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The Church: People of God on a Mission

Ended Jun 30, 2023

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Full course description

6-Week Course


featuring text by Dr. Morris Pelzel and videos of faculty from Boston College School of Theology and Ministry

“Communion, Participation, and Mission,” the theme for the Synod on Synodality reflects the life and aspiration of the Catholic Church.  How do we come together in Christ with our human diversity?  How do we contribute through our various vocations and ministries to the shared life of faith?  And how do we carry the message of the Gospel out into the world in fruitful ways? In this course we reflect on these issues of being church as well as the Church’s teaching role, sacramentality, differences of culture, and the tension between the Church’s transcendent nature and its engagement with the human world.  

We are convinced that the Church must look with penetrating eyes within itself, ponder the mystery of its own being, and draw enlightenment and inspiration” -Pope Paul VI Ecclesiam Suam 9.

This course has a required text Morris Pelzel, Ecclesiology: The Church as Communion and Mission. Chicago: Loyola Press, 2002. (Loyola Press) (Amazon)


  • Introductory Week
  • Week 1: The Gathering of Disciples
  • Week 2: Living Baptism in the Church Today
  • Week 3: Rooted in Word and Sacrament
  • Week 4: Forming an Evangelizing Church
  • Week 5: The Church’s Mission

Special Features

This course includes:

  • Video clips;
  • Text transcripts of each featured video;
  • Weekly questions for reflection and discussion;
  • A weekly introduction and study guide; and
  • A regularly updated Resources page to use for further study.

All STM Online: Crossroads courses include these features

  • Participants have access 24 hours/7 days a week to the course's password-protected web site.
  • Each participant belongs to a small Community for Conversation and faith sharing guided by a facilitator.
  • The course site is usually available to participants at least three months after the course has ended.
  • An orientation in how to navigate the web site is always available.
  • Technical assistance is easy to contact and prompt in returning a message.
  • A Certificate of Active Participation is awarded to those who post at least three messages of substance for each week of content.

Time Commitment

A participant can expect to spend an average of approximately 3-4 hours each week. This commitment includes both the assigned reading and interaction online.

Certificate Requirement Categories

Themes of Our Christian Tradition

What is an STM Online: Crossroads course?

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