Online, independent, self-paced, continuing education, non-credit courses in Theology

Catechism for Catechists (non-credit)

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 any diocesan catechist certification program. 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, it enables students to develop an understanding and appreciation of the Catholic faith.

Catholic Apostolate Center

Saint Joseph’s College of Maine has partnered with the Catholic Apostolate Center to offer continuing education units for those in ministry. These asynchronous courses facilitate learning through videos, discussion boards, and learning assessments. Students are accompanied by an instructor who will guide them through the material, participate in discussions, and offer feedback on assessments.

Cost per course: $100

Courses Available

TH 14 Catholic Political Responsibility: Building the Kingdom of GodApril 1, 2019 to June 24, 2019

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 17 Marriage and Family Life: April 1, 2019 to June 24, 2019

“Christian marriage is a genuine call from God which demands careful discernment, constant prayer and adequate growth and development,” notes the Synod of Bishops in Relatio Finalis (57). Marriage is the beginning of a journey, the journey of a couple together.

This course introduces participants to Church teachings exploring the role of marriage in modern society. Focus will be placed on how marriage is vocational and a place of evangelization. Participants will assess current parish programming for couples, engage in a sacred art application of 1 Corinthians 13, and produce an intergenerational evangelization audio-visual resource.

TH 23 Care for Our Common Home: May 1, 2019 to July 24, 2019

From the beginning of Creation, God tasks humanity “to cultivate and care for” the Earth (Genesis 2:15). Humanity, therefore, receives the gift of stewardship. In this divinely appointed role, according to Pope Francis, “we can see God reflected in all that exists, [and] our hearts are moved to praise the Lord for all his creatures” (Laudato Si, 87). This stewardship role will be explored first through the missionary lens before investigating how it applies to the care for our common home. Participants will review the specific language of Laudato Si and discover a specific application to astronomy. Participants finally will design an Opus Laudis (Work of Praise) to discuss how they will put the teachings of Laudato Si into practice.

TH 24 Ministry and the Importance of Self CareMay 1, 2019 to July 24, 2019

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 13 World Youth Day: The Mission Experience:  June 1, 2019 to August 24, 2019

For over 30 years, the Church invites its youth from all over the globe to celebrate their Catholic heritage at World Youth Day. Implemented by Pope Saint John Paul II, this unique pilgrimage affords youth opportunities “to examine their deepest aspirations, to heighten their sense of belonging to the Church, to proclaim their common faith in the crucified and risen Christ with increasing joy and courage” (World Youth Day VIII Message). This Continuing Education Unit presents materials on the role of missionary discipleship, the essential nature of accompaniment, and the importance of collaboration as the means to prepare communities for this special celebration with a specific emphasis on connecting to the Catholic Schools Week 2019 Theme of “Learn. Serve. Lead. Succeed” (National Catholic Educational Association).

TH 16 Ministry and New Media: June 1, 2019 to August 24, 2019

“Keeping the doors of our churches open also means keeping them open in the digital environment so that people, whatever their situation in life, can enter, and so that the Gospel can go out to reach everyone” (Pope Francis’ Message on XLVIII World Communications Day). Engagement in the 21st century requires knowledge about different media platforms and understanding how to leverage specific media to design ministry opportunities and build an online evangelization presence. Moving from maintenance to mission asks baptized Christians to collaborate with their communities in their outreach toward not only their religious community, but also the greater world.

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Meet Your Instructor – Marianne Green, M.A.

Theology Instructor Marianne Green

Educare – The Heart of It All

During my second year of teaching, my student Brian Deeney asked me why I decided to teach, specifically a class in Sacred Scriptures to teenage boys. I remember staring at him and having an instant memory of Ms. Mary Ellen Jordan, my eighth grade homeroom teacher. I told him that my passion and enthusiasm for accompanying students began with a wonderful woman who taught me that value of “drawing out what lies within” each student – educare. Like Ms. Jordan, I believe in encountering students where they are and accompany them along their personal learning journeys.
I have asked my students over the years to reflect on my pedagogical approach. The character traits – aside from insisting that I look and sound like the American actress Emma Stone – which emerge from these reflections are compassionate, enthusiastic, and confident. I am always amazed by my students’ honest impressions. These traits aid me in my observations and instructional practices in order “to draw” my students’ best versions of themselves and their studies of English – Literature.
Within my classroom, I strive to provide engaging instruction focused on the “why” and the “how”. Students have always craved the “why” of learning. Why do we need to learn how to conduct a Socratic seminar? Why do we need to understand sentence diagramming? Why should we care about copyright laws? It has been my personal mission to explore this rationale with my students, as a facilitator rather than a direct instructor.
Designing student-centered lessons with blended learning is essential. For example, presenting the importance of mathematics for animations, exploring storyboarding techniques of Oscar-winning directors, and designing videos for national and international audiences is just one such lesson sequence.
Engaging the “how” within the classroom expands into enthusiastic Writers’ Workshops focusing on varied writing styles, but always keeping the young writers’ voices strong. Connecting to real world applications is another essential aspect. For instance, using Skype calls to “meet” with children’s authors, learning about copyright laws from entertainment lawyers, and discussing how other religious traditions engage in community service outreach motivate my students to engage coursework beyond the classroom walls.
The wonderful nature of my educare philosophy is that I not only draw out of my students the best version of themselves, but they also draw out of me the best version of myself. I too strive to explore the “whys” and the “hows”.
Education may continue to evolve with different technology (Yes, I remember teaching with a basic chalkboard). However, the heart of it all is the relationships with each other like the one that sparked my passion for teaching in eighth grade.
Marianne Green

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About the Catholic Apostolate Center

The Catholic Apostolate Center, a ministry of the Society of the Catholic Apostolate (Pallottines) – Immaculate Conception Province, was founded in 2011 to respond to the needs of the Church through developing formation programs for the New Evangelization, assisting pastoral ministers in deepening collaboration with one another, and providing formation and apostolic opportunities for members and collaborators of the Union of Catholic Apostolate.

The Center takes its inspiration from the spirituality of St. Vincent Pallotti and achieves its goals through hosting conferences, seminars, webinars, and presentations as well as providing online and print resources.