Frequently Asked Questions
1.0 - General
1.1 - Who is CatechismClass.com?
CatechismClass.com was founded by Father James Zatalva, a diocesan priest, in March 2004 as a means to make some of the best Catholic Faith Formation resources and programs available to those who could benefit from studying the Catholic Faith online. Father Zatalava has been a pioneer in religious education and has worked for the best in Catholic education to be made available to as many people as possible through the convenience of modern technology. We are proud to be the first online Catholic education program ever created.
1.2 - Who Founded CatechismClass.com?
CatechismClass.com was founded by our Editor, Fr. James D. Zatalava.
1.3 - What Are CatechismClass.com Programs Like?
CatechismClass.com offers the best Catholic religion courses to anyone and everyone. All of our courses are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. They are taken entirely at the student's own pace and your access to the content never expires, even long after you finish the program. There are no subscriptions or long-term commitments. There is no need for any software to download as the program is completed in a simple Internet browser. Our courses are available on any Internet connected device whether it be a laptop, desktop, tablet, or even a mobile phone. The best in Catholic education is what we offer to make it convenient to study the fullness of the Catholic Faith. Whether you are looking to study for your Sacraments or just want to (re)learn more about what the Church really teaches, we have programs for you.
1.4 - Is CatechismClass.com Faithful to the Magesterium of the Church?
CatechismClass.com is unwaveringly faithful to the Catholic Faith. Our programs are produced in complete accordance with the Catholic Faith. We only produce Catholic materials. All of our staff (writers, editors, programmers, etc) sign an Oath of Fidelity pledging their allegiance to the Catholic Church.
1.5 - Why is E-Learning Important for the Catholic Church?
The trend in online education is quickly growing and our programs have already led to conversions and more Catholics receiving the Sacraments. With our RCIA program, parishes are using it for their members who lead busy travel schedules for work or who suffer from a disability that makes weekly classroom time difficult. Our children's courses have helped dozens of families teach their children the Faith without having to go to in-person classes. This has eliminated the common excuse that children can't be expected to miss sports or extracurricular activities for religious education. And it also makes it possible for children with disabilities (mental or physical) to learn at their own pace (we have received many testimonies thanking us for making this possible). And our best-selling godparent classes make it possible for godparents to study the same, excellent pre-baptismal class even when they live thousands of miles apart.
1.6 - Can CatechismClass.com Be Used by Both Individuals or Parishes?
Yes! We have many parishes that use our programs and we have many homeschoolers, individuals, and families. CatechismClass.com has programs for everyone regardless of your role or previous knowledge of Catholicism. Learn more at our Parish Implementation Page.
1.7 - Are CatechismClass.com Programs Meant to Replace In-Person Learning?
No, they do not necessarily have to replace in-person learning. We believe that we produce the best online courses for Catholic faith formation. Our products are not necessarily meant to replace community learning - they are meant to provide the best textbook out there, which happens to also be online. Our students are still expected to regularly attend Mass, participate in the devotional and apostolic life of their parishes, and serve the Faith through their prayers and actions. Our lessons include many activities meant to faciliate a connection with the local and the Universal Church.
1.8 - How are the Six Tasks of Catechesis Addressed by CatechismClass.com?
All of the six tasks are directly addressed by our lessons:
- Promoting Knowledge of the Faith - Through the Catechism section in all lessons
- Liturgical Education - Throughout our lessons in the Integration & Catechism Sections
- Moral Formation - In the Catechism and Activity Sections
- Teaching to Pray - In our Opening and Closing Prayer Sections
- Education for Community Life - In the Catechism and Activity Sections
- Missionary Initiation - In our Activity Sections
1.9 - Do CatechismClass.com Programs Have an Imprimatur?
An Imprimatur is a distinction issued by the Catholic Church that literally means "it may be printed." Imprimaturs were highly important during the Counter Reformation so that the Faithful could determine which books were printed in accordance with Church teaching and which were not. Imprimaturs apply only to printed books and not to online courses. The Catholic Church does not offer imprimaturs for online courses since such courses are not printed. No online Catholic program in the world is permitted to claim that their online programs bear an imprimatur. Nevertheless, CatechismClass.com does have the highest support that an online program can have, in that we have the support of several US bishops and have Bishop Robert Vasa as our Episcopal Advisor.
1.10 - Is CatechismClass.com Recommended by the Bishops?
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) does not provide a list of any recommended online curricula for any Catholic publishing organizations. The USCCB does not review, recommend, or comment in any way on any online program as they have officially stated that online programs outside of the scope of their review.
As stated in their published document "The Conformity of Catechetical Materials with the Catechism of the Catholic Church - Criteria and Applicability" from January 2010: "It is important to note, however, that not all catechetical texts and materials are subject to a conformity review. The fact that a given item does not appear on the Subcommittee's Conformity List does not necessarily mean that it has been reviewed and found to be deficient, or that the publisher has failed to submit it. A conformity review is not applicable to...audio tapes, video tapes, websites, and DVDs."
CatechismClass.com does have the highest level of support that an online program can have, in that we have the endorsement of several US bishops and have Bishop Robert Vasa as our Episcopal Advisor.
1.11 - Is CatechismClass.com Accredited?
In the world of online Catholic education, there is no standardized accreditation or even diocese-by-diocese approval. Our courses have the endorsement of many US Bishops and theologians, including Dr. Scott Hahn, and other prominent, faithful Catholics. CatechismClass.com has the highest support any online Catholic organization can have. We have a bishop as our official advisor and many priests and theologians who have endorsed our work and courses. For a full listing of our endorsements, please see the "About Us" Page.
1.12 - Does CatechismClass.com Have a Phone Number?
As an online-based organization, CatechismClass.com does not have the resources to staff a call center and cannot accept telephone support. We do offer a highly attentive online support system with industry leading response times. If you still have a particular question not answered in this FAQ, please contact us via our support system.
We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause but know that we are here to help with any questions you have through our email support system. Many people state our email support is much faster than many organizations' telephone support systems.
2.0 - Endorsements, Testimonials, & Supporters
2.1 - Who Endorses CatechismClass.com?
Our courses have the endorsement of many US Bishops, theologians including Dr. Scott Hahn, and other Catholics. CatechismClass.com has received the support and prayers of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI who wrote to us and encouraged our efforts. For a full listing of our endorsements, please see the page 'Who is CatechismClass.com'.
2.2 - Will My Parish Let Me Use CatechismClass.com Instead of Their Religion Classes?
CatechismClass.com is widely used but that being said, as stated in our terms and conditions, ultimate acceptance of our online program in lieu of an in-person class is ultimately up to the discretion of each individual priest. If you wish to take CatechismClass.com in lieu of a parish Sacramental Prep program, acceptance of our program in lieu of a parish program is up to the discretion of the parish.
But as a self study program for individuals or as a program for parents to use with children, all Catholics may use our program in virtue of the Pope John Paul II's decree decree in "Gravissium Educationis".
2.3 - Who Has Reviewed CatechismClass.com?
Many organizations and individuals have reviewed or studied the programs of CatechismClass.com including Dr. Scott Hahn, Karl Keating (the President of Catholic Answers), and Cathy Duffy of Cathy Duffy Homeschool Curriculum Reviews. All have positively reviewed our work in terms of its content and approach.
For example, Karl Keating said: "I attended public schools, which meant we were packed off to CCD classes one evening a week. The acronym stands for Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, but it could have stood for Catholic Children Daydreaming. That's how boring it seemed, and the result was that that was the last religious instruction many of my peers had. So what to do for your kids? You might want to take a look at an online program called CatechismClass.com. It is for kids through twelfth grade, though I suspect not a few adults would find it a good refresher. The entire program is given over the computer at the student's own pace. I've taken a look at the site, and it certainly looks to be a step up (a very big step up) from the CCD classes I took. -- Karl Keating, Founder of Catholic Answers, E-Letter (8/31/04)
2.4 - Does CatechismClass.com Have Customer Testimonials?
We have received positive testimonials from hundreds customers. Here is just a small sample from the thousands of customers we serve each year:
3.0 - Programs and Courses
3.1 - Are CatechismClass.com Courses Asynchronous?
Yes all of our online courses are taken entirely at the student's own pace and on the schedule that works best for their learning. Our courses are all asynchronous to allow our students to learn at the time that works best for them. Classes are always open anytime day or night.
3.2 - What Courses Does CatechismClass.com Offer?
We produce courses for Adult Faith Enrichment, RCIA, children's catechism (CCD), Sacramental Preparation, Godparent or Parent Baptism Preparation, Marriage Preparation, and several other programs. To see a complete listing of our courses, please see our courses page by clicking here.
3.3 - What Does CatechismClass.com Cost?
All of our programs are offered for a different price. If you are just buying individual or family copies, please check out our courses page by clicking here. Click on the course that you'd like more information on and the price will be readily available.
If you are from a parish and are looking to buy for a school, we offer discounted pricing. Please contact us for this information by filling out a support ticket.
3.4 - Are Discounts Available to Parishes?
Yes, we offer a number of options for parishes who wish to use our program. The prices of our programs decrease as a parish buys more programs. Contact us via our support ticketing system to determine the best discounted pricing we could offer you.
We guarantee to parishes during your first year on CatechismClass.com that we will provide our materials to you for less than you are paying for your current printed materials if you agree to switch exclusively to CatechismClass.com for your religious education.
3.5 - What is the Format of CatechismClass.com Lessons?
All of our lessons follow our seven step format: 1. Introduction, 2. Opening Prayer, 3. Scripture Passages, 4. Catechism Passages, 5. Lesson, 6. Activity, and 7. Closing Prayer. And, all lessons end with a short quiz. Read more on our Curriculum Format Page.
3.6 - Are CatechismClass.com Lessons Mailed to Me?
No. We do have a small number of paperback that can be purchased through the Lulu.com website by clicking here. However, all purchases of materials on the CatechismClass.com website are online programs and they are not shipped. We only sell online courses here.
3.7 - What Courses Are Available for Adults?
Yes, we offer over a dozen courses. Two of our most popular courses for adult faith formation are our Adult Faith Formation Level I Course as well as our Catholic Liturgical Year Course. We produce our best-selling Adult Faith Formation Level I Course, which is used both by catechumens going through RCIA as well as Catholics who want an in-depth study course on Catholicism. Our Catholic Liturgical Year Course is designed to help Catholics study the major feast and fast days in the Church and thus connect them with the Scriptures, Catechism excerpts, and Church teachings as they relate to the Liturgical Year. In addition to these, we offer a number of adult level elective courses meant for those wishing to learn the Faith or those who are already Catholic and wish to learn more. All are highly afforable.
3.8 - What Courses Are Available for Children?
We produce grade-based programs for children ranging in age from our kindergarten through 12th Grade. Click here to view our catalogue. These programs are used by children who are homeschooled as well as by parishes for their CCD or PREP programs. Many parishes are facing a lack of teachers and our programs are allowing those parishes to provide education to students without needing as many teachers. In most instances, fewer teachers can be used.
Additionally, some parishes are using our programs to provide for children that are physically or mentally challenged who have trouble in attending in person classes. When the divorced parents share custody, one parent may be opposed to the child's religious education and that child as a result can only go every other week to CCD. Our programs allow them to work from home any night of the week, thus eliminating this issue.
CatechismClass.com is also widely regarded as one of the best programs in terms of its fidelity to Catholic Tradition. Many parents may wish to simply homeschool their children or use our program in conjunction with other classes for that reason as well.
3.9 - Do Lessons Expire?
There are no time limits on our courses. You can take as much time as you need - your subscription will never expire. You may refer back to your lessons years in the future.
3.10 - What Scripture Translation Does CatechismClass.com Use?
The Adult Programs use the Douay Rheims and the children use the RSV-CE. These are both approved Catholic Bible translations. From a convert's perspective, many adults find greater benefit from the Douay Rheims because its style more closely mirrors that of the King James Version.
3.11 - Do I need to Purchase Outside Texts to Complete any CatechismClass.com Courses?
Some of our programs do require the purchase of outside books to use in conjunction with our materials. Only a few of our courses require this and they include: The Life of Christ & the New Testament Adult Level Course (which is part of the Adult Faith Formation Level I), the First Holy Communion Preparation Lesson, & the Confirmation Preparation Lesson. The outside books required are readily available on Amazon.com and through other retailers for a small price.
3.12 - Are CatechismClass.com Courses and Programs Accepted by All Catholic Parishes?
Our programs are used on a parish by parish basis - and as such, acceptance is at the discretion of the diocese and the pastor of your church if you want to use our curriculum to receive the Sacraments and in-lieu of the in-person classes at the parish. You may always, discuss our programs with your priest or have them contact us directly if he has any questions or concerns.
3.13 - Can Parents Homeschool Their Children with CatechismClass.com Classes?
CatechismClass.com is used by thousands of students a year who are learning the Catholic Faith online through our unique online courses. We are the oldest online Catholic religious education provider, having done this since our founding back in 2004. We are very happy to help you and your family as well.
Many parents choose to homeschool their children and find great value in our programs. Nearly all parishes allow parents to homeschool their children for non-Sacramental prep years since parents are the first educators in the Faith. For Sacramental prep years (usually 2nd grade and 8th grade but that varies), acceptance of a course like ours in lieu of the in-person Sacramental class at the parish is up to the parish's discretion. We rarely hear of any issues with parents being allowed to homeschool for non-Sacramental prep years, since the Church has authoritatively stated that parents are the first and primary educators of children. But for Sacramental years, you may need the permission of the parish. For those years (usually 2nd and 8th but that too can vary) we suggest checking with your parish.
3.14 - Can I See A Sample Lesson?
As our lessons are all online, interactive lessons you may sample them by buying individual lessons if you'd like to try a few lessons before buying a course. On any course page (e.g. 1st grade), just scroll down to see all the lessons that are contained in the program. Each of those lessons may be purchased individually. So you may sample lessons for only a few dollars before buying a full course.
We also have a few PDFs available so you can see a sample of the content of various lessons without having to make an order. See our Sample Lesson Page for more information.
4.0 - Sacramental Preparation Courses
4.1 - Can I Receive my Sacraments Online?
CatechismClass.com is a leading provider in preparing our students (whether children or adults) for their Sacraments. And best of all, our programs are designed for you to complete them at your own schedule and at your own pace with convenient and reliable 24/7 online access. Our programs generally allow you to study at home and generally not to have to study in person at weekly set class times, though acceptance of our class in lieu of an in-person Sacramental class at a parish is up to the pastor's discretion.
After passing our Sacramental Preparation Coursework, you will receive a CatechismClass.com Certificate. This certificate can be presented to your priest/parish to show you have studied the Faith in a formal program, when you ask them to administer the Sacraments to you.
Only a validly ordained Catholic priest can administer the Sacraments. We provide comprehensive and complete Sacramental preparation, the learning that must occur before a priest will allow someone to receive the Sacraments. You will still need to have a priest of your choosing administer the Sacraments to you after you pass our coursework.
You can use our Course Calculator to find what programs fit your current situation. You will need to pass all required coursework to receive our Certificate of Completion.
4.2 - What Program do I need if I am studying for my Baptism?
4.3 - What Program do I need if I am studying to serve as a Godparent? I am already confirmed.
You will need our Baptism Preparation Program. Click here to preview the course and enroll.
4.4 - What Program do I need if I am studying for my Confirmation?
You can use our Course Selector to find what programs fit your current situation. We offer a number of different options and what you will need will depend on your specific situation. The Course Selector will guide you to all of the correct materials.
4.5 - What Program do I need if I am studying for my First Holy Communion?
4.6 - What Program do I need if I am studying for My Upcoming Wedding?
4.7 - What Catholic Churches Accept CatechismClass.com Certificates for Sacramental Preparation?
We do not produce lists of parishes that use our program and only know about such parishes after people write us and express their gratitude. As individuals and families ordinarily do the ordering themselves, we have no way of producing lists of the parishes that use our program in any specific city. We have users in all 50 states as well as many internationally too. We are aware of dozen parishes using this program on a wide scale throughout the United States and abroad but we do not produce lists. We always suggest contacting your parish and telling them that you would like to use CatechismClass.com. If your parish has any questions, they may always reach out to us for further clarification and information.
5.0 - Certificates
5.1 - How Can I Get a Certificate of Completion?
We offer a number of courses available for those studying for Baptism Preparation (Catechumens in RCIA, Godparents, and Parents of children who are to be baptized), Confirmation Preparation, First Holy Communion Preparation, First Confession Preparation, Marriage Preparation, and more. To earn any of these certificates, please ensure you follow the Course Selector page to determine if you have taken the right courses for your situation.
CatechismClass.com is entirely committed to understanding our students are 100% fully prepared for the reception of their Sacraments and CatechismClass.com staff thorough review all user tests before certificates are issued.
Adults completing individual elective offerings are also able to request certificates of completion for their courses of study. Children are also able to request certificates of completion for their course work each year.
5.2 - What Score Do I Need to Pass?
Click here to read the requirements to pass our programs. Requirements vary depending on the program in question.
Upon completion of our courses, you are entitled to a certificate of completion. The certificate for the Baptism Prep Course is built into the Quiz Process. Just follow the steps at the end of the Quiz. For all other courses of study besides the Godparent or Parent Baptismal Class, simply contact CatechismClass.com by filling out a support ticket through our support ticketing system to request your certificate.
5.4 - Can Two Names Be on the Same Certificate?
We can include two names on the same certificate only if both individuals separately register for the course of study and take their tests separately. Each user whose name is on a Certificate of Completion must have taken the test individually and be individually registered on the website. There will still be separate processing fees to cover the administrative review and processing time.
5.5 - Are Certificates Offered Free of Charge?
To keep our courses at their low prices, we are unable to produce and send award certificates free of charge. There will be a nominal processing charge for a certificate, except for certificates issued as part of the Baptism Preparation Program since that course fee includes the price of the certificate.
You may pay for a certificate by clicking here. This is a processing fee and not a mailing fee. After purchasing a certificate fee, you additionally still need to contact CatechismClass.com via our support ticket system to request your certificate. Purchasing and requesting the certificate are two entirely separate steps.
Only pay for your certificate after you have passed your coursework. In the event that you do not pass the course, there would be no refund of your certificate fee. Your certificate fee would remain active on your account for a year after its purchase. If it is unused by that time it would expire.
5.6 - Do you Offer Mailed Certificates?
All of our certificates are issued electronically via email and the processing charges cover the review, preparation, and transmittal of the electronic certificate. We do also offer printed copies for those who explicitly need those. However, there is an additional shipping charge to offset the expenses of mailing the physical form. Please click here to order the Mailing Add-On. The mailed certificate will look the same as the emailed one except it will be printed on official certificate paper and stamped with our institution's official corporate seal.
Also, please do not wait until the last minute to request a mailed certificate; they should be requested a minimum of 7 business days before they are needed in order to ensure that they reach your destination in time.
5.7 - Do All Parishes Accept CatechismClass.com's Certificates?
Our courses have the endorsement of many US Bishops, theologians including Dr. Scott Hahn, and other prominent Catholics. For a full listing of our endorsements, please click here.
That being said, all individuals can use the program as a self-study without concern. And similarly, parents have the right to educate their children outside of the parish's programs at least for non-Sacramental study years. Our programs can be used in confidence by all parents in fulfillment of Pope John Paul II's decree in "Gravissium Educationis" since parents are the first educators of their children.
5.8 - What is the Format of the CatechismClass.com Certificate?
Our standard emailed certificates are issued within 2 - 3 days of the request. It will state that it was issued by the instructors of CatechismClass.com and bear the electronic signature of our president as well as our founding priest, Fr. James Zatalava, who wrote the course. It will have the date, your name, and state which course you have completed. These are electronic signatures - not physically hand-signed. For an additional fee, you may request e-delivery within 24 hours
For an additional fee, you may order a mailed certificate. Mailed certificates are printed on certificate paper and include our institution's official corporate seal issued from the State of Pennsylvania stamped on it, in addition to the electronic signatures. Mailed certificates are an extra $20 and ship standard USPS First Class mail only.
6.0 - Quizzes
6.1 - What Score Do I Need to Pass?
Click here to read the requirements to pass our programs. The score will vary depending on what courses you are enrolled in.
6.2 - Can I Retake A Lesson If I Fail the First Time?
Yes, retake options are available. Please read the Policy on Certificate Rquirements and Retakes.
6.3 - How do I Request a Retake?
If you are studying as a student of a parish, you should contact your parish DRE or administrator who oversees your online account. That person can reset your quiz for you.
If you are a parent and you properly set up your child as a student of your account, as detailed in the New User Manual, you may reset your student's quizzes yourself.
If you are not set up as a student of a parish or as a child user on the site, you may contact CatechismClass.com via our support ticket system to request a retake. However, please carefully note that you should only contact us after you finish all lessons in your program of study. At the very end of your lessons, when all lessons have been completed, you may ask for the Administrative Evaluation. This includes quizzes from elective courses. At that point, any quiz meriting a re-take will be granted. All retakes are granted at the same time.
7.0 - Technical Support
7.1 - What Is My Username?
To determine your username, please click here and fill out the form.
7.2 - What Is My Password?
Forgot your password? To get a new password and login, please click here and fill out the form.
7.3 - How Do I Reset My Password?
If you would like to reset your password after you have already logged in, you may do so by using the "My Profile" tab on the Menu Bar.
7.4 - Are Usernames or Passwords Case Sensitive?
Yes, both are case sensitive.
7.5 - How Do I Edit My Account Profile?
Modifying your profile happens under the "My Profile" tab.
7.6 - How Do I Assign Materials and Logins for My Students?
Creating a student happens under "My Students" on the "Create a New Student" link. In this screen, all text fields are required.
7.7 - Where Are My Lessons?
When you log in to your account, you are immediately placed on your "My Lessons" screen. Scoll down to access your materials.
If you have just purchased lesson materials and do not see them, sometimes there is a short delay due to processing. Keep in mind that electronic payments are not automatic. Materials are added to your account only after your bank clears the payment and routes it back. That may take up to 30 minutes depending on your bank.
7.8 - May A Child Reset His or Her Own Password?
No, only a parent or parish director may reset a student password; please ask the parent or parish director for this.
7.9 - What Are Your Payment Options?
CatechismClass.com uses both Stripe and Paypal to process purchases in order to provide the highest security to our users. With both Stripe and PayPal, we never see, handle, or store any personal payment information for our customers. You have the option to pay using a debit card or a credit card during the check out process under either processor. There are no customer-assessed transaction fees to use either option.