"Christians," wrote Tertullian in the second century, "are made, not born." Fortunately, we have a description of how they were "made" from the Apostolic Tradition of Hippolytus.l Exposed to the gospel through lives of committed Christians, inquirers were questioned as to the seriousness of their intentions. Were they willing to change their lives and to renounce occupational patterns that were incompatible with the faith? Or, was the idolatry permeating their culture so pervasive that they were unable "to hear the word"? If these candidates were capable of making lifestyle corrections, they entered the catechumenate. For as long as three years, these members in- process were led with care and deliberateness into Christian life. The setting for this faith apprenticeship was liturgical rather than academic, with regular patterns of prayer, exorcism, and the laying on of hands.
Huffman, Walter, "The Cost of Making Disciples" (1996). Institute of Liturgical Studies Occasional Papers. Paper 68.