Join us June 19-23, 2022



The Diocese of Jackson offers lay ministry training through the Pastoral Ministries Workshop. It is for Lay Ecclesial Ministers, Pastoral Ministers, Pastoral Associates,  DRE/CREs, Youth Ministers, RCIA Directors, campus ministers and all lay ministry leaders.

  • Year 1:  Effective Communications in Ministry
  • Year 2:  Developing, Maintaining and Balancing Programs
  • Year 3: Ministry and Canon Law
  • Year 4:  Spiritual and Prayer Leadership in a Parish

A retreat is also offered.



The Department of Faith Formation now publishes a quarterly newsletter (January, April, July and October).  The newsletter features timely topics, events and updates from each Office in the Department.  It is a digital publication sent to ministry leaders in the diocese.  In addition to the quarterly newsletters, resource bulletins are also published before Advent and Lent.  Please click on the image to view the content.

If you’d prefer a PDF copy of the newsletter or bulletin, please use the links below and/or if you’d like to be added to our email list please contact Fran Lavelle.

1st Quarter NewsletterLenten Resource Bulletin2nd Quarter Newsletter 3rd Quarter Newsletter

Letters to a Bishop:  The Journey to Confirmation

A new resource for Confirmation preparation is available through the Department of Faith Formation that includes the curriculum from the Catechist Companion. This Confirmation program written by Fran Lavelle, Director of the Department of Faith Formation, includes nine sessions that can be adapted to suit the individual needs of your parish.  The title of the program is, “Letters to a Bishop: The Journey to Confirmation.”  Use of this program is not mandatory.  It has been developed and is being provided to assist those parishes who want to use it. If you chose to use it, we would like to get your feedback at the end of the academic year.  This is a flexible program that can be adjusted and modified to best meet the needs of our parishes. For a copy of the program click here. If you have any questions about the program, please contact Fran Lavelle at


A. Parish and School Catechetical Leaders (DRE/CRES)

The Office of Faith Formation invites Catechetical Leaders to participate in bi-annual (Fall and Spring) gatherings held throughout the diocese. Leaders share prayer, resources, and ideas with one another. They are a great opportunity for networking with one another.

The Office also supervises the religion curriculum and materials being used in catechetical programs both in parishes and Catholic schools.  Sacrament catechetical guidelines, religion curriculum guideline, and textbooks/materials approved for use in our diocese click here.

B. Catechist Certification

The Office of Faith Formation is responsible for the on-going formation and certification of the catechists in our diocesan parishes and Catholic schools.  A catechist is a person who coordinates or teaches in a parish religious education program, a Catholic school religion teacher, parish youth ministers, RCIA leaders and parish Adult Faith Formation Leaders. This is accomplished by providing courses both online and in various locations throughout the diocese.

C. Graduate Degree or Certificate Programs In Our Diocese


1. Loyola Institute for Ministry Extension Program (LIMEX)

Loyola University New Orleans, through its Institute for Ministry, offers master’s degrees and certificates in pastoral studies and religious education through a partnership with the Catholic Diocese of Jackson.  The graduate program provides:

  • Onsite classes in your diocese
  • Academic, theological and ministerial competencies
  • A process of theological reflection so academic study is integrated into the student’s life and ministry.
  • Grounding in Ignatian Spirituality through reflection on the graces of the Spiritual Exercises
More Info:

2. Spring Hill College Extension Program

SHC logo

Jackson was the first site where Spring Hill offered graduate-level theology programs, beginning in 1982.  Bishop Brunini invited Spring Hill to Jackson to provide programs in support of lay leadership in the diocese, and we are proud to continue that relationship today.  Spring Hill will offers a blended-format programs in Theology and Ministry designed to be accessible for all in the Southeast.

Spring Hill College grants three graduate degrees in theology: the M.T.S. (Master of Theological Studies), the M.P.S. (Master of Pastoral Studies), and the M.A. (Master of Arts). Students who have not completed a bachelor’s degree may enroll on the undergraduate level. They may pursue either the C.T.S. (Certificate of Theological Studies) or the B.A. (Bachelor of Arts) in theology.

For registration information, please call:  251-380-4665 or 877-857-6742.

More Info:

D. Lay Ecclesial and Pastoral Ministry

Lay ministry development is also a part of the Office of Faith Formation. Laity who are called forth by their parish to use the gifts God has given them in a leadership capacity have theology and skills training offered to them through this office.  Lay Ecclesial Ministers, Pastoral Ministers, DREs, CREs, Catechists, Youth Ministers, Adult Faith Formation leaders, RCIA directors and others who serve as lay leaders have the opportunity for an annual weekend retreat, week long training every June at Lake Tiak O’Khata, participation in LIMEX or Spring Hill College courses, as well as theology courses provided through the Diocesan Catechist Certification process.    Scholarships are available for persons who have completed the Diocesan Lay Ministry application and who wish to be actively involved in these training opportunities.

For application and/or scholarship information, contact:

Fran Lavelle; 601-960-8473

E. Adult Faith Formation

Catechist certification courses are open to all adults who wish to deepen in their faith. Spring Hill College courses are available as “easy listening.”  In addition to these opportunities, the Office of Faith Formation also hosts several events open to all.

F. Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA)

The RCIA is a formation process with steps and a succession of liturgical rites that brings the unbaptized adult or older child into a more intimate relationship with Christ and union with the Church community. This process is catechetical and liturgical.  The Office of Faith Formation provides catechist training and suggested catechetical resources for catechetical and dismissal sessions with the RCIA participants.  The Office also hosts an annual workshop for RCIA coordinators and catechists.   For possible catechetical materials for adults and young people, go to Downloads.