Everyone will have their own answer to that question.
It is important to consider what your expectations are before beginning.
Here at the Diocese of Hamilton Pastoral Offices, we hope that:
you want to learn more about your faith.
you want to learn more about a particular field that will help you in ministering in your family, school, place of work, community and parish.
you want something more than a parish program for your learning but you are not ready to sign up for a University Degree.
you feel you have time to participate in further study at this point in your life.
you want to find a community where you can discuss issues and questions that matter to you.
Most of our participants in the Dayton online courses find that:
the readings are good but they do take time.
it definitely takes 7 hours a week (that’s what Dayton suggests) and sometimes more.
you have to be ready to go online a few times each week, even briefly. You cannot do it all on one day.
it helps to reach out to the course facilitator as soon as questions or concerns arise.
online learning is different that classroom learning. It takes time to get used to it.
they learn a lot!
Participating in a community that is mostly American but also global means that:
your fellow classmates probably reference experiences and structures that are most familiar to them and may differ from what you experience in your Canadian parish.
some of the documents you read may be particularly from the US Bishops. Remember that while not binding on the Canadian Church, the thinking of the US Church can be helpful and descriptive as to how one might approach a topic and what theological arguments are important to consider on any given issue.
We hope you find these aspects of the course to be enriching. Finding out how others work and minister opens new horizons. Your course facilitators will want you to bring your own unique perspective to your reflection. Your perspective will be a gift to your fellow classmates, too!
If you wonder about structures or documents from the Canadian perspective, and your facilitator is unable to refer you to further reading, please feel free to reach out to a member of the Pastoral Offices at the Diocese of Hamilton. We would be happy to point you in the direction of Canadian thinkers if need be.