Catholic Faith and Tradition

for School Teachers

Course Description

Tailored to the needs of Catholic school teachers, “Catholic Faith and Tradition for School Teachers” is an edited version of STEP’s popular “Core Course: An Introduction to the Catholic Faith.” The course offers an informational and enriching introduction to the Catholic faith using the United States Catholic Catechism for Adults as the primary text.

This foundational course for Catholic school teachers provides a deeper understanding of Catholic beliefs and practices and an opportunity to grow in faith with other educators in a supportive learning environment.

Course Content

Unit 1: Faith Development

  1. Faith as a Personal and Communal Response to God’s Self-Revelation
  2. Stages of Faith Development
  3. Faith as “Content” as Well as a Dynamic Spiritual Reality

Unit 2: Scripture

  1. Revelation Transmitted through Scripture and Tradition
  2. Development of the Bible
  3. Overview of the Old Testament
  4. Overview of the New Testament
  5. Interpretation of the Scriptures

Unit 3: The Creed/ Jesus Christ

  1. Apostles’ and Nicene Creeds
  2. Trinity
  3. Person of Jesus Christ
  4. Christology

Unit 4: The Church

  1. Models of the Church
  2. Marks of the Church
  3. Mary and Saints

Unit 5: Sacraments, Liturgy and Prayer

  1. Liturgy as Act of the Church
  2. Seven Sacraments
  3. Importance of Prayer

Unit 6: Morality

  1. Elements of Christian Morality
  2. Sources of Catholic Morality
  3. Basics of Catholic Social Teaching

Course Format

  • Seven weeks in duration, with one week for orientation.
  • Typically 15-20 students in each course.
  • In addition to assigned readings from the United States Catholic Catechism for Adults, additional lecture material provided online.
  • Supplemental readings are provided to encourage further exploration of topic, internet links provided for all readings.
  • Weekly written assignments (150-200 words) required.
  • Weekly facilitator-moderated chat sessions with students in course.

Required Texts

  • United States Catholic Catechism for Adults (USCCA) book cover

    Participants in this course must have their own copy of the United States Catholic Catechism for Adults from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, 2006 -- please note that it has a red cover, as shown at right. This book is available to read online, or it can be purchased in paper or electronic form.

Participation Requirements

  • Weekly reading of lecture texts and assigned readings.
  • Participation in class discussion using discussion area (minimum 2 comments, questions or responses weekly.)
  • Weekly written assignment (150-200 words.)
  • Weekly chat session with other students in course (4 required throughout course.)
  • Course evaluation.

Time Expectations

4 to 6 hours a week (time varies from student to student depending on your learning style and schedule.)

Course Certificate

A Certificate of Completion awarding 35 Contact Hours will be sent upon completion of all course requirements.

Meet the Developer

Lisa Orchen

Lisa Orchen

Lisa Orchen graduated from the University of Notre Dame with a BA in 1988 and returned to Notre Dame to earn a Master of Divinity in 1994. She is a certified Chaplain with the National Association of Catholic Chaplains and has served as a hospital chaplain, Director of Campus Ministry and as a Pastoral Associate for a vibrant parish in Connecticut. She serves as a trained catechist for the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd, writes for Liturgy Training Publications and leads archdiocesan workshops and retreats.

The basis for this course is the STEP Core Course: An Introduction to the Catholic Faith, which was developed by Mary Jane Silvia, Director for Youth Ministry, and Mary Ellen Mahon, Director for Catechetical Formation in the Diocese of Manchester, New Hampshire.  Lisa edited the course content and adjusted additional readings to better suit the experience of Catholic school teachers.  In addition, Lisa will be the primary though not the only facilitator of this course.