The Director of Faith Formation for St Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church is a member of the pastoral team responsible for the catechetical programs (including Catholic Christian formation, religious education, and sacramental preparation) designed to lead adults, young adults, youth and children in the faith community to maturity of faith through instruction and formation in the Catholic Christian life.
Catechetical and Faith Formation
- Assesses programs needs and then sets goals and objectives for the programs through collaboration with the pastor, associate pastor, and the Parish Council.
- Recruits, trains, and supervises catechists and aides for the programs.
- Ensures that catechists are encouraged to be certified by providing information on the diocesan Catechetical Formation program.
- Develops an annual calendar of catechetical formation schedule and events.
- Schedules religious education classes and assigns catechists and rooms.
- Develops relationships with support volunteers to serve as substitute teachers or help with program needs.
- Reviews and evaluates the curriculum for each program for scope, appropriateness, age, content, etc.
- Oversees registration process for religious education classes & follows up as necessary.
- Reviews and ensures that the "Circle of Grace" program is incorporated into religious education schedule.
- Develops education plan for each student enrolled in religious education program.
- Follows up with parents regarding patterns of absenteeism from religious education classes.
- Responsible for coordinating RCIA/OCIA/ RICA programs for the parish with Pastor’s input and approval
- Responsible for adult faith formation programs (i.e., bible studies, small groups, etc.).
Sacramental Preparation Programs
- Coordinates and works with youth and their families in preparing for First Reconciliation, First Communion, and Confirmation, including planning and conducting the meetings with parents.
- Develops the scope and sequence of sacramental program preparation with input and approval of the Pastor.
- Develops the scope and sequence of Confirmation meetings, retreats, service opportunities, communications, and rites with input and approval of Pastor.
- Schedules Confirmation dates with Bishop’s representative.
- Plans and coordinates Confirmation and First Communion retreats.
- Oversees the organization and implementation of post-sacrament receptions.
Vacation Bible School (VBS)
- Directs, plans, and implements Vacation Bible School one week during the summer.
- Oversees registration process, volunteer recruitment, and orders needed supplies.
- Ensures that all volunteers comply with diocesan Safe Environment standards prior to ministry.
Parish Youth Program
- Collaborates with the Pastor and works with the team on Confirmation retreats.
- Ensures that required permission slips are obtained for special events.
- Attends Youth Program meetings as requested or needed.
- Collaborates with the Youth Program for volunteer services for VBS.
- Participates in staff meetings and regularly reviews status of program goals and priorities.
- Maintains open communication with staff and parish community regarding catechetical and faith formation activities.
- Stays up to date regarding diocesan policies and best practices to ensure that parish policies regarding religious education and faith formation are formulated according to the latest standards.
- Prepares and submits needed reports as required by the diocese or the parish office.
- Represents the parish at diocesan sponsored catechetical and faith formation functions and conferences monthly or as requested.
- Evaluates and assesses those who are teaching religious education through interviews, observation, lesson plan reviews, etc. to ensure that plans are according to curriculum and liturgical seasons.
- Communicates with catechists regarding outcomes of assessments.
- Plans and conducts parish catechetical and faith formation meetings for catechists, parishioners and parents as needed during the year.
- Plans and coordinates catechist recognition events, e.g., dinner, reception, etc. at least once annually.
- Regularly reviews, selects, and purchases program supplies, books, resources, or other needed program materials.
- Plans, develops, and monitors program budgets, expenses, etc.
- Reviews student folders regarding sacramental records, attendance, student progression, and evaluations at end of each program year.
- Maintains ongoing records on students and catechists.
- Maintains classroom needs with the parish community. Ensures that classrooms are in order and stocked with needed supplies and equipment, that organization of classroom arrangement is maintained, and that instructional signs are in place.
- Maintains a resource library for catechists.
- Ensures that all catechists and aides meet Diocesan Safe Environment standards.
- Develops, maintains, and evaluates the Religious Education and Faith Formation plan.
- Prepares the Religious Education and Faith Formation programs budget for each fiscal year.
- Seeks and submits requests for grant funding for activities, programs, and material.
- Provides monthly program updates to Pastor and Pastoral Council.
- Communicates with Diocesan Religious Education office and networks with religious education directors of other parishes and Catholic organizations to learn of best practices, programs, literature, and activities to incorporate into the development of programs at Saint Thomas Aquinas.
- Serves as a member of the parish pastoral team and Parish Council. Participates in decision making, attends meetings, and supports other pastoral team members.
- Serves as a referral resource to the broad Cookeville community in response to ministry needs.
- Performs other duties as assigned.
Education and Experience:
- Bachelor’s Degree in education, theology, religious education, or related field
- Minimum of three years of experience as a catechist
- Catechist Certification through the Diocese of Nashville or an approved program of study
- Completed or willingness to complete DRE training program through the Diocese of Nashville
- To be an active member of the Roman Catholic faith community is required
- To be able to model Catholic lifestyle with joy for the faith and positive attitude toward the Church is required
- Bilingual language skills (English and Spanish) are required.
- To be able to communicate the faith and possess the ability to work with a range of students from children to adult is required
- To have supervisory skills needed to direct youth and adult volunteers is required
- To have excellent interpersonal skills for interacting with the pastor, other staff, volunteers, and parents is required
- To have the ability to maintain confidentiality in all matters is required
- Organizational skills for managing details related to all aspects of Religious Education Ministry are required
- Proficiency in the use of computers including the internet, distance learning software, email, and Microsoft Office products is required
- Schedule flexibility to accommodate evening and weekend work is required
- Successful completion of the parish Safe Environment program is required
- Previous supervisory experience is required