Did You Know….
“Marking the 50th anniversary of the Second Vatican Council, Pope Benedict XVI has declared the year, beginning on October 12, 2012 and ending November 24, 2013, “The Year of Faith.” In particular, the Holy Father is calling upon all Catholics to confront what he identifies as one of the most difficult challenges the Church faces today: ‘religious illiteracy.’ That is, a lack of understanding about what Christians really believe.
“To address this problem, Pope Benedict has called upon Catholics to spend the year studying the Catechism of the Catholic Church, the official compendium of all Catholic teaching.”
An incredibly talented group of students at my alma mater, John Paul the Great Catholic University, has been hard at work on a project in response to the Pope’s call. It’s called “Pillars of Catholicism”
Pillars of Catholicism launches next month, on August 20th, and it is a completely free, exclusively online, 13 session course designed to teach anyone about the fundamentals of the Catholic faith. All you need to do is sign up with your email address and you’ll get:
- access to online videos of all 13 class sessions
- course study guides and notes
- you’ll be able to take online quizzes to track your learning
- In addition, you’ll also be able to ask the faculty any questions you may have via the online learning platform.
- And yes, it’s all 100% free.
One of the coolest things about this project: The professors are none other than JP Catholic’s very own philosophy, theology, and scripture professors: Fr. Andrew Younan, Dr. Christine Wood, and Dr. Michael Barber.
On a personal note: These are the instructors to whom I owe my theological formation. I guarantee you that this blog would be missing many of my favorite and (in my opinion) most thoughtful posts if it were not for discussions in Fr. Andy’s philosophy classes, or thoughts or questions scribbled in the margins of my notes from Dr. Wood or Dr. Barber’s lectures. Not to mention, I wouldn’t have stuck with this blog for as long as I have were it not for the fact that it began as my own small response to the university’s mission statement to “Impact Culture for Christ.”
I know this could probably be said to some degree of any field of study, but something I find funny about getting my Master’s degree in Biblical Theology (and I think this rings truer of this field than most) is that by the time I graduate the program, I won’t be even close to having “mastered” Biblical Theology in the slightest. There’s always room to go deeper when it comes to the our faith. You’ll never stop learning about the faith; and that’s a very good thing.
The Pillars of Catholicism course will be available beginning August 20th, but you can follow their Facebook page now to get updates, check out pictures of the filming progress, or to post any questions or comments you have on their wall.