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Selecting Your Facilitator
The following recommendations on selecting a facilitator for your Into the Fields
learning group come from

Mark Markuly Ph.D., the director of the Loyola Institute for Ministry (LIM),
Two professors on the Loyola University New Orleans faculty, Barbara Fleischer, Ph.D. a former director of and still a faculty member at LIM, Cathy Zeph, Ph.D., also a faculty member at the Institute
and Butch Ekstrom, Associate Director of the Loyola Institute for Ministry and Coordinator of the Loyola Pastoral Life Center.
To reach the Loyola Institute for Ministry, go to

Credentials for the Facilitator
Over the years, our experience with facilitator-implemented curricula has demonstrated repeatedly that the group facilitator is the key to a positive learning experience for all participants. The facilitator should have training and/or experience with small group dynamics. We believe that the training should include small group issues and dynamics, but it is advisable for prospective Into the Fields facilitators to come to the role with pre-existing training and experience. Obviously, pastors, associate pastors, adequately-trained and/or experienced DREs,  pastoral ministers, school principals, and/or master catechists would make good candidates.

However, a given parish might also have people within the local faith community with the needed professional skills Ė e.g., counselors (educational or private), social workers, community college and university educators, and human resource personnel. Assuming these folks have experience in catechesis, and that they have theological grounding (perhaps through diocesan programs), they could possibly serve as effective facilitators.

Qualifications of the Facilitator
The qualifications of a facilitator should include at least:
Skills and training in small group dynamics and/or training-plus-experience in the facilitation of adult learning groups.
Minimum of a bachelor's degree in theology, religious education, education, or a related field, but an appropriate Masters degree is preferred. 
In exceptional cases, and with the recommendation of a parish pastor, a person with extensive training in theology; someone with experience as a parish director of religious education or school principal; or a master catechist from a parish or school with at least five years of experience might be acceptable if they have
the formal recommendation from the pastor or school principal or administrator and
attend and successfully complete the Twenty-Third Publications Into the Fields facilitator training process.

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