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Institute for Pastoral Initiatives News

A Catholic Teacher's Lifelong Commitment

By John LeComte

Patti Caffrey has completed ten online courses through managed by the Institute for Pastoral Initiatives. She joins more than 2,000 students in 2019 enrolled through the Virtual Learning Community for Faith Formation (VLCFF) online portal.  

"In terms of professional development, these courses are one of the most beneficial experiences of my career," Caffrey told me.  "Each course adds to my toolbox as a teacher."

The High School religion teacher at Union Catholic in Scotch Plains, New Jersey, has taught for 14 years, is a campus minister, and also volunteers at her local parish as a catechist facilitating the confirmation program.   

"My first course (in VLCFF) was Introduction to Christian Morality," Caffrey said.  "It was a wonderful experience and the perfect fit since I teach morality to juniors. New material and new teaching methods really ignite one's passion for religious education."

Patti has enrolled and finished ten online courses, completing her Level 1 Certification in Catechesis.  She plans to continue her path towards lifelong learning.

"My students are always impressed when they discover that I am a lifelong student," she says. "I know that I have passed on my positive experiences to others and have encouraged them to take classes, to learning something new and be able to bring that to our students."

So, will Patti ever stop taking courses?

"If Dayton keeps adding classes, I will keep taking them," says Caffrey.  "The online learning aspect of the VLCFF program seemed like it would be a great fit, and I was correct." 

Yes she is.

The next learning cycle starts April 28 with 3-week e-seminars only.  The University's Department of Human Resources covers the cost of  VLCFF courses for faculty and staff.  Dayton alumni are welcome to register for a course at a reduced rate of $40 per e-seminar and $50 per e-course.  Currently 80 Arch(Dioceses) partner with the VLCFF for adult religious education, faith formation and teacher certification. Courses available in Spanish also.Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Linkedin.

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