Monday, April 8, 2013

Catholic Courses: The Christ - A Faithful Portrait of Jesus from the Gospels

I find that, now that I am out of college, I wish I could return. I have two degrees, a Bachelors in Psychology and a Masters in Business Administration. I didn't particularly enjoy getting either degree, but I needed the MBA, because a Bachelors in Psychology isn't worth the paper it is written on. If I could do it again or had the spare income, I'd major in Theology. Unfortunately, I do not. Fortunately, there is a place called Catholic Courses where you can buy DVDs or CDs and essentially take a university level course at a fraction of the cost. The selection isn't limited to Theology courses either. They have history, literature, philosophy, etc. All are taught through the lens of the Catholic Church though.

The course I completed recently was entitled The Christ: A Faithful Picture of Jesus from the Gospels. In this course Father Alfred McBride presents 8 different talks, each approximately 30 minutes long, on different aspects of Jesus' life and ministry from the four Gospels. There are two classes from each Gospel with Fr. McBride focusing on some of the key aspects that make each particular Gospel unique from the others. For example, one of the major theme of John's Gospel is the divinity of Jesus, and one of the central messages of Matthew's Gospel is the Sermon on the Mount. You can see an Introduction for this course in the short video below.

There are several different ways one can "take" this class. None of them are wrong, but some are more fruitful than others. Since the classes are only 30 minutes each, you could knock all eight out in four hours, which I did. However, I also went back and watched two classes a week, one on Tuesday and one on Thursday. I then read some of the recommended reading, including on the disc to deepen each 30 minute session. It was like homework. I highly recommend treating this like a real college course. You will only get as much out of these courses as you put in them.

This is a great product, and Catholic Courses is doing a huge service to the Church by offering an affordable way to educate Her members. They looked and felt like I was taking a real course, and Fr. McBride is an excellent speaker and very knowledgeable on the subject of Jesus. The best way I can determine on how to rate a product of this nature is the, "Would I take another one?" factor. The answer is an emphatic yes. I plan on next taking The First 500 Years: The Fathers, Councils, and Doctrines of the Early Church, since I love Patristics! Check back in a month for my review of that one.