Many of the ninety US Mission Dioceses do not have local foundations or Catholic universities to support the basic educational needs for faith development. Knowledgeable lay leaders can help overcome resource challenges and faith formation obstacles. Fortunately, Catholic Distance University’s renowned faculty has the proven digital and theological expertise to reach and educate geographically and economically isolated students. CDU shares joy through the Truth by providing Mission Diocese Scholarships to meet the growing need for knowledgeable lay leadership.
Heather Kimmerly, a current CDU Scholar, is dedicated to expanding the resources in her Mission Diocese of Fairbanks. She plans to share her Masters of Theology education with teachers and families.
Heather currently serves as the Director of Religious Education at the St. Nicholas Parish in North Pole, Alaska. Yes, right next to Santa’s headquarters, Heather makes sure Jesus’s presence is known by delivering faith formation services to families, children and adults. The area is decorated with candy canes and all the trimmings, but has limited internet, no cable and spotty satellite service. She uses town hot spots and her mobile phone to study. Challenges are common in the Fairbanks Diocese; where a plane or boat is essential to visit other communities.
People who settle near Heather are diverse, non-traditional and independent minded, they don’t usually take the well-worn path. “I am bilingual with a master’s in education, I never thought I would be studying theology.” After experiencing a strong calling during a Bible study about Moses, Heather turned over her life to God. “That’s how I came to CDU," she recalls, "I have seen Dr. D’Ambrosio speak in Alaska before, and I can’t believe I’m in his classroom now.” Well-educated leaders, like Heather are essential for taking God’s Word to Catholics spread across 410,000 square miles of rough Alaskan terrain. Heather is studying at CDU to follow God’s plan in the Mission Diocese of Fairbanks.
CDU is committed to supporting underserved communities. As a non-profit, we appreciate donors who will help underwrite graduate degrees in Theology to develop future educators and lay leadership in Mission Dioceses. The scholarship awardees are chosen by each Mission Diocese to fill its greatest needs.
Mission Scholars will join the growing number of CDU graduates who are serving the Church throughout the world. Success of this scholarship program will be measured by the number of people who will be transformed by our graduates during their service to their diocese. Scholars are ready to enroll. Please contribute to the Mission Diocese Scholarship Fund. Contact Annie at [email protected] or 443-257-6022 for more information today.