RCIA home study or online?

Hi. Does anyone know if it’s possible to take online RCIA classes? Or if there is a home study course for RCIA?

Thanks, Tasha

If you are thinking about the process of RCIA for yourself or someone with the intention of becoming Catholic, the catechesis involved is much more than just “class” or “home study.” The process of Christian Initiation into a community presupposes the existence of a community. People within that community have been authorized to teach by the pastor. I don’t know of any on-line version of that that would culminate in Christian Initiation.

I know that the Knights of Columbus used to have a booklet available (and it still may be available) that contained certain truths about our faith that was used by individuals seeking conversion. In days of old pastors would use that booklet and prepare individuals for Christian Initiation on an individual basis. Pastorally there may still be reason to do that, but the norm is for catechesis to be done in community.

Hi. Does anyone know if it’s possible to take online RCIA classes? Or if there is a home study course for RCIA?

Some parishes might have some part of their RCIA course on line, or may suggest studying the faith at one website or another online.

But until there are online sacraments, online confession, or online masses, there will still have to be a substantial in-person element to the RCIA practice.

Thanks for the answers. I knew the Knights of Columbus offered a home study course, but I didn’t know if it would count for RCIA. I have a realtive that needs to make his Confirmation, but he’s homebound. It would be a real hardship for him to make the classes, for many reasons. I’ll give him the scoop.

This is certainly seems to qualify as one of those “pastoral reasons” I mentioned in my previous post. Have your relative contact his/her pastor and explain the situation. Will you be this person’s sponsor? It sounds like you would make a good one given your concern for the situation! God bless you and your relative!


Check out the Catholic Home Study Service offered by Father Oscar Lukefahr. His materials are great, and orthodox (small o), and your first course is free. Personally, if he is new, I suggest getting his “We Believe - A Survey of the Catholic Faith”. It is a really great introduction to Roman Catholicism, all cross referenced with the CCC. I am not sure if they will count as RCIA or not, however you may want to check with your pastor. You will also want to get yourself a CCC, a good Catholic Bible (count the NAB out, the New Jerusalem Bible is a pretty good translation). Good luck & God bless.

How old is your relative?

I have handled several cases for full Sacraments of Initiation and for Adult Confirmation in our parish where the recipient could not attend formal classes, or could only attend occasionally. We worked out special procedures to fit the needs in each case. [One was an 85 year old woman civilly married to a lapsed Catholic. We even went to the Nursing home to give her the sacraments, hear the husband’s confession and convalidate their marriage. She died about a year later.]

However, the sacraments must be received from the parish; so must be prepared for by methods approved by the pastor. Make an appointment with his pastor or Director of Adult Education and see what can be arranged.

Thank you ALL for your very kind and informative answers!!

My relative is young-in his 30’s, but as I said, he’s homebound. I’ve got the CCC I can give him, and I’ll check out the link Semper Fi provided. I’ll also speak to the RCIA teacher at his parish.

By the way, what’s wrong with the NAB??? I use the NAB, along with a very old Bible of my Grandmother’s, but I had no idea I should consider the NAB “out”.

I don’t know if I’ll be his sponser or not (when the time comes) but thanks MaryAgnes for thinking of it!

God bless you all!


The NAB isn’t “out.” It’s the official translation of the Lectionary. It isn’t as clean a translation as the RSV-CE but it’s not all that bad. It tends to be “inclusive,” which I find insulting but some of the school editions or church editions have excellent apparatus and study helps. I would advise using both the RSV-CE and the NAB in addition to any other Bible you prefer. Sometimes different translations help you understand a passage better.

I have been working on one of these courtses. They are excellent, but do require study. The first one is free and if you pass the included exams, so is the next one.

The K of C offers for about ten bucks a whole packet of lesson booklets on various topics. The booklets are keyed into the Cathechism of the Catholic Church which is a very reasonable purchase or can be refered to on-line.

The RCIA is for converts and includes a number of liturgical events that take place at Mass in a parish setting. Reverts often go through to catch up with what has happened since they left.

I am currently on a military deployment, and have seriously been considering converting from Baptism to Catholicism… I have been raised in a strong Baptist environment, however I have never had a strong connection with the church. Many of my friends with me are Catholics and after talking with them about the differences of the two, and doing some self studying, I feel as though I’m being pulled toward Catholicism, it just feels right. With my job though, I’m not sure how I would be able to do the RCIA with a group, or even attend a class because I get up and go so often… If someone wouldn’t mind helping me with the steps I need to take to convert, please do so. My email is richievallee@gmail.com and would greatly appreciate all of your help. Thank you all for your support.

there are books used for RCIA. but traditionally the faith is learned through discipleship, there being a teacher and a student. there are complexities of the faith that someone qualified should instruct you personally.

the CCC is accessible online and is the teaching tool of the Church. everything you’ll learn in the RCIA comes from the CCC. you can read it here:


yes there are resources on-line to study Catholic doctrine, catholic.net for example, and the catechism home study course by Fr. Lukefhar from Liguori.com also distributed sometimes free by the Knights of Columbus, or of course using the US Catholic Catechism for Adults, which has an on-line study guide on the bishops website usccb.or.

But–that is not RCIA. RCIA is a process, not a class, and one of the goals besides instruction in Christian doctrine is evangelization, ongoing conversion and discernment of that conversion, incorporation into parish life and the Christian community and way of life, as well as the rites leading up to the sacraments which punctuate the various phases of the process, and the reception of sacraments themselves. This is done in the parish under the guidance of the pastor and those he appoints. So do make an appointment with the pastor, lay out the particulars of your own situation, and follow his advice. He will probably refer you to the RCIA director and together help you find a solution that will work for you and the parish.

Originally, I wondered the same thing. But, once I participated in the RCIA process, I realized that it was so much more than Catholic 101. It can be a very rewarding process, if you allow it to be.

Chad Torgerson
Waking Up Catholic - RCIA Resources

“We Believe” is one of the books we received during our RCIA program. The book, as can be guessed by the title, is a step by step breakdown of the Nicene Creed. Lots of detail and inspiration.

Just as a point of clarification - someone who is already baptized as a Christian (but not Catholic) need not go through the RCIA, but some other form of preparation. From the USCCB website -

To prepare for this reception, the people, who are called “candidates,” usually participate in a formation program to help them understand and experience the teachings and practices of the Catholic Church. Some preparation may be with catechumens preparing for baptism, but the preparation for candidates is different since they have already been baptized and committed to Jesus Christ, and many have also been active members of other Christian communities.

Also, private instruction is still allowed. Remember, we are not making theologians, this is an initiation - a beginning. So an online source of information is certainly welcome for those who cannot attend RCIA sessions.

Hi Fr. Tony and welcome to CAF. You may want to find more current threads to participate in. The last post before yours was 3 years ago.

If you’re interested in RCIA you’ll get lots of opportunities to contribute. It comes up often, especially questions about what is needed, when it’s needed, how it should be done, etc.

Thanks! Yes, I did notice the age the posts. Now that I’m hooked up, I’m sure I will be chipping in my two cents worth!:slight_smile:

Talk to the chaplain where you are presently stationed, they will be able to help you.