The origin of the Catholic Church is found in the Bible, in Matthew, Chapter 16:13-20.

Jesus established one Church, with a man to preside over it, and authority to pass along. Included in that authority is the explicit authority to baptize, preach, and forgive sins. (Matt 16:13-20, Matt 18:18, John 20:19-23, and Matt: 28:19.)

There was no debate about this among the Apostles. There was no discussion of this in the early Church. Or for the fifteen centuries following Christ. That counts for something.

Objective: In this course, students will learn about the origin of the Catholic Church. Students will learn why the Church was established, who the first Pope was and how the Church remained undivided for a long time. 

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Course curriculum

  • 01

    Defending the Faith - The Origin of the Catholic Church

    • Introduction

    • Resources for Students, Parents, and Teachers

    • The Origin of the Catholic Church - LESSON PLAN / STUDY GUIDE

    • The Origin of the Catholic Church - QUIZ

    • Defending the Faith - The Origin of the Catholic Church - Live Lesson with Deacon Frederick Bartels - October 20 @ 10 AM Pacific

    • Our Father

    • Defending the Faith - The Origin of the Catholic Church - Live Lesson Recording with Deacon Frederick Bartels (10/20/21)

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Gail Goth

5 star rating

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Christina Pappas

5 star rating

“Great course! I highly recommend!! ”

“Great course! I highly recommend!! ”

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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


Instructor Bio:

Professor Marshall Connolly has spent his life in service to God and the Church as an educator and writer. He is a graduate of the California State University system and has earned bachelor's degrees in English and History, as well as a teaching credential. He has completed additional studies at Whitman College, and the University of San Diego. His interests include science and apologetics and he writes on both subjects for Catholic Online (, the World's Catholic Library.

He serves as the first Director of Education for Catholic Online School.

Professor Marshall Connolly

Director of Education