equip, missionary discipleship, Jesus Christ

Forming Missionary Disciples in our Diocese

As part of the Bishop Martin Marty Institute for the New Evangelization, Equip forms lay men and women as missionary disciples, empowering them to deepen their own faith in Jesus Christ and to share Him and His teachings with others.

Upon completion of the Equip process, participants are deeply formed in their ability to engage in the work of the New Evangelization: to live and share their faith in Jesus Christ with those they encounter in their daily lives, according to the gifts that God has given them.

A Robust and Systematic Formation Process

Equip is attentive to all four areas of discipleship formation: a thorough knowledge of Church teaching (intellectual formation); a deep personal prayer life (spiritual formation); an ability to interact with and accompany others (human formation); and a recognition of the personal call and empowerment to build up God’s kingdom (apostolic formation).

The Equip process lasts three years and consists of quarterly Saturday meetings and regular contact with a mentor to focus on the basics of the participant’s spiritual life and assigned reading for the other areas of formation. The quarterly meetings are held on Saturdays at the diocesan offices next to the Cathedral of St. Joseph in Sioux Falls and consist of presentations and discussion on the four areas of formation mentioned above, as well as participation in the morning (daily) Mass at the Cathedral, Liturgy of the Hours (Morning Prayer and Evening Prayer), and the opportunity for confession and personal prayer.

The outcome of the formation process is a diocesan certification in the respective track. In order to maintain a high standard, Equip includes an application process — including letters of recommendation and an interview with a review board —  as well as an annual review (more on the applicant process can be found below).

Multiple Tracks to Serve Various Needs & Interests

With a variety of tracks, participants are able to customize their formation based on their own personal interests and the gifts and talents which God has given them. Because they are customized according to the interests of participants, the tracks offered vary from cohort to cohort, but examples are:

Sacred Scripture
This track focuses on a deeper understanding of how to read, pray and study the Sacred Scriptures in a Catholic way and to help others do the same.

Source and Summit
This track focuses on a deeper understanding of the Sacred Liturgy, particularly the Holy Mass, and how it is both the source and the summit of the Christian life, both the origin and the destination of everything that we do as missionary disciples.

Question and Answer
This track focuses on the art of apologetics: how to respond to common questions and objections about the Catholic faith and in so doing help remove obstacles that keep others from drawing closer to the fullness of truth and salvation found in the Catholic Church.

Faith and Work
This track focuses on how our faith matters in our work lives, whatever our profession, and how we can more deeply live out our faith in the work world.

Applying for Equip

Because Equip is a certification process, the completion of which indicates a high level of formation, a certain level of readiness is necessary in order to undertake it. Among other things, applicants must already be disciples of Jesus Christ who pray and receive the sacraments regularly and who embrace all the teachings of Jesus Christ which we have received in and through the Catholic Church.

In order to determine whether or not someone has the necessary level of readiness, the following application process has been developed:

1. Anyone interested in applying for Equip should contact Dr. Chris Burgwald, Director of Adult Discipleship & Evangelization. Chris will visit with the potential applicant to answer any questions they might have about Equip.

2. If the potential applicant and Chris both think that they should proceed, the applicant will complete an application provided by Chris and seek out a recommendation from a priest in good standing in the Diocese of Sioux Falls (Chris will provide the applicant with a recommendation form to give the priest).

3. After receiving and reviewing the completed application, Chris will meet with the applicant for a formal interview. Based on that interview, Chris will schedule an interview for the applicant with the Equip admissions and scrutinies committee, a group of clergy and laity who will make their own recommendation to Chris regarding the applicant’s suitability for Equip.

4. If Chris and the admissions and scrutinies committee are in agreement, the applicant will be accepted into Equip.

If you are interested in finding out more about Equip or applying for Equip, please contact:

Dr. Chris Burgwald, Director of Adult Discipleship & Evangelization