Sowers of the Seed
Religious Education Self-Study and Assessment Process
In 2001 Bishop Trautman asked that all religious education programs be reviewed and accredited in relation to diocesan policy. The Department of Religious Education provided parishes with a strategic planning process and initiated a multi-year schedule to accomplish this goal.
Each parish was asked to form a steering committee and work through the provided planning process. This process involved a series of seven steps: to define the mission and vision of the religious education program; to review compliance with stated diocesan policy; to clearly define parish religious education polices; to review local and cultural trends that impact the religious education program; to identify current strengths and weakness; and then to formulate a plan to respond to the most significant issues that were discussed.
Parishes provided the results of their deliberations in written form to the Department of Religious Education. These plans were reviewed by diocesan staff who then visited the parish. Staff met with the pastor, the religious education leader, the steering committee, catechists and interested parents. Following the visit, the Diocese responded to the parish material in a written report which commended the parish, made recommendations where appropriate or asked for required action to bring the program into compliance with policy.
The first round of this process was completed in 2007. The Department is currently working on a follow-up process which will help parishes to review their previous work, ask about what has changed, and decide future directions.