Wednesday, January 23, 2013

What are the National Standards?

Alliance for the Certification of Lay Ecclesial Ministers logo

As lay ministry has become a much more common phenomenon in the United States (although present throughout Church History in some degree!), there have recently evolved the National Certification Standards for Lay Ecclesial Ministers. You can see the standards book in our suite (Saint Mary's 223), but there is a short overview here as well, which includes this:

Core Certification Standards for Lay Ecclesial Ministers
These standards are for all lay ecclesial ministers, including coordinators of youth ministry/youth ministry leaders.

1.Personal and Spiritual Maturity: A lay ecclesial minister demonstrates personal and spiritual maturity in ministry with the people of God.
2.Lay Ecclesial Ministry Identity: A lay ecclesial minister identifies the call to formal and public ministry as a vocation rooted in baptism.
3.Roman Catholic Theology: A lay ecclesial minister integrates knowledge of Roman Catholic faith within ministry.
4.Pastoral Praxis: A lay ecclesial minister engages in pastoral activity that promotes evangelization, faith formation, community, and pastoral care with sensitivity to diverse situations.
5.Professional Practice: A lay ecclesial minister provides effective leadership, administration, and service, in the spirit of collaboration.
This "Spirituality for the Vineyard" program is aimed at helping you self-evaluate your place in the first set of standards (personal and spiritual maturity), and inform the second the fourth group as well.  Much of the third and fifth sections are covered in class study and field work. 

Although not all parishes or dioceses attend closely to the national standards, some do.  And all of them would look favorably on a prospective worker who has taken their formation seriously, and is able to express their formation in the terms set by the National Standards.  Although we think a self-evaluation in light of the National Standards is valuable to do in itself, there is no question: in an increasingly tight job market, being able to show employers that you are called and ready to do this work is an asset.  The point of this program is to make a simplified presentation of the National Standards, making it easy to do and easy to show. 

The next two days, we'll cover what you do to measure up to the National Standards--and you probably already do a lot of it already.