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Office of Formation
for Christian Service

Formation for Christian Service (click here About Us for a detailed description) is a collaborative effort of the Pastoral Ministries Division of the Archdiocese of Santa Fe.

Our Goal

Our goal is to assist the parishes of the Archdiocese of Santa Fe in providing opportunities for THEOLOGICAL and SPIRITUAL FORMATION and SKILLS FOR MINISTRY for all adult Catholics, especially those involved in some aspect of ecclesial ministry or Christian service in the world.

The whole process of Formation for Christian Service aims to follow the lead of the recent USCCB document Co-Workers in the Vineyard of the Lord, and offer participants a blend of human formation, intellectual formation, spiritual formation, and pastoral formation. In the words of this document (Co-Workers in the Vineyard of the Lord, pg. 33), lay ecclesial ministers need:

  • Human qualities critical to form wholesome relationships and necessary to be apt instruments of God’s love and compassion;
  • A spirituality and practice of prayer that root them in God’s Trinitarian life, grounding and animating all they do in ministry;
  • Adequate knowledge in theological and pastoral studies, along with the intellectual skill to use it among the people and cultures of our country;
  • The practical and pastoral abilities called for in their particular ministry.

Formation for Christian Service is designed especially to assist those involved in the followed areas of ministry in their parishes:

  • Catechetical Ministries with Children, Youth, and Adults
  • Evangelization Ministries
  • Family Life and Marriage Ministries
  • Prison and Jail Ministries
  • Ministry with Persons Living with Disabilities
  • Social Justice Ministries
  • Worship and Prayer Ministries
  • Youth and Young Adult Ministries
  • Christian Initiation and Sacramental Preparation Ministries
  • Leadership and Coordination Ministries

Levels of Formation

The five levels of Formation for Christian Service are:

    1. Basic Level Formation
    2. Intensive Level Formation:
    3. Advanced Level Formation
    4. Ongoing Formation
    5. Graduate Studies
  • At the completion of each of the first three levels, the Archdiocese of Santa Fe grants a Certificate of Participation for the appropriate level.
  • Completion of the Basic Level is desired for everyone ministering in the parish, Catholic School, or other Church- related agency.
  • Completion of the Basic Level is desired for everyone ministering in the parish, Catholic School, or other Church- related agency.
  • Completion of both the Basic and Advanced and/or Intensive Levels or equivalent is expected of anyone serving in a leadership role in a parish ministry.
  • Ongoing Formation is expected of those who have completed the Basic and/or Advanced Level, and who wish to continue in ministry, to continually update their learning and formation for ministry.
  • Video-Assisted Study is available, using the wide variety of videos that may be borrowed from the Ministry Resource Center.
  • On-line Learning, through courses offered online by Catholic institutions, provides an alternative mode of studying the Catholic Faith. On-line courses from approved institutions may be taken for credit and applied to diocesan certification.
  • Graduate Studies may be required for certain full time professional ministry positions in parishes, Catholic Schools, or other church-related agencies or institutions.

Courses, Classes, and Other Information


Basic Level Courses & Workshops

The Basic Level Theology requirement of forty hours can be fulfilled by taking either the four Basic Level courses or the five Echoes of Faith Theology modules. The four Basic Level courses (10 hours each) include Introduction to Scripture, Introduction to Jesus, Introduction to Church History, and Introduction to the Church. The Echoes of Faith Theology modules (8 hours each) include I Believe We Believe, Liturgy and Sacraments, Catholic Morality, Prayer and Spirituality, and Introduction to Scripture.

The Basic Level Courses and the Echoes of Faith modules are offered in parishes and schools upon request. Click here for a schedule of upcoming classes and locations.

Intensive Level Courses & Workshops

Participants in the Intensive Level of Formation for Christian Service are invited to embark upon a pilgrimage of faith toward their baptismal calling to be followers of Christ and ministers of his Church to all God's people. This faith journey promises to provide spiritual, theological and practical formation that will assist them in recognizing more clearly the presence and action of the Lord Jesus Christ in our midst, and to share in his mission of salvation for the world.

The Intensive Level of Formation for Christian Service is located in the deaneries of the Archdiocese. There are three functioning English locations at present and two Spanish locations:

  • Santa Fe Deanery
    • English Coordinator: Joel Hopko
    • Spanish Coordinator: Angie Kolasch
  • Northwest Deanery
    • Coordinator: Dr. Joanne Dupont Sandoval
  • Albuquerque Deaneries
    • English Coordinator: Dcn. Keith Davis
    • Spanish Coordinator: Rocio Gonzalez
  • Southeast Deanery
    • Spanish Coordinator: Rocio Gonzalez

Lewis University

Lewis University in Albuquerque offers completion degrees (Bachelor of Arts) for lay ministers and permanent deacons.  The program consists of a Pastoral Theology Minor to accompany its undergraduate degree in either Organizational Leadership or Psychology. All active Catholics from the Archdiocese of Santa Fe attending Lewis receive a 10% discount on tuition. For info contact either Jim Saya or Joyce Montoya-Roach at 505-255-3947.


Ecumenical Institute for Ministry

The Ecumenical Institute for Ministry is an ecumenical partnership for lay theological education in New Mexico. The purpose of the Ecumenical Institute for Ministry (EIM) is to equip Christians for ministries within and on behalf of the churches. To this aim, EIM develops and offers curricula, degree programs, courses and seminars. Its programs are intended to help Christians deepen their sense of vocation, discern their gifts given for the up-building of the churches, and develop the knowledge, theological perspective and skills required for effective Christian ministry.

Certificate Courses

The Ecumenical Institute for Ministry offers college level courses in Theology, Scripture, and Church History. Courses may be audited or taken for credit. A student may earn 1.6 Continuing Education Units for successful completion of each course. These courses may be used to fulfill the pre-requisite requirements for the Graduate Degree program offered in New Mexico through St. Norbert College.

Master of Theological Studies Degree

St. Norbert College of DePere, Wisconsin, in cooperation with EIM, provides the opportunity to earn a Master of Theological Studies degree in New Mexico. The St. Norbert M.T.S. degree of 32 semester hours is accredited through the North Central Association, a regional accrediting agency. This extension relationship with St. Norbert College is intentionally ecumenical. Members of the New Mexico faculty of the Ecumenical Institute for Ministry who function as adjunct faculty for St. Norbert College teach most of the core curriculum, as well as some of the courses within the particular ministry specializations. Members of the St. Norbert faculty in Wisconsin occasionally travel to New Mexico to teach a course.

The program allows specialization in Religious Education, Pastoral Ministry, Youth Ministry, or other areas suited to the individual student’s ministry needs. Students who wish to complete their degree more rapidly than the on-site program allows may also take courses at the residential campus of St Norbert College during the summers.

For more information, please access the EIM/MTS Website EIM/MTS Website or contact Becky Candelaria at 505.873.4399 xt. 229 or by Email.

Certificate Program for Youth Ministers, Archdiocese of Santa Fe Youth Office

The Certificate in Youth Ministry Studies is a ministry education program for those in ministry with youth, ages 10-19, in both parish and school settings. It equips leaders with the knowledge, skills, and practical tools and techniques needed for creative and comprehensive ministry with youth. The Certificate in Youth Ministry Studies program includes eight courses offered in a weekend format over two years.

Call the Archdiocesan Youth and Young Adult Ministry Office, 505 831-8145 and visit our website Youth and Young Adult Ministry.

Office for the Formation of Christian Service

Deacon Keith Davis
Phone: 505.831.8187
Contact Us

Rosalie Romero
Executive Secretary
Phone: 505.831.8179
Contact Us

4000 Saint Joseph's Pl. NW
Albuquerque, NM