CDU Blog

CDU Gives Opportunity to Incarcerated Students

Posted by Catholic Distance University on Mon, Feb 06, 2017 @ 11:25 PM

“Showing mercy to those who have strayed can be life changing. Mercy overcomes every wall, every obstacle, and can instill new life and hope in others.”—Pope Francis

Catholic Distance University has served the incarcerated church since 1984 by offering paper-based courses that feed both the spirit and the intellect. CDU’s expertise in in-depth, on-demand distance education is a natural fit and has proven effective for prisoners.  A number of CDU’s incarcerated students have earned BA and MA degrees in Theology and Advanced Catechist Certificates. Many more have taken inspiring continuing education courses that have deepened their relationship with God and provided a new sense of purpose.

Many of CDU’s incarcerated students have used their education to evangelize fellow inmates, spreading the Word of God and knowledge of His great love to those imprisoned in an environment mired in hopelessness and despair.  Student Pierre O.  said, “CDU courses are a marvelous resource that provides me with the knowledge needed to serve the Lord to the best of my ability.”

Some inmates, like Paul J., simply wish to share what they have discovered with others. “I have enclosed $20 to help another prisoner access CDU courses,” he recently wrote.

CDU’s courses have helped inmates to become chaplains’ assistants who evangelize and minister to their fellow inmates when priests and chaplains are unavailable. In addition, many chaplains are not Catholic.

CDU offers a number of paper-based educational programs to incarcerated students. With opportunities ranging from continuing education to graduate-level study, there is an appropriate program or course for every inmate.

Do you know someone in need?  CDU offers four non-credit continuing education courses in paper format because most prisons do not allow internet access.  For only the cost of postage ($10), prisoners will find new joy and truth through The Catechism of the Catholic Church, The Ten Commandments Part I & II, Christian Prayer and The Profession of Faith.  For course information, contact Marguerite at or click here to visit our website.

Due to the rapid growth of the incarcerated population, CDU will be expanding its prison ministry program to give support and hope to the underserved.  Please help us pray for incarcerated souls and contact if the Holy Spirit moves you to support this program.

“If I can be forgiven, then no one is beyond forgiveness.” ---Clayton F., former death row inmate and CDU graduate

The achievement of one of CDU’s deceased incarcerated students is chronicled in a book titled A Different Kind of Cell: The Story of a Murderer Who Became a Monk, available from Amazon.

Tags: Adult Education