Advent Week 1: Hope

Advent, a season of expectant waiting and preparation in the Christian liturgical year, begins its journey with the first week, symbolizing a period of hope and anticipation. This week serves as a spiritual invitation to reflect and ready ourselves for the coming of Christ at Christmas. The lighting of the first Advent candle, traditionally purple, marks the commencement of this sacred time. This candle, known as the Prophet's Candle, represents hope and the prophecies about Jesus' birth.

Mary's Immaculate Conception

The Feast of the Immaculate Conception, celebrated on December 8th, is a profound moment for us as Catholics to reflect on the singular grace and privilege granted to the Virgin Mary. This day, marking Mary's conception free from original sin, reaffirms our belief in God's direct intervention and grace in human history.

As we come together in Mass and prayer, we not only honor Mary's immaculate nature but also seek to emulate her unwavering faith and complete surrender to God's will. This feast is an opportunity to deepen our understanding of Mary's role in our faith and her intercessory power.

In the busyness of our daily lives, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception invites us to pause and contemplate the mysteries of our faith. It's a day to renew our devotion to Mary, recognizing her as a model of purity and holiness, and to reflect on our own journey towards spiritual perfection in Christ.

VLCFF upcoming e-course:
Who is Mary of Nazareth and Why Should We Care?
Register by January 10, 2024

Roman Catholic Catechesis
for Faith Formation

We are pleased to announce that one of our most popular courses, Introduction to Catechesis, has been updated. Beginning in Cycle 1 of 2024, Roman Catholic Catechesis for Faith Formation will replace Introduction to Catechesis.

This new course takes into consideration the Church’s trajectory for catechesis in current times as it explores the catechetical tasks from a Christocentric perspective. Learners will be able to promote a style of evangelization that reflects communion with Jesus Christ, the center of all that we do and all that we are as catechists and teachers of the Catholic faith. Learners who have already begun the Certificate track for Catechesis, and who have not taken Introduction to Catechesis must substitute this new course for Introduction to Catechesis.

We are excited about the changes and we look forward to your feedback!

Course Information
Register by January 10, 2024

Register for Cycle 1, 2024

As we wave goodbye to 2023 and usher in the new year, it’s the perfect time to reflect on personal growth and spiritual development. We invite you to join us in 2024 for our first Cycle. We have over 50 courses ready for you in English, Spanish, and Arabic. Designed to deepen your understanding of Catholic faith and enhance your ministry, these courses range from scripture studies to Catholic social teachings.

Early registration is key to securing your spot in the course that best aligns with your ministry or personal interest. Our streamlined registration process makes it easy to browse and select courses. Simply visit our course calendar, click on any course that piques your interest, and immerse yourself in a detailed description of what to expect. And if you still have questions, contact us, we're here to help!

Registration is open until January 10, 2024, with classes starting on January 15th. Don’t miss this opportunity to grow spiritually and intellectually in a global learning community.

VLCFF Classes in Arabic!

For several years, the VLCFF had successfully piloted Catholic faith courses in the Arabic language. Recognizing the growing demand and the program's remarkable impact, the VLCFF has now expanded its Arabic course offerings to include a comprehensive range of 12 e-courses, catering to learners of all levels.

To learn more please contact us for information on when and where to register.

Trinity TV Collaboration

Trinity TV, a Catholic cable TV station broadcasting from Trinidad & Tobago, has launched an inspiring new program called Leap of Faith. Leap of Faith is the brainchild of Trinity TV station manager Lisa Bhajan. Her goal was to create a panel discussion program tackling issues affecting the modern Catholic Church.

To bring this idea to life, Lisa reached out to the IPI/VLCFF due to her over 20 year association with us. The VLCFF's Sister Angela Ann Zukowski enthusiastically supported developing the concept into a show. A regular episode of the half- hour show is called Ethos, and features well-informed guests from the University of Dayton and the IPI/VLCFF community. Feedback has been tremendously positive and we know you will enjoy the program. Individual episodes will be showcased here on our website, so check back often!

Leap of Faith, Ethos

Today's Topic:
The dynamics of disaffiliation in young Catholics

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Growing as catechists and community online and offline


Our Mission

The Virtual Learning Community for Faith Formation (VLCFF) is a growing initiative to offer adult religious education and faith formation anytime and anywhere via the internet. The goal is to support the church's professional ministry of religious education and faith formation in cyberspace.

The VLCFF is coordinated and sponsored by the Institute for Pastoral Initiatives (IPI) at the University of Dayton - a Catholic Marianist Institution.

From Eric F. Spina, University of Dayton President:
"The Institute for Pastoral Initiatives is a pioneer in the e-learning field, delivering 24-7 remote classes to dioceses worldwide long before the pandemic prompted schools to go online and offer hybrid learning. With a successful model already in place, the VLCFF is poised to reach [even] more people with faith formation classes."

A Brief History of the VLCFF

Explore Our Program


Getting Started

Certificate Programs

Institute for Pastoral Initiatives

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"I have completed many courses through University of Dayton VLCFF online. I keep thinking I am through but the classes you offer are so interesting and beneficial for my job and in my personal faith growth that I continue taking classes!"

Sybil, Virginia
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"I am eternally grateful to University of Dayton for treating me not as just a student, but as family. This was my first experience with online classes and I found myself struggling during a particular course since I was juggling studies, work, family and other activities. I felt swamped. I quickly fell behind and just as I was contemplating if I should quit, my facilitator taught me how to balance my assignments."

"So, every session has been awesome! Your facilitators take the time to give feedback on a personal level as well as reach out when assistance is needed."

Terrence, Trinidad & Tobago

University of Dayton Religious Studies

University of Dayton, St Mary's Hall

Did you know The University of Dayton offers undergraduate, masters, and doctoral degrees in Religious Studies?

As a Catholic Marianist university, the mission of the Department of Religious Studies is to discover, explore, and analyze religious experience in its various manifestations emphasizing the Roman Catholic tradition, in dialogue with the other Christian traditions and with the world religions.

For more information visit the Religious Studies website.

Make a difference!
Support the VLCFF.

The Virtual Learning Community for Faith Formation is a non-profit organization at the University of Dayton. Your tax deductible gift can help further our mission of religious education and faith formation.

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Sister Angela's Corner