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A catechist is first and foremost a teacher of religion in the Protestant or Roman Catholic Church. Based on the general teaching program, the catechist was trained in church institutes to teach only religion in general schools . In addition, this term is also used in the Roman Catholic Church for lay people who, on behalf of a pastor, prepare children and adults for the reception of certain sacraments .

Training and calling


Catechists who give religious instruction on behalf of the church require a church teaching permit. For Protestant religious instruction this is the vocation by a congregation or a representative of the Evangelical Church, for Catholic religious instruction the missio canonica , which is given by a bishop in the context of a divine service by giving a blessing.

Catechists (sometimes also catechists ) were originally spiritual guides in the sacraments both in the Catholic Church and in the Protestant Church . They prepare applicants as they prepare to receive certain sacraments . This preparatory period is called the catechumenate . Especially for baptism ( baptismal catechesis ) this has a tradition that extends to the early church .


The training and working conditions of the catechists vary from state to state. The three-stage and almost seven-year training to become a catechist in Berlin came to an end in 2006 and was replaced by a university of applied sciences training to become a religious educator , including a degree .

To distinguish between the community catechists employed in the GDR until the fall of the Wall , religious teachers at schools were referred to as school catechists . In the meantime there has been a generalization of terms, so that the job title of catechists or school catechists has changed into religion teachers .

Parish catechists were only able to teach Christian doctrine and confirmation lessons outside of the school in the rooms of the respective parish only under very difficult conditions . Wanted community catechists after the turn also in school religion teachers are employed, they had to get to school catechists further qualifications.


From 1964 to 2004 there was a training center for aspiring catechists in Lucerne . The Catechetical Institute Luzern (KIL) was the former Theological joined the faculty of Lucerne and went on 1 August 2004 in the Religious Education Institute (RPI) on, which is now a part of the Faculty of Theology at the University of Lucerne is.

See also