Virtual Learning Community for Faith Formation

About the VLCFF Partnership with NACAR

Given the broad scope of content, the diverse range of adult interests and responsibilities, and the availability of learning resources, no single approach can meet everyone's needs.

Consequently, a comprehensive, multi-faceted, and coordinated approach to adult faith formation is necessary.

(Our Hearts Were Burning Within Us § 98 §/p. 44)

At this critical time in the Church, associate leadership is a vital resource for reforming the church we love. Lumen Gentium, the Second Vatican Council’s dogmatic constitution on the Church, teaches that “the laity have the right, as do all Christians, to receive in abundance from their spiritual shepherds the spiritual goods of the Church” (37). 

In order to experience ourselves as confident and competent in this role, NACAR is offering this newest member benefit, Virtual Learning Community for Faith Formation (VLCFF) courses through the University of Dayton.

These videos explain the relationship with NACAR and gives good information about enrollment.

God is longing for us to grow in knowledge, in communion with other faithful seekers and in our relationship with God’s own self.

Virtual Learning Community for Faith Formation Logo Cross and Person within a globe

The Virtual Learning Community for Faith Formation (VLCFF) is an initiative to offer religious education and faith formation for adults anytime and anywhere via the internet.

Who Sponsors the VLCFF?

The VLCFF is sponsored by the Institute for Pastoral Initiatives (IPI) of the University of Dayton - a Catholic Marianist Institution. Their mission is to mobilize the resources of the University of Dayton for partnerships with the Church that create and implement innovative pastoral initiatives designed to meet the needs of the Church and to articulate faith within the context of contemporary culture.

Why is the VLCFF important for NACAR Members?
What is this new partnership between VLCFF and NACAR?
How do I register?
What is the discounted rate, and is the discount available to vowed religious as well as associates?
Why is this important to Congregational and Associate Communities?
Will there be courses specific to the Associate-Religious Way of Life?
Are courses available in Spanish?
What level of knowledge or training is needed?

Suggested Courses for Cycle 1: Jan 20 – Feb 23, 2019 (Registration: Oct 24 – Jan 16)

Catholic Beliefs: What are the central doctrines of the Roman Catholic tradition and how have they developed? This basic course will deepen your appreciation of our core belief system and enhance your skills to articulate personal beliefs.

Intro to Christian Morality: What are the moral principles and convictions that give meaning to our actions? This basic course examines the role that Scripture, the Church and conscience play in shaping how we act and how our behavior is a loving response to our relationships in the human community.

Administration in Ministry: Are you in an administrative or supervisory role, in either a paid or volunteer capacity? This intermediate course will help you with setting priorities, facilitating meetings, preparing budgets, mediating conflict, evaluating people, and inviting others to share their talents and time.

Survey of Catholic Social Teaching: Catholic Social Teaching is a rich treasure of our Catholic faith. This intermediate course surveys the seven key themes of Catholic Social Teaching: the life and dignity of the human person; the call to family, community, and participation; rights and responsibilities; option for the poor and vulnerable; the dignity of work and the rights of workers; solidarity; and care for God's creation.

Vocation to Ministry: Many associates not only live their congregations’ charisms, but they also bring them to various ministries. This course provides participants an opportunity to review the impact of the Second Vatican Council on the Church's appreciation of the ministry done by lay people vis-à-vis the ministry of those who are ordained. The course also reviews the Church's theology of the Holy Trinity, and the Liturgy as a source for understanding the ministerial relationships that are being lived out in the Church today.

Ecclesiology: Beginnings of the Church: (requires an understanding of the New Testament) At this difficult moment in the American church, this course introduces the student to the theological study of the Church. The student will become familiar with basic terms and concepts that are essential for understanding the Church's nature and mission, and how these have been a constant theme in the Church's evolution as a "living organism" throughout history.

Faith and Human Development: Associates are challenged to develop an ever deeper faith life. This course will provide the foundation for examining the psychological, physical, and spiritual growth over the course of a human's lifetime. Particular attention will also be given to family systems theory to provide the wider context shaping the faith development of human persons. Finally, these theories will be applied to the particular age cohort of the student in effort to promote self-understanding.

Introduction to Prayer: Prayer is a core element of every type of associate commitment. 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.

Christology: The person and mission of Jesus Christ has been a central focus of theology since the Church’s beginning. This intermediate course is a foundation for understanding who Jesus was, what He accomplished throughout His time on earth, and how it impacts and shapes Christianity today.

Images of Jesus: Through this basic course, associates will examine a variety of theological viewpoints about the person Jesus, the central figure of our Catholic faith. They will wrestle with Jesus’ question, “Who do you say that I am?” and form a personal response to it.

Sacraments: What is the role of the sacraments in each of our lives? In this basic course, associates are introduced to the notion of sacrament in the Christian tradition as well as the symbols and rituals that form a sacramental view of life. The study will emphasize and reflect upon our present practices and theologies of the sacraments.

Study of the Joy of the Gospel (Evangelii Gaudium): In this intermediate course, associates will be introduced to the challenge of the Holy Father’s “dream” of Church. The study will focus on the concerns that Pope Francis has for the church and the world today and his exhortation “to embark on a new chapter of evangelization.”


© 2018 North American Conference of Associates and Religious.