Courses for Licensed Evangelism and Christian Formation Roles

The Bishop Kemper School for Ministry has put together courses to prepare potential licensees in Evangelism and Christian Formation.

The Rev. Dr. Bill Fasel Five-minute read.   Resources

Since the lead up to the Presiding Bishop’s visit in May 2017, we in The Diocese of West Missouri have been putting a lot of emphasis on evangelism and Christian formation. I would like to tell you of two leadership opportunities in evangelism and initial formation. The Commission on Ministry has defined two licenses for leadership in these areas. One is “Evangelist” and the other is “Catechist”. The Bishop Kemper School for Ministry (BKSM) has devised two curricula to prepare potential licensees.

A licensed Evangelist is a lay person who coordinates and facilitates the evangelism activities of a congregation or other ministry (like campus ministry, for example). The license does not necessarily imply direct evangelism, like going door to door. Rather, we envision groups of persons working as a team with leadership from the Evangelist and clergy.

The same sort of structure would also be true for a Catechist. A Catechist is a lay person who coordinates and facilitates the preparation of (mostly new) members for baptism, confirmation, reception in The Episcopal Church, or the reaffirmation of baptismal vows. The Catechist would work with clergy and sponsors to help prepare persons for these rites.

Both of these licenses fit together as part of the ancient, and modern, Catechumenate. The Catechumenate has four stages:

  1. Evangelism — where we seek out and invite new persons to the Christian faith and the Episcopal Church, or as the Presiding Bishop puts it, the Episcopal branch of the Jesus Movement.
  2. Catechumenate –where we he help persons to learn how to live and worship within our faith communities.
  3. Enlightenment –where we prepare persons for the rites of Baptism or Confirmation, etc., frequently during Lent.
  4. Mystagogy — after the rite of baptism or confirmation where we help the person to live into their vows and to take their next steps in formation and discipleship, frequently during the Easter season.

I invite you to look up these licenses and requirements of the diocesan website, and I also invite you to check out the curriculum at BKSM — links to both are provided below. See if it might be something for you.

I would invite anyone who is curious to consider auditing one of the courses in the curricula. For the Catechist license, I recommend taking “Adult Catechesis and Formation”. The classroom time for this course will be October 13-14, with reading starting September 10. For the Evangelist license, I recommend taking “Contemporary Mission”. The classroom for that will be November 10-11, with reading starting October 15.

The cost for auditing is $100 per course, and you can register on the BKSM website.

For more information, please contact me, the Rev. Dr. Bill Fasel, at nerm@diowestmo.org.

The Rev. Dr. Bill Fasel is chair of the Commission of Ministry, serves on the board at Bishop Kempler School of Ministry, and heads NERM, the North East Regional Ministry.

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Gary Allman

Gary Allman is the Director of Communications at The Diocese of West Missouri

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