“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 7.

Students will cover - 

Course 17 - The Communion of the Saints

Course 18 - The Virgin Mary, Mother 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 Communion of Saints - Lesson 1 - Who Are the Saints?

    • LESSON PLAN / STUDY GUIDE - The Communion of Saints - Lesson 1 - Who Are the Saints?

    • OPENING PRAYER - The Communion of Saints - Lesson 1 - Who Are the Saints?

    • SCRIPTURE READING - The Communion of Saints - Lesson 1 - Who Are the Saints?

    • VIDEO - The Communion of Saints - Lesson 1 - Who Are the Saints?

    • DISCUSSION QUESTIONS - The Communion of Saints - Lesson 1 - Who Are the Saints?

    • CLOSING PRAYER - The Communion of Saints - Lesson 1 - Who Are the Saints?

    • CATECHISM TEXT, RESOURCES, AND GLOSSARY - The Communion of Saints - Lesson 1 - Who Are the Saints?

    • QUIZ - The Communion of Saints - Lesson 1 - Who Are the Saints?

    • ADDITIONAL SCRIPTURE READINGS - The Communion of Saints - Lesson 1 - Who Are the Saints?

    • Resources for Students, Parents, and Teachers

  3. 3
    • INTRODUCTION - The Communion of Saints - Lesson 2 - The Communion in Spiritual Goods of the Church

    • LESSON PLAN / STUDY GUIDE - The Communion of Saints - Lesson 2 - The Communion in Spiritual Goods of the Church

    • OPENING PRAYER - The Communion of Saints - Lesson 2 - The Communion in Spiritual Goods of the Church

    • SCRIPTURE READING - The Communion of Saints - Lesson 2 - The Communion in Spiritual Goods of the Church

    • VIDEO - The Communion of Saints - Lesson 2 - The Communion in Spiritual Goods of the Church

    • DISCUSSION QUESTIONS - The Communion of Saints - Lesson 2 - The Communion in Spiritual Goods of the Church

    • CLOSING PRAYER - The Communion of Saints - Lesson 2 - The Communion in Spiritual Goods of the Church

    • CATECHISM TEXT, RESOURCES, AND GLOSSARY - The Communion of Saints - Lesson 2 - The Communion in Spiritual Goods of the Church

    • QUIZ - The Communion of Saints - Lesson 2 - The Communion in Spiritual Goods of the Church

    • ADDITIONAL SCRIPTURE READINGS - The Communion of Saints - Lesson 2 - The Communion in Spiritual Goods of the Church

    • Resources for Students, Parents, and Teachers

  4. 4
    • INTRODUCTION - The Communion of Saints - Lesson 3 - Praying to the Saints

    • LESSON PLAN / STUDY GUIDE - The Communion of Saints - Lesson 3 - Praying to the Saints

    • OPENING PRAYER - The Communion of Saints - Lesson 3 - Praying to the Saints

    • SCRIPTURE READING - The Communion of Saints - Lesson 3 - Praying to the Saints

    • VIDEO - The Communion of Saints - Lesson 3 - Praying to the Saints

    • DISCUSSION QUESTIONS - The Communion of Saints - Lesson 3 - Praying to the Saints

    • CLOSING PRAYER - The Communion of Saints - Lesson 3 - Praying to the Saints

    • CATECHISM TEXT, RESOURCES, AND GLOSSARY - The Communion of Saints - Lesson 3 - Praying to the Saints

    • QUIZ - The Communion of Saints - Lesson 3 - Praying to the Saints

    • ADDITIONAL SCRIPTURE READINGS - The Communion of Saints - Lesson 3 - Praying to the Saints

    • Resources for Students, Parents, and Teachers

  5. 5
    • INTRODUCTION - The Virgin Mary, Mother of God - Lesson 1 - The Immaculate Conception

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

    • OPENING PRAYER - The Virgin Mary, Mother of God - Lesson 1 - The Immaculate Conception

    • SCRIPTURE READING - The Virgin Mary, Mother of God - Lesson 1 - The Immaculate Conception

    • VIDEO - The Virgin Mary, Mother of God - Lesson 1 - The Immaculate Conception

    • DISCUSSION QUESTIONS - The Virgin Mary, Mother of God - Lesson 1 - The Immaculate Conception

    • CLOSING PRAYER - The Virgin Mary, Mother of God - Lesson 1 - The Immaculate Conception

    • CATECHISM TEXT, RESOURCES, AND GLOSSARY - The Virgin Mary, Mother of God - Lesson 1 - The Immaculate Conception

    • QUIZ - The Virgin Mary, Mother of God - Lesson 1 - The Immaculate Conception

    • ADDITIONAL SCRIPTURE READINGS - The Virgin Mary, Mother of God - Lesson 1 - The Immaculate Conception

    • Resources for Students, Parents, and Teachers

  6. 6
    • INTRODUCTION - The Virgin Mary, Mother of God - Lesson 2 - The Mother of God

    • LESSON PLAN / STUDY GUIDE - The Virgin Mary, Mother of God - Lesson 2 - The Mother of God

    • OPENING PRAYER - The Virgin Mary, Mother of God - Lesson 2 - The Mother of God

    • SCRIPTURE READING - The Virgin Mary, Mother of God - Lesson 2 - The Mother of God

    • VIDEO - The Virgin Mary, Mother of God - Lesson 2 - The Mother of God

    • DISCUSSION QUESTIONS - The Virgin Mary, Mother of God - Lesson 2 - The Mother of God

    • CLOSING PRAYER - The Virgin Mary, Mother of God - Lesson 2 - The Mother of God

    • CATECHISM TEXT, RESOURCES, AND GLOSSARY - The Virgin Mary, Mother of God - Lesson 2 - The Mother of God

    • QUIZ - The Virgin Mary, Mother of God - Lesson 2 - The Mother of God

    • ADDITIONAL SCRIPTURE READINGS - The Virgin Mary, Mother of God - Lesson 2 - The Mother of God

    • Resources for Students, Parents, and Teachers

  7. 7
    • INTRODUCTION - The Virgin Mary, Mother of God - Lesson 3 - The Virgin Mary: Most Perfect Realization of the Church

    • LESSON PLAN / STUDY GUIDE - The Virgin Mary, Mother of God - Lesson 3 - The Virgin Mary: Most Perfect Realization of the Church

    • OPENING PRAYER - The Virgin Mary, Mother of God - Lesson 3 - The Virgin Mary: Most Perfect Realization of the Church

    • SCRIPTURE READING - The Virgin Mary, Mother of God - Lesson 3 - The Virgin Mary: Most Perfect Realization of the Church

    • VIDEO - The Virgin Mary, Mother of God - Lesson 3 - The Virgin Mary: Most Perfect Realization of the Church

    • DISCUSSION QUESTIONS - The Virgin Mary, Mother of God - Lesson 3 - The Virgin Mary: Most Perfect Realization of the Church

    • CLOSING PRAYER - The Virgin Mary, Mother of God - Lesson 3 - The Virgin Mary: Most Perfect Realization of the Church

    • CATECHISM TEXT, RESOURCES, AND GLOSSARY - The Virgin Mary, Mother of God - Lesson 3 - The Virgin Mary: Most Perfect Realization of the Church

    • QUIZ - The Virgin Mary, Mother of God - Lesson 3 - The Virgin Mary: Most Perfect Realization of the Church

    • ADDITIONAL SCRIPTURE READINGS - The Virgin Mary, Mother of God - Lesson 3 - The Virgin Mary: Most Perfect Realization of the Church

    • Resources for Students, Parents, and Teachers

  8. 8
    • INTRODUCTION - The Virgin Mary, Mother of God - Lesson 4 - Why Should Christians Pray to Mary?

    • LESSON PLAN / STUDY GUIDE - The Virgin Mary, Mother of God - Lesson 4 - Why Should Christians Pray to Mary?

    • OPENING PRAYER - The Virgin Mary, Mother of God - Lesson 4 - Why Should Christians Pray to Mary?

    • SCRIPTURE READING - The Virgin Mary, Mother of God - Lesson 4 - Why Should Christians Pray to Mary?

    • VIDEO - The Virgin Mary, Mother of God - Lesson 4 - Why Should Christians Pray to Mary?

    • DISCUSSION QUESTIONS - The Virgin Mary, Mother of God - Lesson 4 - Why Should Christians Pray to Mary?

    • CLOSING PRAYER - The Virgin Mary, Mother of God - Lesson 4 - Why Should Christians Pray to Mary?

    • CATECHISM TEXT, RESOURCES, AND GLOSSARY - The Virgin Mary, Mother of God - Lesson 4 - Why Should Christians Pray to Mary?

    • QUIZ - The Virgin Mary, Mother of God - Lesson 4 - Why Should Christians Pray to Mary?

    • ADDITIONAL SCRIPTURE READINGS - The Virgin Mary, Mother of God - Lesson 4 - Why Should Christians Pray to Mary?

    • 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.