Apprenticeships Instead of Service Projects

I recently received this comment from Jared Anderson about something creative and outstanding he is doing with his Confirmation program:

The way that we incorporate Mission into our Confirmation program is that I require the candidates to do 4 month long Apprenticeships in an already existing Parish Ministry. There are 12 ministries (including myself as Director of Confirmation and Youth Ministries) that provide an adult mentor to provide ministry-specific formation and opportunities to get their feet wet in the different ministries at the parish. At the end of four months, they have an evaluation/discernment day where they decide whether or not to continue in the already existing ministry or to move to a new ministry. This is the first time that we’re doing this model (I just started here at St. Andrew’s in August) and this semester is the pilot semester for this model, but I’m already noticing great things about the enthusiasm of the young people for ministry and mission, and it’s also giving these ministries some extra oomph because the adults are remembering why they entered into that ministry to begin with.

I’ve written to Jared asking him to share the 12 ministries as well as the age group that he is working with. Thanks for sharing this wonderful idea, Jared!

About Joe Paprocki 2736 Articles
Joe Paprocki, DMin, is National Consultant for Faith Formation at Loyola Press, where, in addition to his traveling/speaking responsibilities, he works on the development team for faith formation curriculum resources including Finding God: Our Response to God’s Gifts and God’s Gift: Reconciliation and Eucharist. Joe has more than 35 years of experience in ministry and has presented keynotes, presentations, and workshops in more than 100 dioceses in North America. Joe is a frequent presenter at national conferences including the Los Angeles Religious Education Congress, the Mid-Atlantic Congress, and the National Conference for Catechetical Leadership. He is the author of numerous books, including the best seller The Catechist’s Toolbox, A Church on the Move, Under the Influence of Jesus, and Called to Be Catholic—a bilingual, foundational supplemental program that helps young people know their faith and grow in their relationship with God. Joe is also the series editor for the Effective Catechetical Leader and blogs about his experiences in faith formation at

8 Comments on Apprenticeships Instead of Service Projects

  1. This seems like good idea. That is one way to recruit new ministers. Many parishes have ministries that are dying as the ministers age.

  2. I love this idea! We already require that the Confirmation ‘service hours’ are done for or with the parish, but the personal connection of an apprenticeship would take that to the next level and allow the students to really learn what the ministries of the church are all about as well as the variety of ministers who serve the parish! Great idea! Thanks so much for sharing!

  3. Thanks for sharing. I would like to know more of the apprenticeship aspect of service is done. We have candidates do parish community service. Sounds interesting.

  4. Joe,
    Did you receive a reply from Jared as to the 12 ministries? Does this mean that every mentor must be clearanced to work with the youth? Really would like to inplement this idea in our Confirmation program, but haven’t seen any more posts about it. Did I miss something? Thanks for your wonderful books and blog!

    Jo Ellen

    • Hi Joan. I haven’t heard more details from Jared but actually had the chance to meet him in L.A. and asked him to send me more information. I would assume that anyone who works with the kids must go through child-safety training. I will continue to try to get more info from Jared.

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