Media, Faith & Values Online Course begins 10/19/08

Hi everyone,

This course is sponsored by the University of Dayton’s Virtual Learning Community for Faith Formation: If you would like to join this course (which I will be facilitating if we have enough students), please visit , scroll to the bottom of the front page, and follow through. You can create a student profile even if you decide not to register at this time.

Please sign up as soon as you can. Next time I will let you know sooner!




Media, Faith, and Values

Course Level: Intermediate

Course Summary

Understanding the relationship between our mass media, contemporary culture, and faith formation is essential for anyone involved in religious education. In this course we will analyze our media environment and ways in which it shapes our worldview, values and behavior. The role played by myth, symbol and ritual both in the media and in the transmission of faith will be explored. Implications for religious education and pastoral ministry will be examined. Students will develop the skills needed to integrate media awareness into religious education programs in the school and parish.

Successful completion of this course earns 2.5 CEU’s. Click here for more information about CEU’s.

General Course Objectives

  • To examine the impact of our media environment on our worldview, beliefs, values and behavior
  • To explore the implications for religious education and pastoral ministry
  • students will be able to have insight into the relationship between our culture, the media and faith and values formation
  • students will be able to have awareness of the power of story, myth, image and ritual in faith and values formation
  • students will be able to have greater knowledge about the mass media and how they work
  • students will be able to have understanding of the relevance to faith and values formation of issues such as advertising manipulation, violence in the media, impact of media on the family

Course Materials

  • Required Book: Zukowski, Angela Ann and Pierre Babin The Gospel in Cyberspace: Nurturing Faith in the Internet Age $15.95 (Loyola Press, 2001) ISBN: 0-8294-1740-0
  • Required Book: Fore, William F. Mythmakers: Gospel, Culture & the Media. $7.95 (Friendship Press, NY, 1999). ISBN: 0-377-00207-0
  • Optional Book: Fowler, James Stages of Faith $16.00 (Harper, San Francisco, 1981). ISBN: 0-06-062866-9
  • Course Materials available at the VLCFF Amazon Store.

Course Structure and Highlights

  • Week 1: Introduction to Myth and Culture
    • Myth and the search for meaning
    • The role of myth in the evolution of culture
    • How communication shapes culture
  • Week 2: How Culture Shapes Our Meanings
    • The primary characteristics of U.S. culture.
    • The role the mass media have played in shaping that culture.
    • How culture “shapes our meanings.”
  • Week 3: World Views in Conflict: Gospel Values and Cultural Values
    • The compelling array of “worldviews” available on television for youth in the light of the gospel message.
    • We’ll reflect on some of the myths of our culture regarding information and entertainment media productions.
  • Week 4: Reading Media Texts
    • Learn from William Fore’s “How to Read Television.”
    • Read and discuss an article that tells us how to “read” all media texts, whether newspapers, magazines, TV programs, movies, Web sites or computer games
  • Week 5: A Christian Response to Our Media Environment
    • Understand media culture through the lens of the pastoral document [i]Aetatis Novae[/i]
    • Begin to think of creative, concrete ways of engaging in an open-minded yet critical use of media

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