This guide provides information and links for continuing adult faith formation, education and spiritual growth opportunities available online from a variety of Catholic institutions and organizations. Some of the opportunities listed below are available for college credit or continuing education credit; others are available for personal enrichment.
We believe the continuing education and formation opportunities listed below faithfully present official Catholic teaching and the call of the Second Vatican Council to renewal, reform and re-appropriation of the Catholic tradition. However, inclusion of programs on this list does not constitute agreement or endorsement of the content or institution by the pastors or staff of the Waterloo parishes.
Sponsor: Institute of Religious Education and Pastoral Ministry at Boston College, Boston MA. (Boston College is sponsored by the Society of Jesus.)
Description: These non-credit adult education courses provide spiritual enrichment, faith formation and an opportunity for shared reflection in an online learning community. They model the kind of conversation and participation that lead to deeper adult understanding of and personal growth in faith.
Topics: Christian Faith and Moral Character, The Creed, Gospel of Luke, Gospel of Mark, Gospel of Matthew, Parents Handing on the Faith, Sacraments, Spirituality Matters, Synoptic Gospels, Teaching Religion, What Makes Us Catholic, Women Envisioning Church.
Length: Courses vary from two to six weeks
Format: Offered at various times throughout the year. Includes a discussion group guided by an experienced facilitator for online conversation.
Fee: One course: $75; two courses (if taken simultaneously): $135.
Description: The Center for Contemplation and Action offers a variety of programs on spirituality and social action written and presented by Fr. Richard Rohr, a Franciscan priest and popular Catholic author and speaker. These programs are for individual reflection and do not receive continuing education credit.
Topics: A New Way of Seeing--a New Way of Being, Adult Christianity and How to Get There, Authority of Those Who Have Suffered, Beginner’s Mind, Contemplative Prayer, Creating Christian Community, Culture Scapegoating and Jesus, Divine Dance—Exploring the Mystery of the Trinity, The Enneagram—the Discernment of Spirits, The Eternal Now and How to be There, Eucharist as Touchstone, The Four Gospels, Gate of the Temple—Spirituality and Sexuality, Great Chain of Being—Simplifying Our Lives, Holding the Tension—The Paradox of Power, How Do We Breath Under Water—The Gospel and 12-Step Spirituality, How Do We Get Everything to Belong? Jesus and Buddha—Paths to Awakening, Jesus as Liberator/Paul as Liberator, Journey of Faith—Making One of Two, Living the Eternal Now, Mary and Nonviolence, Masculine Spirituality, Men and Grief, Men and Power, Men Matter—Quest for the True Self, Path of Descent, Paul—Mystic and Social Critic, Politics and Spirituality, Prophets Then and Now, Scripture As Liberation, Shape of God—Deepening the Mystery of the Trinity, Spiral of Violence—The World, the Flesh and the Devil, Spirituality/Religion—Both And, St. Francis—An International Vision, The Little Way, Two Major Tasks of the Spiritual Life, What Difference Does Trinity Make?
Format: available as MP3 downloads
Fee: Programs range from $15.00 to $50.00
Catholic Information Service
Pastoral Education Program
Sponsor: Archdiocese of Dubuque and Loras College in Dubuque, IA. (Loras is sponsored by the Catholic Archdiocese of Dubuque.)
Description: The Pastoral Education Program offers graduate-level courses for individuals who are engaged as, or wish to explore the possibilities of becoming, lay ecclesial ministers in the Catholic Church and other Catholic adults interested in continuing education in the Catholic faith.
Format: Each course uses a combination of online study and three class meetings (15 hours) of on-site learning at Loras College.
Credit: Masters Degree (requires 36 hours of study)
Fee: Grants for individuals engaged in pastoral ministry or Catholic education in the Archdiocese of Dubuque.
Loyola Institute for Ministry On-line (LIMEX)
Sponsor: Institute for Ministry at Loyola University, New Orleans, LA. (Loyola University is sponsored by the Society of Jesus.)
Description: These college-level courses are especially designed for individuals who are employed or seek employment in church ministry; however, many will be valuable and helpful to other adult Catholics seeking further education and personal growth in their understanding of the Catholic faith.
Topics: Adolescent Spirituality and Methods of Faith Development, Contemporary Issues in Pastoral Ministry, Emergent Universe, Foundations of Youth Ministry, Hispanic Experience of Religion and Culture, History of Christian Spirituality, Inner Life of Small Christian Communities, Ministry in the Marketplace, Parish Life and Ministry, Pastoral Ministry in Hispanic Communities, Public Life of Small Christian Communities, Spirituality and Theology of Work, Spirituality for Ministers, Universe as Divine Manifestation.
Credit: Each course is worth 3 graduate or continuing education credits.
Fee: $720/graduate credit; $330/continuing education credit.
Paulist Evangelization Training Institute (PETI)
Sponsor: Paulist Evangelization Ministries (Sponsored by the Paulist Fathers.)
Description: These formation and education programs are designed particularly for church ministers and lay persons; however, they will be useful to any adult interested in understanding the role of lay Catholics in the Church's mission of evangelization.
Topics: Biblical Spirituality, The Evangelizing Catholic, Faithful Celebration of the Mass, Forming Teen Disciples, From Maintenance to Mission, Go and Make Disciples, Good News and Religious Pluralism, Keys to Reaching Inactive Catholics, Spiritual Grandparenting.
Length: 4 and 6-week courses.
Fee: $105/4-week courses; $135/6-week courses
Practicing Spirituality E-courses
Sponsors: Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat, authors of Spiritual Literacy andSpiritual Rx.
Description: These online retreats introduce participants to the classic spiritual practices of Christianity and various non-Christian traditions; they explore the spiritual insights of contemporary spiritual masters and suggest practical ways to live our spirituality in the midst of everyday life.
Topics: Practicing Spirituality with... Anglicans, Buddhists, Catholics, Jews, Native Americans, Protestants, Taoists; Practicing Spirituality at Home, Practicing Spirituality at Work, Practicing Spirituality through Creativity, Practicing Spirituality with... Animals, Children, Friends; Practicing Spirituality with...Pema Chodron, Henri Nouwen, Jesus, Rumi, Thich Nhat Hanh, Thomas Merton.
Length: 21 and 40-day courses or retreats
Format: Each course consists of daily email containing a short reading for reflection, a suggested activity, and access to a "Private Circle" discussion group. Current courses are available for a specified time; a library of past courses are available on demand.
Fee: $15 per course.
Virtual Learning Community for Faith Formation
Sponsor: Institute for Pastoral Initiatives at the University of Dayton OH. (Dayton University is sponsored by the Marianist Fathers.)
Description: These college-level non-degree courses provide continuing religious education and faith formation for Catholic adults engaged in professional church ministries and other Catholic adults who are interested in developing a deeper understanding the their Catholic faith.
Topics: Catholic Belief, Church Doctrine, Church History, Sacraments, Introduction to Liturgy, Introduction to Catechesis, Conscience, Marianist Studies and others.
Length: 6-week courses and 3-week seminars offered in seven cycles each year.
Credit: Non-degree continuing education credits or certificate of completion available.
Fee: $90 per course; $70 per seminar. Residents of the Archdiocese of Dubuque qualify for a 50 percent discount.
Satellite Theological Education Program (STEP)
Sponsor: Institute for Church Life at the University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame IN.(Notre Dame is sponsored by the Holy Cross Fathers.)
Description: These online certificate courses are taught by faculty from the University or staff from the Institute for Church Life; they provide quality college-level theological education for pastoral ministers and other adult Catholics who are interested in professional or personal development.
Topics: American Catholicism Since Vatican II, Biblical Literary Forms, Can We Write a History of Jesus? Catholic Prayer, Catholic Social Teaching, Christian Conscience and Ethical Dilemmas, The Creed, Doctrine of Salvation, Emerging Models of Catechesis, Eucharist/Source and Summit, Faithful Citizenship 2008, Gospel of John, History of Christianity, In God's Image/the Mystery of Creation, Introduction to the Catholic Faith, Introduction to the New Testament, Introduction to the Sacraments, Jesus Christ/Yesterday and Today, Letters of St. Paul, Liturgy/A Guide for the Perplexed, The Long Loneliness by Dorothy Day, Mary as Mother, Old Testament/The Pentateuch, Old Testament/The Prophets, Old Testament/The Writings, On Prayer, The Papacy, RCIA/Can We Get It Right? Reading the Book of Revelation, The Seven Story Mountain by Thomas Merton, Theology of the Body, Vatican II, Women and Catholicism, Youth Ministry.
Length: Courses range from 4 to 7 weeks, beginning at various times throughout the year.
Requirements: Windows 2000 or Windows XP/ Mac OSX; minimum 56 K high speed Internet connection.
Credit: May be taken for graduate credit or certification.
Fee: Ranges from $29 to $99.
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(Adapted from C21 Online at Boston College)
Online learning is a new experience for many adults. How will you know if online learning is for you? For each of the statements below, indicate as honestly as possible if it is true or false for you.
How many statements above did you find true for yourself? Although there is no pat answer to the question "Is this online learning experience for me?" the more statements you answered true, the more you are likely to enjoy an online learning experience.