“For this I was born, and for this I have come into the world, to bear witness to the truth. Every one who is of the truth hears my voice” (John 18:37).

I want the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth …. 

You owe it to yourself to learn all about Christ’s life and teaching and what the Church believes. The goal is exposure to the entire content of the faith—not just a few things sprinkled willy-nilly. It ultimately boils down to truth, and truth matters!

The Catholic Online School RCIA program is carefully designed to provide you with a systematic, comprehensive education in the divine faith of the Church. The goal is to make you “of the truth” by exposing you to the voice of Christ.

We begin with “The Creed: The Divine Faith We Profess and Believe.”

The Creed—the faith we profess as Christians—is the first of the four main pillars of the faith we’ll be exploring. Here are some of the topics you’ll learn about in this section:

  • The longing for God and why happiness is found in God alone
  • Creation, the human person, reason, and the Church as paths to knowledge of God
  • God’s plan to share his blessed life with you
  • Sacred Tradition, Sacred Scripture, and the saving Gospel
  • The gift of faith and living as a Christian
  • The mystery of God, the Holy Trinity, and creation
  • Man and woman, original sin, angels, and the devil
  • God sends his Son, Jesus Christ, into the world
  • The saving death and resurrection of Jesus Christ
  • The Holy Spirit
  • The mystery of the Church
  • The Christian faithful of the Church: hierarchy, religious, and laity
  • The communion of the saints and praying to the saints
  • The Virgin Mary, Mother of God
  • Life everlasting: death, judgement, purgatory, heaven, and hell
  • The resurrection of the dead
  • The new heaven and the new earth


From all of us at Catholic Online School: May Christ bless you on your journey of faith.

“The Creed: The Divine Faith We Profess and Believe" is broken up into 8 different chapters. 

In this course, students will work through Chapter 6.

Students will cover - 

  • Course 14 - The Holy Catholic Church
  • Course 15 - The Four Marks of the Church
  • Course 16 - The People of God


Earning a certificate of completion in this online course is not a substitute for completing a parish-based RCIA program. The Sacraments of Initiation can only be conferred by a bishop or priest. This certificate means you have successfully completed a course of study that is intended to supplement your parish RCIA program.


For free. For everyone. Forever.

With God, you can learn anything

Course curriculum

  1. 1
    • How to get your 'Certificate of Completion'

  2. 2
    • INTRODUCTION - The Holy Catholic Church - Lesson 1 - Why is the Church and the Christian Religion Important?

    • LESSON PLAN / STUDY GUIDE - The Holy Catholic Church - Lesson 1 - Why is the Church and the Christian Religion Important?

    • OPENING PRAYER - The Holy Catholic Church - Lesson 1 - Why is the Church and the Christian Religion Important?

    • SCRIPTURE READING - The Holy Catholic Church - Lesson 1 - Why is the Church and the Christian Religion Important?

    • VIDEO - The Holy Catholic Church - Lesson 1 - Why is the Church and the Christian Religion Important?

    • DISCUSSION QUESTIONS - The Holy Catholic Church - Lesson 1 - Why is the Church and the Christian Religion Important?

    • CLOSING PRAYER - The Holy Catholic Church - Lesson 1 - Why is the Church and the Christian Religion Important?

    • CATECHISM TEXT, RESOURCES, AND GLOSSARY - The Holy Catholic Church - Lesson 1 - Why is the Church and the Christian Religion Important?

    • QUIZ - The Holy Catholic Church - Lesson 1 - Why is the Church and the Christian Religion Important?

    • ADDITIONAL SCRIPTURE READINGS - The Holy Catholic Church - Lesson 1 - Why is the Church and the Christian Religion Important?

    • Resources for Students, Parents, and Teachers

  3. 3
    • INTRODUCTION - The Holy Catholic Church - Lesson 2 - The Mystery of the Church: Willed by God and Founded by Christ

    • LESSON PLAN / STUDY GUIDE - The Holy Catholic Church - Lesson 2 - The Mystery of the Church: Willed by God and Founded by Christ

    • OPENING PRAYER - The Holy Catholic Church - Lesson 2 - The Mystery of the Church: Willed by God and Founded by Christ

    • SCRIPTURE READING - The Holy Catholic Church - Lesson 2 - The Mystery of the Church: Willed by God and Founded by Christ

    • VIDEO - The Holy Catholic Church - Lesson 2 - The Mystery of the Church: Willed by God and Founded by Christ

    • DISCUSSION QUESTIONS - The Holy Catholic Church - Lesson 2 - The Mystery of the Church: Willed by God and Founded by Christ

    • CLOSING PRAYER - The Holy Catholic Church - Lesson 2 - The Mystery of the Church: Willed by God and Founded by Christ

    • CATECHISM TEXT, RESOURCES, AND GLOSSARY - The Holy Catholic Church - Lesson 2 - The Mystery of the Church: Willed by God and Founded by Christ

    • QUIZ - The Holy Catholic Church - Lesson 2 - The Mystery of the Church: Willed by God and Founded by Christ

    • ADDITIONAL SCRIPTURE READINGS - The Holy Catholic Church - Lesson 2 - The Mystery of the Church: Willed by God and Founded by Christ

    • Resources for Students, Parents, and Teachers

  4. 4
    • INTRODUCTION - The Holy Catholic Church - Lesson 3 - Is the Church Necessary for Salvation?

    • LESSON PLAN / STUDY GUIDE - The Holy Catholic Church - Lesson 3 - Is the Church Necessary for Salvation?

    • OPENING PRAYER - The Holy Catholic Church - Lesson 3 - Is the Church Necessary for Salvation?

    • SCRIPTURE READING - The Holy Catholic Church - Lesson 3 - Is the Church Necessary for Salvation?

    • VIDEO - The Holy Catholic Church - Lesson 3 - Is the Church Necessary for Salvation?

    • DISCUSSION QUESTIONS - The Holy Catholic Church - Lesson 3 - Is the Church Necessary for Salvation?

    • CLOSING PRAYER - The Holy Catholic Church - Lesson 3 - Is the Church Necessary for Salvation?

    • CATECHISM TEXT, RESOURCES, AND GLOSSARY - The Holy Catholic Church - Lesson 3 - Is the Church Necessary for Salvation?

    • QUIZ - The Holy Catholic Church - Lesson 3 - Is the Church Necessary for Salvation?

    • ADDITIONAL SCRIPTURE READINGS - The Holy Catholic Church - Lesson 3 - Is the Church Necessary for Salvation?

    • Resources for Students, Parents, and Teachers

  5. 5
    • INTRODUCTION - The Four Marks of the Church - Lesson 1 - The Church is One and Holy

    • LESSON PLAN / STUDY GUIDE - The Four Marks of the Church - Lesson 1 - The Church is One and Holy

    • OPENING PRAYER - The Four Marks of the Church - Lesson 1 - The Church is One and Holy

    • SCRIPTURE READING - The Four Marks of the Church - Lesson 1 - The Church is One and Holy

    • VIDEO - The Four Marks of the Church - Lesson 1 - The Church is One and Holy

    • DISCUSSION QUESTIONS - The Four Marks of the Church - Lesson 1 - The Church is One and Holy

    • CLOSING PRAYER - The Four Marks of the Church - Lesson 1 - The Church is One and Holy

    • CATECHISM TEXT, RESOURCES, AND GLOSSARY - The Four Marks of the Church - Lesson 1 - The Church is One and Holy

    • QUIZ - The Four Marks of the Church - Lesson 1 - The Church is One and Holy

    • ADDITIONAL SCRIPTURE READINGS - The Four Marks of the Church - Lesson 1 - The Church is One and Holy

    • Resources for Students, Parents, and Teachers

  6. 6
    • INTRODUCTION - The Four Marks of the Church - Lesson 2 - The Church is Catholic and Apostolic

    • LESSON PLAN / STUDY GUIDE - The Four Marks of the Church - Lesson 2 - The Church is Catholic and Apostolic

    • OPENING PRAYER - The Four Marks of the Church - Lesson 2 - The Church is Catholic and Apostolic

    • SCRIPTURE READING - The Four Marks of the Church - Lesson 2 - The Church is Catholic and Apostolic

    • VIDEO - The Four Marks of the Church - Lesson 2 - The Church is Catholic and Apostolic

    • DISCUSSION QUESTIONS - The Four Marks of the Church - Lesson 2 - The Church is Catholic and Apostolic

    • CLOSING PRAYER - The Four Marks of the Church - Lesson 2 - The Church is Catholic and Apostolic

    • CATECHISM TEXT, RESOURCES, AND GLOSSARY - The Four Marks of the Church - Lesson 2 - The Church is Catholic and Apostolic

    • QUIZ - The Four Marks of the Church - Lesson 2 - The Church is Catholic and Apostolic

    • ADDITIONAL SCRIPTURE READINGS - The Four Marks of the Church - Lesson 2 - The Church is Catholic and Apostolic

    • Resources for Students, Parents, and Teachers

  7. 7
    • INTRODUCTION - The People of God - Lesson 1 - The Characteristics of the People of God

    • LESSON PLAN / STUDY GUIDE - The People of God - Lesson 1 - The Characteristics of the People of God

    • OPENING PRAYER - The People of God - Lesson 1 - The Characteristics of the People of God

    • SCRIPTURE READING - The People of God - Lesson 1 - The Characteristics of the People of God

    • VIDEO - The People of God - Lesson 1 - The Characteristics of the People of God

    • DISCUSSION QUESTIONS - The People of God - Lesson 1 - The Characteristics of the People of God

    • CLOSING PRAYER - The People of God - Lesson 1 - The Characteristics of the People of God

    • CATECHISM TEXT, RESOURCES, AND GLOSSARY - The People of God - Lesson 1 - The Characteristics of the People of God

    • QUIZ - The People of God - Lesson 1 - The Characteristics of the People of God

    • ADDITIONAL SCRIPTURE READINGS - The People of God - Lesson 1 - The Characteristics of the People of God

    • Resources for Students, Parents, and Teachers

  8. 8
    • INTRODUCTION - The People of God - Lesson 2 - The Hierarchy Part I

    • LESSON PLAN / STUDY GUIDE - The People of God - Lesson 2 - The Hierarchy Part I

    • OPENING PRAYER - The People of God - Lesson 2 - The Hierarchy Part I

    • SCRIPTURE READING - The People of God - Lesson 2 - The Hierarchy Part I

    • VIDEO - The People of God - Lesson 2 - The Hierarchy Part I

    • DISCUSSION QUESTIONS - The People of God - Lesson 2 - The Hierarchy Part I

    • CLOSING PRAYER - The People of God - Lesson 2 - The Hierarchy Part I

    • CATECHISM TEXT, RESOURCES, AND GLOSSARY - The People of God - Lesson 2 - The Hierarchy Part I

    • QUIZ - The People of God - Lesson 2 - The Hierarchy Part I

    • ADDITIONAL SCRIPTURE READINGS - The People of God - Lesson 2 - The Hierarchy Part I

    • Resources for Students, Parents, and Teachers

  9. 9
    • INTRODUCTION - The People of God - Lesson 3 - The Hierarchy Part II

    • LESSON PLAN / STUDY GUIDE - The People of God - Lesson 3 - The Hierarchy Part II

    • OPENING PRAYER - The People of God - Lesson 3 - The Hierarchy Part II

    • SCRIPTURE READING - The People of God - Lesson 3 - The Hierarchy Part II

    • VIDEO - The People of God - Lesson 3 - The Hierarchy Part II

    • DISCUSSION QUESTIONS - The People of God - Lesson 3 - The Hierarchy Part II

    • CLOSING PRAYER - The People of God - Lesson 3 - The Hierarchy Part II

    • CATECHISM TEXT, RESOURCES, AND GLOSSARY - The People of God - Lesson 3 - The Hierarchy Part II

    • QUIZ - The People of God - Lesson 3 - The Hierarchy Part II

    • ADDITIONAL SCRIPTURE READINGS - The People of God - Lesson 3 - The Hierarchy Part II

    • Resources for Students, Parents, and Teachers

  10. 10
    • INTRODUCTION - The People of God - Lesson 4 - The Laity

    • LESSON PLAN / STUDY GUIDE - The People of God - Lesson 4 - The Laity

    • OPENING PRAYER - The People of God - Lesson 4 - The Laity

    • SCRIPTURE READING - The People of God - Lesson 4 - The Laity

    • VIDEO - The People of God - Lesson 4 - The Laity

    • DISCUSSION QUESTIONS - The People of God - Lesson 4 - The Laity

    • CLOSING PRAYER - The People of God - Lesson 4 - The Laity

    • CATECHISM TEXT, RESOURCES, AND GLOSSARY - The People of God - Lesson 4 - The Laity

    • QUIZ - The People of God - Lesson 4 - The Laity

    • ADDITIONAL SCRIPTURE READINGS - The People of God - Lesson 4 - The Laity

    • Resources for Students, Parents, and Teachers

  11. 11
    • INTRODUCTION - The People of God - Lesson 5 - The Consecrated Religious

    • LESSON PLAN / STUDY GUIDE - The People of God - Lesson 5 - The Consecrated Religious

    • OPENING PRAYER - The People of God - Lesson 5 - The Consecrated Religious

    • SCRIPTURE READING - The People of God - Lesson 5 - The Consecrated Religious

    • VIDEO - The People of God - Lesson 5 - The Consecrated Religious

    • DISCUSSION QUESTIONS - The People of God - Lesson 5 - The Consecrated Religious

    • CLOSING PRAYER - The People of God - Lesson 5 - The Consecrated Religious

    • CATECHISM TEXT, RESOURCES, AND GLOSSARY - The People of God - Lesson 5 - The Consecrated Religious

    • QUIZ - The People of God - Lesson 5 - The Consecrated Religious

    • ADDITIONAL SCRIPTURE READINGS - The People of God - Lesson 5 - The Consecrated Religious

    • Resources for Students, Parents, and Teachers

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Instructor(s)

Professor of Theology, Department Chair

Deacon Frederick Bartels

Deacon Frederick Bartels is a member of the Catholic clergy who serves the Church in the diocese of Pueblo, CO. He received an MA in Theology and Educational Ministry from Catholic Distance University, where he is currently employed as an adjunct professor of theology. He is founder and editor of Joy In Truth (joyintruth.com), an online magazine dedicated to the New Evangelization. As a Catholic educator, public speaker and evangelist, Deacon Bartels strives to infuse culture with the saving principles of the gospel. He lives in Colorado with his wife, Shelly, and the youngest two of their six children. Professor Bartels is Chairman of the Theology Department.