The Westminster Shorter Catechism (also known simply as the Shorter Catechism, hereinafter referred to as the WSC) was written in the 1640s by English and Scottish divines. The assembly also produced the Westminster Confession of Faith and the Westminster Larger Catechism. The three documents are considered by many Protestants to be the grandest doctrinal statements to come out of the English Reformation. Completed in 1647, it was presented to the Long Parliament on 14 April 1648.
The purpose of the Shorter Catechism is to educate lay persons in matters of doctrine and belief. The WSC is in a simple question and answer format to facilitate memorization. Typically, parents and the church would use the shorter catechism to train their children in the ways of the Lord. New converts are also given the WSC as well as the Confession of Faith and Holy Scripture to study. Various denominations have used the Westminster Confession and Catechism to instruct their members. (courtesy of wikipedia.com)