As a priest, deacon, or catechist involved in facilitating and teaching an RCIA program, it’s important to have a solid understanding of the various periods, steps and rites incorporated in the formation process of the candidates for the catechumenate, as well as how previously baptized Christians can take part in RCIA.

In this first series of videos on the contents section of the RCIA, we’ll walk you through some of the main information necessary to understand the structure and implementation of the RCIA process. We’ll cover the following topics:

  • The period of evangelization and the precatechumenate
  • The Rite of Acceptance into the Order of the Catechumenate
  • The period of the catechumenate
  • Rites belonging to the period of the catechumenate
  • The Rite of Election or Enrollment of Names
  • The period of purification and enlightenment
  • Preparation rites on Holy Saturday
  • Celebration of the sacraments of initiation
  • The period of postbaptismal catechesis or mystagogy


Rest assured, we’ve made every effort in this series of videos to provide you with the knowledge you need to facilitate an RCIA program with confidence.

May our Lord Jesus Christ bestow his grace and peace upon you, and support you in your work for his holy Church.

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Course curriculum

  • 01

    Introduction to RCIA - For Catechists - Contents Part 1: Christian Initiation of Adults with 'Certificate of Completion'

    • How to get your 'Certificate of Completion'

  • 02

    Lesson 1 - Period of Evangelization and Precatechumenate

    • Introduction

    • Resources for Students, Parents, and Teachers

    • Lesson 1 - Period of Evangelization and Precatechumenate - LESSON PLAN / STUDY GUIDE

    • Lesson 1 - Period of Evangelization and Precatechumenate - VIDEO

  • 03

    Lesson 2 - Rite of Acceptance Into The Order of Catechumens

    • Introduction

    • Resources for Students, Parents, and Teachers

    • Lesson 2 - Rite of Acceptance Into The Order of Catechumens- LESSON PLAN / STUDY GUIDE

    • Lesson 2 - Rite of Acceptance Into The Order of Catechumens - VIDEO

  • 04

    Lesson 3 - The Period of The Catechumenate

    • Introduction

    • Resources for Students, Parents, and Teachers

    • Lesson 3 - The Period of The Catechumenate - LESSON PLAN / STUDY GUIDE

    • Lesson 3 - The Period of The Catechumenate - VIDEO

  • 05

    Lesson 4 - Rites Belonging to the Period of the Catechumenate

    • Introduction

    • Resources for Students, Parents, and Teachers

    • Lesson 4 - Rites Belonging to the Period of the Catechumenate - LESSON PLAN / STUDY GUIDE

    • Lesson 4 - Rites Belonging to the Period of the Catechumenate - VIDEO

  • 06

    Lesson 5 - The Rite of Election or Enrollment of Names

    • Introduction

    • Resources for Students, Parents, and Teachers

    • Lesson 5 - The Rite of Election or Enrollment of Names - LESSON PLAN / STUDY GUIDE

    • Lesson 5 - The Rite of Election or Enrollment of Names - VIDEO

  • 07

    Lesson 6 - Period of Purification and Enlightenment

    • Introduction

    • Resources for Students, Parents, and Teachers

    • Lesson 6 - Period of Purification and Enlightenment - LESSON PLAN / STUDY GUIDE

    • Lesson 6 - Period of Purification and Enlightenment - VIDEO

  • 08

    Lesson 7 - Preparation Rites on Holy Saturday

    • Introduction

    • Resources for Students, Parents, and Teachers

    • Lesson 7 - Preparation Rites on Holy Saturday - LESSON PLAN / STUDY GUIDE

    • Lesson 7 - Preparation Rites on Holy Saturday - VIDEO

  • 09

    Lesson 8 - Celebration of the Sacraments of Initiation

    • Introduction

    • Resources for Students, Parents, and Teachers

    • Lesson 8 - Celebration of the Sacraments of Initiation - LESSON PLAN / STUDY GUIDE

    • Lesson 8 - Celebration of the Sacraments of Initiation - VIDEO

  • 10

    Lesson 9 - Period of Postbaptismal Catechesis or Mystagogy

    • Introduction

    • Resources for Students, Parents, and Teachers

    • Lesson 9 - Period of Postbaptismal Catechesis or Mystagogy - LESSON PLAN / STUDY GUIDE

    • Lesson 9 - Period of Postbaptismal Catechesis or Mystagogy - VIDEO

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Instructor(s)

Instructor Bio:

Deacon Frederick Bartels is a member of the Catholic clergy who serves the Church in the diocese of Pueblo, CO. He received an MA in Theology and Educational Ministry from Catholic Distance University, where he is currently employed as an adjunct professor of theology. He is founder and editor of Joy In Truth (joyintruth.com), an online magazine dedicated to the New Evangelization. As a Catholic educator, public speaker and evangelist, Deacon Bartels strives to infuse culture with the saving principles of the gospel. He lives in Colorado with his wife, Shelly, and the youngest two of their six children. Professor Bartels is Chairman of the Theology Department.

Deacon Frederick Bartels

Professor of Theology, Department Chair