Catholic Scripture Study (CSS) is the ideal program for groups or individuals looking for an inspiring Bible study that is completely faithful to the teachings of the Catholic Church.
The study commentaries are written by leading Catholic Scripture scholars and authors and each study contains references to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, papal encyclicals, and writings of the early Church Fathers and the Saints. Our Program Studies include informative weekly video presentations delivered by a Catholic priest.
Catholic Scripture Study provides all the tools you need to start and maintain a successful bible study. You do not need to be an experienced catechist to implement and lead a CSS class. Any lay person can establish this truly life-changing program in their parish or community. Additionally, the CSS Program is the only Scripture study program with a team of dedicated volunteer Regional Directors who provide support to each study leader throughout the program.
The CSS Program studies are designed for group or individual study. Our Program Studies range from 22-28 sessions in length and our Short Studies range from 4 to 16 sessions. CSS releases a new full-length feature study to add to the selection of course offerings each Fall and offers shorter scripture and faith based studies throughout the year.
CSS provides time-tested guidelines for structuring a successful and effective Bible study group. Key roles and responsibilities of the CSS core team are defined and the class format is outlined in detail.
The CSS Core Team includes:
- Study Leader – Implements and oversees the program in a home or parish and chooses the core team to assist in implementing and overseeing the program. The Study Leader (if not the parish priest) is encouraged to work closely with his or her pastor.
- Class Administrator – Assists the Study Leader with administrative duties, like handling registration, promoting in bulletin, posters, etc., assigning groups, taking attendance, tracking credit hours, handling physical space and running the DVD.
- Group Leaders – Facilitates lively and engaging small-group discussion by encouraging everyone to contribute as they are comfortable. Group Leaders also reach out to members of their group when they miss a class to check on their well-being and to let them know that they were missed.
- Hospitality Coordinator – This can be handled by a Group Leader or another person who has the gift of hospitality. Provides a warm welcome for each participant, greets people upon arrival, creates a friendly and welcoming environment, and perhaps provides background music.
Class Format (75-90 minutes):
- Opening (15 minutes) – Study Leader oversees this time when the group settles in. Study Leader should open with prayer (CSS prayers for the beginning and ending of class are included in the Program Manual). Study Leader may ask for prayer petitions and make any announcements at this time. Class members may use this time to pray the Prayer to the Holy Spirit together before beginning discussion segment.
- Discussion Groups (45-60 minutes, depending on the length of video segments) – Participants break into small groups to discuss the study questions for the weekly lesson. (Participants are encouraged to have read the lesson material and answered the study questions prior to class each week.) Classes with less than 12 participants should stay in one group during discussion segment. If the class has more people, they should break into small groups to discuss the study questions for the weekly session. Ideal size of each group should be about 10 people.
- Lecture (15-30 minutes per lesson) – All participants gather to watch a DVD lecture based on the lesson. CSS Program lectures are prepared and presented by priests and are designed to guide participants to a deeper understanding of the Scripture they studied in that lesson.
CSS recommends that Study Leaders promote the Bible study program in their parish bulletins and by other means and that they allow a generous amount of time for registration. After the local registration process has been completed, the Study Leader may then order Study Binders in the quantity needed. Note: It is best to order the student binders in bulk rather than asking students to order their books individually. Shipping costs are higher when ordered individually. It may also be a good idea to order a few additional books for any latecomers. You may return unused books.
The Study Binder is a three-ring binder containing the written lessons for the longer studies and the shorter study programs are coil bound Study Books. Each weekly lesson consists of the biblical text, commentary, Study Questions, Reflection Questions, Voices of the Saints, Catechism Connections, Rome to Home magisterial quotes, a summary of the lesson and Suggested Responses.
- DVD Lecture Series – Insightful 15-30-minute video lectures presented by Catholic priests to supplement each week’s lesson.
- Getting Started Tools – Online reproducible materials to aid promotion, training and organization for a successful study program. These tools contain the CSS Program Manual, Group Leaders Handbook, posters, flyers, bulletin announcements, sample lessons, registration cards & course certificates.
- MP3s – The mp3 files are the audio portion of the DVD presentations. They are helpful for leader preparation.