Thursday, August 2, 2012

Level 3 Training!

Lynn studying a material after a presentation.
In June, Catechist Lynn Winkelman and I attended an eight day training for Level 3 of the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd in Saginaw, Michigan. This was the first half of the training -- we will return next summer for seven more days to finish the course.  Lynn completed Level 3 training previously but wanted to take the training again to learn more. 

Watching a presentation.
One of the things that makes the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd unique is the commitment to training that it requires. There is no book you can read or curriculum you can buy to teach the catechesis. Instead courses are offered around the country (and the world) taught by formation leaders recognized by the National Association of the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd. Good Shepherd Catechesis is offered to three age groupings of children - 3-6 year olds (Level 1), 6-9 year olds (Level 2), and 9-12 year olds (Level 3). A ninety hour training is required for each level, and everyone begins by taking Level 1 training and working their way up.

Making materials.
As you can imagine, catechesis training is a big time commitment and it can be expensive. On the other hand, training is a significant faith formation experience for participants. The trainings are very rich. The National Association describes them in this way on their website "Each formation course includes preparations in giving the presentations (the lessons) to children, provides a solid background in the theological and pedagogical underpinnings of this work, assists the catechist in preparing his/her album, introduces the prepared environment, the atrium, and guides catechists in making the handmade materials used for the children’s work."

Donna Turner was a fabulous leader!

Practicing with materials.
Our Level 3 training was incredible! Donna Turner led our group and she is so knowledgeable about the 9-12 year old child, the materials, and the atrium. She also has a respectful, caring, playful, and graceful way of leading and teaching that I dream of someday bringing to my work in the atrium. We had a wonderful group of catechists and the training facility was perfect. It was an amazing week! Lynn and I came away from the training with our hearts and minds buzzing - making connections between our work in atrium, the children we serve, and our own faith. I can't wait to be back in the atrium in the Fall, and am already looking forward to Part Two of our training in June 2013!

Part of our working atrium for Level 3 training.
To learn more about Catechesis of the Good Shepherd training and to find out about training in your area visit the National Association's website "Courses for Adults" page.

Rose (right) organized the course and prepared supplies and materials
ahead of time so that we could begin making materials right away! 

Material making after class.


  1. Leslie, This is so fascinating! I have often wondered what the training for CGS is like. I love that Lynn is so passionate about what she does that she is taking the training a second time. I don't even know her, but I wish I could treat both of you to a cup of coffee.: )

  2. Looks wonderful! I am starting Level 3 with Donna in October, can't wait to begin!

  3. Congrats! I too had Donna as one of my Level 3 trainers three years ago. She is amazing. May God continue to richly bless you in your training!


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