Fordham University            The Jesuit University of New York

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Certificate in Faith Formation

Faith Formation Worksheet

Certificate in Faith Formation
Program Overview
An 18-credit certificate offered online for teachers, parish religious educators, other part-time and volunteer parish ministers, and others who are generally interested in the program. For some, the program further prepares them for parish service and/or religious education; for others it serves as enrichment. For those who wish the 18 credits accrued may be applied towards the 36 credit Master of Arts degree with concentrations in Religious Education, Spirituality, or Pastoral Studies.

Enrollment in the Certificate Program requires completion of an undergraduate degree.

The competencies outlined by the United States Bishops in their document Co-Workers in the Vineyard of the Lord are included in the courses offered in the Certificate Program in Faith Formation through the venue of a total course or components within the courses in the curriculum.

Co-Workers indicates that the following are core elements to be included, “to varying extents,” with all programs:
  • Scripture and its interpretation. This element includes the historical and social contexts of the biblical writings, recognition of their literary forms, and the Catholic exegetical tradition of the Fathers of the Church and medieval commentaries.
  • Dogmatic theology. This includes the Trinity, Christology, ecclesiology, Christian anthropology, and eschatology.
  • Church history
  • Liturgical and sacramental theology
  • Moral theology and Catholic social teaching.
  • Pastoral theology. This dimension seeks guiding principles for the practice of ministry in a given context.
  • Spirituality. Spiritual intellectual formation includes the history of Christian religious experience and diverse types of spirituality.
  • Canon law. Canon law study should in particular cover those elements relevant to the lives of the faithful, such as their canonical rights and responsibilities, the sacramental life of the Church, and diocesan and parish structures.
(Co-Workers in the Vineyard of the Lord, p. 46)


Certificate in Faith Formation
Instruction will include the following content:
1 course in Ecclesiology
1 course in Scripture (New Testament)
4 courses to be chosen from the following areas:
Liturgy, Sacraments, Spirituality, or Religious Education

Sample Courses in the
Faith Formation Certificate Program

The course considers the major figures and themes and Christian spirituality in the modern period. Students get to know key spiritual writers from the 16th to the 20th century. The focus is on how these writes thought mystically and how they applied that focus to their world. Themes from traditional and mystical thinking are used to address today’s issues.
Faculty: Fr. Anthony Ciorra

This course presents a comprehensive review, from a Roman Catholic perspective, of the many different ways that the Church has understood Jesus Christ through the centuries. We will examine Biblical Christologies, and the final part concentrates on some contemporary Christologies.
Faculty: Fr. Claudio Burgaleta

Explores various ways of envisioning how faith communities can structure their internal lives and their relationship to the world. Includes a historical survey of understandings of church and society from biblical times to the present, with specific emphasis placed on using the resources of Scripture and Christian Traditions to help faith communities discern what God is enabling and requiring of them in the world today.
Faculty: Fr. Claudio Burgaleta

Focuses on developing a greater understanding of the social ministry of the Christian churches. After a historical survey of Christian attitudes toward peace and justice, 0participants will explore ways of bringing a concern for peace and justice issues into liturgy, preaching, religious education and pastoral ministry. The course also examines how to relate Christian understandings of peace and justice to everyday work, and civic, political and family life.
Faculty: Harold D. Horell.

Online Course delivery
Students in the program progress through the curriculum completing all courses online through the Internet. Courses developed for online delivery maintain the same high standards as any Fordham University course. The method of delivery is the only difference.

Students and faculty access their online course through a course management system called Blackboard. Each course has its own course page (web page) within Blackboard. Students and faculty login to Blackboard and link to their course. On the course page you will find announcements about the course and links to the rest of the course content.
Within the online course, students will find a course syllabus, communication links for email, staff information, helpful resources, the learning space and discussion board. The Learning Space contains most of the content for the course.

Typically, as our student’s progress through the Learning Space each week, they will hear faculty lectures, view presentations and videos, read literature, and then reflect on what they have experienced.

Students may write papers, take examinations, conduct research and complete other weekly assignments.
Additionally, students participate on a Discussion Board making the course highly interactive. Students share their insights, observations and experiences with the other students and the faculty on the Discussion Board.

A GSRRE Online Community Center is available to registered students as they progress through the program.
The Online Community Center houses important information that will be useful for all students and courses throughout the program. Within the Online Community Center students will find information about the library and library access as well as links for technical assistance.


The Online Community Center contains all of the plugins students will need to download to their computers to view the contents of the courses including videos, documents, sound files, animated files, interactions, and presentations. Plugins include: Adobe Acrobat Reader, RealPlayer, Flash, Quicktime, Java and PowerPoint viewer. Students receive access to this center in our Blackboard service once they have been admitted and registered.

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