Resources and Courses
There are some fantastic resources from top Catholic universities now available for us to access from our own homes with an increasing number of materials geared to different interest levels be-it study, reading materials, video courses, lectures or audio. Whether you’re thirsty to increase your knowledge of the faith informally in order to bring you closer to Christ; to help you bring others to Him or are looking for more information to increase your confidence in speaking about your faith; there’s something for you.
If you are thinking about formalised study with options to add something to your C.V. (certificates, modules, degrees, post-grads) there is an increasing choice including courses which are heavily subsidised or free.
And if all that that sounds like too much hard work then there are regular free online conferences available from Steubenville and the Theology of the Body Institute all of which make a re-freshing change from the usual mundane options available on the t.v.
I have been privileged to take advantage of many of these resources over the last couple of years so have outlined below how how I found them. All opinions below are my own and prices were correct at the time of writing, but of course may change so best to check with the provider.
Franciscan University of Steubenville Catechetical Institute: https://franciscanathome.com/
I found these materials to be consistently of a much higher quality than those provided by other catholic universities. Steubenville leads the world in terms of the New Evangelisation and workshop presenters include the likes of Scott Hahn, Fr Bob Schreiner, Petroc Willey and William Keimig. Their programs are tailored to different ‘streams’ e.g. adult formation, catechumenal ministry, priestly renewal, schools, pro-life, youth etc. etc Prices start from $5 (£4) a month for enrichment workshops to $13 (£10) a month for mentored ones which can lead to certificated courses. However they also have a Partnership Scheme for Dioceses where parishes can sign up for $300 (£240) per annum for unlimited access for individuals within a registered parish at no extra cost to them.
Catholic Distance University: https://cdu.edu/continuing-education-certificates/
Text based lectures where there is the option to either just focus on the basics as given or to delve further into a treasure trove of resources they flag up such as encyclicals, catechetical guides and spiritual reading. Definitely a case of getting out what you put in but the extra effort is worth it if you think you’ll be likely to be working as a catechist in some form or other. Again certificated programs are on offer so you can prove the work you’ve done. Aberdeen Diocese has already partnered with CDU so individual modules are subsidised at $30 (£23) each down from $165.
Thomistic Institute: https://aquinas101.thomisticinstitute.org/
Aquinas 101 is a great series of free video / audio courses from the Thomistic Institute that help you to engage life’s most urgent philosophical and theological questions with St. Thomas Aquinas. They send 2 e-mails a week with links to 5 min video’s a little reading from the man himself and the option of taking it much deeper with links to over 80hrs worth of audio recorded university lectures. They also have a series of Quarantine Lectures available to watch.
Mariology for Everyone: https://www.motherofallpeoples.com/
A fantastic, free video course on our Blessed Mother Mary by Dr.Miravalle; a theology professor specializing in Mariology, who has been teaching at the Franciscan University of Steubenville for over 25 years.
St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology:https://stpaulcenter.com/studies-tools/online-studies/
Scott Hahn’s own non-profit research and educational institute that promotes life-transforming Scripture study in the Catholic tradition. The Centre serves clergy and laity, students and scholars, with research and study tools; from books and publications to multimedia and on-line programming. It has a variety of excellent free online courses available as well as additional resources for sale.
St Mary’s University: Gillis Campus Edinburgh https://www.stmarys.ac.uk/edinburgh/about.aspx
Will begin offering postgraduate masters courses on a 2 year part time basis (£3,245 per annum). There is a choice of 5 degrees taught part time in evenings and weekends. MA courses will begin at the Strathearn Road campus from Autumn 2020. St Mary’s University hosts the only faculties in the UK with the ability to offer ecclesiastical degrees, the Mater Ecclesiae College (dating back to 1614).
Apostolic Exhortation Catechesi Tradendae: St Pope John Paul Il On Catechesis In Our Time: http://www.vatican.va/content/john-paul-ii/en/apost_exhortations/documents/hf_jp-ii_exh_16101979_catechesi-tradendae.html
International Council For Catechesis: Adult Catechesis in the Christian Community Principles and Guidelines: 1990. This document hopes to contribute to the efforts being made in the Christian communities spread throughout the world to promote adult catechesis, in keeping with the new evangelization" so often called for by Pope John Paul II. http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cclergy/documents/rc_con_cclergy_doc_14041990_acat_en.html