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Sisters of Charity – Online courses span the globe

by | May 3, 2014 | Sisters of Charity, Technology: Issues and Uses

SC CincinnatiTwo Sisters of Charity, Rita Hawk and Laetitia Slusser, have been conducting online courses since 2009 and 2011 respectively, to certify teachers in dioceses from across the United States to Japan; from Germany to Australia; from Canada to Southern Arabia; from Italy to Hawaii and points in between.

S. Mary Bodde describes the exciting venture in an article on the website of the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati Online Courses Span the Globe

All courses are developed through the Virtual Learning Community for Faith Formation staff, which is part of the Institute of Pastoral Initiatives at the University of Dayton. All are conducted in English. While there is some teaching going on, such as responses to questions, clarification and nuancing ideas presented, and offering additional resources, Sisters Rita and Laetitia are facilitators.

S. Laetitia classifies herself as a “guide on the side” not a “sage on stage.” “The depth of sharing is awesome!”

To get an idea of a facilitator’s role, sit down with either Sister’s group of students. Locations range from Ohio, Boston, Texas and Iowa to Colorado, Washington state, Hawaii, Japan and Germany to Italy, Australia, Trinidad, Kingston, New Mexico and Canada. S. Laetitia has also taught a number of deacon candidates whose diocese uses some of the courses for their deacon formation programs. In addition, “Many people just want to continue their own growth,” she said.

“Classes usually have 10 to 14 students,” S. Rita stated. (S. Laetitia usually has 12.) “I have had as many as 16 with all completing the course. Some dioceses have certain courses which the students are required to take for certification. As a facilitator I am not affected by diocesan policies. Courses are developed by the VLCFF staff or persons designated by them and are revised periodically,” S. Rita explained. “New courses are developed in the same way.

“All of the courses I facilitate are for 2.5 CEU’s and are not degree courses. The variety of adult student backgrounds and various involvements in church ministry give all of us a wonderful sense of the Universal Church. We learn from each other!”

Since 2009 S. Rita has facilitated 41 courses, including Survey of Catholic Doctrine (Creed), Old Testament, New Testament, Introduction to Catechesis, Faith and Human Development, Church History I and II, and Images of Jesus. In June she will add Evangelii Gaudium: The Joy of the Gospel. She averages seven courses a year.

Visit Online Courses Span the Globe for more details.

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