Archdiocese of Chicago

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Archdiocese of Chicago
schools represented


Total teacher
certification completed


Polish speaking

The Challenge

Chicago is the third largest Archdiocese in the U.S. with 344 parishes serving 2.2 million Catholics. It also administers the largest private school system in the country. The Archdiocese's previous certification process had been designed decades earlier and had not kept up with modern technology. It required hours of on-site formation and records were kept in paper files and stored at each school or parish. They also did not have visibility to compliance which put the quality of the programs at risk and even introduced legal exposure. It was time to look for something new.

The Solution

"As Bishop Barron said to me...'in five years, unless formation programs are offered online, they won't exist."
Fr. Peter Wojcik, Director

Long-term Vision

Long-term Vision

The Archdiocese addressed their challenges in the context of the global market and decided that if an investment in training programs and formation models were to happen, it would have to offer an online option now so they would not have to make another big change in 3-5 years.

Meeting Uniqe Needs

Meeting Unique Needs

Because of the the ethnic diversity in the Archdiocese, it was important that the new programs be offered in both Spanish and Polish. They now have almost 300 Polish speaking catechists who are fully certified and teach the faith in the same way as parish-based English and Spanish programs.

Achieving Goals

Achieving Goals

In the two years since the new program launched, enrollment and completion of the certification process is the highest it’s been in the last 10 years. Over 3,500 teachers have completed the new online certification program representing over 130 schools. Dozens of parishes have moved from the old in-person and paper processes to the online catechist certification program. That kind of participation only occurs when the new program benefits everybody.

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