CCTheo offers four courses to prepare adults to work with children in an atrium: 

  • Parent-Toddler for 1-2-year-old children (pre-requisite Level I)
  • CGS Essentials for work with 3-6-year-old children (currently a hybrid course with online sessions and practice in person in local atrium – not certified)
  • Level 2 for work with 6-9-year-old children
  • Level 3 for work with 9-12 year-old-children

Each course develops content offered in the previous levels, and is designed to attune participants to the religious life of the child and to provide specific methods and materials to foster that life. Course sessions include prayer, presentations of materials, related theology and methodology, discussion of album pages (lesson plans), and work in the atrium.

The National Association of the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd supports the work of catechists throughout the United States and issues certificates upon completion of an approved course. These courses are offered by the Center of Children and Theology in cooperation with the Association.

In addition, we offered the country’s first Course for Work with Parents and Toddlers in July 2016, adapted from Level I for toddlers by Davette Himes. This was repeated in July 2018 and is scheduled again for 2021.

In the winter of 2021 Catherine Maresca offered a Level 2.5 Forum online for catechists who had completed Level 2. This forum reviewed the child, the atrium and themes for work with 6-9 children, looked at updates and some key presentation, and addressed questions of participants. Watch for Level 1.5, 2.5 and 3.5 Forums coming soon.

Course leaders Catherine Maresca and Davette Himes together have 40 years of experience in all levels of CGS, with atriums in both parishes and schools.

Take advantage of our unique training environment: atriums for each level in a Montessori school on the park-like grounds of historic Rock Creek Cemetery, or at All Saints Sharon Chapel in Alexandria, VA. CGS Essentials online sessions are offered from All Saints.

Enjoy CCTheo’s small course sizes, permanently available sessions for participants to make up or review course content, and course leaders who provide ongoing support and clarification via email.

Refunds, minus $50 administrative charges, will be available until one month before the start of the course.

Contact the Center for Children and Theology, with questions about courses or call (202) 250-5905.

  • $700.00

    Catechesis of the Good Shepherd  Essentials for the 3-6 Atrium is designed to attune participants to the religious life of the 3-6-year-old child and to provide the  specific methods and materials to foster that life. Online sessions include prayer, presentations of materials, background information, discussion of album pages. Practicum will be provided locally (for Washington DC area catechists) when safe, and catechists from around the country will be encouraged to work and practice in accessible atriums near them. Read more about CGS courses at CCTheo, and the goal of these courses.

    We have decided  to offer CGS Essentials for the 3-6  Atrium in a hybrid format for  those of you  who need to continue to  prepare a  new atrium,  bring new catechists into your program, review course material, complete unfinished training  courses, or familiarize  pastors, DREs and parents with CGS. When safe, we will provide DC area catechists opportunities to practice  with materials in the atrium, and encourage those of you further away to do so with  an experienced catechist or formation leader near your home. Participants must have access to a complete Level 1 atrium to practice with the materials introduced during the course.

    While a Level I course that is not meeting in an atrium will not be certified by  CGSUSA, you will receive a letter acknowledging your attendance and the content of CGS Essentials; and we encourage you to complete  CGSUSA certificate requirements when possible. Local participants and those able to come to Alexandria, VA will be welcome to attend future course sessions in the atrium at no additional cost.

    All CCTheo course sessions are permanently available to participants to make up or review course content and course leaders provide ongoing support and clarification via email. 

    To pay the full price of $700 now, add this course to your cart. To pay only the $400 registration fee, click REGISTRATION FEE ONLY and add to your cart.

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  • $425.00

    This ten day online course will prepare catechists who have completed a CGS Level I course to adapt the methodology and content of the 3-6 atrium for toddlers and their parents. Course Leader Davette Himes has been offering a two-hour session for toddlers and parents at All Saints Episcopal Church in Alexandria VA for over ten years and offered the first US Parent Toddler course in July, 2016. Join her to discover how the Toddler Atrium and parent education can be a powerful ministry to families in parishes, as well as evangelization and outreach. The course will concentrate on the spiritual life of the young child, supporting their growth and development and fostering independence through purposeful work, helping parents and parish to live out the baptismal covenant, incorporating CGS in the home, living the church year, and creating a toddler atrium. The course will be presented from Davette’s beautiful toddler environment at All Saints.

    To pay the full price now, add this course to your cart. To pay only the $200 registration fee, click REGISTRATION FEE ONLY and add to your cart. Balance of $225 due July 1, 2021.

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