One of the most severe intellectual and spiritual ailments found in the post-modern world is religious indifferentism—the idea that all religions are basically the same. Each, in its own way, affords a path to God and brings people together, is the thinking. Pick one or pick none, it makes little difference to the modern mind. 

Others take a decisively negative view and insist that organized religion does little more than shackle the masses, stifle freedom, and inhibit human progress. Even among contemporary Christians, there is little agreement about exactly what Christianity is, what it means to live as a Christian, and the nature and necessity of the Church.

Just a few minutes of thought will bring us to this conclusion: religion does matter because God is truth. Religion shapes our beliefs and attitudes about God and the world around us. It factors into how we understand God and worship him and the question of salvation, which means the religion we profess—or choose not to profess—and the church we identify with—or not—are among the most important decisions we could ever make in our lives.

In this series of lessons, we’re going to explore why the question of religion is one we must get right. And getting it right means answering the question, “Why should I be Catholic?” We’ll begin by applying reason to that question, which means we must begin by asking if it is reasonable to conclude that God would found a definite and specific, universal Church we call the Catholic Church—a Church, in fact, that is a perfect society.

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Course curriculum

  • 01

    Defending the Faith - Why Should I Be Catholic? - Lesson 1 - The Church is a Perfect Society

    • Introduction

    • The Lord's Prayer

    • Hail Mary

    • Resources for Students, Parents, and Teachers

    • Why Should I Be Catholic? - Lesson 1 - The Church is a Perfect Society - LESSON PLAN / STUDY GUIDE

    • The Church is a Perfect Society - Live Lesson Recording with Deacon Frederick Bartels (10/1/21)

    • Why Should I Be Catholic? - Lesson 1 - The Church is a Perfect Society - QUIZ

    • Memorial of St. Teresa of Avila

  • 02

    Defending the Faith - Why Should I Be Catholic? - Lesson 2 - The Church Founded by Christ

    • Introduction

    • Resources for Students, Parents, and Teachers

    • Why Should I Be Catholic? - Lesson 2 - The Church Founded by Christ - LESSON PLAN / STUDY GUIDE

    • The Church Founded by Christ - Live Lesson Recording with Deacon Frederick Bartels (10/5/21)

    • Why Should I Be Catholic? - Lesson 2 - The Church Founded by Christ - QUIZ

  • 03

    Defending the Faith - Why Should I Be Catholic? - Lesson 3 - In the Womb of the Church, We Hear the Words of Truth

    • Introduction

    • Resources for Students, Parents, and Teachers

    • Why Should I Be Catholic? - Lesson 3 - In the Womb of the Church, We Hear the Words of Truth - LESSON PLAN / STUDY GUIDE

    • In the Womb of the Church, We hear the Words of Truth - Live Lesson Recording with Deacon Frederick Bartels (10/6/21)

    • Why Should I Be Catholic? - Lesson 3 - In the Womb of the Church, We Hear the Words of Truth - QUIZ

  • 04

    Defending the Faith - Why Should I Be Catholic? - Lesson 4 - The Spirit-Guided Magisterium of the Church

    • Introduction

    • Resources for Students, Parents, and Teachers

    • Why Should I Be Catholic? - Lesson 4 - The Spirit-Guided Magisterium of the Church - LESSON PLAN / STUDY GUIDE

    • The Spirit-Guided Magisterium of the Church - Live Lesson Recording with Deacon Frederick Bartels (10/7/21)

    • Why Should I Be Catholic? - Lesson 4 - The Spirit-Guided Magisterium of the Church - QUIZ

  • 05

    Defending the Faith - Why Should I Be Catholic? - Lesson 5 - The Saving Sacraments of the Church

    • Introduction

    • Resources for Students, Parents, and Teachers

    • Why Should I Be Catholic? - Lesson 5 - The Saving Sacraments of the Church - LESSON PLAN / STUDY GUIDE

    • The Saving Sacraments of the Church - Live Lesson Recording with Deacon Frederick Bartels (10/8/21)

    • Why Should I Be Catholic? - Lesson 5 - The Saving Sacraments of the Church - QUIZ

  • 06

    Defending the Faith - Why Should I Be Catholic? - Lesson 6 - The Church is Necessary for Salvation

    • Introduction

    • Resources for Students, Parents, and Teachers

    • Why Should I Be Catholic? - Lesson 6 - The Church is Necessary for Salvation - LESSON PLAN / STUDY GUIDE

    • The Church is Necessary for Salvation - Live Lesson Recording with Deacon Frederick Bartels (10/12/21)

    • Why Should I Be Catholic? - Lesson 6 - The Church is Necessary for Salvation - QUIZ

  • 07

    Defending the Faith - Why Should I Be Catholic? - Lesson 7 - To Be Christian Is To Be Catholic

    • Introduction

    • Resources for Students, Parents, and Teachers

    • Why Should I Be Catholic? - Lesson 7 - To Be Christian Is To Be Catholic - LESSON PLAN / STUDY GUIDE

    • To Be Christian Is To Be Catholic - Live Lesson Recording with Deacon Frederick Bartels (10/13/21)

    • Why Should I Be Catholic? - Lesson 7 - To Be Christian Is To Be Catholic - QUIZ

  • 08

    Defending the Faith - Why Should I Be Catholic? - Lesson 8 - Continuity of Truth

    • Introduction

    • Resources for Students, Parents, and Teachers

    • Why Should I Be Catholic? - Lesson 8 - Continuity of Truth - LESSON PLAN / STUDY GUIDE

    • Continuity of Truth - Live Lesson Recording with Deacon Frederick Bartels (10/14/21)

    • Why Should I Be Catholic? - Lesson 8 - Continuity of Truth - QUIZ

  • 09

    Defending the Faith - Why Should I Be Catholic? - Lesson 9 - The Catholic Church in God’s Plan for Your Happiness

    • Introduction

    • Resources for Students, Parents, and Teachers

    • Why Should I Be Catholic? - Lesson 9 - The Catholic Church in God’s Plan for Your Happiness - LESSON PLAN / STUDY GUIDE

    • The Catholic Church in God’s Plan for Your Happiness - Live Lesson Recording with Deacon Frederick Bartels (10/15/21)

    • Why Should I Be Catholic? - Lesson 9 - The Catholic Church in God’s Plan for Your Happiness - QUIZ

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Instructor(s)

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 (joyintruth.com), 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