For some, the coronavirus has provided a chance to
catch up on things otherwise further down the to-do list. More time to potter
around the house, spend time in the garden, read books and perhaps time to finally listen to that saved podcast everyone’s been raving about.
It’s also provided the opportunity to learn some new skills –
skills most would otherwise have never have considered necessary for their work
and ministry. For those who have embarked on live streaming, for instance, the
words “upload speed” and "download speed” have never been so important to know! (And
who knew the word “zoom” would come to be understood as a destination in 2020?)
Many galleries and museums around the world
have also pivoted online—providing access and insight to countless pieces of
art and artefacts that otherwise would have gone into "hibernation" during the
This time of physical isolation and increased online mobility has sparked interest in online courses and further learning too.
Recently, Catholic Theological College (CTC) invited people
to a virtual open day, providing the community with a glimpse into the
College’s facilities, courses and the 130,000 items that make up its library collection.
CTC is a member of the University of Divinity and specialises
in the study of philosophy, theology and religious education and spiritual
studies. Staff expertise ranges from history to theology and philosophy, and the
practice of spiritual and pastoral care.
The Master of CTC, Rev. Dr Kevin Lenehan, says the move to online delivery of courses at the beginning of semester one was perhaps the greatest
transition the College has had to undergo.
'It’s been a time of great transition for our College community,
to move all of our courses and programs from a face-to-face mode to an online
and remote learning mode. This transition is perhaps even greater than the formation of
the College and the relocation of the College to East Melbourne many years ago.
Our goal is to ensure that our students can progress and successfully
complete their study and learning into semester two and into next year.'
He also mused that online learning highlights the creative partnership between students and teachers. 'Lecturers design the
learning approach and provide the resources to invite students into the strategies. But students have to participate too—in the 'timed' events and in personal
learning. They are "co-creators" of all the learning that happens.'
For some, the desire to embark on further learning is
sometimes tempered by the reality of assessments. Fr Kevin says people can
begin their studies in a variety of ways. 'It's always possible to audit one of
our programs – without the worry of assessment – to get a test for
what the material might be.'
In a time of pandemic, our attention is naturally drawn to the latest developments in the fields of science and medicine – we want and need to be able to make sense of the situation confronting us. With free time on our hands and more online learning options available, could this pandemic also spark a renewed interest in theology and spirituality – fields of study that explore a different kind of why and how?
Fr Kevin says CTC aims to equip its students for membership in today’s pluralistic and multicultural Australian society.
'Many people have
negative understandings of religion and many people are passionate about their
religious belonging,' he says. 'Our society needs people who have reflected on and
have critically understood the role of religion in their own lives and in
society in general.'
Enrolments for Catholic Theological College’s Semester 2 Online Offerings
CTC is offering a variety of online options in semester 2. You can undertake individual units (with and without assessment), enrol in an undergraduate or postgraduate degree, or attend a professional development session. Units include: Philosophy, Biblical Studies, Church History, Systematic Theology, Spirituality, Liturgical Studies, Moral Theology.
For more information visit www.ctc.edu.au
or email email@example.com