Frequently Asked Questions

The Catholic Discipleship Profile is a pastoral tool to help Catholics visualize the way they follow Jesus in their daily lives. The CDP presents statements that show Catholic discipleship activities and asks participants to respond in terms of how often they do each of these. After completing the assessment participants receive a personalized, confidential report that depicts the frequency of these discipleship behaviors in five areas common within the Catholic tradition. In this way, each participant gets a “snapshot” of how she or he is living as a disciple—both the areas of strength and the opportunities for growth.

There are two main parts. The first is the set of 81 statements to which participants respond with the frequency of their discipleship behaviors (Always/Almost I Always, Often, Sometimes, Never/Almost Never). The second part is a unique, private report that not only displays the frequency of behaviors, but also provides ways to reflect more deeply on one’s unique discipleship profile.

The five major areas are:

  • Encountering God
  • Integrating Faith and Life
  • Accompanying and Being Accompanied
  • Serving Others
  • Living as a Catholic

These five areas are ways in which Catholics express their Catholic faith. As a result, these areas are simply named “expressions,” which allow a way to report discipleship behaviors.

For individuals: $7.95

For the group leader and group members: $6.95 per person

For parishes:
First 100 individuals to complete the CDP                           $5.95
Second 100 individuals to complete the CDP                     $4.95
All additional individuals to complete the CDP                  $3.95

These costs are one-time charges.

On average it takes about 15 minutes.

This pastoral tool is not a test that one passes or fails. Rather, it is a survey that gives those taking it an opportunity to reflect on their discipleship. Paulist Evangelization Ministries developed the CDP with the insight from great Catholic spiritual writers that discipleship is expressed in many ways as people follow Jesus. Each disciple is unique because each person has a distinctive set of gifts through which the Holy Spirit works in different ways to build up the body of Christ. Growing as a disciple is a life-long process. The CDP provides a “snapshot” of a person’s progress at a certain point in time and resources for continued growth in each of the key areas.

Your responses to the statements are seen only by you and by anyone with whom you choose to share them. No one else has access to your profile report. The information is yours and kept strictly confidential.

If your responses are going to be part of a group or parish report, the reports will never reveal who gave what response to any statement. Rather, the total responses are aggregated and averaged so the trends of a group or a parish can be seen but not the information of any member of a group or a parish.

The report you receive is unique to you. If you chose to share your report with someone else, such as a spiritual director, mentor, or friend, that is your decision and personal choice.

The CDP has three possible reports: 1) an individual report on which a participant can reflect and, if desired, share with a spiritual mentor; 2) a group report that amasses the average responses of the group as a whole (i.e., no one’s responses are directly seen by others), so that the group can see how its members exercise discipleship; and 3) a parish report under the direction of a pastor who can use the results to help a pastoral staff, the parish pastoral council, and other parish leaders see the areas in which parishioners exercise discipleship most readily and those areas that seem less likely to be exercised. Groups follow a process to reflect on the group report. Parishes can use the parish profile to plan for activities and provide resources to sustain and grow discipleship as leaders visualize the parish as a community of missionary disciples.

Whether a person takes the CDP as an individual, part of a group, or part of the parish, she or he will receive an individual profile report for personal reflection. Each individual report also includes a section at the end titled “Resources for Your Continuing Growth as a Disciple.”

All reports are downloaded as a .pdf file. In order to read this you will need a .pdf file reader on your computer like Adobe Acrobat. You may download that here

One year after the reports are generated.

A person may take the CDP as an individual or as part of a group or a parish. Individuals pay for the CDP themselves. Group leaders have the choice of paying for the entire group, inviting individual group members to pay themselves, or the group leader can pay for selected members of the group and the other members pay for themselves. The parish pays for parishioners to take the CDP, either individually or as part of a parish group.

Admin – This is the primary parish administrator. They have access to the entire parish account, can add or delete parish coordinators, and is the by default the first person that registers the parish. They will be able to close the parish’s participation in order to generate the parish report, but will not have any access to any individual report beyond their own.

Coordinator – This is a role within the parish portal for the people assisting the Admin with managing their parish’s participation with the CDP. Only the Admins may approve or remove Coordinators.

Group Leaders – This is the role of the leaders of small groups looking to use the CDP as a tool to better understand their groups’ collective spirituality and discipleship behaviors. This role is provided access to the group dashboard and group report (after at least 8 individuals complete it) but will not have any access to any individual report beyond their own.

Parishioner/Group Member/Individual – This role is of an individual who takes the CDP either within a parish, a group, or on their own. They have access only to their own reports and all the additional resources provided within the CDP website. Their role may be changed to Admin, Coordinator, or Group Leader.

The CDP fuses years of meticulous data science with the pastoral heart of Paulist Evangelization Ministries. Through a series of consultations in 2020 and 2021, Paulist Evangelization Ministries identified statements of discipleship behaviors based on the major Catholic documents about discipleship and evangelization. We tested these behaviors with various experts in theology and ministry as well as with over 700 “Catholics in the pew.” Highly credentialed researchers analyzed the statements using factor analysis to identify underlying groupings of discipleship behaviors that eventually produced the current 81 statements now identified within five key expressions of discipleship. This process, based on expert review and input from Catholics in the pew, gives us confidence that the CDP is valid and reliable. The result is a singularly helpful tool for reflection, encouragement, and growth.

Paulist Evangelization Ministries, an apostolic arm of the Paulist Fathers, wants to help Catholics grow and develop as missionary disciples of Jesus Christ. This goal is based on the teaching of Pope Francis in The Joy of the Gospel, no. 120, that all Catholics by virtue of their baptism are “missionary disciples.”

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