Class List -University of Dayton, VLCFF

Listed below are classes from the University of Dayton’s Virtual Learning Community for Faith Formation,  including how CEUs for those classes are transferred to catechist formation credits for the Archdiocese of Louisville’s catechist certificate.

To register, go to the University of Dayton website at vlcff.udayton.edu.

For more information about catechist credits contact Lynn McDaniel, Coordinator for Catechetical Ministry at lmcdaniel@archlou.org or (502) 636-0296, ext. 1267.

Required resources for these courses may be available on loan from the Office of Faith Formation.

Administration in Ministry

Catechist Credit:         25 hours applies toward Methods

Whether your area of ministerial expertise is in catechetics, pastoral skills, social justice, liturgy, youth ministry, working with young adults, or music, as one who manages others, in either a paid or volunteer capacity, you will be called on to use the tools and skills of administration. Almost all ministers find themselves at some time in an administrative or supervisory role, being asked to plan, make decisions, set goals and priorities, facilitate meetings, prepare budgets, mediate conflict, and evaluate people and processes which will require skills in giving effective feedback. Another aspect of ministerial life that leaders are responsible for is to invite others to volunteer their talents and time, to activate the gifts of the gifted and facilitate their willingness to serve. Ministers are expected to do all these tasks in an atmosphere of calm and control, while keeping within the frameworks provided by civil law and canon law.

Other coursework for this certificate addresses a variety of leadership skills, including effective communication and collaboration. Participants will integrate those skills with the role of administrator/manager/supervisor. Basic information on some Human Resource related practices that impact administrative roles will also be introduced.

 

Advanced Catholic Social Teaching

Catechist Credit:         25 total hours: 25 applies toward Theology (10 hours in the content area of Catholic Social Justice, 10 hours in the content area of Catholic Beliefs and Practices and 5 hours in the content area of Scripture)

This is an ADVANCED level course and should not be attempted without sufficient grounding in the basics of the Catholic faith and Catholic Social Teaching.

Designed to deepen the understanding of the basis for social justice by looking at specific encyclicals, Advanced Catholic Social Teaching is a course for those who have had some prior background. People taking this course should be familiar with the 7 tenets of Catholic social teaching presented by the US Catholic bishops. Catholic Social Teaching 1 and 2 are not pre-requisites if the student has other experiences leading to basic knowledge of Catholic social concerns. The ART process for working through a problem in a transformative, practical way is also presented.

 

 Autism in Faith Formation

Catechist Credit:         25 total hours: 15 hours applies toward Catechetics, 5 hours applies toward Theology in the content area of Catholic Beliefs and Practices, and 5 hours applies toward Methods

This e-course introduces catechetical leaders, catechists, catholic school educators and parents to a deeper understanding and the impact of autism spectrum disorders on faith formation. It can be perceived as a guide for cultivating faith learning environments that support and incorporate persons with autism within the catechetical environment. Understanding developmental disorders, including autism, will make it easier to embrace individuals with these disorders and their families in parish life. The course will also cover proven suggestions and techniques to engage and communicate effectively with individuals with autism spectrum disorders within catechetical settings.

 

A Vision for Catholic Youth Ministry 

Catechist Credit:         25 total hours: 15 hours applies toward Catechetics, 5 hours applies in Theology in the content area of Catholic Beliefs and Practices, and 5 hours applies toward Spiritual Formation

A Vision for Catholic Youth Ministry is a five-week course introducing students to the vision and principles for developing a comprehensive framework for youth ministry. Students will explore the historical development as well as contemporary models of the Catholic Church’s efforts to reach out to young people and their families. Finally, students will be introduced to a leadership system for creating a stable, vibrant, and lasting ministry within their ministry setting.

 

Basic Catechist Formation:  Seminar 1.1

Catechist Credit:         15 total hours:  5 hours applies toward Overview of Catechetical Ministry; 2.5 hours applies toward Faith Development and 7.5 hours applies toward Catechetics

Understanding the significance of catechists for both nurturing an encounter with Jesus Christ within those we catechize and appreciating one’s sense of vocation as a catechist.

Basic Catechist Formation:  Seminar 1.2

Catechist Credit:         15 total hours:  5 hours applies toward Theology in the content area of General Theology and 10 hours applies toward Catechetics/Methods.

This e-seminar explores the meaning of the Vocation of the Catechist.   Pope Francis states: “The catechist, is a Christian who is mindful of God, who is guided by the memory of God in his or her entire life and who is able to awaken that memory in the hearts of others”. As a catechist, you are responsible to hand on the authentic Catholic Faith. Yet, this faith needs to be rooted in our own lives as catechists. It is essential that catechists have a sense of ‘vocation’ for their high calling to proclaim the Good News. What is your sense of an authentic meaning of the vocation for being a catechist?

 

 Bible Basics

Catechist Credit:         25 total hours: 20 hours applies toward Theology in the content area of Scripture and 5 hours applies toward Spiritual Formation

This course presupposes that an individual has not had a general overview of the Bible. This is a great place to begin. The course cannot cover everything one needs to know for navigating into the world of the Scriptures, but one is given a few basic concepts to begin the journey. If you have ever wondered how the Bible is arranged, what types of writings can be found in it, how to navigate through the Bible, and how to interpret the Bible as a Catholic, you are about to begin an interesting discovery.

 

Catholic Beliefs

Catechist Credit:         25 total hours: 20 hours applies toward Theology in the content area of Catholic Beliefs and Practices and 5 hours applies toward Catechetics

A clear understanding of our central belief system is essential for any Catholic. This course will enable the student to appreciate the function of doctrine and the process of theology through which doctrines develop in the Roman Catholic Tradition. In addition, students will develop the skills to articulate personal beliefs, explain the role and function of faith in theology, and describe the role of the catechist in passing on the tradition.

 

Catholic Identity and Culture (Seminar)

Catechist Credit:         15 total hours: 5 hours applies toward Theology in the content area of Catholic Beliefs and Practices and 10 hours applies toward Catechetics

This e-seminar is specifically designed for Catholic school administrators, faculty, staff, Board Members and families to enhancing their understanding for what it means to be a Catholic School in the 21st century.  The e-seminar presents the newest Standards, Benchmarks and Catholic Church teaching for nurturing the Catholic ethos of our Catholic schools.  This e-seminar was designed by Bro. William Campbell, SM, PhD, who has been a Catholic School Principal, Superintendent, former NCEA staff and now serving on the Marianist Provincial Council. He articulates the basic practical wisdom that can animate profound conversations within the Catholic School community.  There are a variety of models for implementing this e-seminar for an effective planning process within the Catholic School.

 

Catholic Teaching on Chastity, Family Life, and Human Sexuality Education

Catechist Credit:         15 total hours:  10 hours applies toward Theology in the content area of Morality and 5 hours applies toward Methods

 In their 2007 Chaste Living Guidelines the US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) stated that chastity education “teaching the proper use of sexuality within relationships “should be mandatory for all Catholic schools, religious education programs for children, and youth ministry programs. While many dioceses today have a chastity/human sexuality/family life requirement in their catechetical guidelines, few have a course of instruction to prepare teachers and catechists to teach the topic. For this reason, many teachers and catechists feel unprepared, and so are reluctant to teach this part of the Church’s message. The lack of qualified teachers also limits the number of parishes and schools who can even offer such a course of study.

This three-session course will introduce teachers and catechists to the Church’s documents pertaining to chastity education, help them to understand what is expected of a teacher in chastity education, and offer appropriate teaching methodologies for teaching such a course of study. Included in this course is pertinent information a teacher or catechist will need if he or she is responsible for teaching a child-safety educational component.

 

Christology

Catechist Credit:         25 total hours:  25 hours applies toward Theology (15 hours in the content area of Christology and 10 hours in the content area of Scripture)

This understanding of Jesus Christ is the fruit of the study of person and mission of Jesus Christ: Christology.  This has been a central focus of study for theology since the beginning of the Church.  What we believe and argue today about whom Jesus is and what He did was earned through much prayer, thought and argument.  This course will enable students to learn and understand the foundations upon which all Christology rests, the theology developed from the apostolic age through the Council of Chalcedon in the fifth century A.D.     

 

Chronic Illness:  Mental Illness, Grief, Trauma Support and Counseling – Cycle 6

Catechist Credit:         25 hours applies toward Electives

Chronic Illness:  Mental Illness, Grief, Trauma Support, and Counseling provides participants with information about living with mental illness and repercussions from trauma, as well as the impact on family, friends, the community, and the Church.  Today, mental health and the impact of trauma are beginning to receive attention in the Church and around the world due to increasing deaths from suicide and addiction, as well as the sizeable number of children growing up with a history of trauma, abuse, and neglect.  This course is designed for anyone who works with children and adults at the diocese or parish levels, including pastors, deacons, catechetical leaders, catechists, parochial school principals and teachers, and lay ministers.  A degree or background in counseling or psychology is not necessary to complete this course.  Because conversations about death from suicide, violence, and addiction are essential to address when discussing mental illness and trauma, participants should be aware that these topics will be discussed. The required resources for this course may be available at the Office of Faith Formation.

 

 Church History 1

Catechist Credit:         25 hours applies toward Theology in the content area of Church

Basic knowledge and deep appreciation of Church History enables us to understand how the Catholic Church has evolved through time. We see how the Holy Spirit was and continues to be present. We become familiar with men and women who attempted to define the nature and role of the Church in each period of history. The road was not easy as religious, political, economic and social tensions impacted the Church’s unfolding story.

Church History 1 is one of two parts of a basic introduction to the History of the Church. This course covers the period from Pentecost to the beginning of the Reformation. While we cannot cover in depth all the factors which influenced the development of the early Church, we are able to begin the journey here.

 

Church History 2

Catechist Credit:         25 hours applies toward Theology in the content area of Church

 

There are two parts to our Church History courses: Church History I and Church History II. It is recommended that Church History I precede engaging in Church History II in order to understand the flow and development of the Church through her 2000-year-old history.

Church History 2 navigates the student from the Reformation (where Church History I ended) through the Second Vatican Council into the 21st century. Students explore the cultural, political, social and religious factors which influenced the Church’s journey. Significant men and women emerged to support and challenge the Church’s understanding of herself and relationship with the world.

 

Collaboration and Community

Catechist Credit:         25 total hours:  15 hours applies toward Methods and 10 hours applies toward Theology in the content area of Church

 Just as Jesus chose a community model for His followers in His day, we also experience community as a fundamental component of living as Catholic Christians. Those who minister in community settings need to be able to be together in a healthy and productive way. The ministers themselves need to minister as a community and not as a collection of individuals, each carrying out their specific roles and tasks. Sometimes this happens naturally. More often than not, they need to understand how to do that well and understand both the obstacles and advantages of collaboration. There are theological reasons for collaboration, which underpin our style of ministry. There are predictable obstacles that can be met in a healthy way if we understand them. There are skills that can easily be used to make the process productive and even holy. Those situations with multiple parishes sharing staff are particularly in need of collaborative ministry.

Communication and Community

Catechist Credit:         25 hours applies toward Methods

If you are convinced that the Good News deserves effective communication, and if you have experienced ineffective communication in a parish, this is the course for you!  Through a series of readings and exercises, participants in this course will acquire theological knowledge, some intercultural communication constructs, communication skills in listening, assertion and conflict management and the ability to begin to plan for effective communication.  No matter your precious experience or skill level, this course will offer you a chance to once again be convinced that ecclesial leaders need concepts, constructs and skills to hand on the good news of Jesus Christ.

 

Conscience

Catechist Credit:         25 total hours: 25 hours applies toward Theology (20 hours in the content area of Morality and 5 hours in the content area of Catholic Social Teaching)

Helping the student see morality as a response to the universal call to holiness and as a response to the invitation of eternal life with God, this introductory course relies heavily on the Scriptures, the Catechism of the Catholic Church, and Thomas Schindler’s series of articles on morality to explore the theology and the process of moral decision-making.

 

Creative Methodologies: ADHD in Parish Life- Pastoral Implications  

Catechist Credit:         25 total hours: 20 hours applies toward Methods, and 5 hours applies toward Catechetics

This e-course is an attempt to introduce catechists to understanding the meaning and impact of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) on faith formation. It is a guide for cultivating faith learning environments that support and incorporate the person with ADHD within the catechetical environment. Understanding ADHD will make it easier to embrace individuals with this condition and their families in parish life.   This course is designed to help participants to understand the symptoms of ADHD syndrome. E-Learners will also be presented with suggestions for techniques that work to engage individuals with ADHD in catechesis and facilitate appropriate behavior. ***Please note: the course Disabilities in Parish Life: An Overview is a prerequisite for this course.

 

Designing and Implementing Adult Learning and Faith Formation

Catechist Credit:         25 hours applies toward Catechetics

This course concludes the Certificate in Adult Learning and Faith Formation.  The major goal of this course is to assist you in developing and implementing an ongoing process for adult learning and faith formation in your parish or area, incorporating what you have learned in the six previous courses of this certificate.  This course will look at pastoral planning, how it applies to adult learning and faith formation, the role of technology in adult learning, the importance of marketing and communication, the role of evaluation and guidelines for choosing resources for adult learning and faith formation.  In this course you will be asked to apply what you have learned and discovered in the previous six courses.  The ongoing planning for the development and implementation of adult learning and faith formation will create a solid foundation for lifelong learning and growth of adults.

This course is part of a specialized Certificate in Adult Formation Leadership and is meant to be taken as part of a sequence.  This course pre-supposes knowledge in previous courses.  Refer to the certificate page.

 

Disability across the Life Span:  Prenatal Diagnosis – End of Life Care

Catechist Credit:         25 total hours:  10 hours applies toward Theology (5 hours in the content area Catholic Beliefs and Practices and 5 hours in the content area of Family Life) and 15 hours applies toward Methods

This course will examine disability at all ages and stages of life,0 including pre-natal and end-of-life considerations, within the context of Catholic parish life and teaching.  A global and U.S. – national overview of disability prevalence and key considerations will provide participants with important context for understanding the presence of disability in their faith communities.

 Special attention to faith formation and parish ministry for persons with disabilities will enable Course participants to consider ways they might better and more fully welcome persons with disabilities into parish life.  Also included are discussions of use of technology to more fully welcome persons with disabilities into parish life and other methods of communication that create a sense of belonging for all members of the faith community.

 

Disabilities in Parish Life: An Overview

Catechist Credit:         25 total hours: 5 hours applies toward Theology in the content area of Catholic Beliefs and Practices, and 20 hours toward Methods

Disabilities in Parish Life: An Overview (hereafter, Disabilities: An Overview) seeks to provide participants with a basic understanding of the perspectives of people with disabilities and their family and friends, relevant issues of concern, and ways in which participants can create accessible parish and diocesan environments. It includes information on the less-than-obvious aspects of disability ministry not always apparent to the casual observer, such as stigma, grief, poverty, attitudes, family dynamics, and culture.

The Disabilities: An Overview course is designed for diocesan personnel as well as pastors and associates, deacons, seminarians, catechetical leaders and catechists, parish nurses, members of the liturgy or social justice committee, teachers, family members, and parish council members…all those whose ministries impact Catholics with disabilities. It is important for these church leaders and the total body of Christ to gain an understanding that:

  1. One in five persons in every parish across the world has a definable disability. When family members are included this comes to a sizeable if silent part of most parishes.
  2. Disability is not always obvious. It is important for parish leadership to understand the need, and to reach out. Simple accommodations can yield great results.
  3. The life and dignity of every person is an integral part of Church teaching. Learning effective ways of including people with disabilities in the life of the Church affirms this truth.

Please note the required resource Opening Doors of Welcome and Justice to Parishioners the Disabilities: A Parish Guide is available from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ website: http://www.usccbpublishing.org/productdetails.cfm?PC=443

 

Discovering Integral Ecology in Laudato Si’

Catechist Credit:         25 total hours: 25 hours applies toward Theology in the content area of Catholic Beliefs and Practices

This is a study of Pope Francis’ encyclical on the environment, Laudato Si: On Care for our Common Home (June 2015).  Each of the first four week’s work is devoted to the first four chapters. Chapters 5 and 6, are the application to action and will be combined in the concluding week.  Showing his inclusive nature and invitation to all people, Pope Francis ends Laudato Si’ with two prayers:  A Prayer for Our Earth and A Christian Prayer in Union with Creation.  You are encouraged to use these regularly as part of your prayer and reflection during this course.  May we each be inspired and transformed in our spiritual work and partnerships with others as we join together to better Care for Our Common Home.

 

Ecclesiology:  Beginnings of the Church

Catechist Credit:         25 total hours: 25 hours applies toward Theology (13 hours in the content area of Church and 12 hours in the content area of Scripture)

As a topic Ecclesiology, the Theology of Church, studies the Church in itself, that is, as an institution with a 2000-year history. This course is the first in a series of three courses, which together will give the student a basic understanding of a topic that is essential for effective catechesis. The first part, Ecclesiology: Beginnings of the Church, introduces the student to the theological study of the Church. The student will become familiar with basic terms and concepts that are essential for understanding the Church’s nature and mission, and how these have been a constant theme in the Church’s evolution as a “living organism” throughout history.

 

Ecclesiology:  Pilgrim Church

Catechist Credit:         25 hours applies toward Theology in the content area of Church

The Pilgrim Church is the second in a series of three courses in ecclesiology, the theology of church.  Building on the understanding of church developed in The Beginnings of the Church, this course continues to explore how the Church, as a living organism through the centuries, both maintains its continuity with Jesus and reshapes its own self-understanding. We will see how the Church continually reconstitutes itself through its decisions in meeting the challenges of each age.

Prerequisites for this course include these VCLFF courses:  “Scripture:  New Testament,” “Images of Jesus (or Christology),” and “Ecclesiology: The Beginnings of the Church.”
[Catechists and lay ecclesial ministers are required to take all three courses in order.]

 

Ecclesiology:  Reframing Church

Catechist Credit:         25 total hours:  25 hours applies toward Theology (15 hours in the content area of Church and 10 hours in the content area of Catholic Beliefs and Practices)

Reframing Church is the third in the VLCFF track introduction to Ecclesiology and builds on the learning in the first two courses in this track, Reframing Church concentrates on the developments at Vatican II.  Like the preceding courses, Beginnings of the Church and the Pilgrim Church, this course intends both to help the student build his or her knowledge base about the Church but also to acquire skills for thinking about the Church in itself.  All of the major events of Church history either caused or resulted from a change in the Church’s self-understanding.  There is not “big bang” theory of how the Church came to be!  Although the event of Vatican II startled many inside and outside the Catholic Church, it, too, was a result of social, cultural, and political change in society that demanded fresh responses from the Roman Catholic Church.  As in the previous courses, the image of the Church as a “living organ” (Dogmatic Constitution on the Church) will again focus our attention.  Specific topics such as the Council’s teaching on liturgy, Scripture, hierarchy, laity, and the Church’s relationship with the world are examined for their cumulative effect on the Church as a whole.  The title of this course, Reframing Church, indicates the essential first step we must take to achieve this understanding:  seeing the Church within the frame of assumptions, beliefs, and values underlying the texts.  Although Vatican II dealt with issues we know have with the Church from the beginning, the Council’s framing of the issues casts them in an entirely new light.  Our response to the Council will be more informed to the extent that we understand the frame surrounding the word “Church” after Vatican II.

 

Echoes of Racism:  Whispers of Healing (Seminar)

Catechist Credit:         15 hours applies toward Theology in the content area of Catholic Social Teaching

Racism has plagued most countries for centuries. This seminar is an attempt to understand what Catholic Christians are called to do in the face of racism.  In Genesis 1: 26, scripture tells us we are made in the image and likeness of God.  If so, then human beings must endeavor to see the image of God in all persons whom they encounter.  This seminar will address socio-cultural underpinnings of racism, and then, discuss possible solutions from a faith perspective.

 

Emotional Intelligence and its Impact on Faith Formation (Seminar)   

Catechist Credit:         15 hours applies toward Catechetics

This seminar seeks to apply the principles of Emotional Intelligence to Faith Formation. The concept of Emotional Intelligence has been around for almost two decades. It has been widely accepted that great leaders know about their emotional intelligence quotients and are able to tap into this as they assist others in their growth – of themselves and their various ministries. Participants will be introduced to the concepts of Emotional Intelligence and guided to practice them within their ministries.

Evangelization and Discipleship

Catechist Credit:         25 total hours: 25 hours applies toward Theology (20 hours in the content area of Catholic Beliefs and Practices and 5 hours in the content area of Culture/Diversity)

This course will explore our call to conversion and discipleship, the meaning of evangelization from a Catholic perspective, and its relationship to the ministries of Word, Worship and Service. It includes useful suggestions related to evangelization efforts within parishes and has tools for evaluating current needs.

 

Facilitating Adult Learning and Faith Formation (AFL 4)

Catechist Credit:         25 total hours: 20 hours applies toward Methods and 5 hours applies toward Catechetics

 This course builds on Course Three by looking at important foundations and principles for adult learning and principles for facilitating adult learning and faith formation for all ages of adults. This course may appear to be academic, but it seeks to explore the insights and building blocks for understanding adult learning and faith formation today. While looking at different approaches to adult learning, each session will focus on specific principles for facilitating adult learning.

This course is part of a specialized Certificate in Adult Formation Leadership and is meant to be taken as part of a sequence. This course pre-supposes knowledge in the previous courses. Refer to the certificate page for more information.

Faith and Human Development

Catechist Credit:         25 total hours: 20 hours applies toward Catechetics and 5 hours applies toward Theology in the content area of Spirituality or 2.5 hours applies toward Associate Level in the area of Faith Development, 2.5 hours applies toward Associate Level in the content area of Images of God, and 20 hours applies toward Catechetics

The course provides an introduction to stage theories of human development and spiritual growth. Participants will consider the relationship between the maturation of human beings and their growth in the spiritual life. The works of Fowler, Erikson, Kohlberg, Gilligan, Piaget and others will provide the foundation for examining psychological and spiritual growth during childhood, adolescence, young adulthood, middle age, and older adulthood. Particular attention is given to moral and ego development in relationship to spiritual progress.

 

Faith Formation for Adults with Special Needs (SN 5)

Catechist Credit:         25 total hours:  10 hours applied toward Methods, 10 hours applies toward Catechetics, 10 hours applies toward Theology in the content area of Catholic Beliefs and Practices

Adults who have Intellectual Disabilities have spiritual needs. Many welcome the opportunity to become more aware of God’s presence with them when they have an appropriate catechesis. An appropriate catechesis, such as the one presented at the end of this course, will help them become, using one example, more knowledgeable of sacred articles that are part of Catholic prayer and worship at the Sunday liturgy. Hopefully this course will promote a better sense of belonging for them.

Rooted in the Gospel healings of Jesus, and stepping out of a dark history, many adults with developmental disabilities are now welcomed into a full life within the Catholic Church. Having been included in parish life in the recent past, and to hasten a better sense of belonging, adults with cognitive developmental disabilities can now be offered opportunities to enrich their faith.  

 

Foundations for Liturgy

Catechist Credit:         25 hours applies toward Theology in the content area of Liturgy

In this course, students will be able to explain the basic parts of the Mass including prayers, the three components of a church building, and, the basic signs, symbols and rituals in liturgy that help us understand how God communicates with us.

 

Foundations and Vision for Adult Learning and Faith Formation

Catechist Credit:         25 total hours: 15 hours applies toward Catechetics and 10 hours toward Theology in the content area of Catholic Beliefs and Practices

The Catholic Church, through a series of international and national documents, has called for more emphasis on adult faith formation since Vatican II. This emphasis on adult faith formation will necessitate a greater understanding of how to foster lifelong catechesis in adults ages 18-108. This course will lay the foundation for the remaining six courses in this Adult Faith Formation certificate program.

Adult learning and faith formation need to be situated within the vision of lifelong catechesis. This course looks at the vision for lifelong catechesis; the vision of adult faith formation; the role of evangelization and conversion; the goals, tasks and principles for adult faith formation; and roles in adult learning and faith formation.

This course is part of a specialized Certificate in Adult Formation Leadership and is meant to be taken as part of a sequence. This course pre-supposes knowledge in the previous courses. Refer to the certificate page for more information.

Fundamentals in Deaf Faith Formation Methodologies

Catechist Credit:         25 total hours:  15 hours applies toward Catechetics and 10 hours applies toward Theology in the content area of Culture/Diversity

This course is designed to provide an informative base and understanding regarding:  Deaf Culture, perspectives on deafness, methods of communication, spectrum of deafness, sacramental, faith formation and RCIA accommodations, adaptations and resources.  This course will address the unique experiences of Deaf people from various perspectives.  This course is designed for Catholic School teachers who need to familiarize themselves with faith formation methodologies; as well as catechetical leaders and catechists who need to familiarize themselves with the lingo and fundamentals of ministering to families with Deaf people.  This course may also be beneficial to parents of Deaf children who may wish to learn more about approaches to educating their children in the faith.

 

***Please note: the course Disabilities in Parish Life: An Overview is a prerequisite for this course. 

 

Galatians

Catechist Credit:         25 hours applies toward Theology in the content area of Scripture

This course is an in-depth study of Paul’s letter to the Galatians. In this course students will learn about the location and ethnic makeup of the Galatian community, and they will learn about key Pauline terms such as “works of the law,” “justification,” and “faith in / of Christ,” which will assist students as they interpret other Pauline letters. Galatians will also introduce students to one of the earliest conflicts in Christianity–the place of non-Jews or Gentiles in the Christian community. Moreover, this letter will inform students about the opponents of Paul, commonly called Judaizers, and the differences between the theology of the Jerusalem Church and Paul himself. Study of this letter will help students understand many of today’s theological differences between Protestants and Catholics that go back to the time of the Reformation, and study of this letter will help students better understand the conflicts between the Church and the Synagogue that started as early as the late first-century CE. Finally, this course will give students a glimpse of early Christian ethics and what it meant to live a virtuous life in the early Christian communities.

 

Gaudete Et Exultate (Apostolic Exhortation – Rejoice and Be Glad – Call to Holiness)

Catechist Credit:         25 hours applies toward Theology in the content area of Catholic Beliefs and Practices

This course is an Introduction to the Apostolic Exhortation – Call to Holiness.  This course will highlight the Beatitudes.  In this course students will explore discernment for Nurturing one’s spiritual life.

 

History of Catholic Social Action

Catechist Credit:         25 hours applies toward Theology in the content area of Catholic Social Teaching

 This is an ADVANCED level course and should not be attempted without sufficient grounding in the basics of the Catholic faith.

The Catholic Social Tradition is often identified with the official social documents of the Church. As valuable as these teachings are, they only tell part of the story of Catholic social ministry. These official teachings have been influenced and shaped by the activism of Catholics around the world. The documents, in turn, have motivated and encouraged various forms of Catholic Social Action and Ministry. This course exposes the participants to some of the highlights of this rich tradition of Catholic Social Action.

Hope in Times of Crisis

Catechist Credit:         15 hours applies toward Theology (7.5 in the content area of Catholic Social Teaching & 7.5 in the content area of Catholic Beliefs & Practices)

In its magnitude, the Covid-19 pandemic has overwhelmed us all and the world as we work around the clock to seek answers.  Its repercussions have shaken the very pillars of human society and culture which we see and follow in the media. In fact, such a moment of crisis creates its own panic and fear, justifiable or unjustifiable. But for the Christian, crisis is not the end of human aspiration which is truly and fully realized in the redemption of Christ. So, in the face of crisis, we take courage in the hope that the Lord will redeem us. In the light of Christian hope, we draw inspiration from the early Christian practice of fellowship which bonded our forebears (as demonstrated in the acts of the Apostles) both spiritually and materially; they held on to one another in faith and material support to overcome the adversities of their days. In much the same way, Christians are going to pull through this crisis, holding on to one another in faith and material support and knowing very well that kindness to one is kindness to all and vice versa.  It was perhaps providence that propelled The Holy Father Pope Francis to invite us to return to the reading of scripture early this year, as he instituted the Sunday of the Word of God, (Aperuit Illis).

This e-seminar is designed to draw our attention to our humanity, and its fullness which is realized in Christ.  It calls for reflection on who we are as a people, and our relationship with the other.  Compelling us to bond together amid fear and panic, and other forms of human crises, our hope in the Lord becomes the guiding light.  In as much as there is unity in strength, there is always hope in the face of the unknown because Christ stands with us. “Our help is in the name of the Lord who made heaven and earth.” (Ps. 124:8)

Images of Jesus

Catechist Credit:         25 total hours: 25 hours applies toward Theology (10 hours in the content area of Christology, 10 hours in the content area of Scripture, and 5 hours in the content area of Liturgy) or 2.5 hours applies toward Associate Level in the area of Introduction to Christology and 22.5 hours applies toward Theology (7.5 hours in the content area of Christology, 10 hours in the content area of Scripture, and 5 hours in the content area of Liturgy)

Note: It is advisable to have taken Introduction to Scripture before attempting this course.

(The former title of this course was “Jesus”). Through this course the participant will have the opportunity to examine, from a variety of theological perspectives, what we know and believe about the central figure of the Christian faith and arguably the most influential person who ever walked the earth. After looking at many different resources, the student will be able to form a personal answer to “Who do you say that I am?”

 

Introduction to Catechesis

Catechist Credit:         25 total hours: 20 hours applies toward Catechetics and 5 hours applies toward Theology in the content area of Culture/Diversity

This course considers the ministry of catechesis within the context of the Church’s mission to evangelize. The General Directory for Catechesis will be used to present the purpose, tasks, and content of catechesis, methodologies for various age groups, the influence of the baptismal catechumenate on the catechetical process, and the importance of the vocation of the catechist.

 

Introduction to Christian Morality

Catechist Credit:         25 total hours: 25 hours applies toward Theology (18 hours in the content area of Morality and 7 hours in the content area of Scripture)

As Christians, we are called to a standard of living that reflects not only the Ten Commandments but also the Beatitudes. We are created in the image and likeness of God and thus challenged to live the way of Christ. Jesus is the “way, the truth, the life.” This course introduces participants to moral principles and convictions that give meaning to our actions, the role Scriptures, the Church and conscience play in shaping how we act and how our behavior is a response to our love relationships in the human community. The nature of sin, grace and virtue will be explored.

 

Introduction to Liturgy

Catechist Credit:         25 total hours: 25 hours applies toward Theology (20 hours in the content area of Liturgy and 5 hours in the content area of Scripture)

As central to the life of the Christian person, liturgy engages the heart, body and soul in praise, thanks and worship of God as Trinity. In this course, participants will study the ritual and symbolic meaning of liturgy, its structural elements and its importance to Christian worship and life. All reading material is built into the course.

 

Introduction to Pastoral Care

Catechist Credit:         25 total hours: 15 hours applies toward Methods and 10 hours applies toward Theology (5 hours in the content area of Catholic Beliefs and 5 hours in the content area of Prayer)

In this introduction to pastoral care, a course for lay parish workers and volunteers, you will be introduced to some essential scriptural, pastoral and relational considerations for effective and sensitive pastoral care in parish and community ministries.

During the course you are invited to bring your personal understanding of our loving and merciful God to the task of forming the foundations for effective and empathetic pastoral care in lay ministry. It is designed to help you to appreciate the relational nature of care and the diversity of people to whom you will minister within the parish or community. You will develop an understanding of what it means to be a minister of care and become aware of the personal qualities needed as you accompany people in their times of need. Your disposition and skills for pastoral care will be developed through personal and theological reflection on the Scriptures and readings. Through the discussion boards you will have the opportunity to engage with your on-line learning community and make connections between your own experience, theological reflection and the practical skills of the ministry of care and presence.

 

Introduction to Paul’s Life and Letters

Catechist Credit:         25 hours applies toward Theology in the content area of Scripture

Note: This course presumes a fundamental background in Old Testament.
It is an intermediate level introduction to Paul’s life and letters. The course begins with an in-depth look at Paul’s autobiography according to his letters and then moves on to discuss the seven authentic letters of Paul as both history and theology.   Topics such as Paul and Politics, Paul and Women, Paul and the Second Coming, Paul and Slavery, Paul and Judaism, and Paul on Salvation and Suffering will be discussed throughout the five weeks of this course. Students will read a variety of materials including some of the most important articles written about Paul in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. At the completion of this course students will be able to situate Paul in his first-century environment and talk intelligently about how Paul’s theology is relevant for today’s church. 

Introduction to Practical Morality

Catechist Credit:         25 total hours: 25 hours applies toward Theology (15 hours in the content area of Morality and 10 hours in the content area of Catholic Social Teaching)

This course is designed to provide participants with knowledge of the foundations of moral theology and conscience formation. A focal point for the course will be an understanding of the human being’s relationship with God who created us in His image and likeness and what that means for moral living. The sacred and social and dimensions of being human will be explored. Participants will learn a process for moral decision-making and will practice applying the process in practical life situations.

 

Introduction to Prayer

Catechist Credit:         25 total hours: 15 hours applies toward Theology in the content area of Prayer and 10 hours applies toward Spiritual Formation or 2.5 hours applies toward Associate Level in the area of Introduction to Prayer, 12.5 applies toward Theology in the content area of Prayer and 10 hours applies toward Spiritual Formation

As in all relationships, communication is vital to its sustained growth. Prayer is the means by which God and we communicate. In prayer, God invites us to a deepening and continuing relationship. At the same time, we express our thoughts, desires and needs. Prayer guides us in our everyday lives and helps us to foster an abiding relationship with the One who loves us beyond all others. This course introduces the participants to the rich tradition and experience of prayer that will enable them to continually grow in the way in which God and we communicate.

 

Introduction to Scripture

Catechist Credit:         25 total hours: 25 hours applies toward Theology (20 hours in the content area of Scripture and 5 hours in the content area of Catholic Beliefs and Practices) or 2.5 hours applies toward Associate Level in the area of Introduction to Scripture and 22.5 applies toward Theology (17.5 hours in the content area of Scripture and 5 hours in the content area of Catholic Beliefs and Practices)

 This presupposes that an individual has not had a general overview of the Bible. This is a great place to begin. The course cannot cover everything one needs to know for navigating into the world of the Scriptures, but one is given a few basic concepts to begin the journey.

If you have ever wondered how the Bible came about, what were some of the cultural factors which influenced the events around the writing of the Old and New Testaments, or what Church document, today tell us about the Bible, you are about to begin an interesting discovery.

 

Introduction to the Sacraments of Initiation

Catechist Credit:         25 total hours:  15 hours applies toward Theology in the content area of Sacraments and 10 hours applies toward Spiritual FormationThe sacraments of initiation draw us deeply into Christ’s life and life within the Christian community, and through them we are sent out in mission in Christ’s name.  This course will provide a foundational study and reflection on the history and theology of these key sacramental moments.

 

Leadership in Ministry

Catechist Credit:         25 hours applies toward Methods

Leadership in Ministry invites participants to encounter some of the scholarship and tools within the field of leadership/management studies with an eye to their applicability in an ecclesial setting. If you take this course, you will be introduced to Robert Greenleaf, Warren Bennis, Jim Collins, Juana Bordas and others, familiar and new, whose work can enable the development of a leadership perspective that serves the ecclesial minister. In this course, you will consider the relationship between leadership and management, Jesus as a model leader, and some trends in ecclesial leadership. While the Church is not a corporation or a business, it does have some of the same organizational demands, and leadership/management is one of them. What general principles of leadership apply in an ecclesial setting? What are some of the unique leadership characteristics for those who serve Christ and the Church? What is your individual leadership style? Finally, lest you think this is just a theoretical course, you will have the chance to consider some of the skills necessary to serve as an ecclesial leader: planning, community building and running a meeting to name three.

 

Leadership Roles and Skills for Adult Learning and Faith Formation 

Catechist Credit:         25 hours applies toward Methods

 During this course, you will discover your leadership strengths and learn the various tasks of Christian leaders. Leadership for adult learning and faith formation calls for skills in collaboration, along with ways of forming and empowering others for roles in adult learning and faith formation. Included will be learning how to facilitate effective meetings, methods for communication, dealing with conflict and ways for leaders to create a balanced approach to Christian life.

This course is part of a specialized Certificate in Adult Formation Leadership and is meant to be taken as part of a sequence. This course pre-supposes knowledge in the previous courses. Refer to the certificate page for more information.

 

Many Faces of Adult Learners

Catechist Credit:         25 total hours:  10 hours applies toward Catechetics and 15 hours applies toward Theology in the content area of Culture/Diversity

In Catechesi Tradendae, (On Catechesis in Our Times, #43), Pope John Paul II wrote that the catechesis of adults is “the principal form of catechesis, because it is addressed to persons who have the greatest responsibilities and the capacity to live the Christian message in its fully developed form.” In 1999, the bishops of the United States presented us with a pastoral plan for fulfilling the challenge of forming and transforming adults into persons with mature faith. This document is Our Hearts Were Burning Within Us: A Pastoral Plan for Adult Faith Formation in the United States.

Before we can successfully catechize adults, however, we must first understand who the adults in our Church are. In this course we shall briefly explore the elements which determine how we plan for and implement adult learning and faith formation opportunities in our parishes.

This course is part of a specialized Certificate in Adult Formation Leadership and is meant to be taken as part of a sequence. This course pre-supposes knowledge in the previous courses. Refer to the certificate page for more information.

 

Marianist Studies:  Community

Catechist Credit:         25 hours applies toward Theology in the content area of Church

 From the first days of the Church, people longing to know and live the Gospel of Jesus gathered into small communities.  “The letters of Paul and the Acts of the Apostles both make clear that the early communities of Christians ordinarily gathered in the homes of members.”  (Lee and Cowan).  This way of being Church evolved into structures we now know as parishes.  However, the need for smaller, more personal ways to develop one’s faith remained.  Within Marianist tradition, community is a key component of its spirit and charism.  This course will investigate both the general elements of Church life and the principles around which small faith communities operate and the particular characteristics of Marianist faith communities.  Class members will be introduced to the Marianist Family, religious as well as lay communities.  Various ways are described of how communities support members and address critical needs of our world.  The impact of these communities on Church and culture also will be addressed, as well as their importance to the future of the Church. 

 

Marianist Studies:  Mary, Holy Possibility

Catechist Credit:         25 total hours:  25 hours applies toward Theology (15 hours the content area of Catholic Beliefs and Practices and 10 hours in the content area of Scripture)

“With God all things are possible.”

In this course we will visit with Mary as believer, prophet, God-bearer/mother, disciple, and companion reflecting on the events of her life and the life of her son Jesus.

The kaleidoscope of events in Mary’s life, the various historical and Marianist voices relating the meaning of Mary in their lives, and times for sitting with Mary and Jesus in Scripture will present the challenge of discipleship. Mary will become our teacher, a woman of challenge, and our companion on the way as we continue to grow in holiness.

Whether you have a relationship with Mary or are indifferent to her, whether you do or do not have “devotion” to her, we will encounter Mary, our gift from God. We will ponder as she does and ask her to journey with us, as we would ask a favor of a friend.

 

Marianist Studies:  Prayer

Catechist Credit:         25 total hours: 15 hours applies toward Theology in the content area of Prayer and 10 hours applies toward Spiritual Formation

Father Chaminade asks his followers to devote an hour each day to prayer (perhaps in two or three shorter periods). Each week this course will explore various “methods” or practices of prayer, both individual and group prayer, and collectively reflect on the journey.

Father Chaminade wrote, “Prayer is to be kept with the discretion of a great love.”  Because many insights will be personal, you will be encouraged to keep a prayer journal. The Spirit of God is always at work, everywhere including in our own hearts.

 

Mary in Scripture and Tradition

Catechist Credit:         25 total hours: 25 hours applies toward Theology (20 hours in the content area of Catholic Beliefs and Practices and 5 hours in the content area of Scripture)

This is an ADVANCED level course and should not be attempted without sufficient grounding in the basics of the Catholic faith.

Fathers Johann Roten, S.M. and Bert Buby, S.M., two professors at the International Marian Research Institute, and Sister Jean Frisk, an expert in catechesis, designed this course on Mary to foster an appreciation of the place which the Virgin Mary occupies in the history of salvation and in the life of the Church. They also hope to build a more conscious awareness of the Marian dimension of the Catholic life. This advanced level course is enhanced by its link to the Mary Page of the Marian Library at the University of Dayton that contains ecclesial documents, iconography, a listing of apparitions, and practical answers to questions raised about the role of Mary in the Church today.

 

The Mass

Catechist Credit:         25 total hours: 25 hours applies toward Theology in the content area of Liturgy

The prerequisite for this course is Foundations of Liturgy.

This class provides a basic understanding of the history, structure and central pastoral focus of the Mass of the Roman Rite.  The curriculum is based on the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, the General Instruction of the Roman Missal and other primary liturgical norms and directives.

 

Mercy

Catechist Credit:         25 total hours:  25 hours applies toward Theology (5 hours in the content area of Catholic Beliefs and Practices and10 hours in the content area of Spirituality)

This is an ADVANCED level course and should not be attempted without sufficient grounding in the basics of the Catholic faith.

This seminar will provide 3 weeks of reflection as we explore and embrace a fuller meaning of the Jubilee Year of Mercy, and the importance of incorporating spiritual practices of prayer to continuously seek a life of being merciful like our heavenly Father is merciful.

We will use various methodologies: articles, excerpts from the Adult Catholic Catechism, and several biblical passages. There will be two discussion boards prompting reflection and discussion of the Jubilee Year of Mercy, by participants along with sharing personal theological reflections with the instructor.

 

Ministering in Times of Scandal and Divisions (Seminar)

Catechist Credit:         15 hours applies toward Theology in the content area of Catholic Beliefs and Practices

 St. Paul VI wrote that the Church “exists in order to evangelize” – but how do we share the Good News and form missionary disciples when reports of scandals and divisions so often dominate the news? How do we help those who are struggling to make sense of everything that is happening? This seminar will look at the roots of scandals and divisions in the Church and the response of the Church, while offering suggestions on ways to help ourselves and others find healing though grief work and prayer.

 

Moral Injury:  When Our Pain Blocks God’s Joy

Catechist Credit:         25 total hours:  25 hours applies toward Theology (10 hours in the content area of Church, 10 hours in the content area of Morality, and 5 hours in the content area of Sacraments)

This course will introduce participants to the topic of moral injury, its potential origins, including from war or other highly stressful professions or situations, and ways to help people suffering from it.  Through a focus on how Christian faith and Catholic religious practice can support and encourage those affected by moral injury, participants will review Church teaching on military service, war, formation of conscience, and forgiveness and reconciliation.  By the end of the course, participants will have acquired a working knowledge of moral injury and how it is distinct from and overlaps with posttraumatic stress (PTS/PTSD) and have information on resources for further education and raising awareness of moral injury at the parish level.

 

Music in Liturgy

Catechist Credit:  25 hours applies toward Theology in the content area of Liturgy

This course covers the basic role of music within the liturgical rites of the Roman Catholic Church.  Special emphasis is given to introductory best practices in planning hymnody for Sunday Masses and Feast days.

 

New Testament

Catechist Credit:         25 hours applies toward Theology in the content area of Scripture

 This course is the third of basic level introductory courses to Scripture. We recommend the courses be taken in sequence especially if a student has had limited previous studies in Scripture. The sequencing enables the student to cultivate a strong Biblical foundation for understanding and applying the Scriptures in their lives. The sequence is: (1) Introduction to the Scriptures, (2) Introduction to the Old Testament and (3) Introduction to the New Testament.

This course attempts to explore the stories in and behind the writings we call the New Testament. The course is a general overview introducing the student to the cultural context, composition, themes and pastoral application of the New Testament accounts for growing in Biblical knowledge. As in the Old Testament, we will study the texts from the threefold perspective of the World within the Text: Literature, The World behind the Text: History, and the World in Front of the Text: Our Culture. Through the study of Biblical maps, articles and religious art present on authoritative websites, our text and class discussions students can grow in New Testament knowledge, understanding and application to their life and ministry.

 

Old Testament

Catechist Credit:         25 hours applies toward Theology in the content area of Scripture

This course is the second of basic level introductory courses to Scripture. We recommend the courses be taken in sequence especially if a student has had limited previous studies in Scripture. The sequencing enables the student to cultivate a strong Biblical foundation for understanding and applying the Scriptures in their lives. The sequence is: (1) Introduction to the Scriptures, (2) Introduction to the Old Testament and (3) Introduction to the New Testament.

This course paves the way for students to develop deeper personal understanding and appreciation for the Biblical context, structure (Canon), authoring, meaning and historical impact of the Old Testament. Students are introduced to methods of reading Biblical texts, understanding the story lines and process of interpretation with cultural contexts, and current trends in Biblical research. Students are encouraged to respect the wholeness of the Biblical texts. This approach assists students as they acquire new skills and tools to navigate through the Old Testament and apply its wisdom to their spiritual lives and ministry.

 

On Bended Knee (Seminar)

Catechist Credit:         15 total hours: 10 applies toward Spiritual Formation and 5 hours applies toward Theology (2.5 hours in the content area of Liturgy and 2.5 hours in the content area of Catholic Social Teaching)

Based on the Pastoral Letter of Bishop Anthony G. Bosco, Diocese of Greensburg, this online seminar is a spiritual journey for critically reflecting upon one’s understanding of the Eucharist and its meaning and impact on our relationships with one another. Eucharist is so much more than getting our attendance card checked off in heaven for attending Mass on the weekend. The Eucharist calls us to service!

A prayerful environment is important for this topic. While journeying through this seminar it is appropriate, if you are able, to create a special reflective space or environment to enter into the experience. You may need to select a special time to participate in these sessions to ensure your prayerful journey. You may decide to light a special prayer candle. Begin each session by taking a few moments to center yourself in the presence of God. In session #2, you are asked to reflect on a cross (one that is particularly special to you). Journal: It is recommended that you keep a personal journal as you proceed through the seminar. You may do this in a handbook or as a Word document. The journal helps us to focus and monitor our reflections for growing in understanding how Eucharist calls you to service!

 

On the Call to Holiness (Gaudete Et Exsultate)

Catechist Credit:         25 hours applies toward Theology in the content area of Catholic Beliefs and Practices

This course:

  • Will be an introduction to the Apostolic Exhortation – Call to Holiness
  • Will Highlight the Beatitudes
  • Will Exploring Discernment for Nurturing one’s spiritual life

 

Our Hearts Were Burning (Seminar)

Catechist Credit:         15 hours applies toward Catechetics

Published at the end of 1999, the plan seeks to place adult faith formation where it belongs: At the center of Parish Catechesis. As the only Church document that uses the term “adult faith formation,” the plan provides not only encouragement to leaders but also practical strategies for embedding adult faith formation within the fabric of parish life.

This three-week seminar gives leaders in adult faith formation the opportunity to read selected key passages from the plan, to reflect on our bishops’ words in light of actual experience, and to share experiences of working with adults in faith formation settings.  

 

Parish and Social Action

Catechist credit:          25 hours applies toward Theology in the content area of Catholic Social Teaching

A prayerful environment is important for this topic.  While journeying through this seminar it is appropriate, if you are able, to create a special reflective space or environment to enter into the experience.  You may need to select a special time to participate in these sessions to ensure your prayerful journey.  You may decide to light a special prayer candle.  Begin each session by taking a few moments to center yourself in the presence of God.  In session #2, you are asked to reflect on a cross (one that is particularly special to you).  Journal:  It is recommended that you keep a personal journal as you proceed through the seminar.  You may do this in a handbook or as a Word document.  The journal helps us to focus and monitor our reflections for growing in understanding how Eucharist calls you to service!

Parish as a Learning Community

Catechist Credit:         25 total hours:  15 hours applies toward Theology (10 hours in the content area of Church and 5 hours in the content area of Culture/Diversity) and 10 hours applies toward Catechetics

In looking at the role of the parish, it is important to discern the cultural context for parish life today.  It is this cultural context which leads to an understanding to the role of the parish.  To facilitate adult learning and faith formation within the parish’s cultural context, it is necessary to review the dynamics and stages of community and group development, clarify the characteristics of a learning community, and develop strategies for developing the parish as a learning community.

This course is part of a specialized Certificate in Adult Formation Leadership and is meant to be taken as part of a sequence.  This course pre-supposes knowledge in the previous courses.  Refer to the certificate page for more information.

 

Pastoral Approach to Culture

Catechist Credit:         25 hours applies toward Culture/Diversity

Faith is always expressed within a culture.  One’s culture shapes the way we understand and live the Church’s beliefs and teachings.  In order to effectively minister to people today it is important that the minister know and understand the culture of the people whom he or she is trying to serve.  This course introduces ministers to the field of cultural studies and offers guidance to help the minister better serve the people in his or her community.  On completing this course, the minister will have a solid grounding in the language of cultural studies, an understanding of the Catholic Church’s practice of missiology and inculturation, and a basic awareness of how to work effectively in various cultural settings.  Becoming a part of a new culture “the process known as acculturation” takes years to master; this course provides a solid foundation upon which to build that understanding.

 

Pastoral Letter:  Blessed are the Merciful (Seminar)

Catechist Credit:         15 total hours:  15 hours applies toward Theology (8 hours in the content area of Sacrament and 7 hours in the content area of Church)

The seminar takes a deeper look at the Pastoral Letter issued by Bishop Paul Hinder, Apostolic Vicar of Southern Arabia, on the occasion of the Holy Year of Mercy. Reflecting on Matthew 5:7 “Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy,” Bishop Paul challenges the reader to take a fresh look at the Sacrament of Reconciliation as an opportunity of renewal, and at the same time deepen the understanding of the church’s teaching on mercy, forgiveness and compassion.

Bishop Paul Hinder is the Vicar Apostolic of Southern Arabia (comprising parishes in the United Arab Emirates, Oman and Yemen), a vast vicariate that is home to vibrant parishes made up of faithful from all parts of the world. His pastoral letters, while focusing of teachings of the Church, serve to guide a migrant faith community, many of whom are away from their families for long periods of time.

 

Pastoral Letter:  Go Forth!  I am with You Always (Seminar)

Catechist Credit:         15 total hours:  15 hours applies toward Theology (5 hours in the content area of Culture/Diversity, 5 hours applies in the content area of Family Life, and 5 hours in the content area of Catholic Social Teaching)

The seminar takes a deeper look at the Pastoral Letter issued by Bishop Paul Hinder, Apostolic Vicar of Southern Arabia, titled: “Go forth! I am with You Always” (Matthew 28:19-20). Reflecting on the Great Commission, Bishop Paul sees in Jesus’ command a challenge thrown to the ‘migrant’ Christian community in the Middle East and invites them to look at ‘Some aspects of our life as a Church of migrants.’ He recounts salvation history and using examples of the patriarchs and the life of Jesus, points out the joys and sufferings of being a migrant.

Bishop Paul Hinder is the Vicar Apostolic of Southern Arabia (comprising parishes in the United Arab Emirates, Oman and Yemen), a vast vicariate that is home to vibrant parishes made up of ‘migrant’ faithful from all parts of the world. His pastoral letters, while focusing of teachings of the Church, serve to guide a migrant faith community, many of whom are away from their families for long periods of time.

 

 

Pastoral Letter:  My Grace is Sufficient (Seminar)

Catechist Credit:         15 total hours: 15 hours applies toward Theology (5 hours in the content area of Sacrament, 5 hours in the content area of Church, and 5 hours in the content area of Catholic Social Teaching)

The seminar takes a deeper look at the Pastoral Letter issued by Bishop Paul Hinder, Apostolic Vicar of Southern Arabia, on the occasion of the Holy Year of Mercy. Reflecting on Matthew 5:7 “Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy,” Bishop Paul challenges the reader to take a fresh look at the Sacrament of Reconciliation as an opportunity of renewal, and at the same time deepen the understanding of the Church’s teaching on mercy, forgiveness and compassion.

Bishop Paul Hinder is the Vicar Apostolic of Southern Arabia (comprising parishes in the United Arab Emirates, Oman and Yemen), a vast vicariate that is home to vibrant parishes made up of faithful from all parts of the world. His pastoral letters, while focusing of teachings of the Church, serve to guide a migrant faith community, many of whom are away from their families for long periods of time.

 

Planning Youth Ministry Events

Catechist Credit:         25 total hours: 10 hours applies toward Theology in the content area of Catholic Beliefs and Practices and 15 hours applies toward Methods

This course provides an introduction and understanding of why and how events can and should be an integral component of comprehensive youth ministry.  We will consider how to connect youth with their parish community and then will examine events from both a ministerial perspective as well as practical considerations from promotion to logistics to evaluation.

 

Poverty in the U.S. and Around the World

Catechist Credit:         25 hours applies toward Catholic Social Teaching

This is an ADVANCED level course and should not be attempted without sufficient grounding in the basics of the Catholic faith.

 While this course analyzes some of the conditions, causes and trends of poverty in the United States and abroad, the primary focus attempts to explore these dimensions and responses to poverty through the theological lens of Catholic Social Teaching.  In addition, particular emphasis and analysis will be given to two contemporary issues:  immigration and economic justice.  Central to the course is the idea of praxis:  online discussion, readings, written reflection and a service component offer a greater depth of understand of the broader structures within which poverty persists, and opportunity for both social analysis and theological reflection that leads to a faith response rooted in justice and love.

 

Prayer and Worship with Adolescents

Catechist Credit:         25 total hours: 15 hours applies toward Theology in the content area of Prayer and 10 hours applies toward Catechetics

This course will provide an introduction to the theology of prayer and worship and will explore practical methods and techniques for leading prayer and worship with young people. There will be a special emphasis on the value of a multi-cultural perspective in all opportunities for engaging young people in prayer.

Praying with Children

Catechist Credit:         25 total hours: 15 hours applies toward Theology in the content area of Prayer and 10 hours applies toward Catechetics

Praying with Children involves a general exploration of spirituality within the Catholic tradition as well as an examination of personal spirituality. The course looks the variety of prayer styles and formulas in the Church and reflects upon the nature of spirituality in general. Praying with children needs to be done in a way that is developmentally appropriate for them, so that it fosters a hunger for the divine and a lifelong appreciation of spirituality.

 

Principles for Addressing Diversity Issues in Youth Ministry

Catechist Credit:         25 total hours:  15 hours applies toward Theology in the content area of Culture/Diversity and 10 hours applies toward Catechetics

This course provides an introduction to the importance of inclusivity in Youth Ministry in two important areas of diversity: intercultural ministry and the involvement of persons with disabilities. The course involves:

  • An exploration of the concepts of intercultural ministry and culture; the challenges caused by the influx of diverse cultural communities in the Catholic Church, especially in the United States, and how the inclusion of multiple cultural and ethnic groups impacts effective Youth Ministry.
  • An examination of ways to promote intercultural awareness and understanding as well as some necessary skills for intercultural ministry, and a review of pastoral principles for effective Youth Ministry in a culturally diverse parish.
  • A review of the conclusions of the national Encuentro, a process that identified the needs, aspirations and pastoral commitments of Hispanic youth in the United States and a rationale for focusing on one ethnic group, Hispanics.
  • A brief review of Church directives and documents that provide a rationale for the inclusion of persons with disabilities into Youth Ministry programming.

 

Prophets

Catechist Credit:         25 hours applies toward Theology in the content area of Scripture

This course introduces students to the Major and Minor prophets of the Hebrew Bible. This course is a general overview introducing students to the cultural context, composition, themes, and pastoral application of the prophetic literature. As in the courses on the Old Testament and the New Testament, we will study the writings and lives of the prophets from the threefold perspective: literature, history, and our culture. Through the study of images, maps, timelines, and articles present on authoritative websites, our text and class discussions, students will grow in their knowledge of the Hebrew prophets. Students will also learn how to apply the message of the prophets to their own lives and ministries.

 

RCIA

Catechist Credit:         25 total hours: 20 hours applies toward Theology in the content area of Catholic Beliefs and Practices and 5 hours applies toward Catechetics

The Rites for Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) has been around for many years and undergone some changes that include rites for children as well. The stages of the rites call for in depth reflection as either converts or candidates for full communion come to a greater understanding of the riches and the beauty of the Catholic faith. This course is designed for RCIA leaders and catechists who assist them. Knowledge of the books of The Rites is expected in order to participate in this course. It is recommended that you check with your pastor or catechetical leader and seek permission to borrow The Rites as you go through this course as many references are made to it. All liturgical rites for RCIA as stated in this course are taken from The Rites, the official liturgical books of the Catholic Church. There are instances when rites may be merged and other instances where rites must be separated. Care must be taken to differentiate between these rites as they bring exceptional meaning to those preparing to be initiated into the Catholic Church.

 

Reflections on Faith and Finance (Seminar)

Catechist Credit:         15 hours applies toward Theology in the content area of Morality

Seminar participants are invited to reflect deeply upon the economic social justice principles of the Church.  Using Scripture as their touchstones, seminar participants will gain a better understanding of the meaning and importance of these principles for their own lives and as guides for building a more just society.

 

Relational Ministry with Youth

Catechist Credit:         25 total hours: 10 hours applies toward Theology in the content area of Catholic Beliefs and Practices and 15 hours applies toward Catechetic.

This course provides an introduction to relational ministry with youth. Participants will examine a mindset for relational ministry and its place relative to the Vision of Youth Ministry in the U.S Catholic Church. Specific attention will be given to theological reflection on the Incarnation of Jesus Christ as the starting point for building relationships with youth.

 

Romero:  Pastor, Prophet, Martyr and Saint

Catechist Credit:         15 hours applies toward Theology in the content area of Church

The e-seminar is a basic introduction into the life, ministry and select Pastoral Letters of St. Archbishop Oscar Romero. 

 

Sacraments

Catechist Credit:         25 total hours: 25 hours applies toward Theology (20 hours in the content area of Sacraments and 5 hours in the content area of Liturgy) or 2.5 hours applies toward Associate Level in the area of Introduction to Sacraments and 22.5 applies toward Theology (17.5 hours in the content are of Sacraments and 5 hours in the content area of Liturgy)

This course is an introductory overview of the theology of the Sacraments, the public, liturgical prayer of the Church. The Church is never so much the Church as when it is gathered together for liturgy. Jesus Himself is Sacrament, the visible sign of the invisible God. Eucharist is THE Sacrament for it contains all that we are, all that the Church is, and all that Jesus says of God. Each of the sacraments will be discussed within the context of its role in the lives of the faithful: initiation into God’s life, healing and reconciliation, and service to God’s community.

 

Scripture and Justice

Catechist Credit:         25 total hours: 25 hours applies toward Theology (15 hours in the content area of Scripture and 10 hours in the content area of Catholic Social Teaching)

This is an ADVANCED level course and should not be attempted without sufficient grounding in the basics of the Catholic faith.

Catholic Social Teaching is the fruit of a rich tradition of ecumenical council documents, papal encyclicals, bishops’ conference documents and more, all of which are rooted in the sacred texts of Scripture. The story of the Old Testament is, at its heart, the story of a people striving to achieve and maintain a life-giving community. The writings of the New Testament indicate an emerging Christian community’s dawning understanding of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection as the culmination of God’s plan for the world. This course examines the biblical vision of community, ordered above all toward justice and cooperation, and the way in which both Old and New Testaments provide the framework for living justly in today’s world.

 

Spirituality in Adult Learning and Faith Formation

Catechist Credit:         25 total hours: 25 hours applies toward Theology (10 hours in the content area of Spirituality and 15 hours in the content area of Prayer)

The purpose of this course is to offer the learner a greater understanding of spirituality as it impacts the life of the individual and the community as a whole. Simply put, spirituality is “our effort with grace to become what we have been created by the Lord to be….” (In His Spirit: A Guide to Today’s Spirituality, Hauser, p. 5).

This course will explore the definition of spirituality offered above and what is necessary for growing in the spiritual life, namely, how to recognize the Spirit in all things. Key to growing in the Spirit and in the spiritual life is a keen awareness and desire to grow in relationship with God through prayer. In addition to discussing spirituality, this course will offer guidance and provide the learner with the opportunity to grow in prayer and praying through the exploration of a variety of types of prayer, each rooted in our Catholic tradition.

This course is part of a specialized Certificate in Adult Formation Leadership and is meant to be taken as part of a sequence. This course pre-supposes knowledge in the previous courses. Refer to the certificate page for more information.

 

Study of The Joy of the Gospel (Evangelii Gaudium)

Catechist Credit:         25 total hours: 25 hours applies toward Theology (10 hours in the content area of Spirituality, 5 hours in the content area of Catholic Beliefs and Practices, 5 hours in the content area of Culture/Diversity, and 5 hours in the content area of Catholic Social Teaching)

Pope Francis has “a dream: a Church working without hesitation on a path of pastoral and missionary conversion”: an attitude that is personal and communal, “capable of transforming” habits, styles, language, and facilities, directing them towards evangelization rather than “self-preservation”. (LR 11/29/13). The “dream” is the focus of the Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium (The Joy of the Gospel). It is the fruit of labors of the Synod of Bishops on the “New Evangelization for the Transmission of the Faith“ (October 2012). It is clear that the Pope’s intentions, though spurred by the recommendations of the Synod Fathers, go beyond. It is not presented as a post-synodal document but expresses his concerns for the Church and the world today. “I wish to encourage the Christian faithful”, Pope Francis writes “to embark upon a new chapter of evangelization marked by this joy, while pointing out new paths for the Church’s journey in years to come”. There is a sense of newness in The Joy of the Gospel that radiates from the document’s originality, style and character than from other Church documents.

 

Survey of Catholic Doctrine

Catechist Credit:         25 total hours: 25 hours applies toward Theology (10 hours in the content area of Catholic Belief and Practices, 5 hours in the content area of Scripture, 5 hours in the content area of Christology, and 5 hours in the content area of Church)

This course will look at some of the major doctrines of the Catholic Church. Participants will come to a better understanding of the Trinity, original sin, Church, salvation history, and the communion of saints. Participants will be asked to identify the meaning of magisterium, ecumenism, eschatology, and other Catholic terms.

 

Survey of Catholic Social Teaching

Catechist Credit:         25 total hours: 25 hours applies toward Theology (10 hours in the content area of Catholic Social Teaching, and 10 hours in the content area of Catholic Beliefs and Practices, and 5 hours in the content area of Scripture)

“Far too many Catholics are not familiar with the basic content of Catholic Social Teaching. More fundamentally, many Catholics do not adequately understand that the social teaching of the Church is an essential part of Catholic faith. This poses a serious challenge for all Catholics, since it weakens our capacity to be a Church that is true to the demands of the Gospel.”

United States Catholic Conference Introduction to: Sharing Catholic Social Teaching
The goal of this course is to provide the kind of background on Catholic Social Teaching suggested by the bishops as fundamental for living the Christian life. The course relies heavily on documents prepared by the bishops and on the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Survey of Catholic Social Teaching will cover the seven key themes of Catholic Social Teaching outlined by the bishops: the life and dignity of the human person; the call to family, community, and participation; rights and responsibilities; option for the poor and vulnerable; the dignity of work and the rights of workers; solidarity; and care for God’s creation. Also included is a process for defining and effecting change related to significant social justice issues at the diocesan and parish level.  Sometimes people question whether it is the business of the Church to be involved in these issues. They wish to separate Church and state and relegate to government the solutions to problems that injure others, deny a basic quality of life, or damage God’s creation.  The course will reiterate the centrality of social justice teachings for all Christians, and its consistent independence from any political ideology of the left or the right. It relies heavily on mainstream teachings of the Church, the Scriptures, the Catechism of the Catholic Church, and Father Kevin E. McKenna’s A Concise Guide to Catholic Social Teaching which summarizes papal encyclicals and statements of the U.S. bishops.

 

Theological Reflection:  Key to Connecting Faith and Life (Seminar)

Catechist Credit:         15 hours total: 5 hours applies toward Theology in the content area of Prayer and 10 hours applies toward Catechetics

Too often faith is attended to only on Sundays. During the rest of the week, Sunday’s wisdom and challenges, plus its understandings and right judgments, are often left untouched. This course introduces a way to go beneath day-to-day events to find meaning within them, to make decisions about them, and to invite an awareness of the abiding presence of God, any day of the week!

One of the powerful witnesses of Jesus the Son is that his life was completely intertwined with God the Father. Nothing separated him from his relationship with the Father, and his relationship with the Father influenced all that he did. This course seeks to assist its participants in taking on the ways of Gospel through theological reflection. What does it take to keep faith and life integrated? How can we do that specifically? What is gained when we do? This is a course that answers those questions and at the same time provides ecclesial leaders some skills to facilitate theological reflection in groups. Finally, for those responding to a call from God to be leaders within the Christian community, this course will offer a method by which to lead that sets ecclesial leadership apart from leadership in other organizations.

 

Understanding Culture in Ministry:  Building Bridges

Catechist Credit:         25 hours applies toward Theology in the content area of Culture/Diversity

Ministry in the United States and in several countries around the world is often to and with persons of different cultural backgrounds.   What may work for one group in a particular cultural setting, may not work for another cultural setting.   Thus, there is the need to understand the skills needed to reach across cultures and build bridges even as ministry takes place. Although the materials used are peculiar to the United States, the suggested steps can be applied to any multicultural settings.  There are no prerequisites for this course. 

 

A Vision for Catholic Youth Ministry

Catechist Credit:            25 total hours: 15 hours applies toward Catechetics, 5 hours applies toward Theology in the content area of Catholic Beliefs and Practices, and 5 hours applies toward Spiritual Formation

A Vision for Catholic Youth Ministry is a five-week course introducing students to the vision and principles for developing a comprehensive framework for youth ministry. Students will explore the historical development as well as contemporary models of the Catholic Church’s efforts to reach out to young people and their families. Finally, students will be introduced to a leadership system for creating a stable, vibrant, and lasting ministry within their ministry setting.

Vocation to Ministry

Catechist Credit:         25 total hours:  25 hours applies toward Theology (20 hours in the content area of Church and 5 hours in the content area of Sacraments)

The Vocation to Ministry course provides participants an opportunity to develop a deeper comprehension of ministry and to reflect on their own ministry.  In the Catholic Church the role of the minister is central to the Church’s mission to evangelize and make disciples.  Once almost exclusively the province of the clergy and the vowed members of religious communities, a sense or vocation has been experienced by many lay people in the last half century and great numbers are engaged in ecclesial ministry.  This course provides participants an opportunity to review the impact of the Second Vatican Council on the Church’s appreciation of the ministry done by lay people vis-i-vid the ministry of those who are ordained.  The course also reviews the Church’s theology of the Holy Trinity, and the Liturgy as a source for understanding the ministerial relationships that are being lived out in the Church today.

 

Vocation, Spirituality, and Discipleship of Catechists

Catechist Credit:         25 total hours: 20 hours applies toward Spiritual Formation and 5 hours applies toward Theology in the content area of Spirituality

Catechists are called to bring the Word of God to the Christian community as they animate and give witness to Jesus, educate to faith and teach the truths of faith. The course on Vocation, Spirituality and Discipleship of the Catechists guides the participants to look into the beginning, trace the unfolding of their vocation to the ministry of catechesis and reflect its implications in actual catechetical praxis. Mary is presented as the exemplar catechist who shows the way to respond to their call “to be and to live” as divine images, children of God, and followers of Jesus, members of God’s Family the Church. The course will also bring the thoughts of Catholic writers on spirituality as guide for their personal reflection on Christian spirituality and the spirituality of catechists and their discipleship.

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