An Affordable Way to Continue Your Education in Theology
Saint Joseph’s College of Maine offers affordable, online, non-credit continuing education units for those engaged in Catholic ministry. These courses provide occasional opportunities for ongoing professional development in a variety of ministries.
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For Religious Educators
TH 15 The Catechism for Catechists
The Catechism for Catechists is an online non-credit course that provides intellectual formation for catechists and can serve ideally as the doctrinal component for diocesan catechist certification programs. For those serving as parish catechists or teaching the Catholic faith in the Catholic school system, as well as those interested in general adult faith formation or RCIA, it enables students to develop an understanding and appreciation of the Catholic faith.
In partnership with the Catholic Apostolate Center
Saint Joseph’s College of Maine has partnered with the Catholic Apostolate Center to develop programs for the New Evangelization, assist pastoral leaders in deepening collaboration with one another, and provide formation and apostolic opportunities. To this end, we are excited to offer a series of continuing education units (CEU) for those in Catholic ministry.
In the spirit of Catherine McAuley and St. Vincent Pallotti, our Continuing Education Units offer practical, ministerial enrichment designed to enhance students’ professional work in ministry. Each course fosters a spirit of connectedness and nurtures spiritual growth through personalized instruction/consultation from an experienced instructor. These asynchronous courses facilitate learning through videos, discussion boards, and learning assessments which are practical and usable in the workplace. Students are accompanied by an instructor who will guide them through the material, participate in discussions, and offer feedback on assessments.
Recognizing that there are many choices in online programming for Lay Ecclesial Ministers and the Catholic adult learner, Saint Joseph’s College of Maine values students’ personal and professional demands by providing cost effective, self-paced 3-month courses. These CEUs are designed to be formative during optimal times of the academic year. Why? Because we believe in accompanying Catholics in their professional development with the intent on helping them enhance their ministry and “revive faith and rekindle charity.” This personalized, pastoral approach distinguishes these opportunities for professional development from others.
TH 14 – Catholic Political Responsibility: Building the Kingdom of God
The American political climate is becoming more polarized. In the midst of this political tension, Catholics have a moral duty and baptismal responsibility to study the issues, pray, and vote based on conscience (c.f. Gaudium et spes, no. 75). The Church may not endorse specific candidates or political parties; it does, however, advise Catholics on core Catholic Social Teaching principles (e.g. human dignity, solidarity, care for common home) that may be addressed within specific local, state, and national issues.
This continuing education unit discusses Pope Francis’ call for Catholics to engage in missionary action to continue building the kingdom of God through an evangelizing presence and political engagement. Students will review the importance of the New Evangelization, understand how one’s call to be a missionary disciple affects one’s personal and public life, and develop a pastoral outreach media piece to help inform others on specific local, state, and national issues.
TH 32 – Encountering Neighbor: Hispanic and Latino Ministry
Waves of migrants and of refugees pose new challenges to faith-based communities. Keeping the greatest commandment, the Golden Rule, at the heart of ministry work may mean shifting and enhancing existing resources (Matthew 7:12). What if one’s neighbor does not speak the native language? Or, what if one’s neighbor has a culturally different approach to faith? Should these questions hinder any encounters? No. In fact, evangelization and education become more essential.
This Continuing Education Unit explores the importance of an evangelizing presence. Participants will investigate the importance of collaboration and the current cultural challenges specific to the Hispanic and Latino communities. At the conclusion of the unit, participants will reflect on their current ministry work using the See, Judge, Act Method (Mater et Magistra, No. 236).
TH 37 – Intentional Black Catholic Ministry
There are 3 million African American Catholics in the United States, according to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ African American Demographics. How are Catholic faith communities educating themselves about the rich history of Black Catholicism in the United States? Are communities engaging in discussions about the social challenges facing this specific faith group? What are some ideas for improving ministry efforts to educate others about the Black Catholic community’s contributions? These questions are just a few that this Continuing Education Unit explores.
Participants will reflect on their own evangelization encounters, discuss the impact of social sins on this specific community, and consider ways in which they may enhance or change current ministry efforts.
TH 24 – Ministry and the Importance of Self-Care
Encouraged by Pope Francis’ invitation “to be bold and creative in this task of rethinking the goals, structures, styles and methods of evangelization”, faith communities are embracing new, innovative ministry programs while revising current programming (Evangelii Gaudium, 33). This renewal of missionary vigor often leads to increased workloads, and self-care is usually the first personal item sacrificed. This Continuing Education Unit therefore begins with understanding the role of Lay Ecclesial Ministry and its challenges before delving into an exploration of the essential need for self-care. The main goal will be to develop proactive strategies to prevent burnout in a Personal Self-Care Plan.
TH 36 – Suffering: How to Accompany Others with Dignity
“Suffering, which has many levels and dimensions, can often be the most challenging aspect of the life of a disciple of Christ,” according to Christian author Aurelie A. Hagstrom. Then, why does God allow for suffering? What are some contemporary issues that cause suffering? How might faith communities encounter and accompany those in the midst of suffering? This Continuing Education Unit explores these questions and provides participants with practical, pastoral strategies to enhance ministerial outreach.