Welcome to the Catholic Online School RCIA program! Our video-based program is meticulously and prayerfully designed to comprehensively and systematically catechize catechumens to receive the sacraments of initiation. 

It’s also designed to prepare candidates already baptized for entry into full communion with the Church. Our program not only helps to facilitate conversion and growth in intimacy with Christ, it provides a complete means of educating people in the belief and teaching of the Church.

Perhaps your unfamiliar with what an RCIA program is? In this introduction, we’ll give you some of the basics, so you’ll have some understanding about what the process entails and who it’s for.


Earning a certificate of completion in this online course is not a substitute for completing a parish-based RCIA program. The Sacraments of Initiation can only be conferred by a bishop or priest. This certificate means you have successfully completed a course of study that is intended to supplement your parish RCIA program.


Join our RCIA discussion community by clicking here!

For free. For everyone. Forever.

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Course curriculum

  • 01

    Program Introduction - Lesson 1 - Understanding the Basics

    • Lesson 1 - Understanding the Basics - SCRIPTURE

    • Lesson 1 - Understanding the Basics - Lesson Plan / Study Guide

    • Lesson 1 - Understanding the Basics - VIDEO

    • Lesson 1 - Understanding the Basics - PRAYER

    • Resources for Students, Parents, and Teachers

  • 02

    Program Introduction - Lesson 2 - Early Catechumens in The Church

    • Lesson 2 - Early Catechumens in The Church - SCRIPTURE

    • Lesson 2 - Early Catechumens in The Church - Lesson Plan / Study Guide

    • Lesson 2 - Early Catechumens in The Church - VIDEO

    • Lesson 2 - Early Catechumens in The Church - PRAYER

    • Resources for Students, Parents, and Teachers

  • 03

    Program Introduction - Lesson 3 - Steps Along the Way

    • Lesson 3 - Steps Along the Way - SCRIPTURE

    • Lesson 3 - Steps Along the Way - Lesson Plan / Study Guide

    • Lesson 3 - Steps Along the Way - VIDEO

    • Lesson 3 - Steps Along the Way - PRAYER

    • Resources for Students, Parents, and Teachers

  • 04

    Program Introduction - Lesson 4 - The Process of Conversion

    • Lesson 4 - The Process of Conversion - SCRIPTURE

    • Lesson 4 - The Process of Conversion - Lesson Plan / Study Guide

    • Lesson 4 - The Process of Conversion - VIDEO

    • Lesson 4 - The Process of Conversion - PRAYER

    • Resources for Students, Parents, and Teachers

  • 05

    Program Introduction - Lesson 5 - The Final Goal

    • Lesson 5 - The Final Goal - SCRIPTURE

    • Lesson 5 - The Final Goal - Lesson Plan / Study Guide

    • Lesson 5 - The Final Goal - VIDEO

    • Lesson 5 - The Final Goal - PRAYER

    • Resources for Students, Parents, and Teachers

  • 06

    Program Introduction - Lesson 6 - What Do I Need to Do to Get Started?

    • Lesson 6 - What Do I Need to Do to Get Started? - SCRIPTURE

    • Lesson 6 - What Do I Need to Do to Get Started? - Lesson Plan / Study Guide

    • Lesson 6 - What Do I Need to Do to Get Started? - VIDEO

    • Lesson 6 - What Do I Need to Do to Get Started? - PRAYER

    • Resources for Students, Parents, and Teachers

Reviews; See what others are saying about this course

Kathy Seeram

5 star rating

“Extremely informative ...makes me even more aware of the greatness and goodness of God and helpful in my daily journey to draw even closer to him.. I felt as though everything i perceived God to be was only surface deep but I needed this in depth ...”

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“Extremely informative ...makes me even more aware of the greatness and goodness of God and helpful in my daily journey to draw even closer to him.. I felt as though everything i perceived God to be was only surface deep but I needed this in depth training. Thank you Deacon Frederick B. I wish I knew of this earlier.”

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Maria Sinicropi

5 star rating

“A very well read and prepared course it is a refresher for myself as I am a Catholic baptized Christian and have received all of the Holy sacraments thank you very much.”

“A very well read and prepared course it is a refresher for myself as I am a Catholic baptized Christian and have received all of the Holy sacraments thank you very much.”

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Michelle Waldner

5 star rating

“I feel that this is a wonderful overview of what to expect with the RCIA program. I am so excited to continue this course.”

“I feel that this is a wonderful overview of what to expect with the RCIA program. I am so excited to continue this course.”

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James R Roberts

5 star rating

“So many resources to utilize freely while participating in any course. You can find answers to and study any question you have had. Additionally, you will find answers to those you are newly encountering. A resource like this is not something to b...”

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“So many resources to utilize freely while participating in any course. You can find answers to and study any question you have had. Additionally, you will find answers to those you are newly encountering. A resource like this is not something to be unappreciative of, so please donate a lot or a little to help them keep this site alive and growing. I do because I want to encounter nearly all this blessing is offering!”

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leandra guia

5 star rating

“Great introduction! I love God and I need to learn more. ”

“Great introduction! I love God and I need to learn more. ”

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HALEY ALLEMAN

5 star rating

“This is an awesome introduction to RCIA, I can hardly wait to continue all the rest of the program. Very well presented.”

“This is an awesome introduction to RCIA, I can hardly wait to continue all the rest of the program. Very well presented.”

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Preadeshni Govender

5 star rating

“Awesome! Thank you for the free faithful classes... I need Jesus now more than ever. Thank You Catholic Online School.”

“Awesome! Thank you for the free faithful classes... I need Jesus now more than ever. Thank You Catholic Online School.”

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Kerri Scott

5 star rating

“I am so happy with my Catholic Online School Experience. I cannot wait to continue studying. Perfectly done!”

“I am so happy with my Catholic Online School Experience. I cannot wait to continue studying. Perfectly done!”

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Matthew Merralls

5 star rating

“Very informative. It was also careful not to exclude people from other Christian communities who search for communion with the Catholic faith. I love it!”

“Very informative. It was also careful not to exclude people from other Christian communities who search for communion with the Catholic faith. I love it!”

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Richard Smith

5 star rating

“This was a great course for me to follow - I am from a Church of England background and have been exploring my faith in more detail as part of a Deacon Minister course. Thank you so much for kindly delivering this course to help my education. Vi...”

Read More

“This was a great course for me to follow - I am from a Church of England background and have been exploring my faith in more detail as part of a Deacon Minister course. Thank you so much for kindly delivering this course to help my education. Vivit in Christo.”

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Timothy Hallinan

5 star rating

“Great information for a new Catholic. Excellent course.”

“Great information for a new Catholic. Excellent course.”

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Richard Smith

5 star rating

“This was a great course for me to follow - I am from a Church of England background and have been exploring my faith in more detail as part of a Deacon Minister course. Thank you so much for kindly delivering this course to help my education. Vi...”

Read More

“This was a great course for me to follow - I am from a Church of England background and have been exploring my faith in more detail as part of a Deacon Minister course. Thank you so much for kindly delivering this course to help my education. Vivit in Christo.”

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April Wall

5 star rating

“Excellently organized and very easy to use!”

“Excellently organized and very easy to use!”

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Howard Schellenberg

5 star rating

“Thank you for this great introduction to RCIA.”

“Thank you for this great introduction to RCIA.”

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Shayla Mullins

5 star rating

“This course did answer a lot of questions I had. It was very nice to feel like I would be included no matter what choice I make regarding this course! I will definitely continue with this online course. It has further opened my eyes, and have me v...”

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“This course did answer a lot of questions I had. It was very nice to feel like I would be included no matter what choice I make regarding this course! I will definitely continue with this online course. It has further opened my eyes, and have me very intrigued to learn more about the word of God and how I should be loving my life the way he wishes me too! I definitely recommend watching these if you are unsure about the religion itself, or just engaging and involving yourself in the RCIA lessons themselves! ”

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April Wall

5 star rating

“Excellently organized and very easy to use!”

“Excellently organized and very easy to use!”

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Howard Schellenberg

5 star rating

“Thank you for this great introduction to RCIA.”

“Thank you for this great introduction to RCIA.”

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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