Free Religion Classes
Online & Internet Religious Courses
Free College Classes Online
Free religion classes let you discuss religious, spiritual, and church issues in an academic environment. They say you should never discuss religion or politics with another person, because you're certain to disagree and you'll never change each other's minds. Taking a course about religion is an exception to that maxim, because you're in an environment which (hopefully) encourages discussion, open-mindedness, and tolerance of other attitudes. Aristotle said it's "the mark of educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it" and anyone entering a theology course should keep that quote in mind.
Free Online College Courses in Religion
Below are just some of the college courses I've found online through OpenCourseWare. I wish more of the seminary schools and theological study programs would convert some of their basic and intermediate classes to OpenCourseWare, because people are interested in theology and the spiritual life, but they often don't know how to begin to study such things. Faith-based studies at home on the computer seem like a natural way to reach people who may not go to church or mass. You can tell the administration at Notre Dame University understands this fact, because Notre Dame has a nice list of free online religion courses they offer.
Foundations of Theology is a Notre Dame OpenCourseWare religous course subtitled "Biblical and Historical", because the class focuses on early Christianity and the relationship between Christianity and Judaism. Professor Gary Anderson teaches a course that any seminary student learns and anyone fascinated in the history of the Judeo-Christian religions should know. Someone interested in this course might also be interested in Jews and Christians throughout history.
Introduction to the Old Testament is all you ever wanted to know about the Old Testament, but were afraid to ask about in Sunday School. My father once asked me to explain to him the significance of a Biblical story about God sending a bear to kill some children who laughed at a bald man. I wish I had known about this free online religion course at the time, because it would have saved me a whole lot of soul searching (and not a little bit of idle speculation). This course lets you study from a Biblical scholar and famed Yale lecturer, Professor Dale B. Martin.
Studying Religion is a free class from the Open University which covers the different forms of religious belief, along with the practices of religions with a focus on the faiths of India and Britain. You'll also become familiar with some of the basic concepts of religion and methods for how scholars have studied religion in the past.
Religion Today: Themes and Issues is a good introduction to where religion stands in the world today. Ask any two people and you'll get wildly different interpretations of spirituality and religion, especially if you ask them where they fit in the modern world (if at all). Despite the idea that we live in a secular world, faith and religious issues continue to shape and transform the world we live in. This 15-hour free introductory course from Open University gives you a solid start to your exploration of religion.
Darwin and Design is a free online college course which tackles the question of Charles Darwin and Darwinist theories of evolution compared to the "argument from design". This class explores the idea of whether evolutionary processes seem to have a design behind them--and thus an ultimate designer. Creationism, intelligent design, and evolution have been debated under one name or another for the past century and a half, but this course lets you cut through the murky discussions in public forums and get to the core of Darwin's theory of evolution.
Faith and the African American Experience is for people who've always had a fascination for the black church experience, but who didn't know where to start. Learn how an oppressed minority finds strength through faith and builds its own unique religious culture while persevering through inhuman treatment and the all-to-human failings of the society around them.
Latino Theology and Christian Tradition covers the experience from the perspective of the nations and cultures which emerged from the Spanish and Portuguese. The study of Latino Christianity is going to focus in a major way on Catholicism, so it's no surprise that this free online college course is from the University of Notre Dame.