Religious Education in Realm
- Define the hierarchy of religious education programs
- Create groups to support each program, and identify the leaders and members
- Establish group meetings and events, and track attendance
- Share resources with leaders and participants, and set up group communication
- Track sacramental details, and print certificates and inter-church notifications
- Manage check-in/check-out to ensure child safety
- Track registrations and payments at the beginning of the year
- Promote groups of individuals at the end of the year
- Manage catechists and track their progression
- Generate informative reports for groups
Additional Help and Training
- Click to view how-to help articles with steps.
- Click to find in-depth learning courses.
The pages in this guide include related help titles at the bottom. Use the help icon in Realm to locate these.
Define Your Hierarchy
Ministry areas and groups form the foundation of your religious education management. You can define groups in your hierarchy to support early childhood, school-aged children, adults, sacramental preparation, and so on.
Adding Ministry Areas
Start by defining a top-level ministry area named "Faith Formation", "Religious Education", or the name you use for your program. Then, identify a leader for the top-level ministry area. This is usually the Director of Religious Education or a similarly titled individual.
Each sub-ministry area can also have a leader. This might be the Director of Religious Education or someone who works under them. You can add leadership roles for "Coach", "Assistant Coach", "Team Leader", "Mentor", "Prayer Leader", "Catechist", "Substitute Catechist", and so on.
Set up attribute tags to track and search on each individual's skills, traits, and roles. These must be set at the top-level ministry area in order to use them for group leaders and members.
A group is a set of individuals who meet together on a regular basis.
For each of your classes/sessions, add a new group under the appropriate category. You can set up groups by grade levels, ages, or any other organizational method that makes sense for your program.
You can also manage catechists with groups. Create a top-level ministry area that represents "Certified Catechists". Then create groups for each level, and place catechists into the one that their certification indicates.
If you want to allow only group leaders and users with permission to view certain groups, you can hide a group. This is also a great option for sensitive or discrete information, like recovery groups.
Note that hidden groups do not display during check-in.
Identify Group Leaders and Members
Set up your catechists, mentors, and coaches as the leaders, and add your students as participants.
Adding an Individual
Adding Multiple People
Alternatively, you can use a custom query to gather individuals with common criteria, and use the report results to add several people to the group at once.
Establish Group Events
Groups may meet on a regular basis and have special events that individuals can attend.
Adding a Primary Meeting
For each group, set up a recurring event as the primary meeting. This is the time and place where they regularly gather. For example, a formation class meets every Tuesday at 4:00 for the week's lesson.
Adding Other Events
Track Group Attendance
Communicate with Group Participants
If you enable communication for a ministry area, leaders and group members can communicate in different ways.
One way is to send an email using Realm. Note that if a group member has a family position of Child, their parents also receive the message.
Realm tracks details for Baptism, First Reconciliation, First Communion, Confirmation, Marriage, Holy Orders, and Anointing of the Sick. You can customize these to use on parishioner records.
Setting Up Sacraments
First, set up the sacraments you want to track. If you don't track one, you can disable it.
Print Certificates and Notifications
You can print certificates for Baptism, First Communion, Confirmation, Marriage, and RCIA. The Baptism certificate, if printed two-sided, has a form on back for recording future sacraments.
Manage Child Check-In
Setting Up Check-In
First, make sure the device(s) you want to use for check-in meet the requirements. Then, you're ready to set up a kiosk for each group. Select which groups and events require check-in processes.
Track Registrations and Payments
At the start of the program year, use registration events to manage the sign-up and payment process.
Create a registration event for each class/session in the upcoming year. You can also create events that require payment to attend. To accept online payments, make sure you set up a deposit account.
Pricing and Discounts
Create different registration types for each unique pricing tier. Examples include "Parishioner Rate", "Non-Parishioner Rate", "Staff Rate", and so on. You can set the price for each registrant type.
Establish optional discounts for things like early registrations, group discounts, promotional codes, and a total cost cap.
Getting Additional Information
Use the Add Questions tab to ask for additional information, such as t-shirt size or meal preference.
Publishing and Sharing
Once you create an event, use the Share menu to make the registration process visible to everyone, set the Public Registration starting and ending dates, and choose if it should appear on the News Feed.
Use the shareable link, embedded HTML, or QR code when promoting the registration via email, website, print, and other methods.
People can register and pay directly through Realm. Parents can register their children.
Adding Attendees to a Group
At the conclusion of the registration process, use a custom query to search for people with "Event Name is equal to <name>". Then, use the report results to add these people to a group.
Promote Groups and Individuals
Setting Up Promotion Tracks
First, set up promotion tracks to link classes that promote from one to another.
Next, you can select and approve class members for promotion.
Finally, you can promote all your groups of classes at one time.
Track Catechist Progression
Use pathways to manage catechists who are in the process of becoming certified at a higher level.
Setting Up Pathways
Managing Catechist Progression
As catechists successfully finish each required step, mark it complete in the pathway.
Run Group Reports and Queries
There are several ways to gather data about your groups.
Roster and Export Roster (.csv)
Other Predefined Reports
If none of these meet your needs, create new reports under .
Print and Share Options
Click the printer icon to generate different layouts and output types. Click Save As to keep this report under your saved reports. That way, you can easily run it again or share it with others.
This was an overview of how to use Realm for RE. Of course, you can use all of the features discussed in this document or a select few, depending on your needs.
Check out the help documentation and training courses for more in-depth instructions. At the top-right of your Realm window, click the help icon or the MinistrySmart Academy icon .