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.