Interested in learning more about your faith? Would you like to explore the New Testament and the context in which it was written? Interested in learning more about prayer or the beliefs of the Church? Here are three courses offered free of charge by the Diocese through the University of Dayton’s Virtual Learning Center For Faith Formation.

The three courses being offered are outlined below.

All the courses are facilitated by Dr. Rodica Stoicoiu. To register for any of these courses please contact Jeanne McKeets at

The New Testament

Jan 17-Feb 20
Registration closed

This course explores the stories in and behind the writings we call the New Testament. The course is a general overview introducing the student to the cultural context, composition, themes and pastoral application of the New Testament accounts for growing in Biblical knowledge. We will study the texts from the threefold perspective of the World within the Text: Literature, The World behind the Text: History, and the World in Front of the Text: Our Culture. Through the study of Biblical maps, articles and religious art present on authoritative websites, our text and class discussions students can grow in New Testament knowledge, understanding and application to their life and ministry.

By the end of the course we will have:

  • become familiar with and competent in reading the New Testament from the threefold perspective: the World Within the Text: Literature; the World Behind the Text: History; and, the World in Front of the Text: Our Culture
  • identified the contents of the New Testament, and its three sections
  • explained highlights from Dei Verbum (Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation) for a deeper understanding of the New Testament and its application to our lives.
  • outlined the three stages of Gospel development
  • identified the audience, purpose and vision of Mathew, Mark, Luke and John
  • defined the synoptic problem and describe the two-source hypothesis
  • defined the meaning, structure and role of parables
  • understood the meaning of “low and high Christology” and eschatology
  • identified the letters written by Paul and be conversant about several of Paul’s major theological themes
  • identified the so called “Catholic Letters” and their message
  • described the historical context of late first-century Christianity, including the persecution and ostracization that was suffered
  • explained the purpose, structure and symbols in the Book of Revelation

Introduction to Prayer

Mar 7-Apr 9
Registration opens Jan 19

“Prayer is our means of taking a sighting, of re-orienting ourselves – by re-establishing contact with our goal. In the presence of God many components of our life fall into perspective and our journey makes more sense. Prayer is inseparable from living” (Casey, p.5). This course explores prayer as essential to our lives as Christian people, as individuals and within our community of faith. Through this course, students will explore the qualities, forms and expressions of prayer that help to form and sustain our lives as Catholic Christians.

By the end of the course we will have:

  • Understood the nature, aims, efficacy, and types of prayer
  • Explored prayer as revealed in Sacred Scripture and the Tradition of our Catholic faith
  • Explained the interrelated nature of personal prayer and the liturgical life of the Church
  • Understood the relation between prayer united with Jesus and growth in discipleship.
  • Developed, enriched, or sustained their prayer life as a result of the course content

Survey of Catholic Doctrine

Apr 25-May 15
Registration opens Mar 9

This course will look at some of the major doctrines of the Catholic Church. Participants will come to a better understanding of the Trinity, original sin, church, salvation history, and the communion of saints. Participants will be asked to identify the meaning of magisterium, ecumenism, eschatology, and other Catholic terms.

By the end of the course we will have:

  • Understood some arguments for the existence of God.
  • Defined revelation as God’s communication with us
  • Articulated why the Trinity is the central mystery of our Christian faith and life.
  • Articulated how Scripture speaks of God as creator.
  • Described original sin as a condition we are born into where we are inclined toward choosing evil
  • Understood Jesus as God’s self revealed.
  • Understood the role of the Holy Spirit in the life of the Church.
  • Understood the role of the Church in God’s plan of salvation and the relationship of the Catholic Church and other religions
  • Articulated how Mary and the saints are models of Christian holiness
  • Described the Church’s teachings in the area of eschatology.