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Continuing Teacher Education

Faculty of Education

Religious Education in Catholic Schools Specialist

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All of our courses are fully online.

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Course Schedule
Session Dates Deadline Status
Fall 2021 Sep 27, 2021 - Dec 03, 2021 Sep 10, 2021 Open
Winter 2022 Jan 24, 2022 - Apr 08, 2022 Jan 14, 2022 Open
*Registration will remain open until 4:00 p.m. Eastern Time on the posted registration deadline date.
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Course Description

  • CONT626
  • CAN 685.00
  • 125 hours
  • EN
  • Online

Catholic schools share in the essential evangelizing mission of the Roman Catholic Church. Religious Education Part 3 will build significantly on the professional knowledge and religious literacy that you have explored in Parts 1 and 2.

This Specialist course employs a critical lens to explore in a holistic and integrated manner:

  • the mission of Catholic schools
  • sacred scriptures
  • spiritual, sacramental, and liturgical life
  • the Church in a postmodern world
  • faith in action
  • ethics and morality
  • pedagogical practices for religious education
  • school ministry
  • the faith journey related to teaching and learning across the divisions

In undertaking this Specialist course, you are taking up the inspired invitation of Saint John Paul II “put out into the deep”, or duc et altum (Novo Millennio Ineunte, 2001). This knowledge will enhance your abilities as a teacher and a leader in a Catholic school, and as a teacher of Religious Education. Moreover, it will provide you with opportunities to develop leadership skills and strategies that are supportive of the Church’s call for a new evangelization, as they apply to affirming and strengthening the distinctive character of faith-based education found in publicly funded, Catholic schools in Ontario.

Learning Expectations Course Components

You will employ “a critical pedagogical lens to explore in a holistic and integrated manner the following seven course components”, plus the mission of Catholic schools and school ministry:

  • sacred scriptures
  • spiritual, sacramental, and liturgical life
  • the Church and a postmodern world
  • faith in action
  • ethics and morality
  • pedagogical practices for religious education
  • the faith journey related to teaching and learning across the divisions


In this course, you will have the opportunity to:

  • enhance “professional leadership practice through the facilitation of collective critical reflection and inquiry” (Ontario College of Teachers, Additional Qualification Course Guideline Religious Education Specialist, 2014).
  • relate a distinctive Catholic world view to the Ontario College of Teachers Standards of Practice and the Ethical Standards
  • reflect critically on issues related to the teaching of religious and family life education
  • develop a deeper appreciation of the significance of being a member of a faith community
  • enrich your understanding of the Old Testament, in particular the wisdom literature
  • enrich your understanding of the New Testament, in particular the Gospel of John and the Book of Revelation
  • enrich your understanding of a sacramental view of life through the sacraments of service/vocation
  • enrich your understanding of theories of faith development and religious education
  • consider various issues related to young people and faith formation
  • appreciate the importance of the relationship between family, parish, and school in providing authentic instruction in religious and family life education
  • further develop resources for prayer
  • further develop an understanding of what it means to educate for justice
  • explore ethical concerns related to family life education
  • be introduced to the methodology of Shared Christian Praxis, applying the method to ongoing, adult faith formation

You will complete activities that will allow you to:

  • design an adult faith formation experience using the method of Shared Christian Praxis
  • reflect on your story and the stories of other Catholic teachers, to deepen your own sense of vocation
  • explore more deeply what makes Catholic education distinctive, and leadership skills to ensure the same
  • identify learning skills and work habits in religious education
  • share your ideas on a wide range of religious issues with other course participants
  • identify and investigate leadership challenges to Catholic education in today’s society
  • draw upon scripture as a source for prayer and teaching
  • compare and reflect on various parts of scripture
  • explore the relationship between the sacraments of service/vocation
  • increase you familiarity with critical Catholic documents such as the Catechism of the Catholic Church and theGeneral Directory for Catechesis
  • outline an approach to deal with moral and ethical issues in the classroom
  • employ online resources as a source for both classroom teaching and ongoing, adult faith formation
  • assess your learning in the course through online discussions and instructor feedback
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Application Requirements

1) OCT Membership showing completion of Part 2.


Signed by a Supervisory Official* from your School Board confirming that you have two years (388 days) of teaching experience since becoming a certified teacher, one year (194 days) of which is in the subject area of this course.

*The Ontario College of Teachers defines "Supervisory Official" as the Superintendent or Assistant Superintendent of the school board for a teacher employed by a Board of Education.

A principal or headmaster is not recognized in this capacity. For a teacher employed by a private school, the "supervisory official" is the Ministry of Education official (Education Officer) appointed to your school. For overseas experience the appropriate Supervisory Official is the person your Principal reports to.

Please note that a new form is always required for a Part 3 (Specialist) course as experience is course/subject specific.

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Course Materials

Cooper, N. (2017). Language of the Heart: How to read the Bible: A user guide for Catholics. Toronto: Novalis Publishing.

Groome, Thomas (2011). Will There Be Faith? A New Vision for Education and Growing Disciples. New York: HarperCollins Publishers

Please note that there may be a delay in shipment and we recommend you purchase your textbooks, as soon as possible, to ensure you are prepared and successful in the course.  If you are ordering textbooks from the Queen’s University campus book store, and the website shows “0 available” under a specific book, please submit a rain check, to communicate with the bookstore directly.    

A new version of this course will be offered beginning in the summer session and will not require a textbook. If you wish to register in the winter session, a textbook will be required. We will run the course with a minimum of 3 registrants.


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Applicants who require accommodations for a specific learning need (e.g., learning disability) within their AQ/ABQ course, should click here for further information and support.

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