1. What makes Chosen so unique and effective when compared to other programs?
Chosen brings together twelve of the most talented and inspiring presenters in the Church today. It was filmed in more than fifty locations throughout the world, and young people will be captivated as they journey from Times Square to St. Peter’s Square. Lessons are designed to capture their attention and present the faith in new and unexpected ways. From skydiving with Chris Stefanick to visiting the Roman aqueducts with Deacon Harold Burk-Sivers, each week teens will be engaged, challenged, and inspired.
The videos are only one component of a fully integrated system of catechesis and evangelization. Videos, dynamic student workbooks, and easy-to-use guides for leaders, parents, and sponsors, along with a rich offering of free online resources, all work together toward a single goal—leading teens to Christ and a commitment to discipleship. Chosen speaks the language of today’s youth and is designed to reach through the cultural confusion of relativism and materialism. While many programs do a solid job of presenting facts and material, few can connect with hearts and minds in the way that Chosen does, intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually.
2. What’s the difference between the Confirmation and faith formation editions?
Chosen was initially conceived as a Confirmation program. In response to a great amount of interest for using the program in a variety of settings beyond Confirmation preparation, Chosen has been produced in two formats. Both editions offer the same dynamic and powerful twenty-four lessons, differing only in the emphasis that key sessions of the Confirmation edition place on sacramental preparation.
There is no essential difference in the content of the two editions, and the editing was limited to the removal of Confirmation references in the faith formation version (e.g., editing a presenter’s talk from “while you journey toward Confirmation” to “while you continue your journey of faith”). Some changes are included in both the Student Workbook and Leader’s Guide. These edits, though relatively few, are designed to facilitate a sense of relevance and continuity for leaders and students.
Depending on the age of Confirmation in your diocese and the pastoral needs of your parishioners, the availability of both editions will allow you to reach virtually every corner of your parish, including Confirmation prep, youth groups, school and parish religious education, whole-family catechesis, RCIA, and home use. (Note: Given the similarity in content between the two Chosen editions, one who has participated in one version would not need to go through the other.)
3. What topics are covered?
Chosen provides an exciting and comprehensive journey through the Catholic faith and offers a complete system of evangelization—progressively calling young people to a personal encounter with Jesus Christ.
Early lessons are specifically designed and structured to relate to the widest possible audience—including those who may have fundamental questions regarding faith, the Church, and even perhaps the existence of God. An approach of gently “wooing” and increasingly challenging their perspectives is taken in order to establish and then build upon relevancy and trust.
The topics are carefully ordered to build upon one another, providing a solid framework of catechesis. A list of the topics is given below. For a complete list of the twenty-four lesson and segment titles click here for the Confirmation edition or here for the Faith Formation edition.
3. Salvation History
4. Divine Revelation
5. Jesus Christ
6. The Church
7. The Four Last Things
8. Sacramental Life
11. Anointing of the Sick/Redemptive Suffering
12. The Holy Spirit
13. The Gifts of the Holy Spirit
15. The Mass/ Eucharist
16. Holy Matrimony
17. The Priesthood/ Vocational Discernment
19. Mary and the Saints
20. The Beatitudes
22. Christian Sexuality
4. Can the program be done in fewer than twenty-four weeks?
Chosen provides a comprehensive catechesis, with full lessons being devoted to topics like the Mass, the Church, and prayer. Much attention was given to the design of the program in terms of the chronology and overall framework of the content. For this reason, it is highly recommended that all twenty-four lessons be done whenever possible.
Some have asked if it is possible to combine two or more lessons into a single meeting to reduce the overall number of weeks needed to complete the program. We highly recommend doing only one lesson each week to allow students to experience the full scope and effect of the carefully designed methodology of Chosen.
Nonetheless, we realize that your parish may be transitioning from other programs and scheduling models and may need some time to adapt and ramp up. If presenting the lessons as suggested is not possible due to scheduling needs, we offer eight- and twelve-week outlines to adapt Chosen for your immediate Confirmation preparation needs. To learn more or request copies of these outlines, please speak with an Ascension Press Study Consultant at 1-800-376-0520.
5. How are the classes structured?
Each lesson begins with an engaging and fun onscreen Review Game of the previous week’s material, followed by an Opening Prayer. Students are then led through a powerful video presentation that is divided into three segments, with breaks in between each, allowing for activities to be done in the workbook as well as small group discussion. The lesson continues with a Hero of the Week (i.e., a saint story), followed by a Challenge of the Week (which encourages the teens to live out their faith), and ends with prayer.
The Leader’s Guide breaks each lesson down into an easy-to-use ten-step format. The program also allows for flexible class times ranging from sixty minutes to two hours, with a ninety-minute class being recommended when possible. Outlines for these suggested times are available here.
Additional content—including vocabulary words, Scripture references, and lesson summaries—is also included and, depending on the needs of your group, can be used either in class or as homework.
6. Who would benefit from the Chosen experience?
Chosen was primarily developed for teens and is appropriate for seventh grade and above. However, based on the overwhelmingly positive reaction of adults who have viewed the program, we believe Catholics of all ages would greatly benefit from Chosen.
If you are considering using Chosen for younger audiences, we recommend that you first review the program—specifically Lessons 16 and 22, which contain age-sensitive material concerning God’s plan for love and marriage.
Featuring amazing videos and engaging written materials, Chosen answers the call of the New Evangelization and can be effectively used in a variety of settings. The program can fit into virtually every corner of parish and family life including Confirmation prep, youth groups, school and parish religious education, whole- family catechesis, RCIA, home use, or any setting that calls for engaging and inspirational catechetical teaching.
7. Is Chosen on the USCCB’s conformity list?
Yes, Chosen: Your Journey Toward Confirmation has been reviewed by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) and found to be in conformity with the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Catechetical programs are reviewed by the USCCB for authenticity, which indicates that their teachings on faith and morals are in harmony with the doctrine and traditions of the Catholic Church, and for completeness, which means that the doctrines of the Church are presented as an integrated whole.
Chosen has also been granted the imprimatur by Most Reverend Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap., Archbishop of Philadelphia.
For more information and answers to other questions concerning Chosen and the conformity process, click here.
8. How does Chosen engage parents and families?
We realize that no matter how gifted a teacher is and now matter how great any particular resource may be, nothing and no one can take the place of a parent. For this reason, Chosen offers a comprehensive Parent’s Guide with tips and suggestions for parents about how to talk to and engage their child throughout their journey.
We realize that Confirmation not only provides a unique, once-in-a lifetime opportunity to reach teens—it also provides the chance to connect with and possibly rekindle the faith of their parents.
So, while the Parent’s Guide was written to provide information and direction for parents to guide and encourage their child during the program, we also seek to evangelize and challenge parents to grow in their own faith life. In addition to offering suggested questions and topics of discussion for all twenty-four lessons, parents will find the Top Ten Catholic Questions, an appendix of classic Catholic prayers, and most importantly encouragement and tips on how to grow in their own faith as they witness the faith to their children.
Chosen also offers a detailed Parent Information Session, including a powerful 20-minute video presentation with author Chris Stefanick and presenter Fr. Mike Schmitz. This session gives teachers the opportunity to engage parents at the very beginning of the program, and gives parents the chance to show their children the importance they place on the program and preparing for the sacrament. A free download is available featuring an outline for the 60-minute session, instructions for preparing for and following up the session, and sample letters to parents. A short (5-minute) Invitation to Parents video from Chris Stefanick is also available, which encourages parents to be actively engaged and to attend the Information Session.
9. What about Confirmation sponsors? How and when should a candidate choose a sponsor and how does the program engage sponsors?
A Confirmation sponsor can play a vital role in their candidate’s journey—both in preparing for the sacrament and beyond. The very fact that a teen has chosen this person as his or her sponsor indicates a connection and respect that can be a great foundation to build upon.
Candidates should be encouraged to consider someone with a vibrant faith life who would serve as a good role model in the Faith. Because of the deep connection between the sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation, the Church highly recommends that one of the candidate’s godparents be considered as a Confirmation sponsor (see Code of Canon Law 893.)
Chosen offers a comprehensive and dynamic Sponsor’s Guide, which—like the Parent’s Guide—is designed to both provide the tools and information needed for sponsors to guide their candidate and to encourage and challenge sponsors to grow in their own faith. In addition to offering suggested conversation starters and tips on how to connect with their teen, sponsors will find the Top Ten Catholic Questions, an appendix of classic Catholic prayers, and encouragement and tips on how to grow in their own faith as they witness the faith to their candidate.
Leaders should refer to the guidelines of their particular diocese and parish for choosing and registering sponsors. Given the variety of scheduling models, Chosen does not suggest any particular schedule or deadline for choosing sponsors, but does offer reminders in the Leader’s Guide for reaching out to sponsors during the program and invites sponsors to attend the final lesson.
10. What type of support for leaders is available? Is training necessary to implement the program?
Strictly speaking, training is not necessary to teach the program. While the Leader’s Guide provides everything needed to run a successful Chosen program, Ascension Press has produced a series of Leader Training and Orientation Videos, which provide a great introduction and overview of the Chosen program.
This online series features Chosen author Chris Stefanick and includes the following helpful information: the story behind the program, insights for integrating the videos and written materials, how to engage parents and sponsors, a complete walk-through of a lesson, and tips on recruiting volunteers and running small groups. Leaders may consider asking volunteers to watch the videos online before meeting or could choose to play the videos as part of a team-training meeting prior to running the program.
Leaders should also encourage volunteers to view the detailed Frequently Asked Questions on this page and to consider hosting or attending a Chosen Formation Day (see next question for more details). As Chris Stefanick says in the leader video series, “You’re not all alone, we want to be on this mission with you!” So please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions by emailing StudyConsultant@AscensionPress.com or by calling 1-800-376-0520.
11. What are Chosen Formation Days?
Though Chosen has been designed to be simple to implement and run, Formation Days offer leaders insight and tools to teach the program confidently and inspirationally. Formation Days offer valuable content and inspiration, including powerful talks on how to navigate the potential minefield of the current youth culture and how to speak the language of today’s teens.
Presented by Chosen authors Chris Stefanick and Colin MacIver, as well as other leading experts, the six-hour Formation Day consists of five dynamic talks, group discussion, and an open question and answer period. Since this presentation covers both editions of Chosen, leaders will gain insights on how to empower and lead teens through their journey of faith, whether they will be using the Confirmation edition or the faith-formation edition. Learn more here.
12. How can I make Chosen best fit within my budget? Are discounts available?
The most important discount is the Chosen Student Pack, which includes the Student Workbook, Parent’s Guide and Sponsor’s Guide. These three resources were written and designed to work together. For teens to experience the full effect and opportunity for evangelization, it is vital that all three—the teen, their parent, and their sponsor all be engaged. While the Student Pack is already discounted compared to the individual books, bulk discounts for multiple Student Packs are also available.
Discounts are also available for orders of multiple DVD + Leader’s Guide sets, which can be very useful when running several small groups as well as to have on hand for lending out to small group leaders, volunteers and parents.
For more information about bulk discounts, as well as to learn more about ways to budget and raise funds to implement Chosen, call an Ascension Press Study Consultant at 1-800-376-0520.
13. How do I request a free review of the Chosen materials?
It’s easy to request a free copy of Chosen to review for forty-five (45) days at no risk! We’ll send you the full 8-DVD set, Leader’s Guide, Parent’s Guide and Sponsor’s Guide.
Simply click below (for the Confirmation edition or the Faith Formation edition), or call to speak with an Ascension Press Study Consultant at 1-800-376-0520.