Launch your free course for Catholics. For free.
Everything you need to create and build a free course. Launch to a Catholic audience, with zero fees. Help your students interact with you, and each other! (Currently in Beta)
It's your content
Launch the course you want. Repurpose your posts, or create content on any topic.
Grow your impact
No audience? No problem. We guarantee a growing audience of Catholics worldwide.
Zero costs for your free course, forever. We handle all of the fees so that you can build and launch.
“A course about building courses! Includes templates, scripts, FAQs, and how to get more out of your course.” – Dominic de Souza
“I loved not having to start from scratch. It was simply repackaging it in a way that I’ll be able to interact directly with my students and fans. This way I’ll see what connects and what doesn’t so that I can keep honing my work.” Marek Rudak, Author, speaker, veteran
The platform for busy, non-techy Catholic speakers and impact makers to share free courses on any topic
Create your course to turn your followers from passive listeners to active and focused, grow your impact, and reach 15,000+ Catholics worldwide!
To grow your ministry, you need to help people make changes in their lives.
Online courses are everywhere, but…
You don’t know how to start one
You’re afraid of the time needed
You don’t have any support
You don’t have an audience
You don’t have a community
You’re just starting out
When you have a system to easily create enjoyable courses, a plan to grow your impact, and a ready-made Catholic audience, you’re unstoppable. Deliver even more value for Catholics, and grow your ministry.
No more doing it alone.
Our support team is standing by to answer your questions and help you launch your course!
Detailed documentation gives you all the resources you need to guide you. Plus, get instant access to our growing community!
Help us build the future of free Catholic, on-demand learning.
When you build a Course with SmartCatholics, here’s everything you get:
Branding & Details
Beautiful, intuitive layout ready for photos, rich text, embedded video, and PDF downloads.
Control Lesson Options
Set each lesson to be unlocked, or make each student manually unlock access with a button or day delay.
Easy to setup and edit
Drag-and-drop your lessons, sections, and make updates whenever you want!
At the end of your course, promote anything you want: the rest of your course, consulting, or ask for donations.
Manage your Members
Message everyone in your course. See the top members. Welcome newcomers. See and sort by completion rates.
Connect with Students
Nurture your community and create lasting relationships with a social-first experience. Meet your students!
Our growing team of Catholic marketers are a DM or email away, and can chat with you every step of the way.
We review each course to ensure it meets our (generous) vision and guidelines.
Notifications & Messages
Get answers, offer support, and share your excitement with our community of fellow entrepreneurs, experts and speakers!
Feel the impact
Do work that matters, really matters!
Create a free Catholic Course on any topic
All topics of any type welcome! We’re especially looking for these themes:
How to think with the Church Fathers, the Catechism, and the Catholic Church.
Unpacking the gift of doctrine and truth, in a way that everyone can get.
Find out what our latest popes have said, on their own terms, and why it matters.
“Be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may prove what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”
Romans 12:2, RSVCE
Launching a course shouldn’t feel like building the Titanic with a toothbrush, burning 100’s of hours each month.
If you want to accelerate your impact, most gurus will tell you to
- Email your list 3 times a week
- Post on social media every day, several times
- Go live every 4 hours
- Start a weekly podcast.
- Spend thousands of dollars on video equipment, green screens
- Run at least $1000 of social media advertising each month
- and more. Lots more.
For some people, that’s their mojo. For you? It feels brutal and overwhelming.
But everyone seems to be doing it. Perhaps that’s just the cost of doing business?
Maybe it’s time to throw in the towel and find a new hobby?
No, not at all. All those activities are good. And if you have the money, go for it. Online learning is one of the fastest growing industries, projected to surpass $181B by 2025.
So there’s a massive need for courses. Beautiful, accessible, practical courses. We need to leverage the spread of knowledge, not gate it.
Online courses help students save time, energy, and resources. And lets face it. We all want to learn on demand.
An online courses positions you as a thought leader. Someone worth following. And if you have video, 60% of everyone prefers it. (Check out the online education trends.)
But guess what?
If you’re like most Catholic impact-makers, you’ve written a book. Or you blog regularly. Or host a podcast.
You’ve probably created enough content to launch a course right now!
If you wanted to, you can close this tab right now and head off and start your own course on Udemy, Coursera, Thinkfic, or Podia. They can work really well – depending.
Depending on if you can target the right audience. Or if you can grow your own.
But I want to help you see a new future.
- Imagine instead… launching a free, mini course to a pre-built Catholic audience.
- Imagine each month, your course gaining new members. And you did nothing.
- Imagine your course promoting you every month, helping you reach new people while you focus on other things.
My name is Dominic de Souza, and I’m the founder of SmartCatholics.
SmartCatholics is one of the fastest-growing communities to support Pope Francis, help Catholics regroup, and create resources to renew our hope. Our community is built on a culture of kindness and learning.
Starting your first free course is so easy you could get it done in 2 hours.
- The interface is beautiful.
- You can update or add to your course any time.
- You can promote anything you like as an upsell, like your book, or your consulting services.
It’s the SmartCatholics Academy. We believe it’s going to change the world for Catholics everywhere.
Most course platforms are built for global markets. And most courses cost anywhere from $25 to $80. To be fair, they’re worth it.
But there’s are millions of Catholics starved to go deeper. They don’t know where to go, and many around the world can’t afford expensive courses.
SmartCatholics is creating a home for free Catholic courses, of any size, for Catholics everywhere.
We’re doing the heavy lifting for you – building the audience, handling all the costs and support, and helping get you in front of new people.
No one out there is doing something this crazy. Building a platform to give your course free marketing and promotion.
Now you’re thinking, there’s no way it’s free. And if it is, there’s no way it’s actually any good.
I’d think the same thing.
But it really is.
SmartCatholics is built on a world-leading, membership platform. Courses are built right in.
We’re not interested in building in a silo. We believe in collaboration with Catholics everywhere to build the Kingdom.
So give me a minute to show you how launching a free course could start something incredible for you.
Because right now, you’re probably thinking: this won’t work for me.
You’re imagining all the Catholics with degrees and letters after their names, and how they’ve earned the right to offer courses. “How could I have something to offer?”
That’s a perfectly normal question.
Let me share with you something. People like to learn from people who are like them.
So it doesn’t matter if your course is 90% identical to someone else. It will still have an important difference. What is that?
You. Your stories, your experiences, and your way of thinking about things are unique. Some people want to learn from a human being who looks and thinks like you.
So if you’re already creating content, you’ve probably already published a course! It’s just not set up in a way that gets people to lean forward and pay attention.
So what’s so special about a SmartCatholics course?
Let me tell you.
- First of all, right now you’re producing all kinds of video, audio, or written content. Maybe your actual engagement is almost nothing?
- Second, you’re paying for expensive course software that’s coming out of your bank account, whether you have members or not.
- Third, you don’t have the budget to run advertising to your course to reach more people.
- Fourth, you’re trying to figure it out on your own.
Launching your course on SmartCatholics helps you solve all these problems.
As more and more Catholics around the world come online, we need to build the future of free Catholic education.
- Catholic catechists can share your course with their class.
- Catholic parents can pull up a website and instantly start making progress in their education.
- Catholic students can start a journey to get smarter and fuel their faith-life with solid lessons.
Imagine this with me.
Imagine 100 Catholic impact makers like you launched a free course within the SmartCatholics community.
Each course ends with a promotion to purchase your full course, or your book, or your consulting services.
Thousands of Catholics start exploring courses, trying out the ones they enjoy. Starting new ones as soon as they’re done.
- Your mailing list grows.
- Your social media followers grow.
- You start making more income.
- That frees you up to be more successful, and spending more time with people.
- You now have more free time to make an impact.
And all this activity means Google starts paying attention. More people googling for catholic education start finding your course.
People you’d never thought to meet are now reaching out to learn more from you.
I’m serious. I’m so excited about what this means.
This means that in 3 years, or 5 years, we could change the face of Catholic catechizing and education for Catholics everywhere.
Learning and sharing our Catholic faith should be as easy as ordering toothpaste on Amazon. Easier.
But here’s an added benefit.
Someone who starts your course can see the comments and insights from other Catholics. These Catholics often come back and respond. Which means your course is build an online community.
Let’s recap for a second.
What would it cost you to do all this on your own?
- Paying for your own course software is around $100 per month.
- Running ad campaigns or boosting posts to find people could be easily anywhere from $300 to $1000 a month.
- Passive marketing (where other people promote you) is almost impossible to find, or pay for. Especially for Catholics.
- Getting professional advice and cover design easily costs $100 per session.
- Plus, you’re spending almost three hours a day just on growing your audience.
All that could be costing you around $700 each month, plus all your own time.
But we’re changing all that.
Imagine how valuable it would be to get help with all of this.
- Repurpose all your free content into a course, and drop it into a river of people already looking for your leadership.
- Imagine other Catholic impact-makers all helping to promote the same platform and grow their courses right along with you.
- Imagine collaborating together, instead of fighting for attention.
You can even afford to go on holiday for a few weeks. Your course will go on promoting you – because I will be promoting it!
Here’s what you pay to launch your free course in SmartCatholics Academy. Zero.
Nothing. No cost at all.
Why am I doing this?
Because I’m more interested in helping you grow your audience. I believe in paying it forward. And I believe that a rising tide raises all ships.
So when we all work together and support the Kingdom, everyone wins.
And it’s all your content. You can leave any time. (Of course, you’re giving us the right to promote the fact that you’re with us.)
In the last lesson, you can ask for donations. Upsell your services. Promote your complete course, where you charge whatever you want. Ask people to follow you on social media.
And you can ask your students to join your emailing list. In fact, you really need to do that.
So what do you have to do to start?
Easy. Send me a message to apply.
Let me know if you plan to repurpose content, or create it brand new. Tell me what kind of audience it’s for. And give me a super brief outline of what your lessons will cover.
I’ll respond with ideas and suggestions, and set you up with a free account to get started.
When you’re ready to launch, I’ll look it over with you, create the promotional graphics, and promote it in my monthly newsletter that goes out to 15,000 Catholics.
Want to offer a paid course? Or want deeper help with editing and design? Let me know!
So here’s what you get when you launch your free course:
- Offer a mini course or a complete signature program
- Mobile access through the SmartCatholics app
- Trackable progress for each student
- A beautiful interface for adding text, pictures, video, and audio
- Organize your lessons into sections
- Build an online community
- See individual progress
- Unlocking and completion features
- Instant promotion within the SmartCatholics community
- Promotion to 15,000+ Catholics worldwide
- Include upsells for your additional services or full course
- Marketing advice and cover design
All this, for free. Just apply today.
Seriously, how is it all free?
After launching a couple of free courses, you may decide to host a paid course with SmartCatholics. Keep reading.
SmartCatholics hosts a private membership group called ‘Catholic Impact Accelerator.’
Members are active, busy, and non-techy speakers and creators, like you. Each month we meet to discuss and explore ways to share invites and insights.
We’re here to help you succeed and thrive, so that we can build the Kingdom together for our generation.
Because when you’re successful, SmartCatholics gets better. Which means more people show up and stay. Which means I can send you more students.
Which makes everything better for everyone.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is SmartCatholics Academy right for you? Get answers to the most frequently asked questions so you can make the best decision for you.
Quick answers to common questions
Who it's for
Find out if the Academy is right for you.
Fees & Refunds
How fees and membership works.
All the little extra questions.
Quick answers to common questions
What is SmartCatholics?
SmartCatholics is one of the fastest-growing communities to support Pope Francis, help Catholics regroup, and create resources to renew our hope. We’re smart, magnetic first-responders, and having a good time!
Where do courses live?
All courses are built inside the SmartCatholics community. The software we’re using is Mighty Networks, which has courses built in.
As more courses are added, we will add ways for people to search, sift, and browse for more courses, and connect with your profile.
What will I learn or get from starting a course?
You will get help from professional marketers to get your course launched and live. Most importantly, you can launch to a Catholic audience. As we grow, your impact grows!
What is expected of me?
After launching your course, check in once a week, or a few times a month, to follow up on questions and comments. Use those as prompts to improve your course material, or set up a new one.
When your course is live, share the news about it on your blog, social media, and email list.
How is the SmartCatholics Academy different to any other course site?
There are many course websites out there – most of them will be far better than the simple course tools that we have to offer.
What they don’t have is a Catholic audience. Your course gets ‘lost in the shuffle’ of hundreds of other unrelated courses. And you’re doing it on your own.
With the Academy, you launch with an audience. Our active community is already here. Your courses are related to the other courses, so it’s easier for students to keep learning, and discovering.
And you’re not alone; you have a Catholic community, and our growing peer group.
What's not available in the free course?
Setting up a free courses is completely free to you. What’s not included is the option to create a paid course within the Academy, or access to our private Catholic Impact group.
Where else can I learn about SmartCatholics?
Visit our About page for more details on the vision and mission.
Who it's for
Find out if the Academy is right for you and your family.
Who's right for creating a course?
Any Catholic speaker or catechist on fire with the Faith is welcome. Everyone who can demonstrate an expertise in their field, and adherence to the Catechism and Magisterium, guided by Pope Francis.
Degrees are welcome, but you can be a seminarian, or studying toward your degree. You have to be comfortable with chatting online, and building a community through content and connection.
All speakers and creators must be open to Pope Francis and his vision. Even though we may not all agree, we act and speak in respect.
Who's not right for this Academy?
If you don’t like or agree with our vision at SmartCatholics, have little to no experience teaching yourself to use online tools, or are trying to promote a message at odds with the Magisterium as guided by Pope Francis, then this is not for you.
Is SmartCatholics just for smart Catholics?
Everyone is welcome, from any background. We have non-Catholics within our community as well. This is a home for Catholics of all walks of life who celebrate kindness and learning as the baseline for how we are.
Will creating a course work for me even if I'm not around?
Yes. You can launch a course and check in on it occasionally. Obviously, being more responsive to your students is extremely helpful to everyone all around, especially to the students.
My situation in the Faith is unique - will this work for me?
It probably will! As long as we are all actively united around the same goals, we are open to tolerate many viewpoints and backgrounds. We believe in unity in essentials, openness in details, and kindness in everything.
Will my course work anywhere in the world?
Yes! Anyone with internet access will be able to use your course, leave comments, and connect with you.
If English isn't my native language, can I create a course?
We have Catholic members from all over the world. Since this platform was launched in English, we start with mostly English courses. But if you can connect us with someone fluent in your language and English who can verify your content, then we’d love to have you!
How tech-savvy do I need to be to make a course?
If you can use Facebook, you’ll take to our community easily. If you can use a Word document, then building a course is that easy.
Can I share my course with my network?
Yes! Your course is not only public, but you can add it to your profile in our public directory. It’s a 2 for 1 value to get Google and SEO to pick up your work. Share it with friends, fans, and fellows.
Fees & Guarantees
How fees and membership works.
How much does the Academy cost?
Launching a free course is free. We plan to keep it that way forever.
Setting up a paid course requires that you’re a paying member of our Catholic Impact Accelerator group.
If you want more help with your course, or even have someone else handle all the details, just ask about one of our SmartCatholics course assistants.
Do you offer a guarantee?
Satisfaction is guaranteed. If you are not happy with your course, you can take it all down and set it up anywhere else you like.
What types of payment do you accept?
Payment for any membership is all online, through Stripe, or Paypal. We don’t accept offline transactions.
Can I cancel my course?
Yes, any time. Just send us an email with your reason why, and we can remove everything from our platform. You can also create your course on any other platform you like at the same time. It’s your content.
Can I cancel my membership?
Yes, any time. Just email us to remove you from the Accelerator group, or you can remove yourself. The membership automatically renews each month on the monthly plan, and annually on the annual plan.
All the little extra questions to help you make your decision.
How is SmartCatholics different from free Facebook groups?
SmartCatholics is especially focused on a space for Catholics, a space that is free of toxicity, trolls, and ads. Our culture focuses on kindness and learning, and union with the Holy Father.
There are plenty of Catholics Facebook groups, many are much, much larger. But conversation in those proves to be hard to manage, since they don’t have a culture.
And, Facebook is designed to harvest your attention for ads, and keep you scatterbrained. Our community creates a space that is much more focused.
How do you support Catholic speakers?
Everything we do at SmartCatholics is building the kingdom – for the Faithful People of God, and for their servants, the speakers and creators like you.
Our community brings us all together. The Academy provides training and education. Our videos are hosted on YouTube so that everyone can access them.
Our Catholic Impact Accelerator is a private peer group for networking and support.
Will I speak with or get feedback directly from Dominic?
Yes, you can email Dominic any time, or schedule a call. We also host multiple live sessions each month in different groups as a way to bring the community together. You can join and brainstorm, or ask questions and network.
How can I give a certificate for my course?
Since there are no official ways to provide certification for free courses, we can be creative about how to make it work.
One option is to invite students to submit to you a written paper, for a fee. You could then provide a signed paper that states they completed your course and have demonstrated mastery of the subject.
Reach out to Dominic today to discuss what’s possible.
What if I have another question not listed here?
Email Dominic any time, or send him a direct message (DM) through the community.