1 I am the vine, you are the branches. Those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit. John 15:5 Guidelines for the Formation and Certification of Youth Leaders and Youth Team Members Serving within the Diocese of Orlando. Effective August 2009 Diocese of Orlando Office of Youth & Young Adult 50 East Robinson Street Orlando, Florida
2 Introduction God calls. We respond. This fundamental, essential pattern in the life of every believer appears throughout salvation history. The Father calls a chosen people, patriarchs, and prophets. Jesus calls his apostles and disciples. The Risen Lord calls everyone to labor in his vineyard, that is, in a world that must be transformed in view of the final coming of the Reign of God; and the Holy Spirit empowers all with the various gifts and ministries for the building up of the Body of Christ. from Co-Workers in the Vineyard of the Lord This pattern of call and response permeates the work of all the church, a church in service to the mission of proclaiming the Good News to all the world as a living community which models the fruits of loving God with all of one s heart, mind and soul and loving all of one s neighbors as one s self. This pattern is present within the church s ministry with the youth as well. The Challenge of discipleship of following Jesus - is at the heart of the Church s mission. All ministry with adolescents must be directed toward presenting young people with the Good News of Jesus Christ and inviting and challenging them to become his disciples. For this reason, catechesis is an essential component of youth ministry and one that needs renewed emphasis. If we are to succeed, we must offer young people a spiritually challenging and world-shaping vision that meets their hunger for the chance to participate in a worthy adventure. From Renewing the Vision: A Framework for Catholic Youth (p. 10) The Diocese of Orlando is committed to implementing the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops vision as stated in the document Renewing the Vision: A Framework for Catholic Youth and does so within the context of Co-Workers in the Vineyard of the Lord. Together, the focus of these two documents makes clear the need for intentional formation and certification of youth ministry leaders. The need for leadership formation is also explicitly addressed within the Revised Code of Canon Law. It states that lay persons who devote themselves permanently or temporarily to some special service in the church are obligated to acquire appropriate formation which is required to fulfill their function properly and to carry it out conscientiously, zealously and diligently. (Canon #231) - 2 -
3 Essentials of Leadership Formation In order to ensure that ministry with the young church meets the expectations of the bishops of the United States, the Diocese of Orlando s Office of Youth and Young Adult ministry provides these Diocesan wide certification expectations for all adults who work with youth, both as members of youth ministry teams and leaders of comprehensive parish youth ministry. The guidelines apply regardless of whether or not an individual is financially compensated for the role they have within ministry. This certification is essential for those who have been charged with the title of Youth Minister, Coordinator of Youth, or Director of Youth, whether in a paid or unpaid position. It is vital that those who are responsible for planning and implementing comprehensive youth ministry, and for training ministry team members, are themselves well formed. Co-Workers in the Vineyard of the Lord applies to a wide variety of lay ecclesial ministries, including youth ministry. The document clearly delineates the areas of formation to be addressed for those who serve as leaders and team. The four areas of formation human, spiritual, intellectual, and pastoral that provide a framework for the formation of deacons and priests provide a framework for lay ecclesial ministers as well. Lay ecclesial ministers need Human qualities critical to form wholesome relationships and necessary to be apt instruments of God s love and compassion A spirituality and practice of prayer that root them in God s Trinitarian life, grounding and animating all they do in ministry Adequate knowledge in theological and pastoral studies, along with the intellectual skill to use it among the people and cultures of our country The practical pastoral abilities called for in their particular ministry Co-Workers in the Vineyard of the Lord, p. 35 It is our desire that ALL who work with adolescents will seek to be formed in a deeper understanding of their role and the expectations and boundaries that are implied in working with adolescents. The expectations set forth by the Diocese take into consideration each of the four areas named within Co-Workers in the Vineyard of the Lord
4 It is also helpful to distinguish three aspects of youth ministry formation: Orientation is provided to those new to a particular role within youth ministry, and as individuals begin work in a new parish, begin a new initiative or take on additional roles and responsibilities. Often this happens at the parish/institutional level as individuals learn the mission, goals and practical procedures of a place and role. o New Directors Program: at a Diocesan level this Orientation Program is open to all who have been charged as Youth Ministers, Coordinators/Directors of Youth by their Pastor within the last 2 years. This program provides a balance of practical leadership skills, a comprehensive vision of youth ministry within the context of lifelong formation, builds community with others new to youth ministry & with a wisdom community from the field and encourages the development of new ministry skills. Initial Formation begins with an assessment of the minister s current level of formation and articulates a process of engaging in formation appropriate to the role in which one is serving. The certification requirements articulate the minimum formation needed for each role in order to function with competence and effectiveness as a minister to the young church. o Team Members are expected to obtain Level III of certification within 3 years. o Leaders are expected to obtain the Professional level within 5 years. o Experienced Leaders with 10 or more years of experience may wish to consult with the Diocese regarding a process to demonstrate competency for the pastoral aspect of certification coinciding with the competencies obtained through the National Certificate in Youth Studies. Ongoing Formation is a continuous and systematic process throughout ones time within ministry. The National Certification Standards provide an excellent template for seeking new areas of continued growth and skill development
5 Certification PART ONE: Certification for adult Team Members PASTORAL INTELLECTUAL HUMAN SPIRITUAL Through Sharing the Vision trainings Through DCCP classes LEVEL I Overview of Youth Understanding Youth Today 2 classes of your choice to begin working toward the Basic DCCP level of Certification Basic Boundaries Training for Team Members Minimum of 1 personal retreat experiences a year please submit one page reflection, retreat name, leader and time frame. LEVEL II Choose 2 from the following: Planning for Retreat 2 classes of your choice to continue working toward the Basic DCCP level of certification Retreat experience as above Involving Youth in Service Creating Gathered Youth Events Creating Meaningful Prayer Experiences Planning for Dynamic Youth - 5 -
6 LEVEL III Choose 2 from the list above Final 2 classes for Basic DCCP Retreat experience as above PART TWO: Certification for Youth Leaders (i.e. Youth Ministers, Coordinators/Directors of Youth ), regardless of position being paid or unpaid BASIC PASTORAL *Begin CMD Certificate Classes OR Sharing the Vision Trainings as follows: INTELLECTUAL HUMAN SPIRITUAL Basic DCCP certification required Advanced Boundaries training for Youth Leaders Minimum of 1 personal retreat experiences a year please submit one page reflection, retreat name, leader and time frame. Overview of Youth Understanding Youth Today Organizing a Team Developing Volunteer Leaders Planning for Dynamic Youth INTERMEDIATE *Continue CMD Certification Classes DCCP Classes: Christology Retreat as above OR Eucharist Sharing the Vision Catechetical Documents Trainings as follows: 3 classes from the list in Level II of - 6 -
7 Team Certification PROFESSIONAL *CMD Certificate DCCP Advanced Cert. Retreat as above * CMD Certificate is the National Certificate in Youth Studies conducted by the Center for Development and offered in the Diocese of Orlando and throughout the U.S
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