Helping couples to deepen conjugal love and achieve responsible parenthood is part of the Church's total pastoral ministry to Catholic spouses...To help couples become proficient and secure in using NFP, dioceses must provide competent NFP services. (Standards for Diocesan NFP Ministry, "Introduction")

The Standards for Diocesan Natural Family Planning Ministry (Standards) articulate the key elements (including philosophy, theology, basic structure, educational components, services, and professional requirements for staff and volunteer NFP teachers) that exist in strong diocesan NFP ministry.The Standards can be used as a blueprint for diocesan program growth and activities.

In the United States, NFP ministry exists in many shapes and sizes. Some programs are well established and others are just beginning. The Standards are helpful for all types of diocesan NFP programs since they can be used as a development instrument by diocesan NFP coordinators. For those diocesan NFP coordinators who already have a well-established NFP ministry, the Standards can be used as a self-evaluation tool assisting in the continued growth of the program.

Diocesan NFP ministry represents a unique blend of education in human fertility and Catholic teachings on human sexuality, marriage, conjugal love and responsible parenthood. Typically, diocesan NFP teachers represent a variety of NFP methods. Forming diverse NFP teachers into a ministerial team is part of the work of the Standards.

The text of the Standards can be read in the following formats:

Standards for Diocesan NFP Ministry
(Web Format)
 

Standards for Diocesan NFP Ministry
(PDF)

Within the complex national picture of diocesan NFP ministry, the Standards exist to ensure that the local Church leads with God's gifts of married love and the gift of life. It is important for the local Church to commit to this vital ministry since it strongly upholds God's plan for marriage and the family.


Implementation Process and Forms

Diocesan NFP coordinators and directors of NFP teacher training programs (diocesan and non-diocesan), are encouraged to read the Standards and review the implementation process. Please contact the USCCB's NFP Program to discuss which implementation pathway is right for your program (@email).

Diocesan NFP teachers can participate in the process through a diocesan NFP program that meets the Standards. The formal pastoral certification awarded through the diocese creates a strong link between the teacher and the local diocesan NFP ministry. Teachers who apply to a diocese are expected to have a current NFP method certification from an approved NFP teacher training program.

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NOTE: It is recommended that formal application for Endorsement (the diocesan NFP program's award for meeting the Standards), be made to the USCCB's NFP Program. The formal application to implement the Standards can greatly assist the diocesan NFP coordinator's efforts in building NFP ministry by bringing into the process a third party review. The USCCB's NFP Program staff will appoint a two-person Board of Review who will act as mentors to the diocesan NFP coordinator throughout this process. For more information, contact @email.