The fundaments of our faith are rarely studied by lay people. At best, the average Catholic gets a cursory glance at various topics through Sunday homilies. Many times, Catholics don’t even know where to begin to ask questions about their faith, or they remain with practical questions about how to live, AKA, the moral teachings of the Church. However, the practical living of our faith is grounded in theological truths, the “deposit of faith”, revealed to us by God and expressed by the Magisterium of the Church in what is called sacred doctrine. These fundamental truths are synthesized in the CREED. This course offers a cursory glance at what the Church teaches as fundamental to belief as a Christian. Specifically, the course has four concrete objectives:
- Students will attain a clear understanding of the fundamental teachings of the Church that form the core of our belief as Catholics.
- Students will be challenged to articulate the basic doctrine of the Catholic Church as expressed in the Nicene Creed.
- Students will be challenged to reflect and apply our core beliefs to practical living.
- Students will be encouraged to share the teachings of the Church with other people, both Catholics and non-Catholics.
This version of the online course is designed to be done at your own pace as individuals or small groups, without the assistance of the Instructor. It will require you to:
- Syllabus use: Look at the syllabus before watching the video lesson to review the objectives and questions that will be asked.
- Video Lessons: Watch attentively all of the recorded presentations.
- Catechism Readings: Read attentively the corresponding numbers of the catechism (the universal 1997 Catechism of the Catholic Church). Reflect on the questions for assimilation and/or group discussion presented.
- Video Links to Further Resources: Make use of the attached video links for further reinforcement of concepts or for going deeper in a theme.
- Articulation of the Faith: After reading and using the reflection questions, try to articulate the teachings of the Catholic Church. A recommended guide will be provided in this syllabus.
Jennifer Ristine is a consecrated woman of Regnum Christi, which is a Society of Apostolic Life in the Catholic Church. She consecrated her life to God in 1997 and has been engaged in faith and spiritual formation primarily through teaching, writing, conferences, retreats and spiritual direction. She is a contributor for RC Spirituality , instructor for the online Spiritual Director Certificate course at Divine Mercy University in Virginia, and author of Mary Magdalene: Insights from Ancient Magdala and Nine Days with Mary Magdalene . She served for 12 years as a teacher of pedagogy, theology and spirituality classes at Mater Ecclesiae College, and served from 2014-2018 as the Director of the Magdalena Institute and the Visitors’ Center Coordinator in Magdala, the ancient hometown of Mary Magdalene, a first century Jewish site and Christian pilgrim center. She has obtained degrees in Special Education from Western Illinois University, Pastoral and Religious studies from Regina Apostolorum in Rome, and her Masters in Theology from Catholic Distance University in Virginia.