Gotta have faith: Diocese delves into online learning
NORTHERN NSW Catholics now have an online tool that will allow them to find out why the Crusades failed, or who Noah, Naam, Nabal, Naashon, Nebuchadnezzar and Nathaniel were.
The Catholic Diocese of Lismore has entered a new partnership with the University of Dayton in Ohio, USA.
The Diocese is joining the University's Virtual Learning Community for Faith Formation (VLCFF), providing parishioners from Tweed to Coffs Harbour with access to online faith formation courses and learning opportunities.
The curriculum is designed for adult education, and aimed at parishioners interested in progressing their religious self-education or those with volunteer roles within the church
Some of the courses offered via VLCFF are Advanced Catholic Social Teaching, Bible Basics and Church History, among others.
Lismore Bishop Gregory Homeming said that Lismore was one of several dioceses within Australia participating in the VLCFF.
"The partnership offers the diocese an opportunity to join with others to do what we cannot do alone, that is, offer quality catechetical and faith formation courses online via a well-established, appropriately accredited organisation," Bishop Homeming said.
"This virtual learning community will enable any parish or person within the Lismore Diocese to pursue areas of interest for their spiritual and faith development," he added.
Mr Gary Reen, Assistant Director, School Evangelisation & Catechetical Services at the Catholic Schools Office (CSO) in Lismore said the CSO and St Agnes' Catholic Parish, Port Macquarie were supporting the diocese in this venture.
"We see a number of avenues in which the VLCFF will support our 'Work, Teach and Lead' Teacher Accreditation program. We are currently working with the VLCFF team at the University of Dayton to 'customise' some of the courses for our Australian and diocesan context," Mr Reen said.
Dayton University's VLCFF has been in operation for over 20 years providing adult religious education via the internet.
In Australia, the Archdioceses of Adelaide and Melbourne and the Dioceses of Rockhampton and Ballarat were already participating in VLCFF.
For more details about the VLCFF please contact Tony Worner who is co-ordinating the partnership for Lismore Diocese on 0436 941 280 or via email at Tony.Worner@stagnesparish.org.au.