Adult Faith Formation/St. Matthew yoUniversity (SMU)

Mission: St. Matthew yoUniversity seeks to invite all adults to grow in their Catholic faith into full Christian maturity. Faith Formation is a life-long process. SMU strives to provide relevant, meaningful educational and spiritual programs for adults of all ages. By incorporating teaching, community and prayer in all that we do, we hope to nurture and support a deep, growing, personal relationship with Jesus and his Church in all those we serve.


Please look through the list and click on a class title to register online with a credit card.  Scroll below this listing to find class descriptions.


SMU FALL 2019 Courses, Talks, Workshops and Retreats.

Check back often to see what has been added!


20 weeks
Karen Geiger
Thursdays, 7 to 9 pm
Sept. 26 to March 5
NLC 203
The compelling story of the first Christians, Acts is the account of how a few Christians empowered by the Holy Spirit, were chosen to bring Christ and the Good News to the ends of the earth. They faced secular forces, internal strife and hostile crowds, and despite all of this, they brought the kingdom of God to a broken world and the love of God to the hearts of men.
Acts: The Spread of the Kingdom traces how the Gospel spread outward in waves from Jerusalem and reveals how the seeds of Church structure and authority took root. Presenter Jeff Cavins shows how the joys and struggles of the early Christians in living the life of Christ apply to us today.

24 weeks
Ron Groover
Choose from 2 offerings
Thursday 9:45 to 11:45 am or
Thursday 6:45 to 8:45 pm
Sept. 12 to April 2
NLC 132/125
The Bible Timeline study program takes you on a guided journey through salvation history. Presenter Jeff Cavins will show you how fourteen of the Bible’s narrative books tell the biblical story from beginning to end, and give you the keys to understanding the amazing story woven throughout Scripture.

In this revolutionary approach to Bible study, The Bible Timeline divides the Bible into twelve
color-coded time periods that make it easier to follow its narrative thread. Using a unique color-coded chart,
you will learn the major people, places, and events of the Bible and discover how they all come together
to reveal the remarkable story of our Faith.

Catholic Scripture Study presents
19 weeks
Terry DeMao
Tuesdays, 9:50 to 11:50 am
Sept. 10 to Feb. 4
NLC 239/240/241
The Gospel of Mark has long been regarded as the authoritative teaching of Peter, composed by his follower, Mark. This study is a deep dive into this most foundational book of the Bible.

Join Father Patrick Winslow, JCL, and Dr. Michael Pakaluk, as they examine this compelling introduction to Christ. See Jesus through the eyes of Peter. Experience Him first as a worker of mighty deeds who expels demons and heals the sick, and teaches that the Kingdom of God has arrived in power. Learn with Peter why it was necessary for Christ to suffer.

THE PROPHETS: Messengers of God’s Mercy*
Ten weeks
Jane Brock, M.Div.
Mondays, 9:45 to 11:45 am
Sept. 30 to Dec. 9
NLC 132/125
By Thomas Smith & Sarah Christmyer
Discover the Messages the Prophets Have for You.
If God’s people had stayed close to him, there might have been no need for the prophets. God sent prophets at critical times to call the people back to their covenant relationship. Prophets proclaimed the consequences of continued sin, called people to repentance, and declared God’s faithful love. They also spoke of the future to shed light on current events and to reveal God’s plans and purposes.

It is nearly impossible to understand the work and message of Jesus without the prophetic books. In The Prophets: Messengers of God’s Mercy study, presenter Thomas Smith examines who the prophets were, their role during their time, and the meaning of their messages for our own time. Discover how God is constantly calling you to a deeper relationship, as well as the ways you are called to be the voice of God to others.

Nine weeks
Bob Jordan
Mondays, 9:45 to 11:45 am
Sept. 23 to Nov. 18 – subject to change, please check back for registration.
NLC – working on finding space to hold this class.
Paul’s letter to the Romans has
been at the center of reflection, conversion, and controversy from
the very beginning. Romans: The Gospel of Salvation provides an authentically Catholic,
comprehensive, and simple way to understand the overarching theme of Romans—salvation.
Romans: The Gospel of Salvation explores the ways in which Jesus
is the fulfillment of Israel’s prophecies, which leads to the universal, “Catholic” family of God.
Theology professor Dr. Andrew Swafford and Jeff Cavins examine Paul’s letter to the Romans. Dr. Swafford and Cavins provide
historical context and highlight the connections to Jesus and Christianity Paul makes with the Old Testament.


St. Matthew Legion of Mary presents:
33 Days to Morning Glory*
Five weeks
Wednesdays, 7 to 8:30 pm
Nov. 6 to Dec. 4
NLC 132/125
Father Michael Gaitley invites you to take hold of our holy Mother’s hand as she guides you on your spiritual journey. Blessings abound when we give ourselves to Mary in total trust as she brings us to the very heart of Jesus. Through this study, Father Gaitley shares the stories of St. Louis de Montfort, St. Maximilian Kolbe, St. Teresa of Calcutta, and St. John Paul II and their love for Mary, and explains how this relationship changed their lives and intensified their love for our Triune God.
Consecration day: tentatively scheduled; Monday, Dec. 9 Feast day of The Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary (not a Holy day of obligation.)

12 weeks
Charles Knatz
Tuesdays, 7 to 8:45 pm
Sept. 24 to Dec. 17
Waxhaw Campus
Pillar I: The Creed opens up the structure of the Catechism and shows how it is far more than a list of faith facts, but instead a sure map for your journey of faith.
Learn why the Catechism should be treated less like a fact book and more like a roadmap for our faith journey.
Learn what God’s innermost secret is and how we are called to participate in it.
See that our journey of faith is one from blessing to blessing, that the God who made us wills that we return to Him.
Discover how the Catechism can be seen as a new catechesis for the New Evangelization.
Learn how what we believe emerges from the living story of salvation history.
Discover the role the angels play in aiding our salvation, and how they are truly present to us…and much more!

20 weeks
Courtney Wolford
Mondays, 7 to 9 pm
Sept. 23 to March 9
NLC 209
Do you know your family history? The history of the Church is the story of our family. It is the epic story of our ancestors in the Faith – the heroic men and women who shaped civilization and spread the Gospel throughout the world. Knowing this story is crucial to our identity as Catholics. Just as we would uncover exciting and interesting stories of our ancestors through the study of our family genealogy, we can uncover our Catholic past through the study of Church history.

Many in our society misunderstand and even attack our Church for the supposed misdeeds of the past. Topics such as the Crusades, the Inquisition, and Galileo, are used in an attempt to discredit the Church and her role in the world. What is the truth concerning these events and persons? How can you answer the objections?

Seven weeks
Christine Corbly
Tuesdays, 10 to 11:30 am
Oct. 1 to Nov. 12
Waxhaw Campus
Have you ever been unable to explain the “why” of Catholic beliefs? Have you ever wondered why the Old Testament sounds so different from the New Testament? In the Old Testament, God began building a plan and laying a foundation for the beautiful traditions of the Catholic Faith. That plan was fulfilled by Jesus in the New Testament.
Fulfilled: Uncovering the Biblical Foundations of Catholicism is an apologetic approach to sharing the Catholic Faith using the Old Testament Tabernacle as a blueprint for God’s plan. While it is designed as a faith-sharing Scripture study, you will also gain an understanding of some of the most questioned Catholic teachings. Fulfilled will reignite your love of Scripture and help you share and defend the Catholic Faith with the Word of God.
Part One focuses on the elements found in the outer sanctuary of the Tabernacle and how they connect to the liturgical calendar, the priesthood, purgatory, baptism, and more. Part Two focuses on the elements found in the inner sanctuary of the Tabernacle and how they connect to the Magisterium, the Eucharist, incense, Mary, and more.

Four weeks
Katie Dunne Knoefel
Tuesdays, 6:30 to 8 pm
Oct. 8 to Oct. 29
NLC 203
The world we live in is chaotic. Humanity is plagued by conflict and division. But Scripture tells us that God has made us “very good” (Gen. 1) and implores us to “be perfect as [our] heavenly Father is perfect” (Matt. 5). But how?

For thousands of years, many great philosophers and theologians have held that there are four moral virtues that are principal: prudence, justice, fortitude, and temperance. We call them “cardinal”, the hinges on which the health of a society swings. St. Augustine tells us that, “No one will question that virtue gives perfection to the soul.” Is it possible that by practicing these virtues daily, we might draw ourselves AND our society ever closer to the sheer goodness God intended for us from the time of creation?

First and foremost Katie Dunne Knoefel is a disciple of the living God, also a wife and mother with a passion for loving people and journeying with them. With a youth ministry degree from Pfeiffer University and 12 years of experience in parish youth ministry and catechesis, Katie seeks to bring the joy and life of Christ to a world desperately in need of a little joy and life.

Through speaking, writing, and retreats, Katie hopes to help parishes offer vibrant ministry experiences to raise up disciples who will build up the Kingdom of God.

Eight weeks
Sue Merchant
Wednesdays, 7 to 8:45 pm
Oct. 2 to Nov. 20
NLC 203
Mary: A Biblical Walk with the Blessed Mother is a Catholic Bible study that will bring you on an extraordinary pilgrimage, revealing Mary’s unique role in God’s Kingdom and in our lives.
Why is Mary so Important to Us?

As Catholics, we have a profound reverence for the Blessed Mother. We turn to her in prayer, in the Mass, in the Rosary, and in Marian devotions. We honor her with special feasts celebrating the significant events in her life. We place images of her in our churches and homes.

The better we know Mary, the better we will know her Son.

Mary: A Biblical Walk with the Blessed Mother is an extraordinary pilgrimage that reveals Mary’s unique role in God’s Kingdom and in our lives. Filmed on location in the Holy Land, Mary: A Biblical Walk with the Blessed Mother will place you in the midst of the powerful drama of her earthly life, taking you through her joys…and her sorrows. You will learn how she works in our lives today, drawing us ever closer to her Divine Son. Seeing Mary in this way will change you forever. Mary will become a part of your daily life, and in your daily life, you will become more like Christ.

Eight weeks
Father Pat Hoare
Tuesdays, 7 to 8:30 pm
Sept. 10 to Nov. 19
Banquet Room – First class: PC Family Room

What is right and wrong? Is what’s right for you right for me? Is there a right and wrong for everyone, all the time? These are difficult questions to discuss in our culture. We live in a society that supports the opinion that each person should make up their own morality; that there is no moral truth that applies to everyone. Many of us have been affected by the relativistic outlook that pervades the modern world, and wonder whether there really is an absolute right and wrong for everyone. Or maybe we accept that there is a moral standard for all, but we do not know how to explain our moral convictions in a convincing way. Maybe some of us are afraid of saying something is immoral because we are afraid of offending others or of being labeled intolerant. How do we talk about morality in a relativistic world?

In this group study featuring Dr. Edward Sri, we will explore the classical view of morality and find that it is not merely a set of guiding principles for theoretical situations, rather it is an entire way of life.

Ten weeks
Lennie Cox
Wednesdays, 10:15 am to noon
Begins Soon! Aug 28 to Oct 30
NLC 203
Join us for a group study that delves into the Most Holy Trinity as the key to bringing the Faith from our heads to our hearts and out into our lives, putting our Faith into action.



St. Matthew Moms Group
Eight weeks
Catherine Sforza
Thursday, 10 am to noon
Sept. 12 to Oct. 31
NLC 202
Is being a mother what you thought it would be? The exhaustion, monotony, mounting unfinished projects, a loss of a sense of self… Too many moms, especially young and new moms, do in fact feel disillusioned. Maybe you feel you have been sold a bill of goods, that success and happiness are not possible through the vocation of motherhood. Many moms quietly resign themselves to the idea that success, happiness and fulfillment are things they will need to find in spite of motherhood, not because of it.

The author of Momnipotent, Danielle Bean, understands all this first-hand and meets women where they are. With great wit, wisdom, and compassion, she provides much-needed encouragement to all women and beautifully resonates with their feminine hearts.

Thursday, 10 am to Noon
Thurs., Oct. 3
Banquet Room– Ballantyne Campus
St. Francis Feast Day is Oct. 4
The Wishes of St. Francis of Assisi
In his own words, what did Francis say about what he wanted his followers and admirers to do? How did he sum up his life’s work at the end of his life?

A Glimpse of Franciscan Monastery Life
View 20-minute short documentary by Julie McElmurry about a monastery of Franciscan nuns plus presentation on Franciscan monastic life as it relates to Franciscan life outside of a monastery. What lessons can we learn from these expressions of following Francis of Assisi in our own lives?

Julie holds a Master of Science in Religion and Religious Education from Fordham University in the Bronx, NY and a Master of Arts in Franciscan Studies from St. Bonaventure University’s Franciscan Passages.


10th Annual Day of Healing 

Registration: Joy of Mercy
October 19, 2019
9 am to 3 pm
Joy of Mercy: Be Merciful Sr. Caterina Esselen, OLM
Joy of Granting Divine Mercy Lennie Cox, Facilitator with SMU
Joy of Jesus’ Promises Deacon Gary Schrieber
Joy of Forgiveness Sr. Caterina Esselen, OLM


Christ Renews His Parish is a unique, parish-based faith renewal experience for men and women. This parishioner led experience is designed to foster a sense of community within St. Matthew Catholic Church. Participants will grow in discipleship and come away with a renewed spirit and strengthened faith.
Registration click: HERE
Women’s CRHP: Chrissy Wilson at
Women’s CRHP date: Oct. 11-12
Men’s CRHP: Bill O’Brien at
Men’s CRHP date: Nov. 1-2



Six-week classes will be held from mid-Sept. to late Oct.
Strengths Exploration is a six-week, 90 minutes per week, small-group program designed to help you discover your God-given talents and begin to shift your focus away from fixing your weaknesses. Participants learn to start spending time and energy on doing more of what they are good at doing. With the guidance of trained facilitators, groups begin by exploring each individual’s CliftonStrenghts top talent themes – their regular patterns of behavior – and determine how to apply these talents in their personal, professional and spiritual lives to fulfill God’s purpose for each. Positive and uplifting.
Choose the day and time that works best for your schedule from the list below.
Sundays, 10:15 to 11:45 am 9/15, 9/22, 9/29, 10/6, 10/13, 10/20 (NLC 209)
Mondays, 1:00 to 3:30 pm 9/16, 9/23, 9/30, 10/7, 10/14, 10/21 (NLC 208)*
Tuesdays, 7:00 to 8:30 pm 9/17, 9/24, 10/1, 10/8, 10/15, 10/22 (NLC 206)
Wednesdays, 10 to 11:30 am 9/18, 9/25, 10/2, 10/9, 10/16, 10/23 (NLC 208)*


Wednesdays, 9:30 to 11 am
Sept. 4 to Oct. 30
NLC 239/240/241
We welcome ladies new to the area and invite you to join our upcoming nine-week study of God’s role and love in the process of your moving transition. Meet other women new to the area, share challenging and funny stories, all while being encouraged and embraced by our team. The study is every Wednesday morning at 9:30am, beginning Sept. 4. There is a $20 class fee for the book and materials.


The Power of Calm for Marriage Calming Down, Growing Up and Getting Closer*
Six weeks
Jenny Cox, MA, LMFT
Wednesday, 7 to 9 pm
Oct. 2 to Nov. 6
NLC 234/235
$20 per couple; or $10 per person (Couples are encouraged attend together.)
Your marriage is arguably the most important relationship of your life and can be a source of great strength and joy as each spouse helps the other become the person God created them to be. Part of any growth involves struggle, and all marriages have natural conflict. Unfortunately, many either avoid conflict or allow themselves to be consumed by it. This program, based on the book ScreamFree Marriage, helps couples turn natural conflict into opportunities for deeper intimacy. Created by Marriage and Family Therapist, Author and Speaker Hal Runkel, ScreamFree Marriage offers a “Calm Down, Grow Up, Get Closer” approach where conflict becomes a venue for greater intimacy and a meaningful, lifelong connection.

Jenny Cox is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and a certified ScreamFree Marriage leader. She is married with two children.


Online registration with credit card is offered by clicking on the titles; but also in person registration in the office with check or cash only is accepted.  (credit card is online only.)

Mail in a registration. 

St. Matthew Catholic Church

Attn: Adult FF Registration

P.O. Box 49349

Charlotte, NC 28277

Peace and Social Justice

Click here to go to Peace and Social Justice page



Lectio Divina* 
Sister Mary Hugh Mauldin, RSM, MA
Wednesdays, 9:30 to 10:45 am
NLC 234/235
No registration; simply come when you can. Lectio Divina is an ancient community prayer form using the upcoming Sunday Mass readings, providing Scriptural enrichment and community building. Please bring your bible.

Centering Prayer

In a busy world, a time for silence is a rare experience. However, authentic spirituality always embraces silent time with God. Centering Prayer is a practice that invites us to be present to God as God is present to us. It is a process that transforms us and brings inner peace into our lies.

Please contact Janie Normile at 


*Child care is available with 48-hour advance registration to the nursery. Call 704-543-7677 x 1003.

Click on the link below to get a map and directions to both St. Matthew Ballantyne and St. Matthew -Waxhaw location.


For more information contact Rachel Willoughby 704-543-7677 x 1020.

New to volunteering at St. Matthew? Please read our Safe Environment Policy.