Mary in the Catholic Tradition

The understanding of Mary in the Catholic Tradition is a vast and fascinating topic which encompasses Marian devotion, liturgical feasts, apparitions, art, dogmas, magisterial teaching, and theological reflection, among other subjects. In this introductory course the goal is to acquaint participants with five major topics.

Course Content

Unit 1 - Mary in the Gospels

Unit 2 - Four officially defined Marian dogmas in Roman Catholicism

Unit 3 -  Mary in the Second Vatican Council and subsequent papal teaching

Unit 4 - Mary and women

Unit 5 - Our Lady of Guadalupe

  • The most widespread Marian devotion in the Americas and increasingly in many U.S. parishes as well

Course Format

  • Created by Notre Dame Theology Professor.
  • Six weeks in duration, with one week for orientation.
  • Typically 15-20 students in each course.
  • Lectures delivered by streaming video.
  • All lecture text available online in text format.
  • Supplemental readings are provided to encourage further exploration of topic, internet links provided for all readings.
  • Written assignments (200-250 words) required.
  • Facilitator moderated Zoom sessions with students in course.

Required Texts

  • All course materials are available online in the course.

Participation Requirements

  • View or read the lecture for each unit.
  • Read assigned texts; keep notes, questions, and comments for class discussion.
  • Participate in the class discussion using the Forums area: post at least 2 comments, questions, or responses per unit.
  • Respond to the assignment in each unit.
  • Participate in at least 3 scheduled Zoom sessions throughout the course.
  • Complete the course evaluation.

Time Expectations

4 to 6 hours per week, depending on your learning style and schedule.

Course Certificate

A certificate of completion awarding 25 contact hours will be sent upon completion of all course requirements.


Dr. Timothy Matovina

Dr. Timothy Matovina

Timothy Matovina is a professor and chair of the Theology Department at the University of Notre Dame. He specializes in Theology and Culture, with particular focus on U.S. Catholic and U.S. Latino theology and religion. He is author of many books and articles, among them Latino Catholicism: Transformation in America's Largest Church (Princeton, 2012), which has won five book awards, including a CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title for 2012.