Catechesis (Term)

Catechesis is a term used within Christian theology to refer to the process of religious instruction and formation in the basic principles of the Christian faith. Derived from the Greek word “katecheo,” which means “to instruct orally,” catechesis has historically involved the systematic teaching of Christian doctrines, preparing individuals for baptism, confirmation, and full participation in church life.

The practice of catechesis is foundational to the mission of the Church, aiming to educate believers in the essentials of Christian doctrine, sacred Scripture, liturgy, and moral living. This formative process nurtures a deeper understanding and appreciation of the faith, enabling individuals to articulate their beliefs and live them out in daily life. It also serves to strengthen the communal identity of the Church by fostering a shared understanding of Christian teachings.

Traditionally, catechesis is structured around key texts such as the Apostles’ Creed, the Lord’s Prayer, and the Ten Commandments, which summarize foundational Christian beliefs and ethical teachings. Catechetical instruction can occur in various settings, including formal classes for new converts, Sunday school for children, and adult education programs, all aimed at deepening the spiritual and theological understanding of the community.