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Center for Catholic Studies


Title and Origins

The Center for Catholic Studies began in June, 2003 and is a combining of all catechetical programs in the diocese under one umbrella. This was done to better facilitate the stewardship responsibilities of the diocese as well as to gain better insight as to the materials presented to the people of the diocese.

Administration & Staff

The Board of Directors for the Center includes the directors of the following secretariats: Worship and Liturgical Formation (Current Chairperson), Justice and Peace, Communications, Administrative Services (Ex-Officio), and the Bishop (Ex-Officio). Support staff consists of the diocesan support staff already in place at the Cooney Conference Center.

Student Base

The Center for Catholic Studies offers instruction and catechetical faith formation for the people of the Diocese of Gaylord, as well as others seeking knowledge about the Catholic faith. Students may choose to either take the courses “for audit” or “for credit” in one of the programs that offer “certification” in order to obtain staff titles such as Director of Religious Education, Liturgical Coordinator, Youth Group Director, etc. The Programs “for credit” are: Worship and Liturgical Formation, Catechist, Permanent Deaconate, and Christian Discipleship.


For those seeking certification, there is a “core curriculum” that must be taken. This core curriculum consists of: General Spirituality, Introduction to Theological Thinking; Introduction to the History of the Church; Christology; Ecumenism; Introduction to the History of Eucharist and Liturgy; Introduction to Scripture; Conscience Formation and Introduction to Morality; Introduction to Catholic Social Teaching; Introduction to the Sacraments; Sacraments of Reconciliation, Anointing of the Sick & Viaticum, Marriage, Orders and Religious Life; Introduction to the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults; and Eucharist. In addition to the core courses, each Program has other required courses for the specific certification. Each “for credit” student is expected to pass an exam for each course as well as a comprehensive exam for their specific Program. Most Programs also require continuing formation in order to keep their certification current.  Click here for curriculum.

Spirituality and Theological Thinking

Besides the class on General Spirituality, each class consists of some kind of Spiritual and Theological Thinking along with their catechetical materials presented.


All instructors for the Center for Catholic Studies are required to have a Masters level degree or, in certain circumstances, an equivalent of a Masters degree, depending on years of experience and education.


Currently the Center for Catholic Studies is funded through the efforts of the Catholic Services Appeal, student tuition and grants.  The Center will continue to search out possible funding from other agencies and foundations that award grants to this type of institution.


Most classes are held at the Cooney Conference Center in Gaylord; however, there are some offerings in each of the Vicariates of the diocese.

Workshops and Special Events

Besides the classes offered for certification, other one-time classes and workshops are also listed in the catalog of offerings each semester. Many of these workshops and other offerings are held in different locations and are open to all interested parties depending on the material presented. The responsibilities of setting up these miscellaneous offerings are done through each Secretariat but are still included under the umbrella of the Center for Catholic Studies.

Class listings, registration, payment, book orders, and other information may be obtained through mailings, telephone, e-mail and the Diocese of Gaylord website.