Educational Resource

Summary of Standards for Formation and Certification of Lay Ecclesial Ministers for the Archdiocese of Chicago

Year Published
  • 2022
  • English

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Subcommittee on Certification for Ecclesial Ministry and Service has had a long-standing fruitful engagement with the Archdiocese of Chicago and its work to prepare lay women and men as ecclesial ministers. In its Fall 2022 meeting, the Subcommittee approved updated ministry formation and certification standards and competencies for the archdiocese, as administered in collaboration with the Institute for Pastoral Leadership (IPL) at the University of Saint Mary of the Lake in Mundelein, Illinois.

“The Subcommittee’s approval of the Archdiocese’s updated standards highlights the importance of support for lay ecclesial ministers who serve in leadership and coordinator roles,” said Most Reverend Gerald F. Kicanas, Bishop Emeritus of Tucson and Chairman of the Subcommittee. The Subcommittee’s review praised the IPL team for adapting to new needs in the preparation of lay ecclesial ministers for roles such as pastoral associates, directors and coordinators of religious education, and similar positions in adult faith formation and youth ministry. “The Archdiocese’s ongoing efforts, through IPL, to foster lay ministerial leadership is commendable and essential,” Kicanas added, “as are their efforts to address significant shifts in lay minister formation brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic and its impacts.”

Most Reverend Blaise Cupich, Cardinal Archbishop of Chicago, further affirmed the milestone: “I’m delighted that the USCCB Subcommittee on Certification for Ecclesial Ministry and Service has granted its approval for the Institute of Pastoral Life’s updated standards for ministry and certification. I am deeply grateful for the work IPL staff did to renew those standards in light of the realities of the church today, especially the experiences of often-marginalized ethnic and cultural groups. These efforts will help ensure ministers who are trained at IPL are well-prepared to serve the People of God for many years to come.”

The document provides a summary of the roles certified, curriculum and related formational activities for certification of lay ecclesial ministers in the Archdiocese, and contact information for those seeking additional information and resourcing.