Certificate in Liturgical Ministry

Designed to provide formation, skill development and education in the area of liturgy, the Certificate in Liturgical Ministry offers a well-defined yet flexible educational program which allows for a diversity of goals among individuals.

The "Church earnestly desires that all the faithful should be led to that full, conscious, and active participation in liturgical celebrations."
–Sacrosanctum Concilium No. 14

The Certificate in Liturgical Ministry can be earned with concentrations in:

  • Pastoral Liturgy
  • Pastoral Music
    • Organ
    • Conducting
    • Cantoring/Voice

The Certificate in Liturgical Ministry may be obtained on three levels. Completing all requirements listed below will qualify you as a minister, coordinator, or a director.

Level I

  • Liturgical Minister
    • Complete program requirements (24 hours)
  • Music Minister
    • Complete program requirements (24 hours)

Level II

  • Liturgical Coordinator
    • Complete program requirements (24 hours)
    • Exit Proficiency exams
  • Music Coordinator
    • Complete program requirements (24 hours)
    • Exit proficiency exams in applied areas

Level III

  • Liturgical Director
    • M.A. in Theology (or equivalent)
    • Complete program requirements
    • Exit proficiency exams
  • Music Director
    • M.A. in Sacred Music (or equivalent)
    • Complete program requirements
    • Exit proficiency exams

The certificate program seeks to serve lay persons, religious and clergy who:

  • Devote themselves to a special liturgical ministry in the church.
  • Serve on parish liturgical committees.
  • Hold professional ministries in a parish such as, pastoral associates, Directors of Religious Education (DRE), Coordinators of Religious Education (CRE), organists, choir directors, cantors, etc.

Certifying Agencies
The Certificate is issued by the Archdiocesan Office of Sacred Worship. Courses are offered by the Paul VI Pontifical Institute, the Office of Sacred Worship and other approved institutions.

Certification Process

A nonrefundable matriculation fee of $100 is due when the candidate is accepted into the program. This fee covers the clerical work necessary to maintain student records, provide student counseling and print the certificate.

Students need not be seeking the certificate nor apply for the program to enroll in the courses. Neither need they stop participation in the course work once they have achieved certification. However, records are kept only for those students who are enrolled in the Certification Program. Likewise, only those students enrolled in the Certification Program will receive assistance from the Program Advisor.

Length of Program

The length of the program varies from student to student but must be completed within seven years of initiation. Previous experiences and recent academic course work will be taken under consideration and respected in regard to receiving credit. These are evaluated by the advisor in each concentration.

Program Requirements

Total 24 credit hours required

Core Areas
12 credit hours required

  • Lay Ministry Formation Program
    • Lay Formation I (1 hour)
    • Lay Formation II (1 hour)
  • Introduction to Liturgical Theology (2 hours)
  • Eucharist / Sacraments (2 hours)
  • Liturgical Year (2 hours)
  • Liturgical Spirituality (2 hours)

Concentration Electives for Pastoral Liturgy Certificate
12 credit hours required from the following:

  • Ritual Planning / Preparation (2 hours)
  • Liturgy with Children (2 hours)
  • Parish Ministries Training (2 hours)
  • Music (2 hours)
  • Culture (2 hours)
  • Church History (2 hours)
  • Canon Law (2 hours)
  • Initiation Sacraments (2 hours)
  • Healing Sacraments (2 hours)
  • Marriage / Family (2 hours)
  • Church Design and Environment (2 hours)

Concentration Electives for Pastoral Music Certificate
12 credit hours required

  • Theory (2 hours)
  • History (2 hours)
  • Conducting (1 hour)
  • Courses / Workshop / Diocesan Choirs (3 hours)
  • Practicum (1 hour)
  • Concentration (3 hours)
    • Organ
    • Conducting
    • Cantoring / Voice

Exit Proficiency Exams

Pastoral Liturgy
A project in liturgical ministry will be planned and designed in consultation with the advisors during which the student demonstrates the specific skills of a selected area of liturgical ministry. During this time of ministry, the student will be supervised at the local level. At the completion of this project, the student will receive a written evaluation from the supervisor and the advisors.

Pastoral Music

  • Organ: American Guild of Organists (AGO) Service Playing Examination. This exam includes all facets of service playing. A separate certificate will also be awarded by the AGO. There is an additional fee for this exam.
  • Conducting: A Conducting Recital. This recital will demonstrate a working knowledge of conducting techniques and a stylistic understanding of the repertoire.
  • Cantoring / Voice: A Voice Recital. This recital will demonstrate a working knowledge of vocal techniques, stage presence and a stylistic understanding of Sacred Vocal Repertoire.
  • All Music Candidates: Keyboard Proficiency. This may be prepared through guided study or a college course.

Application Process

Interested candidates are welcome to call or email the Office of Sacred Worship to receive an application form or additional information.

You may also download the application form here. To download a printable version of the brochure click here.
Office of Worship
Archdiocese of Saint Louis
worship@archstl.org
314.792.7230