Encountering Christ

An online course designed for the lay faithful of the Archdiocese of Detroit and those seeking to Unleash the Gospel! 


"The great artist Caravaggio captured a moment in time when Matthew the tax collector had a life changing encounter with Jesus Christ. We need such an encounter with Jesus, not only at the beginning of our faith journey, but as an ongoing experience throughout our lives. I would like to invite you to join the distinguished faculty of Sacred Heart Major Seminary on a Lenten journey as we explore how we encounter Christ in Word, Sacrament, and in the daily events of our lives."

– Dr. John Gresham
Director of  Distance Education & Online Learning, Sacred Heart Major Seminary


How is this course structured?

This non-credit course is being offered online using the seminary's learning management system, Canvas. Upon signing up for the course, students will receive credentials for accessing the online class.

The class will be conducted online giving students the freedom to engage with the material and complete course tasks around their own schedule. The class will consist of six modules which can be completed according to the individual's own pace.

Each module will be taught by one of our distinguished faculty members and include:

- Lecture Video (~20 minutes)
- Supplemental Reading Material (~30-minutes)
- Online Discussion Forum
- Personal Assessment Quiz

The goal of the course is not to deliver a high level of rigor or stress, but instead expose any Catholic who wants to learn more about how to encounter Christ in a deeper way and the opportunity to build a deeper foundation on the Church's teachings.

Consider this a retreat experience for the lay faithful, done at your own pace and guided by six globally esteemed professors from Sacred Heart, all of whom help form holy, healthy, and joyful priests—as well as deacons, religious, and lay leaders—for service of the gospel. This is an opportunity to grow a deeper relationship and spend time with the Lord. 

What will be covered?  

Encountering Christ in Scripture | Dr. Peter Williamson

WilliamsonDr. Peter Williamson will explore the various ways we can encounter Christ through Scripture.

Adam Cardinal Maida Chair of Sacred Scripture - Instructor Bio 



Encountering Christ in the Sacraments | Fr. Peter Ryan, S.J.

Ryan-Fr-Peter-SJFr. Peter Ryan, S.J. will expound on the mystery of the encounter with Christ in the sacraments.

Professor of Theology - Instructor Bio 



Encountering Christ in Everyday Life - the Examen Prayer | Dr. Patricia Cooney-Hathaway

CooneyDr. Patricia Cooney-Hathaway will teach about the "Examen" prayer as a tool to encounter Christ in the events of everyday life.

Professor of Spiritual and Systematic Theology - Instructor Bio 



Encountering Christ in Suffering | Dr. Eduardo Echeverria

EcheverriaDr. Eduardo Echeverria will share from his depth of theological knowledge as well as his own personal experiences of encountering Christ in suffering.

Professor Philosophy and Theology - Instructor Bio 



Encountering Christ in the Poor | Msgr. Daniel Trapp

TrappMsgr. Daniel Trapp will provide his testimony and the stages of encountering Christ in the poor.

Associate Professor of Systematic Theology,

Liturgy and Sacraments - Instructor Bio 



What is Encounter? Insights from Pope Francis | Dr. Donald Wallenfang

Dr. WallenfangDr. Donald Wallenfang, OCDS concludes the course with a summary explanation of the theology of encounter, drawing upon insights from the writings of Pope Francis.

Professor of Theology and Philosophy - Instructor Bio 

"The encounter with Jesus Christ takes place in our daily lives, in the direct contact of prayer, in the wise discernment of the signs of the times and in our brothers and sisters."
– Pope Francis
Open Minds, Faithful Hearts, 9-10REGISTER
Register today or request information to learn more about the course and other offerings at Sacred Heart.