General Catechesis Bibliography

I'm a sucker for a good bibliography. When asked how many of the 30,000+ volumes in his personal library he'd read, the great novelist Umberto Eco responded: a library is not an ego-boosting appendage but a research tool. It reminds us of how much we don't in fact know, and how much we need and rely on one another to come to a fuller understanding of the truth.  

Here you'll find a variety of books and articles, either on the need for recovering catechesis or a general overview of its practice (* = highly recommended)


Abraham, William. “Catechesis and Revitalization.” In Interpretive Trends in Christian Revitalization of the Early Twenty-First Century, edited by J. S. O’Malley, 245–52. Lexington, KY: Emeth Press, 2011.

Baucum, Tory K. Evangelical Hospitality: Catechetical Evangelism in the Early Church and Its Recovery for Today. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press, 2008.

Baumbach, Gerard F. The Way of Catechesis: Exploring Our History, Renewing Our Ministry. Ave Maria, 2017.

Chan, Simon. Liturgical Theology: The Church as Worshiping Community. Downers Grove, IVP Academic, 2006. (see esp. Chap. 5, "The Catechumenate"). 

Dunning, James B. Echoing God’s Word: Formation for Catechists and Homilists in a Catechumenal Church. Arlington, Virginia: 1993.

Espinoza, Benjamin D., and Beverly Johnson-Miller. “Catechesis, Developmental Theory, and a Fresh Vision for Christian Education.” Christian Education Journal 11, no. 1 (Spring 2014): 8–23.

Espinoza, Benjamin D., and Beverly Johnson-Miller. "Catechesis, Mystagogy, and Pedagogy: Continuing the Conversation." Christian Education Journal 15, no. 2 (2018): 156–170.

Glassford, Darwin K. "The Future Is Behind Us: Catechesis and Educational Ministries." Christian Education Journal 9 no. 1 (Spring 2012): 172–179.

Imbelli, Robert, ed. Handing on the Faith: The Church's Mission and Challenge. Crossroads, 2006.

Jenson, Robert. “Catechesis for our Time.” In Marks of the Body of Christ, edited by Carl Braaten and Robert Jenson, 137–49. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1999.

John Paul II. Catechesi Tradendae: On Catechesis in Our Time (1979).

*Jones, L. Gregory. “Baptism: A Dramatic Journey into God’s Dazzling Light: Baptismal Catechesis and the Shaping of Christian Practical Wisdom.” In Knowing the Triune God, ed. by J. J. Buckley and D. S. Yeago, 147–77. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2001.

Kavanagh, Aidan. The Shape of Baptism: The Rite of Christian Initiation. Studies in the Reformed Rites of the Catholic Church, no. 1. New York: Pueblo Publishing Company, 1978.

Kelly, Francis D. The Mystery We Proclaim: Catechesis for the Third Millennium. Eugene, OR: Wipf & Stock, 1999.

Kinnaman, David. You Lost Me: Why Young Christians are Leaving Church...and Rethinking Faith. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2011.

Kravatz, Marylin T. Partners in Wisdom and Grace: Catechesis and Religious Education in Dialogue. Lanham, MD: University Press of America, 2010.

Marthaler, Bernard. The Catechism Yesterday and Today: The Evolution of a Genre. Liturgical Press, 1995.

Mason, Matthew. “Back to (Theo-drama) School: The Place of Catechesis in the Local Church.” Scottish Bulletin of Evangelical Theology 30, no. 2 (2012): 206–22.

Merriman, Michael W. ed. The Baptismal Mystery and the Catechumenate. New York: The Church Hymnal Corp. 1990.

Mongoven, Anne Marie. The Prophetic Spirit of Catechesis: How We Share the Fire in Our Hearts. Mahwah, N.J.: Paulist Press, 2000.

Murphy Centre for Liturgical Research. Made, not Born: New Perspectives on Christian Initiation and the Catechumenate. London: University of Notre Dame Press, 1976.

*Packer, J. I. and Gary A. Parrett. Grounded in the Gospel: Building Believers the Old-Fashioned Way. Grand Rapids: Baker, 2010.

Packer, J. I. Growing in Christ. Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 1994.

Prothero, S. R. Religious Literacy: What Every American Needs to Know—and Doesn’t. San Francisco: HarperSanFrancisco, 2007.

Ratzinger, Joseph Cardinal. “Problems in Catechesis Today: An Interview with Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger.” Communio: International Catholic Review 11 (Summer 1984): 145–56.

Ratzinger, Joseph, and Dermot J. Ryan, eds. Handing on the Faith in an Age of Disbelief. Translated by Michael Miller. San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 2006.

Regan, David. Experience the Mystery: Pastoral Possibilities for Christian Mystagogy. Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 1995.

Van Caster, Marcel. “Teaching, Formation and Initiation: The Triple Task of Catechesis.” Lumen Vitae 16, no. 1 (March 1961): 607–616.

Van Engen, John. Educating People of Faith: Exploring the History of Jewish and Christian Communities. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2004.

Walker, Andrew, and Robin Parry, Deep Church Rising:The Third Schism and the Recovery of Christian Orthodoxy. Eugene, OR: Wipf & Stock, 2014. (Chap. 8: “Deep Transformation: Recovering Catechesis”)

Warren, Michael, ed. Sourcebook for Modern Catechetics. Winona, MN: St. Mary’s Press, 1983.

*Westerhoff III, John H., and O.C. Edwards, Jr., eds., A Faithful Church: Issues in the History of Catechesis. Wilton, CT: Morehouse-Barlow, 1981.