Massive Open Online Courses

Sign up for free online, open mini-courses – now on Facebook!

facebookHoly Apostles College & Seminary has been offering free Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) since fall 2012 through Edvance360. Beginning in Spring 2016, the college is converting all of its MOOCs to Facebook groups.

The reason for the move is to build on social media most of our registrants already use and design classes that log on to you. Every time you engage the course, you’ll be instantly engaging everyone else within it through their mobile devices and/or desktop computers. This kind of power will enable our MOOCs to become more dynamic and attract hundreds more participants in each course as friends share with friends the classes they’re taking. With this new platform, moreover, we can run more MOOCs at the same time. In addition to that, Holy Apostles plans to offer 50 unique MOOCs in 2016, with a new one starting each week.

To sign up, just click the “Like us on Facebook” link above, and you’ll instantly receive notifications of when each course is about to come open. You’ll simply be prompted to join the course group.

The notices will appear in your Facebook the day before each MOOC begins, and all materials to complete the MOOC will be made instantly available to you once you’re inside a course group.

For those MOOCs that require a book purchase, the link to the .epub version of the book will be on the main group page, and you’ll only be a click away from having access to everything you need for success in your course.


Registrants may participate in as many of the above courses as they like for free. Those who complete all the modules in each course will receive a certificate of completion from the MOOC Moderator for the purpose of receiving continuing education units from their education offices.

Medical Ethics: Part 1, The Historical Background

April 11 – May 13, 2016

This Massive Open Online Course will examine the history of Catholic ethical teaching on medicine and health care, with particular attention to common ethical dilemmas concerning the beginning and the end of life.

Economic Science and St. Thomas Aquinas

April 18 – May 13, 2016

This is a MOOC on what is perhaps the most burning and urgent of social issues of our times, namely, the relationship between the science of Economics and Ethics. It demonstrates that the modern view has reversed the true relationship and that it is a mistake of enormous practical significance, not unrelated to the vicissitudes that the modern economy has experienced in the past and, now worldwide, is undergoing at the present time. To regain the proper perspective on the relationship, we need to recover the practical wisdom of two of the geniuses of Ethics in the history of that study: Aristotle and St. Thomas Aquinas.

In Praise of Life

April 25 – May 20, 2016

This MOOC illustrates how ten different factors can improve our appreciation of life: Evolution prepares it, Meaning justifies it, Love enhances it, Truth directs it, Freedom crowns it, Virtue strengthens it, Sexuality promotes it, Marriage shelters it, Gratitude honors it, and Christmas celebrates it.

Memorize the Mass!

May 2 – May 27, 2016
This MOOC applies the powerful methods of the Catholic art of memory once more to all the parts and rites of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, both in the Novus Ordo or Ordinary Form and in the Extraordinary Form or Traditional Latin Mass. Readers will learn not merely how to memorize facts and repeat them like a parrot, but to come to know the names, the sequence, and the meanings of both forms of the Roman Rite of the Mass like a rational human being made in God’s image and likeness with an intellect and a will, and they will learn to engrave each and every one of those rites upon the tablets of their hearts, knowing them literally forward and backward!

Past MOOC Courses

Dante’s Inferno
(January 11 – February 9, 2016)

Published in late 1314, the Inferno traces a pilgrim’s journey from the Dark Wood of despair to the source of all sin and iniquity. Dante the pilgrim descends to the bottom of Hell at the prompting of Virgil, who had been sent by Dante’s beloved Beatrice at the request of St. Lucia who was herself prompted by St. Mary, the Mother of God. The goal was to bring Dante through a recognition of sin to enable him to renounce it in the following canticle, the Purgatorio and enter into the mind of God in the Paradiso. Dante gets through hell in about a 24-hour walk; we pilgrims will spend a little over a month in the journey.

33-Day de Montfort Consecration Schedule
(Rolling Start Dates – see schedule)

This course will prepare one for his or her Consecration to Jesus through Mary, teaching why one should consecrate himself/herself to Jesus through Mary, how it is done, what benefits are derived from it, when to do it, and how to live the consecration as a way of life.

Sacred Art & Music
(January 18 – February 13, 2016)

This course will examine the Church’s teachings on sacred art and music as an integral part of the Liturgy in the Latin Rite tradition. It will look at why the Church considers sacred art and music essential to the ultimate purpose of its liturgy: the worship of God, and by means of it, the sanctification and edification of the faithful. It will look at how the Church defines “sacred art” and “sacred music,” and how they can authentically be given expression today in service of the liturgy.

The New Atheism: Painting with all the Colors of the Wind
(January 25 – February 20, 2016)

This course will focus on how the new atheism is confronting today’s world in the attempt it is making to secure political power in its assault against faith. The course will provide adequate ways in which Catholic leaders might respond to this onslaught.

MOOC Design: Do You Have What it Takes to Launch a Massive Open Online Course?
(February 1 – March 11, 2016)

This certificate course will describe the fundamentals of Massive Open Online Courses. The certificate will involve four modules dealing with MOOC design, development, implementation, and marketing. Participants will be given one week to complete each module. During their module completion, participants will be given the opportunity to request MOOC space of their very own on which to build their MOOCs.

The Gospel of Luke (part 1 of 3)
(February 8 – March 4, 2016)
This course is an in depth study of the Gospel of Luke taking into consideration the historical, religious, and cultural background of this rich and inspirational gospel.

Dante’s Purgatorio
(February 10 – March 13, 2016)

Published in the autumn of 1315, the Purgatorio traces Dante the pilgrim’s journey from where he has emerged out of hell to the top of Mount Purgatory where he finds man’s first delight, the Garden of Eden. The goal of the canticle is to show Dante the renunciation of sin consists in the perfection of the virtues through grace so that he may enter into the mind of God in the Paradiso. Dante gets through Purgatory in about four days; we pilgrims will spend a little over a month in the journey.

Lenten Journey with Jesus
(February 10 – March 24, 2016)

The course follows Jesus from his humble birth and youth in Bethlehem through his ministry in the Galilee and then to Jerusalem for his death and resurrection. The course considers the religious, cultural, social and political background of Jesus and the early Christians.

Addiction and the Family: Alcoholics among Us
(February 15 – March 11, 2016)

This course will focus on alcoholism as the paradigm of addiction in this material. While the purpose of the course is to acquaint the student with basic information concerning alcoholism and its impact on the household, the religious community and the broader community, a special focus of this curriculum will be on the impact that addiction has on children.

 The Joy of the Gospel
(February 18 – March 10, 2016)
This 3-week Massive Open Online Course will focus intensely on the question of Joy from the perspective of three faith traditions advanced out of Holy Apostles College and Seminary in Cromwell, CT, the University of Divinity in Melbourne, Australia, and the College of Bible and Ministry at Harding University.

Mission and Evangelization: The Right Way to Reach out and Touch Someone
(February 22 – March 18, 2016)
The ultimate purpose of mission is a share in the communion between the Father and the Son in their Spirit. (R.Miss, 23). The mission of establishing the lordship of Christ over the entire creation has no boundary. It is concerned not only with mission ad intra but also with mission ad extra. Redemptoris Missio, states three concrete situations in which the church carries out its various evangelizing activities, namely: pastoral care or activities, re-evangelization and new evangelization. Therefore, this course will explore, using Pope Francis’s Evangelii Gaudium, the biblical-theological foundation of mission, challenges in evangelization and a profound exploration of John Paul II’s call for new ardor, new expression and new method in evangelization.

The Eastern Fathers of the Church
(February 29 – March 25, 2016)
This course is meant to introduce the study of the Church Fathers. It is comprised of excerpts of teaching from major Eastern Fathers that can be applied to one’s spirituality today.

Islam through Catholic Eyes
(March 7 – April 15, 2016)
This course will endeavor to explore the relationship between Christianity and Islam couched in terms of Nostra Aetate’s statement that “the Church regards with esteem also the Moslems” and compare this relationship with the myriad ways in which Catholicism has encountered and continues to encounter Islam in the world. In addition to exploring Catholic writings on Islam, the course will encounter Islam in its own words with texts from the Qu’ran and with both didactic and creative literature written by Muslims.

Social Media Magisterium
(March 14 – April 8, 2016)

This course will provide the student with an appreciation of the role of media in the Church regarding proper and responsible evangelism by exploring the Social Communications Magisterium beginning with Pius XII’s Miranda Prorsus (1957) and Vatican II’s Inter Mirifica (1963), followed by documents from the Pontifical Council for Social Communications and some selections from the 48 World Communications Day speeches delivered between the years 1967 and 2014 by Popes Paul VI, John Paul II, Benedict XVI and Francis.

Online Teaching and Learning
(March 14 – April 8, 2016)
The World Wide Web has extended globally our teaching and learning environments, and those who teach normatively make use of the Internet in their daily engagements with colleagues and students. Because the Internet is a dynamic environment, those of us who teach anything necessarily seek to strengthen our understanding of how we might come to use the tools it provides more effectively in both our oncampus and online classrooms. This course will provide terminology, tools, methods and assessment models that are of general value to all teachers.

Interreligious Dialogue from a Catholic Perspective
(March 21 – April 15, 2016)
This course is an examination of inter-religious dialogue between Catholicism and the other four major religious traditions of Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism. The Catholic understanding of inter-religious dialogue is studied, especially in light of the call to evangelization.

Dante’s Paradiso
(March 27 – April 28, 2016)

Completed in 1321, the year Dante died, the Paradiso traces Dante the pilgrim’s journey from the Garden of Eden at the top of Mount Purgatory straight through ten heavenly spheres and into the mind of God. The goal the canticle is to allegorize the divinization process. Dante gets through Paradise in no time flat; we pilgrims will spend a little over a month in the journey.

“Are You Still a Priest?: Tension and Trust for a Year of Mercy”
(April 4 – April 29, 2016)

This Massive Open Online Course will explore for this Year of Mercy a selection of true stories of tension and trust through the ministerial experience of Fr. Gerald J. Kleba, who offers sensible and saintly ways in which to engage the pastoral issues of our time.