Westminster Diocese Catholic Certificate in Religious Studies


Monday Twilight Sessions

Bishop Challoner School, Tower Hamlets

Thursday Twilight Sessions

St Ignatius Primary, Sunbury-on-Thames

Saturday Day Sessions

Vaughan House, Westminster, SW1P 1QN

Catholic Certificate for Religious Studies

The Catholic Certificate in Religious Studies (CCRS) aims to provide an introduction to Catholic theology and to enable every participant to grow in understanding as they live their faith.

There are three main groups of people for whom the CCRS course is designed. It is for teachers so that they may obtain a comprehensive understanding of the Church, its teaching and way of life to enable them to contribute to the ministry of the Catholic school.  It is for catechists in order to give them a basic understanding of the faith of the Catholic Church as a foundation for their catechetical ministry, and it is also for adult members of the Church to enable them to continue to grow in understanding as they live their Catholic faith.

Westminster Diocese recommends that all teachers working in Catholic schools within the diocese have a CCRS qualification.

The Board of Religious Studies is the body which awards the Catholic Certificate in Religious Studies on behalf of the Bishops' Conference of England and Wales. The Board also monitors the delivery of the CCRS and maintains quality assurance. The Board consists of executive officers, representatives of the regions in England and Wales in which the CCRS is delivered, representatives of the Catholic Education Service of England and Wales (CES), the National Board of Religious Inspectors and Advisers (NBRIA), the Schools Commissioners and College Principals.


The Course consists of six core modules and two professional modules. The core modules explore the Scriptures (Old and New Testament), the Person of Jesus Christ, the Church and its sacramental life and moral understanding. They are designed to build together into a basic understanding of Catholic theology. Its application within a school, parish or ministry setting is explored further through the two professional modules.

The Core Modules

Old Testament

The purpose of this module is to introduce participants to the writings in the Old Testament in order to help them to recognise God's revelation contained there and its continuing relevance to Christian life today.

New Testament

This module familiarises participants with the process through which the New Testament writings came into being and helps them to interpret the material presented and to understand its significance for the life of a Christian today.

Jesus Christ

This module aims to deepen participants' awareness of the significance and centrality of the person and work of Jesus Christ in the daily life of the Christian as well as in the worship of the Church.

The Church

Participants reflect on the nature of the Church and its mission in the world today.

The Sacraments

This module develops participants’ understanding and appreciation of Sacraments in the life of Catholics as a sign of Christ's continuing presence with the Church.

Christian Morality

The purpose of this module is to help participants develop the skills of moral decision making, to examine Christian teaching in its relation to the universal search for what constitutes 'human good', and to explore the application of Christian understanding

The Professional Modules

The professional modules build upon the understanding of Catholic theology discussed in the core modules. They consider its ap

plication within a school, parish or ministry setting.

Students must opt for two of the following modules:

  • Religious Education for Catholic Primary and Secondary Teachers
  • The Religious Life of the School for Catholic Primary and Secondary Teachers
  • Catechetical Programmes in Parishes: Challenges and Opportunities
  • The Contribution of Catechists to the Wider Life of the Parish

Specialist Tutor Support

For the duration of the course, you will have specialist tutors who will guide you through each module. The tutors will help you with any questions or any guidance that you need while on the CCRS course.

General Requirements for Each Module

  • 10 hours contact time (5 two-hour twilight sessions)
  • An assessed group presentation in the final session of each core module along with course notes and reflections
  • All eight modules are generally completed within 12 - 18 months but can be spread over a maximum of five years as allowed by the Board of Studies


The cost of the course is £400. This covers all eight modules and registration fee with the Board of Religious Studies.

Courses run at a variety of venues throughout the Diocese. Please download a booking form or for further information please contact the CCRS Co-ordinator, Liz O'Brien, via Email – ccrs@rcdow.org.uk 


For those wishing to begin the CCRS course but are unable to attend a venue within Westminster Diocese, you have two options to select from which will enable you to begin the course. Details are below for you to select on-line learning or distance learning.

CCRS Online

This brings together distance learning and online education. Modules are hosted in the university's virtual learning site and there is no requirement for campus attendance. Media-rich learning resources invite independent study and reflection together with interactive and collaborative exchange among tutors and students. This online course allows for flexible, modular study to suit the needs of adult learners. Modules run throughout the academic year.


Ros Stuart-Buttle

CCRS Online

Liverpool Hope University, Hope Park, Liverpool, L16 9JD

Phone: 0151 291 3055

Email: ccrsonline@hope.ac.uk

Distance Learning

Chris Harris

CCRS Co-ordinator

Life-Light Home Study Courses, 28 Laurel Drive, Stockton, Southam, CV47 8FB

Phone: 01926 810 798

Email: lifelight@btinternet.com

Please click below to access the Final Research Project Report