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Encountering Christ (Self-Paced)


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Full course description

6 Modules    

Self Paced


Course Description


Encountering Christ is a free online course for Catholics seeking to learn more about how to encounter Christ in their lives.  The first two modules focus on Scripture and Sacrament as two privileged places of Encountering Christ. That is followed by a presentation on the ‘Examen” prayer which provides a tool for encountering Christ in the events of everyday life. The next module looks at our experience of suffering as a place to encounter Christ. The following module explores the encounter with Christ in the poor. The course concludes with a theological exploration of what “encounter” means, drawing on insights found in the teaching of Pope Francis.


This course is not intended to be academically strenuous but to provide a shallow-entry point for those who have busy lives and need flexibility.


This course is designed for personal enrichment and does not count towards any academic credit at Sacred Heart Major Seminary or for any certification in the Archdiocese of Detroit. 



Dr. John Gresham
Director of Distance Education and Online Learning
Sacred Heart Major Seminary, Detroit MI



For questions about course content contact the instructor using the Inbox on the red menu bar on the left side of your online course page. For technical support see the Tech Support guide in the Welcome module of the course.


Guest Lecturers

  • Dr. Patricia Cooney-Hathaway, Professor of Spirituality and Systematic Theology

  • Dr. Eduardo Echeverria, Professor of Philosophy and Theology

  • Fr. Peter Ryan, Professor of Theology

  • Msgr. Daniel Trapp, Associate Professor of Systematic Theology, Liturgy and Sacraments

  • Dr. Donald Wallenfang, Professor of Theology and Philosophy

  • Dr. Peter Williamson, Adam Cardinal Maida Chair of Sacred Scripture



No required textbooks for this course. There will be links to suggested readings in the Catechism of the Catholic Church each week.


Schedule of Topics:

  • Introductory Module 

  • Module 1 - Encountering Christ in Scripture (Williamson)

  • Module 2 - Encountering Christ in the Sacraments (Ryan)

  • Module 3 -  Encountering Christ in Everyday- the Examen Prayer (Cooney)

  • Module 4 - Encountering Christ in Suffering (Echeverria)

  • Module 5 - Encountering Christ in the Poor (Trapp)

  • Module 6 - Theology of Encounter: Insights from Pope Francis (Wallenfang)


Module Activities:


The following learning activities are available to students each module. There are not specific requirements. Those who complete all the videos and self-tests will receive a certificate of completion at the end of the course. 


  • Lectures featuring distinguished faculty members from Sacred Heart Major Seminary

  • Recommended readings and links to additional learning resources

  • Self-test to see what you’ve learned

  • Reflection questions for participants to share with each other what they are learning and encourage each other

  • Suggested topical Scriptures for Lectio Divina prayer


The time commitment is flexible for this course. Lectures are generally around 20-25 minutes long. Participants who are interested in completing all recommended readings and course tasks can expect to spend around 2-3 hours/module on the course. However, levels of participation and engagement are up to the discretion of the individual.


All Equip Courses Include These Features:

  • A dedicated online learning support coordinator to offer prompt assistance

  • 24/7 access to the digital learning environment

  • Engagement as a community of connected learners who share a common faith

  • Extended access to course content after the course end date

  • Learning environment support provided by Canvas (our learning management platform)

  • Technical assistance provided by Sacred Heart’s IT staff

  • A Certificate of Completion is awarded to those who complete the course learning activities


Technical Requirements:

Canvas Tech Requirements