Perhaps, for you, the time has come for some serious commitment to growing your faith, and you feel it’s time for a formal, further step or even university style course. See the list below for what’s on offer.
Studying while in isolation
While many people are juggling homeschooling, elderly relatives and working from home, others are finding time on their hands and the need for some stimulation. This time in lockdown could finally be the opportunity you’ve been waiting for. Here are some good options around at the moment:
Sycamore is a project of Fr Stephen Wang, developing from a university chaplaincy where students were asking for films about Catholicism from a UK perspective. The resulting programme is free to view until August 2020, and can be shared with friends for conversation and encounter.
God Who Speaks – Year of the Word
Delve into Scripture with resources from the God Who Speaks: Bible Basics, and an Introduction to the Bible. The Bible Society have made their whole Bible Study course available online https://www.biblesociety.org.uk/explore-the-bible/the-bible-course/#try Ascension Press have made the Bible Timeline available as an online video.
CaFE (Catholic Faith Exploration)
CaFE have made many of their courses accessible during this time. See here for the many options available.
There are really good audio presentations available on the UK Jesuit site, and also some fantastic articles on Thinking Faith, their online journal.
Word on Fire Institute:
Becoming part of the Institute gives you access to online courses such as “Reaching the Indifferent” to the “Theology of Hans Urs von Balthazar”. There’s also a quarterly journal. It costs about £20 a month. https://wordonfire.institute. Alternatively you can access Catholicism and the other Word on Fire courses for a free 7 day trial here: https://www.wofdigital.org.
Catherine of Sienna Institute
Founded by Sherri Weddell, the Catherine of Sienna Institute has online versions of its “Called and Gifted” programme, for discerning the gifts God has given us, and also their Ananias Training, for pastoral accompaniment and discerning listening. https://learning.siena.org/webstore/
If you get a taste for study and want to take it further, here are some options (although some of these may not be functioning in the current lockdown).
CCRS- Catholic Certificate in Religious Studies: a requirement for certain levels of leadership in Catholic education, this course is also suitable for anyone wanting to grow in their faith. It is run by the diocesan Education Service (NORES) and moves around the diocese from year to year.
Maryvale International Catholic Institute: Maryvale is based just outside Birmingham and runs distance learning courses across a variety of subjects, including Marriage and Family Life, Catechesis, Hospital Chaplaincy and Parish Mission and Ministry.
Newman University: Also based near Birmingham, Newman offers a variety of university courses including Catholic School Leadership, Catholic Social Teaching, and Chaplaincy.
St Mary’s University, Twickenham: In leafy west London, St Mary’s offers degrees in Theology, Ethics, Healthcare and Youth Ministry.