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Shed light on your faith through online courses!

Although we participate week after week, sometimes we don’t realize the meaning and origins of what we say and do at Mass and how we are called to live as Catholics. Now, you can deepen your understanding through a joint program of the Archdiocese of New York and Fordham University’s Graduate School of Religion and Religious Studies.

Enlighten: Faith Education for Today’s Catholic will expand your knowledge of our faith through online courses.

Each of the six Enlighten courses costs $60. Please submit the form below to begin the registration process. After you submit this form, you will be directed to the final phase of registration with Fordham University.  

Course Descriptions

An Introduction to Catholicism

This course will introduce students to the multifaceted nature of Catholicism in a historical framework. Students will be introduced to key concepts such as the meaning of faith, the nature of revelation, the analogy of faith, the concept of social salvation, and an awareness of the Church as a “mystery.” In short, the course will help students to see the connection between their lives as Catholics and a God who uses history as a form of communication, who becomes incarnate, and who forms a sacramental community of faith.

Understanding the Creed

Students will be briefly introduced to the historical context behind the creeds before turning to consider the articles of the creed. The lectures will follow the Catechism’s treatment of the 12 articles of the Nicene creed, with some particular care in addressing the issue of the final judgment.

Understanding Holy Scripture

This course will introduce students to basic concepts that are necessary for reading the Holy Scripture. The students will learn how the books of scripture were comprised, the various types of scripture, and how the early Church chose books for inclusion in the Bible. The relationship between Holy Scripture and the Holy Spirit in the life of the Church and in the life of the individual believer will be treated in the latter part of the course.

Unveiling the Sacraments

This course will explain the meaning of a sacramental worldview and its significance for human happiness. Students will receive a brief history as to the development of the seven sacraments and particular instruction on the history and spiritual significance of each sacrament. Particular attention will be paid to Baptism and Eucharist.

Catholic Moral Teachings

This course will examine how to reach fulfillment or happiness in life, which the Catechism sometimes refers to as beatitude. The course will cover how the Church understands conscience, sin, virtue, and the common good. Students will learn key distinctions such as the difference between an act being immoral and being sinful.

Catholic Social Teachings

Students will be introduced to a Catholic understanding of what it means to be and act as human as outlined in Catholic teachings on social justice.  The course will cover how the Church understands the dignity of the human person and common good as well as how they interplay with the New Evangelization, answering the question: What does living Catholic social teaching mean for today?

Course Schedule

Enlighten course registration opens no later than 10 weeks before each session starts on Registration for each session closes 7 days before the session begins.

February 2022 Session – February 7th to March 16th

April 2022 Session – April 25th to June 1st

What our students have to say:

“The Fordham Enlighten program provided me with the invaluable opportunity to learn more about the Catholic faith. The on-line curriculum and self-paced format was perfect for my busy life as a wife, mother, and professional. The instructors were knowledge in their fields and welcomed the opportunity to dive deeper into each subject to broaden class discussion. As a blind student, I also found the platform very accessible. I am grateful to Fordham for providing this program free of charge to members of the Archdiocese of New York so that we may appreciate the scriptures, sacraments, and other Catholic social teachings.”

Holly E. Bonner

“I would like to share:  Enlighten is a fantastic program geared to adults that inspires curiosity and answers questions you might have about the Catholic faith.  I had the privilege of receiving a Catholic education from grade school up to and including high school and still learned a lot.  The course is designed to be flexible and can be completed at your own pace in a weekly format.  However, the participation of fellow classmates is really additive and the instructors are topnotch.”

Liza P. Krontilik

“Being part of the Enlighten Program has been a turning point in my life.  As a lifelong practicing Catholic, I know what I believe but sometimes I have had difficulty explaining to others the basis for my beliefs.  Each course in the program reintroduced me to a different aspect of the Catholic religion and reaffirmed my love and necessity for embracing my beliefs.  I have always been a bit shy in sharing my thoughts but after being part of Enlighten, I feel comfortable and compelled to share my faith with others.  When others may think something is a coincidence I celebrate it as is part of God’s plan for me.  When I completed my last course on Social Justice, I was saddened because I did not know what was going to replace Enlighten on my spiritual journey.  This January, I enrolled in a course to read the Bible in a year and I look forward to reading and learning about Scripture every day.  I feel so blessed to have been part of the Enlighten Program and am grateful for my new confidence in sharing my faith with others.”

Judy Short

“My participation in the Enlighten Program – generously co-sponsored by the Archdiocese of New York and New York’s Jesuit University, Fordham – was a rich and rewarding experience for me, and evidence that the Lord is always at work in our lives and in the life of His church. A cradle Catholic born to immigrant Irish parents who settled in the Bronx, I attended Catholic schools from 1st through 12th grade, and even did half of my undergraduate degree at Fordham’s College of Liberal Studies.  When an unsettling personal experience in adulthood prompted me to lean more heavily on the Lord, my church, and my faith, I undertook several avenues in search of better understanding of where I was and where God wanted me to be.  The most fruitful were those that trusted and welcomed what the Lord was offering through the Church’s ministry.  

I still don’t know how or why I received the invitation to participate in the Enlighten program; but saying “yes” to that invitation was life giving. I enjoyed sharing the experience with fellow NY Catholics from all walks of life.  Whether trained from birth, lapsed, or recent converts, each had something to share to the other’s benefit; and I believe individual contributions to class discussions helped aid our collective understanding.  Truly the Holy Spirit was at work among us, and guided the gentle hand of all the wise and wonderful course coordinators.  Eye opening lessons on Church history, especially in America, will not be found in many history books.  Growing in understanding of the beautiful gift that is our church, and considering the church as sacrament, is truly a gift.  Every one of the six courses offered in the program is like a spoke on a wheel, and completing the program has made this journey ever more peaceful.”

Patricia Gaffney

For more information, please visit www.

Questions? Contact the Archdiocese of New York’s Office of Adult Faith Formation for more information: or 646-794-2581.

Register for the Enlighten Program

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