflict “literacy” (i.e. an understanding of the dynamics of conflict and skills for healthy conflict management) could be considered to help draw out ministry competencies in the arena of conflict management more explicitly.

View the resource

See also the webinar presentation spotlighted on this page and the 2002 text from the USCCB Procedures for Resolving Conflict

Pandemic Minister Resources (2020)

Our office compiled a list of trusted resources from national ministry organizations, and other vetted materials for lay and ordained ministers, to help in strategizing ministerial responses to the COVID-19 pandemic. The list was last updated in December 2020


View the resource

You may find additional USCCB resources related to the pandemic here.

Videos: Benefits of Ministry Formation & Certification (2019)

Bishop Gerald Kicanas, chairman of the subcommittee, and leaders from national Catholic ministry organizations and the Diocese of San Bernardino, California, discuss the work of the subcommittee, the bishops' expansive vision of lay ecclesial ministry, standards for formation and certification of lay ministers and leaders, and more, in this wide-ranging conversation from 2019.

View additional videos and excerpts

Report: Promotion and Formation of the Lay Faithful: Best Practices (2018)

Laity with Pope Francis

Representatives from the 15 countries, including Dr. Marc DelMonico, USCCB Director of Certification for Ecclesial Ministry, participating in the ‘Promotion and Formation of the Lay Faithful: Best Practices” International Meeting, with Pope Francis, following the September 26 General Audience. (Image credit: Servizio Fotografico Vaticano. Used with permission.)

Our office presented our work with diocesan ministry formation programs and national ministry organizations at a 2018 first-of-its-kind gathering in Rome of lay leaders and clergy colleagues, discussing best practices in formation of the laity.

Read the report from the conference

Webinar Archive: Catholic Prison Ministries Coalition (2018)

Catholic Prison Ministries logo

In 2018 the Subcommittee on Certification for Ecclesial Ministry and Service co-sponsored and provided support for several introductory webinars aimed at identifying key ministerial needs in contemporary Catholic prison ministries.

View the Archive Webinars

Co-Responsibility & Conflict Management: Some Resources for Ministers

Co-Responsibility & Conflict Management: Some Resources for Ministers

In 2020, Dr. Marc DelMonico, Director of Certification for Ecclesial Ministry presented on conflict management skills for ministers developed by theologian Dr. Ann Garrido of Aquinas Institute in a webinar for the Catholic Apostolate Center.