Date of Graduation

2013

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)

Department/Program

Leadership Studies

First Advisor

Doreen Jones

Second Advisor

Brian Gerrard

Third Advisor

Ralph Metts, S J.

Abstract

Christ's call to evangelization is a mission the Catholic Church has perpetuated throughout history with its reliance upon its schools. In the 19th century, Catholic missionaries evangelized and catechized the Nigerian Igbo people through the schools they built. In 1970, the Nigerian government confiscated these schools, and converted them to secular institutions. It also closed Catholic Teacher Training Colleges.

In response to this, the Nigerian Conference of Catholic Bishops built diocesan Catholic schools, and those who ministered within them were charged with knowing and integrating the six tasks of catechesis--knowledge of the faith, liturgical life, moral formation, prayer, communal life, and missionary spirit--within them. While priests and religious are formally trained for this, the laity were not, as the Nigerian Catholic Teacher Training Colleges were not reopened.

This study utilized mixed-methodology. The Information For Growth survey created by the National Catholic Education Association collected its quantitative data, whereas face-to-face interviews collected its qualitative data to examine the extent to which 72 lay Catholic administrators/teachers of 12 Catholic secondary schools in the Awka Diocese, Nigeria knew and integrated the six tasks of catechesis within their schools and classrooms. It examined also the extent to which their beliefs, attitudes, and practices aligned with those of the Catholic Church regarding these six tasks. It also investigated theological topics of interests for future formation. It also identified the factors that aided and hindered the integration process within the schools and classrooms.

Survey data revealed that 77% demonstrated a strong/high, basic knowledge of the six catechetical tasks whereas 76% were strongly aligned to Church teachings in their beliefs, attitudes, and practices. Topics of high interests for future study included Catholic Social Doctrine, Prayer and Spirituality, Marriage, Sexual Ethics, and Religion and Politics. The interviews revealed that school-wide programs and policies aided the catechetical integration program, while the high demands for academic excellence thwarted it. Of note, the participants also revealed that their active participation in the life of the Church, their strong Catholic upbringing, and their Catholic Igbo culture contributed to their knowledge, beliefs, attitudes, practices, and integration of the six tasks of catechesis.

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