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The Catholic School Remote Classroom

Remote teaching brings unique challenges. How can Catholic educators foster community virtually and keep the classroom grounded in essential values? Creighton University has put together a series of courses that will help Catholic educators build the skills to be successful in a remote learning setting.

The courses below work together to provide a 360-degree view of the remote classroom in Catholic schools. You can register for the full series, or if there are one or two that stand out, courses can be taken individually. Note that for the second course in the series, you’ll need to register for either the elementary-focused course or the secondary-focused course. Those classes take place simultaneously.

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Course Details

Audience: K-12 Catholic school teachers and administrators
Method: Online
Duration: Three 4-week modules (take all or choose individual courses)
Cost: $195/module
Graduate application: Not required
Credits: See note below

This Course is Offered on the Following Dates

Details will be posted soon. Sign up to be notified when registration opens.

Course Modules

Catholic Identity in a Remote Learning Setting
In this four-week program, participants will explore theological and spiritual underpinnings of Catholic identity in Catholic schools and apply them to a remote learning context. Using Chapter One of Your School’s Catholic Identity: Name It, Claim It, Build on It! as a guide, participants will identify points of intersection between Catholic school identity and how it unfolds in a remote-learning setting. This program is intended for PK-12 Catholic school educators.

Managing an Effective Online Elementary Catholic School Classroom
This four-week session provides participants the time, space and guidance to plan effective remote instruction in an elementary school remote learning setting. Participants will discuss community-building, project-based approaches, and technological resources available for effective online elementary instruction.

Building Community in the Secondary Catholic School Classroom
This four-week session provides participants the time and space to explore the essentials course design that account for the differences in pedagogy inherent in remote instruction for older learners. The focus will be building learning communities that prioritize engagement and collaboration. Participants will explore the effective use of remote-learning tools now commonly available to Catholic schools and their stakeholders.

Leading From Within–Building Remote Learning Capacity Among Colleagues
In this final four-week experience, participants will learn about how they can serve as teacher-leaders for their colleagues, so if changes are need in the future, there will be teachers in buildings ready to guide colleagues to more effectively transition to the new modality.

What to Expect

Each course will be led by one of Creighton University’s experienced professors. Instructors for each course will:

  • Provide a 10- to 20-minute presentation on the topic for the week
  • Provide reasonable reading assignments and resources to guide online discussions
  • Develop discussion board engagement opportunities that encourage students to build the online learning community
  • Participate in one Zoom meeting per program (alternative options available for students who are unable to participate)
  • Engage in reflective practice, in keeping with Ignatian values of discernment and contemplation in action

A Note on Course Credit

Individual modules within this series do not carry credit. However, if you successfully complete two or more of the modules, you may be eligible for up to three hours of awarded credit toward a Master of Science in Educational Leadership or a Graduate Certificate in Catholic School Leadership.

Creighton University will issue a 1098-T by January 31 for all learners enrolled in courses for credit. As part of that process, you may be asked to provide your Social Security number.

Catholic Identity in a Remote Learning Setting will be taught by Max Engle, PhD, assistant professor of education and director of secondary education at Creighton University. Engel was raised in western Michigan. After teaching in Catholic high schools for eight years, he earned his PhD in Religious Education/Catechetics. He teaches courses in both the Education and Theology departments at Creighton. He researches in the areas of religious formation and instruction in Catholic schools as well as the formation and identity of Catholic school faculty. He is currently the lead author of a book on Catholic identity in Catholic schools for NCEA publishing. He lives in Omaha with his wife and four children.

Managing an Effective Online Elementary Catholic School Classroom will be led by Jean Hearn, EdD, assistant professor of education and director of elementary education at Creighton. Hearn completed her undergraduate work at the University of Georgia, her Master of Science in Education at University of Omaha, and her doctoral work at Creighton University in the Doctor of Interdisciplinary Educational Leadership. Hearn has spent much of her career teaching in both public and Catholic elementary schools.  Currently she teaches both early childhood and elementary education methods courses. Her passion lies in early childhood education, which inspires much of her research.

Hearn has three children (AJ, Hannah and Luke), one daughter in law (Liz), two dogs and a wonderfully supportive husband.

Building Community in the Secondary School Classroom and Leading from Within: Building Remote Learning Capacity among Colleagues will be led by assistant professor and director of Catholic school leadership Ronald Fussell, EdD. A native of New Hampshire, Dr. Fussell has enjoyed a successful career as an educator and leader in both public and Catholic schools. Prior to joining Creighton, Dr. Fussell was the Associate Superintendent of Schools for the Diocese of Manchester (NH), where he led efforts to improve diocesan curricula, leadership development, teacher and principal evaluation, and Catholic school identity in service to 26 schools and nearly 6,000 Catholic school students in New Hampshire. A passionate advocate for Catholic education, Dr. Fussell is honored to have a national voice regarding important topics such as lay Catholic educator faith formation, Catholic school identity and Catholic school leadership development. Dr. Fussell is a frequent presenter at local and national conferences for Catholic education.

Continuing education and professional development courses may be cancelled by the attendee in writing up to 7 days before the course begins for a full refund, less a $25 processing fee. No refund will be given 7 days prior to the course. Some courses are not eligible for a refund; these exceptions are noted in specific course descriptions. In the event of a weather-related closure, the course will be rescheduled.

Student interactions and viewpoints are a vital part of our rich learning environment. For this reason, Creighton reserves the right to cancel courses in the case of low registration numbers. In this case, registrants will receive a full refund. If a course is cancelled by the University for other non-weather-related issues, the student will be notified and a full refund will be processed.


If you have any questions about the course, we're happy to help. We can also provide assistance with group registration or work with you to develop a customized course for a team.