Learn About Echo

Echo is simultaneously about forming leaders and serving the Church. As an Echo apprentice or theology teacher, you will benefit from a wide-ranging process of preparation that fosters your development both as a person of faith and as a lay ecclesial minister. The Echo staff works with partner dioceses, schools, and parishes to provide the best possible growth opportunities for all Echo participants, called “apprentice catechetical leaders” or “Echo theology teachers.”

Intellectual Formation

As an Echo apprentice or theology teacher you will benefit from studying at the University of Notre Dame with one of the finest faculties in the world as you pursue a master’s degree in theology. Learning with other Echo apprentices and theology teachers will allow you to deepen your understanding of the Catholic faith in order to pass it on enthusiastically, authentically, and completely.

Professional-Ministerial Formation

Working on-site with an experienced catechetical leader or mentor teacher will enable you to develop skills and capacities for leadership in ministry or Catholic education. This mentor-apprentice/mentor-theology teacher relationship is complemented by workshops and training in professional catechetical ministry and theological pedagogy at the University of Notre Dame, including seminars that assist you in integrating theology and ministry, as well as coursework devoted to catechesis and pedagogy.

Human & Communal Formation

In Echo, you and other apprentices and theology teachers have the opportunity to participate in a variety of formative communities and experiences that foster your human development. As a member of an intentional faith community, you commit to growing and sharing daily life together through common meals, prayer, ministry, and household responsibilities.

Spiritual Formation

Spiritual formation in Echo is both essential and comprehensive, inviting you to deepen your relationship with Jesus Christ and the Church by participating in a rich sacramental life, dynamic retreats, personal and communal prayer and required spiritual direction—all of which contribute to human and spiritual development.

Program Benefits

In addition to the formation benefits detailed above, you will receive the following:

  • a competitive stipend for your on-site parish or school service;
  • a graduate degree in theology, tuition-free;
  • housing and utilities at no cost;
  • an educational allowance the first summer, and other allowances periodically;
  • rent-free housing during summers at Notre Dame; and
  • a full meal plan during summers at Notre Dame.