Thursday July 2, 2009

Faith Formation for All

With the addition of its 50th partner diocese, the Institute for Pastoral Initiatives is providing online faith formation courses in more than 23 countries.

With the addition of the Archdiocese for the Military Services as a partner, a University of Dayton program is now serving catechetical leaders in 50 U.S. Catholic dioceses and more than 23 foreign countries.

UD's Institute for Pastoral Initiatives created the online program, called the Virtual Learning Community for Faith Formation, to extend its adult religious education and faith formation training to anyone with access to the World Wide Web, said Sister Angela Ann Zukowski, M.H.S.H., director of the institute and a professor of religious studies at UD.

More than 100 people are working toward the Certificate in Catechesis, the first of five certificate programs the institute is rolling out over the next 18 months. The others will be in adult faith formation, lay ecclesial ministry, digital catechesis and media education. Current enrollment has topped 400, but Zukowski expects that number to grow before the fall session begins Aug. 30.

The courses are designed to be affordable to all who seek to expand their knowledge in catechesis, Catholic doctrine, church history, communication, ecclesiology, liturgy, sacraments, prayer, Marianist studies, morality, scripture, social justice or world religions, Zukowski said. Seminars and courses cost $30 to $40 for those in partner dioceses; those in other dioceses pay $70 to $90 each.

Check out the program online or call 937-229-3126. The institute also has a toll-free line: 888-300-8436.