The Ministers of the Word training program is undertaken in collaboration with your local Catholic worship community and culminates in a practical training session with your local pastor (or his delegate).

Over four modules, you will engage in enquiry and reflection-based activities as well as interact with other trainees and a highly experienced liturgy instructor.

This effective program runs for four weeks. Each weekly online module takes between 2 and 2.5 hours to complete and is supplemented by 3 live one-hour Zoom classes on a nominated weekday evening.

The program promotes a rich understanding of liturgy, ministry, the Lectionary and the Liturgical Year. You will examine different literary forms in the Bible as well as spiritual and technical preparation required for ministry. The many practical skills associated with proclamation are explored in depth.

One of the many features of the program is the presentation of the Prayer of the Faithful which includes a step-by- step guide on how to write the text of this priestly prayer of the baptised. The proclamation of the Word in both the Easter and Pentecost Vigils, the Sequences and lay-led celebrations of the Word are also examined.

Program Cost

The cost of the program is $80 per person. A group discount of 20 per cent is offered when five or more people from the same community enrol and the community (parish/school/other Church community) is meeting the cost of training.

More Information

Would you like further information on programs tailored to meet the needs of specific diocesan, deanery and school groups, such as in-person or intensive courses? Contact the ACU Centre for Liturgy at

Further Information

The program is designed for new and experienced Ministers of the Word in Catholic communities who desire to learn more about their ministry, hone their skills and deepen their understanding of the liturgy. 

Those seeking to minister need to be fully initiated in the Roman Catholic Church (Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist) have sufficient maturity and “whose good qualities of Christian life, faith, and morals recommend them”. (Immensae caritatis 1.6)

The online format enables all Catholic communities, especially those in isolated areas or with fewer resources, to access high-quality liturgical formation.

Individuals, school groups, parishes and diocesan groups may register. All participants must be authorised by their local pastor or delegate before registering.

A separate program for larger groups may be negotiated by contacting the ACU Centre for Liturgy at

Before registering online, you need to seek a recommendation from your local pastor. The program operates in collaboration with your local community, so this first step is important.

Your pastor may submit the Permission form online here. Alternatively, the Permission form can be downloaded and given to your pastor to complete.

Once the ACU Centre for Liturgy receives the Permission form, you will be provided with a link to complete your individual registration.

The next Ministers of the Word online training program is scheduled to start for 4 June 2024. 

If you are interested in joining a program, please start the process of registration by requesting that your parish priest submit the nomination form (see "How do I register").  

A dedicated program for specific community or diocesan groups (subject to a minimum number of enrolees) may be negotiated by contacting the ACU Centre for Liturgy

The program uses the online OpenLearning platform, which enables you to read and engage with the material, communicate with other trainees, discuss topics, ask questions and make comments.

The program is divided into four weekly modules. Each module consists of online coursework, some follow-up tasks and a one-hour Zoom session. A local community training session is scheduled towards the end of the program, replacing the 3rd week’s Zoom class.

Once your registration is successful, you will be enrolled in the next available program, or the one nominated by you on the form. You will receive a link to the OpenLearning platform before the program begins. Registration with Open Learning will be needed before accessing the program.

Shortly before your program commences, you will be invited to an introductory Zoom class. This is where you will meet other participants and become familiar with the online learning platform navigation and prompts.

You will also be given access to a helpful ‘getting started’ reference document. This contains an illustrated overview of various features of the program and how to communicate with others.

This program is undertaken in partnership with your local community. Your local parish priest will provide an initial permission for you to register for the program (see ‘How do I register?’).

Throughout the program you will be invited to observe your community and seek local information and guidelines.

A simple outline of the local practical training session, a highlight of the program, will be provided for you and your local community.

Only basic computer skills are needed to complete this program.

OpenLearning is a web-based program, so you only require your regular internet browser to access materials. You will use Zoom for the weekly classes. The program requires participants to use a computer for the interactive features, rather than a mobile device.

The online program involves clicking on links to videos, articles and websites etc, reading webpages and, in some cases, saving documents. The materials and links are presented clearly on each page.

Communication with the course instructor and the other participants takes place via a straightforward message-style chat box. A direct link to the Zoom classroom is provided on the home page of the program, providing simple and easy access.

There are occasions where you will need to record and upload files. This process is very similar to attaching a file to an email.  Video and other assistance is provided.

A feature of the training program is the dedicated help section which provides a step-by-step guide for all participants. These customised help pages are based on program content and include several helpful videos.

You will receive a certificate of completion upon successfully finishing all components of the program. You must:

  • complete all four online modules and associated tasks
  • attend all weekly Zoom classes (unless prior agreement has been reached for an unavoidable absence).
  • attend and provide details of your local practicum.
  • engage in a short reflection on your ministry in response to some guiding questions.

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