Our Hearts Were BurningCourse Level: Intermediate

Course Summary

Note: Our Hearts Were Burning Within Us is a 3 week seminar.

Published at the end of 1999, the plan seeks to place adult faith formation where it belongs: at the center of parish catechesis. As the only Church document that uses the term "adult faith formation,"¯ the plan provides not only encouragement to leaders but also practical strategies for embedding adult faith formation within the fabric of parish life.

This three week seminar gives leaders in adult faith formation the opportunity to read selected key passages from the plan, to reflect on our bishops' words in light of actual experience, and to share experiences of working with adults in faith formative settings.

To prepare for the course please pre-read Our Hearts Were Burning

Successful completion of this course earns 1.5 CEU's. Click here for more information about CEU's.

General Course Objectives

  • Become familiar with how current dynamics in the Church and culture continue to affect ways in which the plan is being implemented
  • Reflect on your own experience of parish adult faith formation and engage in conversation with leaders around the USA on their experiences.
  • Consider the implications for your parish and diocese of the plans' goals and objectives.
  • Become familiar with the major themes and directives set forth in the bishops’ pastoral plan on adult faith formation.
  • Begin developing strategies for implementing the plan in your local setting.

Course Materials

  • No books required. All readings are online.

Course Structure and Highlights

  • Week 1: Focusing on Adult Faith Formation
    • Articulate the general purpose and goals of Our Hearts Were Burning Within Us (hereafter OHWB).
    • Name the challenges and opportunities that you encounter in your ministry with adults.
    • Describe the nature and characteristics of adult faith as you understand them and as they are described in the plan.
    • Evaluate your parish’s effort in incorporating the goals and principles of adult faith formation.
  • Week 2: The What and How of Adult Faith Formation
    • Identify significant life issues and questions of your parish populations that have faith formation implications, giving attention to current cultural challenges.
    • Relate life issues to the principle elements of our faith Tradition.
    • Design appropriate and effective approaches for the various adult populations within your parishes.
  • Week 3: Organizing for Adult Faith Formation
    • Understand the critical role of the parish in adult faith formation.
    • Assess parish efforts to develop leadership for adult faith formation.
    • Define for yourself steps that you can take in order to create parish structures and leadership roles relative to adult faith formation.
    • Consider what further resources and information about adult faith formation might be helpful in your future ministry.