Certification Program - FAQ

What Certificates are available through St. Bernard’s?

Students may pursue Certificates in Basic Theological Study, Catechetical Leadership, and Parish Business Management.

Do I have to be enrolled in a Certificate program to take classes?
No, students may register to take classes without being enrolled in a specific certificate program. Certificate courses may be taken for personal enrichment also. 

Do I need to have prior experience in ministry before I register for a Certification course?
No, an interest in the course topic and desire to learn more are the only requirements.  No prior experience is necessary.

If I decide to apply to a certificate program at a later date, can classes taken for personal enrichment be applied toward the certificate requirements?

Yes.  Please make an appointment with the Director of Recruitment & Financial Aid to discuss the application process, how to ransfer credits and specific Certificate requirements.

Should I have the support of my parish to pursue a Certificate?
Students are expected to talk with parish administrative and support staff about their interest in pursuing certification. A letter of recommendation from the student’s parish leadership is required when applying for enrollment into one of the Certificate programs.

How often are classes offered?
Classes are offered throughout the academic year. The academic year is divided into 3 semesters: fall, spring and summer. Classes offered vary semester by semester. 

What is the average amount of time it takes to complete a Certificate program?
While the time it takes will vary depending on personal circumstances, most Certificate programs can be completed within 2 years, assuming the student completes at least 1 course per semester.

Does St. Bernard's offer financial aid for students enrolled in a Certificate program?
Unfortunately no.  Students in the Certificate program are not eligible for tuition assistance through St. Bernard’s, the Diocese of Rochester or Federal Student Aid. Students may seek assistance from their parish communities, however, not all parishes are able to support ministry training.  

Can I get credit for prior ministry experience related to the certificate program I am pursuing?
In some situations it may be possible. Please call the Admissions Office to discuss your specific needs.

How do I register for classes?
Class registration can be done in-person or online. To register in-person, students need to download and complete the paper registration form and mail or deliver with payment to Director of Recruitment & Financial Aid, St. Bernard's School of Theology and Ministry, 120 French Road, Rochester, NY 14618. To download forms or register online,  please click here: Register Now! Online Registration Forms

What if I started a certificate under the old Certificate Program now want to continue?
Please contact Fr. George Heyman at (585) 271-3657 ext. 292, or email at George.Heyman@stbernards.edu to inquire how you can continue within the program.


How do I apply/matriculate into the Certificate program?
A completed application includes the application form and a letter of recommendation from parish support staff. The application may be download here. Submit the completed application with a check for $20 made out to St. Bernard's.  Please contact the Admissions Office at St. Bernard’s for more information. 

More questions?
Please don’t hesitate to call the admissions office at (585) 271-3657 ext. 289, or email
admissions@stbernards.edu. We’ll be very glad to assist you!