Date: 2018 – Current

I was named Director of Certification for Ecclesial Ministry & Service at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) in July 2018. In this role, I provide executive-level expertise and advocacy for innovating, implementing and consulting on professional ministry formation standards, competencies, and related support structures for lay ministers. The office is in the Secretariat of Catholic Education and facilitates the work of the Conference’s Subcommittee on Certification for Ecclesial Ministry and Service. The purpose of the subcommittee is to promote and resource the development of standards of ministry formation and certification, as well as to review and approve those standards voluntarily submitted to its office by dioceses and national Catholic ministry organizations. The promotion of common standards has enabled dioceses and organizations to develop common “best practices” in the preparation of non-ordained lay ecclesial ministers. Such formation supports the development of skills and practices most helpful for specialized ministries across a wide array of the church’s life, including parish and diocesan leadership ministries, hospital chaplaincy and health care, campus ministry, prison ministries, and others. I have worked to ensure the needs of professional lay ministers in parish and diocesan-based ministries are strategically prioritized at the bishops’ conference, and I have coordinated with several external partners seeking support of innovative formation efforts which reflect a holistic preparation for lay ministers – in the human, spiritual, intellectual and pastoral dimensions.

Efforts of the subcommittee and my office have engaged bishops and consultants from across the country, and from diverse cultural perspectives on these needs. I have been fortunate to strategize and work closely with several Catholic diocesan and national ministry organizations and leaders on these efforts, including with

My presence in the Secretariat of Catholic Education has also allowed me to support colleagues in addressing similar needs, particularly in Catholic higher education, such as formation for mission officers.

Annual Activities Reports

For additional information on my work to date, check out the following reports:

USCCB Subcommittee on Certification for Ecclesial Ministry & Service: A Resource for Ministry Formation

In 2019, my office organized a wide-ranging conversation about the importance of lay ministry and ministry formation with the Chairman of the USCCB Subcommittee on Certification for Ecclesial Ministry and Service, Most. Rev. Gerald Kicanas, Bishop emeritus of Tucson, several representatives from national Catholic ministry support organizations who support standards in ministry formation approved by the USCCB, and a director of a diocesan ministry formation program whose standards are also approved by the USCCB. The following video portfolio features excerpts from this longer conversation, as well as the entire hour long presentation.

Subtitles are available on each video in English, Spanish and French. Click the “CC” icon and use the gear icon to select your preferred language.

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