By ANDREW NELSON, Staff Writer | Published February 12, 2009
The Archdiocese of Atlanta is offering adults a way to learn about their faith in the midst of life’s hurried schedules.
The archdiocese’s Office of Religious Education, along with 40 other dioceses, has teamed up with the Catholic University of Dayton’s online faith formation program.
“It is a great opportunity to meet many new people all across the United States and internationally just online. It is another great opportunity to foster lifelong formation for catechists and adults,” stated Sori Govin, who directs catechetical ministry for the Office of Religious Education.
With more than 70 percent of the U.S. population online daily, educational institutions are adapting the classroom to the Web.
The University of Dayton, Ohio, has more than 40 courses available for online students. The classes range from the basics of the faith to more advanced levels, from an introduction to church history to pastoral and evangelizing communication. Instructors with the University of Dayton’s Virtual Learning Community for Faith Formation teach the program. There are five courses taught in Spanish.
The cost is $40 per course—about half the usual price—because the Atlanta Archdiocese is a partner with the university.
The program is geared to keep class sizes small with no more than 15 students. The goal is for people to form virtual communities.
“These online courses are designed to foster virtual communities through sharing thoughts and also reflecting on the other class participants’ insights. The groups start sharing immediately, within the first week, when most traditional class models usually take two to three weeks to start fostering community,” stated Govin.
Courses last between three and six weeks. Students can expect to put in at least seven hours a week for study and participation.
Generally, courses qualify toward catechist certification in the Archdiocese of Atlanta. Specific information is available from the Office of Religious Education.
The next cycle of classes runs from March 1 to April 4. Registration is open until Feb. 25.
Consult http://vlc.udayton.edu for an up-to-date listing of courses. Or call toll free: 1-888-300-8436.
Information is available on the Web site of the archdiocesan Office of Religious Education at www.archatl.com/offices/reled/.