Season of Creation
"Let Justice and Peace Flow"

The Season of Creation is upon us! From September 1st, the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation, to October 4th, the feast of Saint Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of ecology, believers are encouraged to deeply reflect on their role as Earth's caretakers. This season not only nurtures the connection between faith and environmental mindfulness but also invites Catholics worldwide to recognize the profound bond among God, humans, and the environment.

Throughout these days, communities and individuals actively participate in numerous eco-focused activities. From tree planting and clean-up initiatives to workshops on sustainable living and reflective nature walks, the message is clear: every facet of creation is imbued with divinity and deserves our respect and protection. In a world facing environmental crises, the Season of Creation reiterates to Catholics, and indeed all humans, that our planet's wellbeing is a shared, spiritual responsibility. May we all embrace this year's theme and, "Let Justice and Peace Flow."

The Nativity of Mary

September 8th, Catholics around the world observe the birth of Mary. The University of Dayton, deeply rooted in the Catholic Marianist tradition, gives special emphasis to Mary's role in the faith. This tradition underscores the importance of community and family spirit, values exemplified in Mary's life. Her unwavering trust in God and dedication to service are fundamental to the Marianist approach to education and community formation.

As the Marianist tradition highlights, Mary serves as an exemplar for living a life of faith, service, and community. Her birth not only prefigured the arrival of Jesus but also established a model for leading a life aligned with God’s purpose and the collective spirit of community.

VLCFF courses about Mary (Starting October 16):

Celebrate Catechists with the VLCFF

On September 17, Catholic parishes in the U.S. will commemorate Catechetical Sunday, highlighting the vital role of faith formation with this year's theme from Matthew 11:28, "Come to me all you who labor and are burdened." The day prompts recognition for catechists nationwide, calls for prayers for them, and challenges all to actively participate in the catechetical mission, empowering disciples to change the world. We at the VLCFF are grateful for the work catechists do, and are here to support their mission.

Catechist Courses offered for Cycle 7:

Registration is open now through October 11. Classes begin October 16.

Join Us for Cycle 7 Classes!

Classes are forming for our last full cycle of the year. Registration is open now through October 11, with classes starting on October 16.

This term, we have over 45 e-courses in English, Spanish, and Arabic. With the VLCFF, you have the flexibility to connect and learn anytime, anywhere. Our 5-week online courses are designed to fit your busy schedule, allowing you to deepen your knowledge and understanding of a wide range of topics such as catechesis, scripture, liturgy, and more. Our dedicated instructors (facilitators) provide expert guidance with access to engaging course materials and interactive discussions.

Like our friends from Adelaide, Australia (pictured), take a moment to visit the Registration Page and explore our curated courses. The VLCFF is here to help you along your faith journey.

VLCFF Classes in Arabic!

For several years, the VLCFF has been piloting Catholic faith courses in the Arabic language. This successful initiative has expanded to six e-courses!

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

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

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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