Sorry it’s been so long since you guys have heard from me. I forgot just how much of a commitment taking a course requires; and if you think that because it’s an online course you can coast through it, don’t be fooled. If you want to get the most out of an online course, you still need to commit just as much time to it.
I have to admit that the whole structure of an online course took some getting used to. It really does require a certain amount of self-direction and motivation that differs from a course with a physical classroom setting and an instructor. The role of the facilitator for this type of course is to guide and provoke discussion more than it is to teach. Most of the education comes from reading material, exercises, reflection and discussion with other students through the use of discussion boards. Once I adjusted to the structure, I could appreciate this method of learning much more.
As for the course itself, the “Catholic Beliefs” course at the VLCFF was great!! It allowed me to gain a deeper understanding of many of the basic teachings of the Catholic Church, thereby helping further deepen my faith. We focused on various topics including the purpose and true meaning of the Creed, and compared the three versions of the Creed used by the Church since its inception. Did you know there were three Creeds? We also learned what the true teaching of the Church is regarding Papal Infallibility, the difference between Church “Tradition” and “tradition”, the intent of the Second Vatican Council for the Universal Church and the importance of community in catechesis, especially as it relates to children. I had definite misconceptions about some of these teachings and so did many of my classmates.
A course like this can definitely be humbling. Just when you think you know a lot about the teachings of the Church you realize that your knowledge may be superficial at best. Most of what we know go so much deeper then we realize and has a much broader meaning then what is commonly known. Do you really think about the words of the Nicene Creed when you recite it as Mass? When you really focus on it and understand its deeper meaning, you begin to appreciate just how powerful this statement really is!!
I have two weeks between courses. Starting on August 30th, I begin the second course for my certification. I’m looking forward to “Introduction to Catechesis” and I anticipate that I will be taking more courses beyond those required for my certification as time goes on. There is so much to learn.