CDU Blog

Graduate Stories

Posted by Catholic Distance University on Wed, Jun 26, 2019 @ 04:35 PM

Graduate Spotlight

Graduate Spotlight: Raymond Clement

CDU graduate Raymond Clement (MA 2018) of Jalan Novena Utara, Singapore, works as an in-house counsel for a bank.

“I decided to study theology after experiencing a nagging feeling for a number of years that I was not plumbing the inexhaustible richness of the Catholic Faith,” Raymond says. “I also felt a keen awareness that in order to engage intelligently in the culture wars that are shaping the times we live in, I needed to be equipped with the right tools.”

He chose CDU primarily due to its completely online teaching format. “Other universities I came across uniformly had a residency requirement that I would have found difficult to fulfill,” he says. “CDU’s faithfulness to the Magisterium and the quality of its faculty were also important considerations.” Raymond enjoyed the sense of belonging to a Catholic community and the passion he developed for sharing the Faith with others while studying at CDU.

Despite working in banking—a field seemingly unrelated to theology-– Raymond finds his degree useful in his work. “My knowledge of theology has helped me to see my work in a different light and shown me more opportunities to practice my faith in the workplace,” he says.

Aside from advising churches on legal matters, Clement plans to volunteer more for the Church now that he has completed his studies.



Double Graduate Childrens Books

Double Graduate Authors Catholic Children’s Books

Laurie Schmitt (BA 2011, MA 2014) has written a new children’s book, Giorgio’s Miracle, which will be published by Marian Press this fall. The historical fiction book for children approximately 6 to 10 years old is based on a Eucharistic

Schmitt, a “nearly retired” homeschooling mother of nine, prayed during Eucharistic Adoration hour about how to use her education and was inspired to write. Discovering that there are very few chapter books that tell stories about
Eucharistic miracles, she found her calling in authoring children’s books that aspire to represent Catholic culture in a positive, historically accurate way, especially by supporting the role of the clergy and the traditions of the Church.

Though researching and writing take second place to her busy household, she is already writing her third book. Her second book has been professionally edited and is being reviewed by Catholic publishers. Pray for Laurie’s vocation and look for Giorgio’s Miracle this fall on Amazon and



Ordained GraduatePhoto (l to r): Rev. Paul Norman, Most Rev. Mitchell T. Rozanski, Rev. John Duy Le, and Rev. Dennis Skowera. Photo by Fred LeBlanc, Catholic Communications.

Graduate Ordained in Massachusetts

BA in Theology graduate Dennis Skowera was ordained to the priesthood at St. Michael’s Cathedral in Springfield on June 1, 2019, by Bishop Mitchell T. Rozanski of the Diocese of Springfield. The Rev. Dennis Skowera, a West Springfield native, is assigned to St. Anne Parish in Chicopee. His interest in a vocation began many years ago and intensified after the death of his wife of 31 years in 2013.

Father Skowera served 20 years with the U.S. Air Force and worked in management with several federal contractors prior to attending Pope St. John XXIII National Seminary. He served as a Eucharistic minister and lector at Sacred Heart Parish.



MA Grad Accepted Sports Management

MA Grad Accepted into PhD Program in Sports Management

Doug Spriggs, a dedicated English teacher and high school football coach
who is also involved in local parish ministry, has been accepted into a Ph.D.
program at the United States Sports Academy for Sports Management.
Through his sports career, he became a campus minister at the University
of Arkansas and a leader in Fellowship of Christian Athletes.

His education in the Masters of Theology graduate program has benefited his professional life. In public schools, Doug strives to ensure that the English curriculum eliminates bias against Christian denominations, literature, and the Catholic Church. Moreover, his theological education allows him to refute many philosophical ideologies used to defend unethical behaviors and unfair treatment of student populations. Doug says, “The fidelity of my studies within the Catholic
Faith guides all of my decisions as I advance my career outside of the Church. My rigorous study at CDU prepared me to succeed on a higher level.” I have been accepted into a Ph.D. program at the United States Sports Academy for Sports Management.”

Doug sees the impact his MA degree has in the secular world and is eager for the opportunity to effect a profound change within the
growing world of collegiate sports.


Exciting News!

Former incarcerated student Jim Blum, who earned an MA degree in Theology, has founded My Father’s House, a non-profit prison ministry organization. He is working to secure grant funding for inmates in Colorado to take non-credit courses toward our Advanced Catechist Certificate program.