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Upcoming CDU Offerings

Posted by Catholic Distance University on Mon, Apr 01, 2019 @ 06:19 PM

How Are We Saved?
July 15 – August 5 

Given our increasingly secular and atheistic society, many people today doubt the reality of heaven and the afterlife, especially young people. Given the proclamations on salvation made by evangelical friends, many Catholics are confused about how we are saved to eternal life in heaven. Therefore, the need to equip Catholics to credibly, convincingly, and compellingly explain and share how we can know that heaven and the afterlife are real and what the Catholic Church teaches about salvation has never been greater.

This seminar presents Catholic Church teaching on why it was necessary for Jesus Christ to suffer and die for us and how we can accept this most precious gift of salvation. Many New Testament passages are used to explain how we are called to a three-fold response to accept God’s gift of
salvation: faith, charitable good deeds, and
partaking of the graces offered by the sacraments of the Church, especially baptism and holy eucharist. Attendees will come to understand what it takes to be saved and be better prepared to respond when asked, “Have you been saved?”

Register for this seminar after April 15 at


Continue Your Lifelong
Educational Journey

Would you like to learn more about Isaiah and the prophets, St. Thomas Aquinas, comparative religion, Vatican II, or Latin?  Graduates of CDU’s BA, MA, or Catechetical Diploma programs may audit courses at the academic level from which they graduated for a minimal fee of just $300 per course. As valued alumni, you can easily continue your lifelong learning experience in our online campus.

Browse courses offered in our upcoming terms at and contact the registrar to audit a course.

Graduates also receive a discount on Continuing Education apologetics
seminars and independent study courses. Contact Annie at for the promotional code and enroll today!

Digital Continent Focuses on the Diaconate

Posted by Catholic Distance University on Mon, Apr 01, 2019 @ 05:35 PM

The diaconate, which was established in the early Church as written in the Acts of the Apostles, seemingly ceased to exist in the Latin Church, but it now flourishes again.

In June 1967, Pope St. Paul VI issued a papal decree that formally restored the diaconate as a permanent ministry in the Catholic Church.  Now more than 50 years after the decree, there are more than 18,000 permanent deacons in the U.S. and another 15,000 worldwide. The latest issue of Digital Continent features recent MA graduate John P. Kramer’s thesis, “The Historical, Ecclesial, and Theological Development of the Permanent Diaconate.” You can read the issue in its entirety here.

Kramer discusses the permanent diaconate that once existed and its purpose today.  He writes, “What was reestablished was the order of deacons as a part of Holy Orders. Men of the Diaconate are ordained into the ministry of the Church, to share in some of the sacramental duties of the clergy. What led to the
reestablishment of this order? Not as some have suggested, as an answer to the declining number of men called to the priesthood, but
instead as an answer to the question: What can the Church contribute to the shaping and building of the world?”

Deacon is derived from diakonos, a Greek word that means “to serve.” As the name suggests, the role is oriented toward service. 

Enjoy reading Digital Continent on our website at and learn more about the decree and the need for deacons in the Church.  

CDU Is Expanding In Every Area!

Posted by Catholic Distance University on Mon, Apr 01, 2019 @ 05:32 PM

CDU is expanding in every area!

In 2018 our Prison Ministry Program shared the Word of God with incarcerated students through 156 correspondence course enrollments, a 50% increase over 2017.

Since its launch in April 2018, CDU’s Digital Prison Ministry Program has educated incarcerated students through more than 10,000 course enrollments on tablets approved for use in prisons.

Our first three courses in Spanish will be available to incarcerated students on the tablets this month.

The number of academic students enrolled in the fall terms increased nearly 9% from 2017 to 2018.

Nearly half of students enrolled in fall 2018 were women.

Of those who chose to report race/ethnicity, 27% of all students enrolled in fall 2018 reported as belonging to a racial/ethnic minority group.

The most attended webinar in the last year was “Raising a Catholic Family in the 21st Century” with faculty member Chris Padgett and his wife, Linda.

The course with the highest student enrollment in 2018 was THEO 503 The Catholic Theological Tradition.

CDU’s online library had 56,841 page views in 2018.  Our New Catholic
e-books usage has tripled, and statistics show a 33% annual usage increase for our EBSCO Host Databases in 2018.  CDU is requesting support for additional digital library resources. Alumni are always welcome to use CDU’s online library.

CDU’s 4,652 Facebook followers get daily inspirational gospel messages,
updates, and announcements.  Like and follow CDU today!

THEO 343 Vatican II: The Church and Her Liturgy

Posted by Catholic Distance University on Mon, Apr 01, 2019 @ 04:38 PM

Now is the time to enroll in this newly revised course about the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965), a major event in Church history and perhaps the most misunderstood. The course, which is taught by Dr. Marie Nuar, features fresh video and instruction from Rome.

Documents issued by the Second Vatican Council included four Constitutions, the highest ranking documents issued by a Council: two on the Church, one on divine Revelation, and one on the Sacred Liturgy.

Specifically, this course will examine two documents that deal with the Church--Lumen Gentium and Gaudium et Spes--and one that deals with liturgy, Sacrosanctum Concilium.

Lumen Gentium is a dogmatic constitution focusing on the theology of the Church, or ecclesiology. It explains what the Church is, the way it works, and the role of the people of God, the hierarchy, laity, and religious. Gaudium et Spes is a pastoral Constitution that focuses on the way in which the Church carries the mission of Christ to the world.

Sacrosanctum Concilium, the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, explains what the Church’s liturgy is and how a person participates in it.

After completing the course, students will better understand their role in the Church, the mission given to us all through baptism, and the Church’s teaching on liturgy and how it is being implemented today.

Offered in the Summer I term, registration begins on March 11th, and the class begins on May 6th.

Inspiring New Publications

Posted by Catholic Distance University on Mon, Apr 01, 2019 @ 04:14 PM

New Book Offers Answers and Hope


Faculty member David G. Bonagura recently published Steadfast in Faith: Catholicism and the Challenges of Secularism. Aimed at meeting the needs of any Catholic who seeks a deeper faith and more abiding conviction in the message of Christ’s gospel, Steadfast in Faith addresses contemporary
secular culture and how Catholics can practice the Faith amidst its
questions, challenges, and conditions.

Who is God? Why should I believe in Him? What if I doubt his Word? What if I see contradictions between faith and science? What if I feel nothing when I pray? Why is Catholicism any better than, or different from, other religions? Why do evil and suffering exist, if God is real? With remarkable clarity, Bonagura presents an apology for faith in Jesus Christ, true God and true man, upon whom we are right to build our lives, our families, and our societies. The book is available on Amazon.


Apologetics Instructor’s New Book
Explores True Happiness


Do you ever wonder why you’re not happy with what everyone says are the good things in life, including money, fun, and friends? Search No More provides clear, compelling, and concise answers to "big questions" about happiness, Jesus, salvation, and the Catholic Faith. In Search No More, author Steven Hemler, President of the Catholic Apologetics Institute of North America and CDU apologetics instructor, makes the case that the keys to truth and happiness are Jesus and His Church, as experienced by himself, the saints, and millions of others over the past 2,000 years.

Hemler says that his books focus on “strengthening Faith, equipping us with the tools to explain to others and to dispel doubts.”  Search No More builds on Hemler’s’ first book, The Reality of God, The Layman’s Guide to Scientific Evidence for The Creator, which was written for atheist and agnostic people.  The new book speaks to those who are spiritual but not religious or those who believe but do not attend church. 

Hemler says, “Search No More has a happiness hook.  Many people are
seekers and are not quite happy, and they do not know why.  This book will help people and draw them into the life of the Church.”

“Even though the clerical sex abuse and cover-up scandals are terrible and have damaged the credibility of the Catholic Church's witness, this does not negate the wisdom or truth of the Church's divinely inspired teachings nor prevent us from finding true happiness and joy in her service-oriented community and sacramental graces,” Hemler writes. Explore this claim for yourself and discover the happiness and truth you are searching for in life.

Search No More will be of interest to anyone seeking
something more or examining the truth of key teachings of the Catholic Church. Available on Amazon, Search No More will dispel doubts, strengthen faith, and provide valuable information for discussion with family and friends who have questions about Catholicism.

Help Us To Build Bridges For The Future

Posted by Catholic Distance University on Mon, Apr 01, 2019 @ 03:38 PM

While accreditation has pushed us to work more thoughtfully and invest in longer work hours, the reward has been a remarkable blessing to the CDU Community. In November 2018, following an onsite visit at CDU with five evaluators and a follow-up trip to Chicago to meet with an additional committee of reviewers, CDU was awarded Candidacy by the Board of the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). Our comprehensive visit for full accreditation will take place April 27-28, 2020.

In June 2018 the full membership of The Association of Theological Schools (ATS) voted unanimously to welcome CDU as an Associate Member, the first step in seeking full accreditation. February 8, 2019, the Board of Commissioners
of ATS awarded Candidacy to CDU and approved a comprehensive visit for full accreditation March 16-19, 2020.  Our staff is diligently preparing self-study reports for both accreditors under the careful direction of Sister Mary Margaret Ann, SND, our staff liaison to the accreditors, and Sister Mary Brendon, SND, a CDU Trustee and accreditation expert.


The Strategic Bridge Initiative

It is impossible to speak about our accreditation success without speaking about investments that CDU has made to enhance the infrastructure, library, faculty, marketing, and staffing to meet the standards of regional and programmatic accreditors. Much of the cost of this investment has so far been carried generously by the Board of Trustees, which has launched a Strategic Bridge Initiative to raise $1.5 million dollars over three years (2018, 2019, and 2020) to fully fund CDU’s investments for full regional and programmatic accreditation. The Board is fully committed to the mission of CDU and the importance of CDU’s credentials awarded to students and graduates. 

The goal to raise $1.5 million over three years is a University-wide challenge that must engage our entire CDU Community, including our loyal donors, alumni, students, staff, and friends. We are inviting each member of our community to
sacrifice for the future so that each student and graduate will earn credentials that represent the highest academic quality and fidelity to the teachings of the Church, in addition to recognition of our expertise in the pedagogy of distance education that broadens the Church’s missionary reach to “proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ and the Church to the ends of the earth.”

Pope Francis has called us to “break down walls and build bridges.” When you receive the invitation to give to the Strategic Bridge Initiative, please think of your gift as helping to build a new bridge that offers all members of the Church a door into the depth of the richness of the Catholic Church’s teachings and traditions. Through CDU’s pioneering vision, those teachings and traditions are now present on smartphones, tablets, laptops, and technologies awaiting us in the new millennium. As Pope Benedict reminded us in 2009, “These technologies are truly a gift to humanity and we must endeavor to ensure that the benefits they offer are put at the service of all human individuals and communities, especially those who are most disadvantaged and vulnerable” (World Communications Day Message, 2009).

Thank you for your continuing prayers and financial support for CDU and our growing learning community; we pray for you daily and for your sacrificial gifts that continue to advance our mission to make Jesus Christ present in a digital world.

MA Thesis Reflects on Pope Paul VI's Humanae Vitae

Posted by Catholic Distance University on Wed, Sep 12, 2018 @ 03:23 PM

In July 2018, the Church reached a remarkable milestone: the 50th anniversary of Pope Blessed (soon to be Saint) Paul VI’s encyclical Humanae Vitae, “On Human Life,” that reaffirmed the Church’s perennial prohibition against contraception and gave a brief but powerful restatement of the Christian vision for marriage.

Looking back five decades, it is possible to see that Pope Paul was both sound in his decision to issue the encyclical and prophetic in what would happen should the world embrace a contraceptive culture.

Recent MA graduate Anne Marie Posella has taken on in her thesis, “Contemplating the Spousal Mystery through the Lens of the Fertile Window,” the challenge of reflecting on the anniversary of Humanae Vitae. She pays particular attention to another of the often overlooked aspects of Humanae Vitae: Pope Paul’s support of Natural Family Planning (NFP).

Her thesis is a timely and useful reminder of the fundamental reality of marriage as procreative and unitive. In her presentation, Anne Marie positively affirms Humanae Vitae and gives all of us one more dimension to consider when confronting the contraceptive culture.

Anne Marie works in collaboration with the local pregnancy resource centre and with Family Foundations Institute, a grassroots Catholic initiative in southwestern Ontario. Her concentration in philosophy at CDU, and in particular her study of personalism, continues to inform her practice on a daily basis.

Read the summer 2018 issue of Digital Continent on the Alumni page of our website at


Posted by Catholic Distance University on Wed, Sep 12, 2018 @ 03:16 PM


Congratulations to CDU Trustee Rev. Paul F. deLadurantaye, who has been appointed to the Vatican Secretariat of State. His gifts in Italian, French, Spanish and Latin will serve him well as he moves to his new office in the Apostolic Palace to start his five-year term on September 1.

brian r corbin

CDU welcomes Brian R. Corbin to the Board of Trustees. Brian is the executive vice president of Member Services of Catholic Charities USA and will join the board in October. With his extensive leadership experience in Catholic social doctrine and helping people and institutions live out the corporal works of mercy, he shares CDU’s passion for serving those who serve and those who are underserved. Brian served as diocesan director of Catholic Charities and Health Services for over 27 years in Youngstown, Ohio, and continues to teach in the Business School of Walsh University in Canton, Ohio. A graduate of the Pontifical School of Philosophy of The Catholic University of America, Brian also holds a Certification in Health Care Ethics from the National Catholic Bioethics Center in Philadelphia. He is currently completing his PhD at MIT.

deacon anthony

MA graduate Deacon Gerard-Marie Anthony was ordained in 2017. He ministers to couples preparing for marriage; performs weddings, baptisms, and funerals; and blesses homes in St. Timothy parish in the Diocese of Arlington. Deacon Anthony is now pursuing a counseling degree.


MA graduate Rev. Leo Blasi was ordained in the Diocese of Salina. He is parochial vicar at The Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church in Hays, Kansas. Father Blasi was selected to give the invocation at the groundbreaking of The Eisenhower National Memorial on the National Mall last November.

Grants Support CDU's Mission to Serve the Underserved

Posted by Catholic Distance University on Wed, Sep 12, 2018 @ 03:02 PM

In the past year, Catholic Distance University has been the humble recipient of grants that support our mission to share joy from the truth in a digital world with more of the underserved Church.

CDU is thankful to The Our Sunday Visitor Institute, which supported the university’s initiative to update the website and make it truly mobile friendly. CDU is also grateful to The Koch Foundation for a grant to help support our mission diocese scholarship program that offers students serving mission dioceses a graduate education to share with others.

CDU has enrolled more than 1,350 incarcerated Catholics in Catholic continuing education since Easter. This success is due to the Holy Spirit and the incredible support of organizations that share our mission. Grants from the Order of Malta enabled CDU to explore and develop independent faith education courses on a digital platform to reach prisoners. Since the launch of our digital prison ministry, incarcerated enrollment has skyrocketed. With continued focus on our digital prison ministry, in addition to our correspondence prison course program, we estimate that CDU will reach more incarcerated Catholics in the next year than in all of our 35 years of prison service. The Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston awarded CDU a substantial grant to support service to prisoners and expand our digital platform. The Andreas Foundation and The John C. Fricano Foundation have also contributed funds for new digital course development on prison tablets. Thanks to their generosity, we will also develop digital prison courses in Spanish. We are grateful to these organizations for helping CDU to educate our brothers and sisters behind bars.

We are humbled and blessed to share our online education expertise and resources with the underserved Church. We are especially grateful because we could not fulfill our mission to serve without grant support, donations, and prayers from our friends.

CDU Gala To Celebrate 35 Years of Serving the New Evangelization

Posted by Catholic Distance University on Wed, Sep 12, 2018 @ 02:47 PM

CDU’s gala and graduation convocation mass will be held Saturday, November 3, 2018.

The event will be celebrated at The John Paul II National Shrine at 3900 Harewood Road., NE, Washington, DC. CDU answered the call of St. John Paul II to make the internet a new forum for proclaiming the Gospel, so the Shrine is a perfect location for celebrating our milestone. Guests will enjoy the spectacular John Paul II exhibit. Plus, there is plenty of free parking and valet service available.

In addition to celebrating our graduates and our 35th Anniversary, the Basilica of St. Mary of Alexandria will be acknowledged with the Bishop Welsh Parish Award.

Helen Alvaré will join us for the evening as our emcee.

Join in the excitement of the cocktail reception, dinner and the silent auction. This year, we will feature trips from our non-profit partner AmFund. Celebrate your next special occasion with one of these lifetime adventures:

  • An Alaskan Cruise
  • Champagne and Chateaux in France
  • A Tropical Escape to Costa Rica
  • Greece and The Greek Islands
  • Castles of Ireland
  • James Bond’s Secret European Hideaways
  • San Francisco and the Wine Country
  • Italy’s Amalfi Coast
  • Family Fun in Florida
  • The Pleasures and Treasures of Tuscany

For more information or to RSVP, visit or contact Annie at 304-724-5000 ext. 727 or