Free Online Religion Courses

Free online religion classes can help students better understand their own faith and the faith of others
Free online religion classes can help students better understand their own faith and the faith of others. Caiaimage / Astronaut Images / Getty Images

Whether you're looking for a deeper understanding of world religions or simply want to understand your own faith on a deeper level, these free online religion courses can help. With video lessons, podcasts, and exercises, you'll be instructed by religious leaders from around the globe.

Buddhism

Buddhist Studies – If you want details quickly, you'll get them with this Buddhist study guide. Choose your topic and your skill level for explanations of Buddhist spirituality, culture, belief, and practice.

Buddhism and Modern Psychology - It turns out that many Buddhist practices (such as meditation) have a proven use in modern psychology. Through this 6-unit course from Princeton University, you'll explore how Buddhists view the human mind and human problems.

An Introductory Course on Early Buddhism - If you're looking for an in-depth discussion of Buddhist philosophy, this course is for you. The PDF lessons walk students through Buddah's life, the four noble truths, the eight-fold path, meditation, and many other essential beliefs.

The Central Philosophy of Tibet - For the academically-inclined, this podcast offers a professorial look at Buddhist principles and practices throughout Tibetan history.

Free Buddhist Audio - This four-year course walks learners through the basics of becoming a Buddhist with both audio recordings and written lectures.

Christianity

Christianity Basics – Through this 10-week About.com email course, you'll learn the essentials of becoming a Christian and practicing your faith.



Spending Time with God – If Christian connection is what you're looking for, this email course will send you a new lesson on communicating with God each week for seven weeks.

Hebrew for Christians – These text and audio lessons are designed to help Christians study Hebrew to gain a deeper understanding of their early scriptures.

Truth for the World – These brief lessons include beginning, intermediate, and advanced topics in Bible studies. Students can browse through written lectures and also view short video segments. Both the Old and New Testaments are discussed.

Bible Study Lessons – Take a look at these step-by-step Bible study guides to learn more about the scriptures from a Christian perspective. You can download guides as PDF documents or read them online. Once you're done with each section, take a quiz to see how much you've learned.

World Bible School – Through this easy-to-understand course, students can learn the essentials of the Bible from a Christian faith-promoting world view. Email and mail correspondence options are also available.

Hinduism

American/International Gita Society - Through four levels, this course helps English speakers understand the Bhagavad Gita. The course includes an English language version of the scripture and dozens of PDF lessons guiding seekers through the book.

Kauai's Hindi Monastery - Take a look at this well-organized site to take online classes on the basics of Hinduism, sign up for a daily lesson, or listen to audio discussions. Interesting audio options include: "How to Realize God: Like a Child's Self-Discovery," "The Guru's Job: Love," and "All Knowing Within You: No Good, No Bad."

Check out the next page for more free online religion courses (including one that even offers students a $100 stipend)...

Islam

Studying Islam – Through this site, students can access a variety of course materials including YouTube videos, text-based lessons, and discussions related to essential topics in Islam.

Introduction to the Koran: The Scripture of Islam - From the University of Notre Dame, this course offers an academic look at the Koran, its text, its cultural meanings, and its place in history.

Understanding Islam - This free online course is designed for students relatively new to Islamic beliefs.

With quotes from essential texts, graphics, and easy-to-understand explanations, students work their way through three units.

Islamic Online University - For practicing Muslims, this site offers a variety of course options including "The Moral Foundations of Islamic Culture," "No Doubt: Conveying Islam with Compassion and Reason," and "Arabic Speech Simplified."

Judaism

Jewish Interactive Studies – These introductory text-based courses help students understand the fundamentals of Jewish belief and practice. Both the Foundations and the Ethics courses are free in PDF format.

Hebrew Learning – If you're looking to learn Hebrew, this is a smart place to start. Explore dozens of brief lessons with audio and interactive graphics.

Reform Judaism Webinars - These webinars focus on topics of interest in Reform Judaism and are available on topics such as "Torah Alive: Every Person Has a Name," "Sharing Your Harvest with Others: Sukkot and Social Justice," and "Jews and the Civil Rights Movement."

Judaism 101 - If you're a young Jew between the ages of 18 and 26, consider taking this foundational online course. You'll learn through expert videos, quizzes, and events. Sign up and complete the requirements, and you may even qualify for a $100 stipend.