St. John Vianney Seminary Lay Division

About our Catechetical School

The mission of the Denver Catholic Catechetical School is to place people in contact and communion with the Person of Christ, who alone leads us to the heart of the Father in the Spirit – in essence, making and maturing disciples. We do this through a prayerful, organic, and systematic presentation of the Catholic Faith, contained both in Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition (Catechism of the Catholic Church 80-82). This occurs in a setting that takes advantage of all the facets of effective adult learning: engaging lectures, small group dynamics, independent study, and personal application.


The Catechetical School offers a two-year (four semester) study of the Catechism of the Catholic Church entitled, “The Ladder of Ascent.” (This course was previously known as “Pillars.”) Under the guidance of an experienced and talented instructor, students make an in-depth study of the four areas of the Catechism:

Part One: The Profession of Faith (the Creed)
Part Two: The Celebration of the Christian Mystery (the Sacraments)
Part Three: Life in Christ (Christian Morality)
Part Four: Christian Prayer

Imitating the successful structure and format of the Denver Catholic Biblical School, “The Ladder of Ascent” class consists both of lectures and small group discussions for further enrichment and understanding of the material. In addition to class time, students also complete reading assignments for homework and an open-book take-home test at the end of each semester. At the end of the two-year program, the student is awarded a “Certificate of Catechetical Studies.”

For individuals who want to tackle this program in a more accelerated format, we regularly offer a two-week intensive summer program, taught by Dr. Sean Innerst, which covers the same course content. Check back in early 2018 for information about this class for summer 2018.


For more information, please visit our FAQs page, call 303.715.3195 or email us at biblicalschool@archden.org.