Human freedom is beautiful, fascinating, somewhat mysterious, and, as some might say, even dangerous. It distinguishes us markedly from irrational animals that act mainly by instinct. As far as we know, angels and men are the only creatures in the universe whose powers include the ability to make free will choices. What is the source of this power? Where did it originate?

God bestowed us with the gift of freedom so that we could freely choose the true good and thereby point our lives toward him. It’s a gift of love given for the sake of love. Although our freedom can be used in many excellent ways, the most excellent of them all is to deliberately use it to love God. 

By the use of human freedom, we have the power to shape our life in either positive or negative ways, including the lives of others. Obviously, it’s an immense gift with far reaching consequences. 

Objective: In this course, students will learn about freedom and sin. Students will learn how to explain that our power to make free will choices distinguishes man from all other animals and how to explain what the highest, most excellent use of freedom is.

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Course curriculum

  • 01

    Defending the Faith - Freedom and Sin

    • Introduction

    • Resources for Students, Parents, and Teachers

    • Freedom and Sin - LESSON PLAN / STUDY GUIDE

    • Defending the Faith - Freedom and Sin Live Lesson Recording with Deacon Frederick Bartels (4/13/21)

    • Freedom and Sin - QUIZ

    • Live Lesson Opening Prayer

    • Defending the Faith - Freedom and Sin - Live Lesson with Deacon Frederick Bartels - April 13 @ 1:00 PM Pacific


Instructor Bio:

Deacon Frederick Bartels is a member of the Catholic clergy who serves the Church in the diocese of Pueblo, CO. He received an MA in Theology and Educational Ministry from Catholic Distance University, where he is currently employed as an adjunct professor of theology. He is founder and editor of Joy In Truth (, an online magazine dedicated to the New Evangelization. As a Catholic educator, public speaker and evangelist, Deacon Bartels strives to infuse culture with the saving principles of the gospel. He lives in Colorado with his wife, Shelly, and the youngest two of their six children. Professor Bartels is Chairman of the Theology Department.

Deacon Frederick Bartels

Professor of Theology, Department Chair