Director of Religious Education Track

This is a comprehensive plan offering the catechetical and philosophical topics essential to leadership in parish catechetical programs. This plan also covers essential administrative skills, including recruitment and training of catechists, planning and evaluation of curriculum and programs, and managing pastoral and parental relationships. In addition, topics such as evangelization and its link to catechesis, as well as catechetical program organization and assessment will be treated.

Since this track does not present the doctrinal foundation of Catholic teaching grounded in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, the candidate for this track is expected to pass a significant assessment on the moral and doctrinal teachings of the Catholic Church before completion of the DRE track. This certification, offered through the St. John Bosco Conference for Catechists and Religious Educators, meets or exceeds the standards for the National Profile of Diocesan Directors of Religious Education set by the National Conference of Catechetical Leadership.

This Year’s Director of Religious Education Track Workshops:

Selecting and Planning Prayer Experiences for Children
Evangelizing Catechesis: The 21st Century Mandate
The Evangelizing Classroom
Effective Confirmation Programs
Budgeting, Time Management, and Goal Planning for Religious Educators
Developing Religious Education Policies and Procedures
Philosophy of the Human Person

Track Presenters

Gloria F. (Gigi) Zapiain, Track Coordinator, has been involved in catechetics on the parish and diocesan levels for more than 25 years, having served as a parish DRE and catechetical consultant for the Archdiocese of Washington and diocesan director of Faith Formation for the Diocese of Fargo, North Dakota, and Bridgeport, Connecticut. She holds an MA in religious studies and a pontifical catechetical diploma from the Notre Dame Institute of Arlington, Virginia. She is currently director of the Secretariat for Catechesis and Faith Formation for the Archdiocese of San Antonio, a board member for the Association for Catechumenal Ministry, a board advisor for My Catholic Faith Delivered, an online catechetical platform, and an adjunct professor of catechetics at the University of Dallas. She will be speaking at the St. John Bosco Conference.


Ron Bolster is the director of the Office of Catechetics at Franciscan University. Formerly the director of the Office of Catechetics for the Diocese of Peoria, he joined the catechetics faculty at Franciscan University in 2004, offering expertise in catechist training, Christian initiation, and administration. He holds an MA in theology with catechetical certification from Franciscan University and an undergraduate degree from Cornell University. Before leaving for Peoria, he served on the staff of Franciscan’s Office of Catechetics, writing catechetical materials, and also served as a consultant for RCIA to the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C. In addition, he has been active in parish RCIA and the Neocatechumenal Way. Ron and his wife, Andrea, reside with their eight children in Steubenville. He will be presenting at the St. John Bosco Conference.


Martha Drennan is the director of Adult Faith Formation and Liturgy at Holy Trinity Catholic Church, a 4,000-family parish in Gainesville, Virginia. She directs ongoing parish faith formation for adults involving parish missions, guest speakers, adult formation classes, workshops, and catechist formation and also directs RCIA. In addition, Martha coordinates the liturgy and all parish funerals. In 1984, she received a bachelor of science degree in general engineering from the United States Military Academy at West Point. She graduated from Franciscan University of Steubenville in 1998 with a master of arts degree in theology and Christian ministry, specializing in catechetics. She is currently working on a doctorate in ministry at The Catholic University of America. She will be presenting at the St. John Bosco Conference.


William Keimig is currently the assistant director of the Catechetical Institute at Franciscan University. For 15 years, he served as the director of Religious Education at St. Mary’s of Piscataway Catholic Church in Clinton, Maryland. He has also served as a master catechist in the Faith Foundations Catechist Formation Program for the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C., as the director of the Association for Catechumenal Ministry, and as a volunteer counselor for a crisis pregnancy center. William holds a bachelor’s degree in government and politics, a master’s degree in public management, a master’s degree in theology and Christian ministry from Franciscan University with a certification in catechetics, and he is completing a doctorate in ministry at The Catholic University of America. He and his wife, Heather, have six children. He will be presenting at the St. John Bosco Conference.


Lucas Pollice, M.T.S. is the director of Program Development and Implementation and associate professor of theology and catechetics for the Augustine Institute in Denver, Colorado. He previously served as the director of Catechesis for the Diocese of Fort Worth, Texas. Lucas has worked in full-time parish and diocesan catechetical ministry since 1999 and currently directs and presents at catechetical training conferences across the country for parish RCIA and adult faith formation leaders. He is the author of Open Wide the Doors to Christ: Discovering Catholicism, a complete curriculum for RCIA, and has worked in the development and production of Symbolon: The Catholic Faith Explained, Beloved: Finding Happiness in Marriage, and other catechetical series produced by the Augustine Institute. Lucas and his wife, Mary, have six children and live in Highlands Ranch, Colorado. He will be presenting at the St. John Bosco Conference.