The trend in online education is quickly growing and our programs have already lead to conversions and more Catholics receiving the Sacraments. With our RCIA program, parishes are using it for their members who lead busy travel schedules for work or who suffer from a disability that makes weekly classroom time difficult. Our children's courses have helped dozens of families teach their children the Faith without having to go to in-person classes. This has eliminated the common excuse that children can't be expected to miss sports or extracurricular activities for religious education. And it also makes it possible for children with disabilities (mental or physical) to learn at their own pace (we have received many testimonies thanking us for making this possible).
All of our lessons follow our seven step format: 1. Introduction, 2. Opening Prayer, 3. Scripture Passages, 4. Catechism Passages, 5. Integration, 6. Activity, and 7. Closing Prayer. And, all lessons end with a short quiz. See our sample lessons at the bottom of the CatechismClass.com website for more details.
For our adult programs, we produce two main product lines. Firstly, we produce our best selling Adult Faith Formation Course. It is used both by catechumens going through RCIA as well as Catholics who want an in-depth Catechism study course. We also produce as a second main product a Catholic Liturgical Year course, designed to help Catholics study the major feast and fast days in the Church and thus connect them with the Scriptures, Catechism, and Church teachings as they relate to the Liturgical Year.
The Adult Faith Formation course has several applications. In one use, it is used by catechumens who need to go through RCIA without in person weekly classes (e.g. someone who travels consistently and for prolong stays for work, someone who is a caregiver for their spouse, someone who is mentally or physically challenged, etc). It is also used a self-study course by parishes and individuals to help adults study through the teachings of the Church. And, it is also used as a textbook for RCIA courses.
The course teaches the doctrines of the Faith using 78 total lessons, covering six key bodies of Knowledge (Old Testament, New Testament, Creed, Ten Commandments, Mass and the Sacraments). Through the equivalent of 1,500 pages of material, adults will study the Scriptures and Catechism in an engaging, interactive, and complete manner. Lessons include the Baltimore Catechism, Catechism of the Catholic Church (2nd Edition), Compendium, and Catechism of the Council of Trent for a comprehensive learning experience.
All lessons include beautiful paintings, all together totaling over a thousand priceless images highlighting the beauty of the Catholic Faith - since adults learn not only by reading or listening but by hearing or "contemplating art". Students also learn basic and advanced prayers in English and Latin while also learning from the authoritative teachings of the Church including the teachings of the Popes, the writings of the Saints, and Canon Law. We are very proud of the content from our programs and to hear that many people have come to a deeper understanding of what the Church teaches because of the depth of our program. Having it online really makes this possible - an in person class once a week typically leaves adults "wanting more"
We also produce several other smaller selling adult products: pro-life lessons for adults to understand the teachings on abortion and contraception as well as a set of almost 50 book summaries of Catholic classics and contemporary novels. We also have a series of lessons on prayer to help Catholic learn and practice prayer and thus develop through a self-directed retreat a more enriching spiritual life.
No, they do not have to replace in-person learning. We believe that we produce the best and first online textbook for its kind for faith formation. Our products are not necessarily meant to replace community learning - they are meant to provide the best textbook out there, which happens to also be online.
Our Catholic Liturgical Year Course, and our Adult Faith Formation course, are usually used by adults who meet once a week to go over materials. A teacher (lay or ordained) teaches from printed copies of the materials and students talk about them and learn. They can then go home and have access to the exact same materials to read through again. And they can then do their activity and quiz. We have found through our surveys and marketing, that students are learning more this way than using paper textbooks or meeting without any textbooks at all. Many programs are lacking in outside the classroom learning and in outside the classroom activities. Our program is really meant to eliminate that.On the flip side, our programs do allow for students to work independently of the classroom when teachers are not available, when schedules do not allow for in-person learning, and when personal circumstances make it necessary. Our programs are flexible and are meant to solve each unique parish and family situation.
We produce grade-based programs for children ranging in age from our first grade program through our high school programs that are based on the USCCB's framework. These programs are used by children who are homeschooled as well as by parishes for their CCD/PREP programs. Many parishes are facing a lack of teachers and our programs are allowing those parishes to provide education to students without needing as many teachers. In most instances, fewer teachers can be used. The teachers are responsible for meeting occasionally with the students and also monitoring their quiz results online. Many students do great on their own but this built in accountability allows parishes to know that students are doing the work at a routine pace and learning the materials by passing their quizzes.
Additionally, some parishes are using our programs to provide for children that are physically or mentally challenged who have trouble in attending in person classes. When the divorced parents share custody, one parent may be opposed to the child's religious education and that child as a result can only go every other week to CCD. Our programs allow them to work from home any night of the week, thus eliminating this issue.
And with many children having extracurriculars and other activities that may have time constraints, our programs help solve those programs as well.
But then again, our programs don't have to replace in person learning. Our programs are used by some parishes for all students. Teachers teach from either a projector or printed copies of the lesson. Children are then expected to go home and do the materials (i.e. the activity and quiz). We are finding that our method of double reinforcement helps children learn - because they are reading the same materials they are learning in the classroom. Many parishes are switching because of the great content in our lessons, the ease of use, the design and functionality of our programs, and the lower costs.
Upon completion of our courses, you are entitled to a letter of completion. Simply contact CatechismClass.com through our support ticketing system to request a letter which we will address to the parish in your area. We will fax or mail the letter directly to the parish for a nominal processing fee or email the letter free of charge. You can find an example letter here.
We also produce award certificates, suitable for framing and hanging on your wall. You may contact us to order a certificate upon completing the coursework of your program. To keep our courses at their low prices, we are unable to produce and send award certificates free of charge. There is a small fee of $4.99 per certificate.
Our courses have the endorsement of numerous members of the clergy, including the Pope. Our programs are used on a parish by parish basis - acceptance is at the discretion of the diocese and the pastor of your parish if you want to use this curriculum to receive the Sacraments. That being said, all individuals can use the program as a self-study without concern. And similarly, parents have the right to educate their children outside of the parish's programs. Our programs can be used in confidence by all parents in fulfillment of Pope John Paul II's decree in Gravissium Educationis.
All of the six tasks are directly addressed by our lessons:
The Adult Programs use the Douay Rheims and the children use the New American Bible. These are both approved Catholic Bible translations. From a converts perspective, many adults find greater benefit from the Douay Rheims because its style more closely mirrors that of the King James Version.