Information & Opportunities
of Lay Ministers
Faith Formation on the Internet
The Archdiocese of Santa Fe is now a partner with the University of Dayton in the Virtual
Learning Community for Faith Formation (VLCFF). This is an Internet distance learning initiative
to support adult formation in areas of catechetical ministry, lay ministry or adult enrichment.
The purpose of this initiative is to offer adult faith and catechist formation anytime and anywhere
via the Internet.
Courses now available are Scripture, Jesus, Church History, and Media Education. Other courses are constantly being developed. Each course is limited to 12 participants. The fee for each 5 week course is $40.00 with the possibility of partial scholarship for those working toward certification. The University of Dayton offers 2.5 Continuing Education Units for each course.
The Virtual Learning Community for Faith Formation
Based on over twenty years of experience in multimedia and distance learning, the Institute
for Pastoral Initiatives team in 1995 began to explore new alternatives for adult faith formation
via the Internet.
A preliminary grant from the University of Dayton and support from the Marianist Foundation enabled the VLCFF to spring forth in 1997. Today the VLCFF is a rapidly growing new initiative in partnerships with dioceses across the United States and other parts of the world.
But, without a doubt, the Internets immense potential can be enormously helpful in spreading the Good News. This has already been proven by various promising initiatives the church has taken, calling for a responsible creative development on this new frontier of the Churchs mission (cf Christifideles Laici #44). A great deal is at stake. How can we not be present and use information networks whose screens are at the heart of peoples homes to implant the values of the Gospel there? (Toward a Pastoral Approach to Culture 1999)
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Virtual Learning Community for Faith Formation (VLCFF)?
It is an Internet distance learning initiative to support adult formation in areas of catechetical ministry, lay ministry or adult enrichment.
What is the purpose of VLCFF?
The purpose is to offer adult faith and catechist formation anytime and anywhere via the Internet. In collaboration with our VLCFF Diocesan Partners, we work to complement and support the efforts of your diocese to enhance pastoral and educational services to the local Church
What kind of courses are available?
Scripture, Jesus, Church History, Sacraments, Media Education and new courses are constantly being
developed for VLCFF.
The courses are designed by faculty of the University of Dayton and directors of diocesan catechetical offices and are facilitated by catechetical ministers with Masters Degrees in theology, religious education, scripture, and related fields.
What is the online course format?
Courses require reading, reflection and responding via discussion boards. Each course has a facilitator
and a maximum of 12 participants. Courses run for 5 weeks, and are designed to be an experience within
a small virtual community, not an independent study. Courses are closed domain and password
Courses are asynchronous. This means they are not in real-time. You do not have to be online at the same time with the other participants. However, as course participants feel more comfortable with e-learning, we are prepared to move elements of the course into synchronous experiences. This means everyone is online the same time at various times during the course.
What is the fee for VLCFF courses?
The course fee is only $40.00 per course since your diocese is a VLCFF Diocesan Partner. Course fees may be paid by check or money order made payable to The Institute for Pastoral Initiatives or IPI. Once registered additional specific information is e-mailed to you.
Why would I be interested?
- Time: Courses may be accessed at times convenient to the learner, i.e., around family time or work schedule.
- Distance: It is as close as your computer.
- Interest: VLCFF provides an alternative to traditional learning styles. Furthermore, VLCFF may offer courses not currently offered in your geographic area.
- Availability: The courses you need are not immediately available to you.
Who is the sponsor?
The Institute for Pastoral Initiatives of the University of Dayton is the primary sponsor. In collaboration with your diocese, these courses are being made available to you. Your diocese is a VLCFF Diocesan Partner.
What does one need to participate?
Computer and the Internet access are needed.
How do I register or get more information?
All information is online. Courses are available 5 times a year. Course topics may vary from time to time. Check out the University of Dayton for current course information and registration process.
Do the courses contribute to my diocesan catechist certification or lay ministry certificate?
Since your diocese is a VLCFF Partner these courses are recognized; however, we recommend that you
consult your diocesan catechetical or lay ministry center/office for confirmation. Each VLCFF Diocesan
Partner has different requirements and we respect these requirements.
The University of Dayton offers 2.5 Continuing Education Units for each course. A certificate is given for each course and co-signed by a representative from your diocese.
Also, visit The Institute for Pastoral Initiatives at the University of Dayton for current course information and registration process or call 1.888.300.8436.