Mary, Mother of the Church

During the month of May, Catholics worldwide honor Mary of Nazareth. Being part of a Catholic Marianist university, this is a special time of year at the VLCFF. In light of this, on May 1st we had the privilege of unveiling a beautiful statue "Mary Immaculata" in our entrance space. Additionally this month, we are offering e-courses dedicated to Mary in three different languages:

  • An Introduction to Catholic Doctrine on the Blessed Virgin Mary (English)
  • Carisma en la Familia Marianista (Spanish)
  • Los Fundadores de la Familia Marianista (Spanish)
  • María de Nazaret, la Madre de Jesús (Spanish)
  • Mariology (Arabic)

As we approach the end of May, we are reminded that the Easter season is drawing to a close, culminating with Pentecost on Sunday, May 28, followed by the celebration of Mary, Mother of the Church on Monday, May 29. Our deep connection to our Marianist heritage fills us with both pride and humility. We invite you to join us in commemorating the remarkable woman who has left an indelible mark on history.

Australian VLCFF Students Prepare for Ministry

A group of adult learners from Adelaide, Australia, recently completed their studies through the University of Dayton's Virtual Learning Community for Faith Formation (VLCFF). This unique online platform is part of Adelaide\’s Ministry Formation Program (MFP), allowing individuals to discern their gifts and obtain a certificate after a two or four-year online program, equipping them for various forms of ministry.

Students of the program commended the convenience and global perspective the VLCFF offers. “The VLCFF differs from other tertiary courses, as I can access the topics online when it is convenient for me, from anywhere in the world, and the topics available are being offered several times throughout the year,” said Gabrielle Byrne, a first year student in MFP. The University of Dayton and the Diocese of Adelaide collaborate to guide students like Gabrielle on their journey of faith and formation, culminating in a celebratory mass for the graduates. Read More...

Online Learning Expands with New Models

New models of online learning have emerged in the VLCFF, including the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston's hybrid "closed section" model. This model combines video conferencing and in-person group zoom meetings, fostering a community of learners and revitalizing Catholic knowledge. During the pandemic, the diocese introduced five-week course models aligned with the VLCFF calendar. Participants register their interest, and the diocesan office creates cohorts for each course, enabling independent online learning with face-to-face interactions.

At Sacred Heart parish, participants meet as a group and connect with the instructor via zoom. Courses like Introduction to Scripture, Introduction to Prayer, Catholic Beliefs, and Ecclesiology: A Theological, Historical and Pastoral Summary are utilized. The VLCFF program is praised for its help in deepening participants' understanding of Catholicism in a flexible and effective way. Read More...

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

testimonial image

"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
testimonial image

"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

Trending: News & Social Media

Australian Students Praise University's Virtual Community


IPI Welcomes New Staff


We All Have Different Faith Journeys


Finding Faith


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.

Learn More

Sister Angela's Corner