The institute provides opportunities for
life-long learning in the fullness of Catholic faith,
fostering ongoing transformation in Christ,
and equipping the people of God for service.

About the Institute

The Institute was founded in September 1995 by Bishop Emeritus John J. Nevins as the Blessed Edmund Rice school to prepare lay men and women for service in the Church through a program of formal theological education and spiritual enrichment.


In 2014, the school was renamed The Institute for Catholic Studies and Formation. A partnership was formed with Franciscan University of Steubenville to offer Catechetical Certification and Master’s courses. In 2020, Dr. John Gresham assumed leadership of the Institute.


The institute provides the faithful of the Diocese of Venice (and the wider region) with opportunities for life-long learning in the fullness of Catholic faith fostering ongoing transformation in Christ, that all might be fully equipped to serve. We offer online and onsite courses for spiritual enrichment, for growing in knowledge and practice of the faith and for training in service — from basic certification, to ongoing professional development to advanced theological education.


We serve the parishes by providing competent, Spirit-filled leaders grounded in the beauty and truth of the Catholic faith. We transform the world by forming joyful missionary disciples to plant and nurture seeds of the kingdom in Southwest Florida and beyond. Read more about Our Vision

News from the Institute

Check out blog posts below for upcoming classes and other announcements.

New Course for Catechists! Methods of Religious Education: Lesson Planning

Methods of Religious Education: Lesson Planning An introduction to planning a religious education lesson by setting goals, identifying catechetical pillars and planning activities using a five part […]

Start your MA with Prerequisite Course: Ecclesial Nature and Mission of Theology

Who is this class for? For those who want to pursue an online MA in Theology and Christian Ministry at Franciscan University of Steubenville, this is a […]

My Journey into the Catholic Church

I look forward to getting to know my brothers and sisters in Christ in the diocese of Venice. One way to get to know me is to […]