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Institute for Pastoral Initiatives News

High praise for UD's global online program

By John LeComte

Having completed 18 online courses and now working on her 19th, Theresa Novotnak raves about the VLCFF virtual learning experience.

“I brag about it every place I go,” Theresa said. 

“Joining the VLCFF is the best thing I have ever done for myself and for all of the people I have worked with over the years in my parishes, from Maine to Pennsylvania.”

“When I was in Maine, I even told the Bishop how much I appreciated the opportunity taking online courses.” 

Retired now and living in Ephrata, PA, Theresa has been a principal, kindergarten teacher, and special education teacher and also spent two decades working for KidsPeace, a private charity dedicated to serving the behavioral and mental health needs of children, families and communities.

“It’s the 24/7 availability of the Dayton VLCFF classes and the ease and professionalism of the instructors," she replied when asked one reason why the classes are worth completing. 

“I have taken courses just because they are interesting.”

Theresa began her VLCFF journey in 2009 while a Director of Religious Education (DRE)

“I took courses and received my certification in Adult Faith Formation and now I am currently director of Faith Formation at my parish here in Pennsylvania,” she says.

“I continue taking online courses so I can learn more about my faith and share it with everyone I work with in the parish.” 

“After a while, I loved the e-courses because there were so many people from around the world taking classes and sharing their faith.”

“And now, I realize the enormity of the Catholic Church and see us as ONE church.”

“I always tell people about the opportunities at VLCFF.”

“The University of Dayton VLCFF is the best ONLINE education platform.”

VLCFF online is year-round, with class start dates: April 11, May 16, July 4, August 22, October 10.  Some scholarships are available for those who qualify. UD Human Resources covers the cost for the faculty & staff. program. UD alumni pay the reduced fee of $40 for a 3-week e-seminar and $50 for a 5-week e-course. You can learn more about VLCFF online classes at

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