This one really is a distance education program. And it is an amazing use of our course management system directly related to the mission of the University. Hear it in the praise Father Jenkins, President of Notre Dame, gave the program in his January 26th keynote address to FADICA:
"Catholic universities also have an opportunity—and a responsibility—to nourish the faith formation of the thousands of clergy and lay ministers already serving our dioceses and parishes.
Notre Dame has responded to this opportunity with an online, distance–learning program called the Satellite Theological Education Program, or STEP for short. Through STEP, we offer courses ranging from 4–week book review sessions to 7–week professor–led courses for parish and diocesan leaders, clergy, catechetical and religious education teachers, and any other interested person in any parish or school anywhere in the world.
The key to STEP—and programs like it—is the ability of Catholic universities to offer the high–quality teaching and content that our most under–resourced dioceses cannot afford to develop. Since its inception in 2000, STEP enrollments have grown steadily, to our current enrollment of around 1,000 students this year. These students come from every state and nearly every diocese in the U.S., as well as a few from other nations. We even had a nun from HoChiMinh City enroll in our course on the Eucharist. Imagine that—a theology professor in Indiana sharing her expertise with Catholics in Vietnam. Remarkable!"