CDU Blog

CDU's Online Campus Creates Connections

Posted by Catholic Distance University on Mon, Feb 06, 2017 @ 11:28 PM

As an online learner, it can sometimes feel like you are alone. That's not the case at CDU.  We have carefully developed an online campus build a strong Catholic community that enhances your learning experience. Here we share Christ by fostering interpersonal relationships outside of the course rooms, providing information for student success, and offering a place for prayer to enhance the spiritual connectedness of our students.

Student Life Center: Student Life Help Desk; Gala/Graduation; Digital Continent; Program Graduate List

CDU Chapel: Inner Chapel (prayer requests); Narthex (prayer updates/offer support)

CDU Cafe: Casual conversation about all things Catholic or otherwise; great place to get to know each other outside of classes

CDU Resource Center: Book Store Link; Canvas Support/Tutorials; Student Handbook; How to Schedule Final Exams; Career Center/Job Announcements; Library Link

Cohorts Area: Faith (Undergraduate students); Hope (Graduate students -- before first comprehensive exams); Charity (graduate students -- comprehensive exams to thesis)

Alumni Discussion: For Alumni to share what they are doing with current students and each other.

Tags: Distance Learning

A glorious gathering, graduation and awards ceremony, the 2016 Gala had it all.

Posted by Catholic Distance University on Mon, Feb 06, 2017 @ 11:27 PM

On November 5, 2016, CDU held our annual Gala in Arlington, Virginia celebrating an Academic convocation Mass for our graduates. The Founders Award, CDU's highest award, was presented to Mr. Carl Anderson, Supreme Knight of the Knights of Columbus and Archbishop William Lori, Supreme Chaplain of the Knights.

Lori 12.jpg

Archbishop Lori was the main celebrant of the Mass, concelebrated by CDU's host, Bishop Paul S. Loverde, Bishop of Arlington and Archbishop Christophe Pierre, the Papal Nuncio.

Blessed Sacrament Parish in Alexandria, Virginia was honored with the Bishop Thomas J. Welsh award. The evening was an intimate gathering of friends, alumni, graduates, diocesan partners, donors, faculty, staff, and board members who enjoyed a delightful dinner, cocktail reception, and silent auction.

Dr. Joseph Braddock who chairs the Board of Trustees' Futures Committee spoke about our commitment to launch a scholarship program for Mission Dioceses of which there are 90 and many of them without any Catholic higher education. Thanks to CDU's mission of using distance education, we are able to reach the peripheries of the Church and serve those without access to traditional Catholic higher education.

The Honorable Susan Malone, CDU board member, chaired the Gala and provided the beautiful silent auction with gifts ranging from retreats to beach vacations.

Mr. Carl Anderson, in his acceptance remarks noted that the Church needs a greater commitment to authentic Catholic education that forms the entire person at every academic level as critical to a strong Catholic identity. He commented, "CDU is visionary and very, very important for the future of our Catholic faith community. It is an educational project that understands the creative opportunities of our new technology but also understands that - even with this new technology - we need Catholic education that forms the entire person."

Please plan to join us November 4th, 2017 for this year's Gala.

Loverde, Anderson, Mount.jpgCDU honors Supreme Knight Carl Anderson of the Knights of Columbus and Bishop Loverde, as Chairman of the Board of Trustees presents the Founder’s Award.

grads 2.jpgGraduates Dr. Angelo Giardino, Clarissa Hutchenson, Todd Coury, Dr. Araceli Carnazzo and Todd Mesler, Jr.

Marianne and Muffy.jpgCDU president Marianne Mount enjoys the gala with her family.

Murphy, Pierre.jpgPapal Nuncio, Archbishop Pierre engages CDU board member Barbara Murphy.

blessed Sac, Malone (1).jpg

The Honorable Susan Malone presents the Bishop Welsh Parish Award to Father John Kelly, Pastor of Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church.


Tags: Adult Education

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

Explore Your Catholic Spirituality and Challenge Your Knowledge of Salvation History in Our Winter II Term

Posted by Catholic Distance University on Mon, Feb 06, 2017 @ 11:20 PM

cbrown.jpgLearn to apply the practical skills needed to enrich your spiritual life! Applied Catholic Spirituality will be taught by Dr. Carole Brown, Director of the Office of New Evangelization for the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City. Beginning with the teachings of Christ as recorded in the Gospels, Dr. Brown will explore the three stages of spiritual life, St. John Paul II’s teachings on personal conversion, as well as the rich variety of Christian practices illustrated in the lives and teachings of the saints. This course is taught at both the graduate and undergraduate levels.

Brown.jpgOur Scripture and Salvation History course is a journey through the Bible as the Catholic Church’s foundational narrative, beginning with the story of creation and the fall, through God’s promise to Abraham, the covenant with Israel at Sinai and Deuteronomy and the eventual collapse of the Davidic Kingdom under the Deuteronomic covenant.  The course crescendos with the solution to the problems of the law in the Old Testament and the eventual fulfillment of God’s promises through the Person and work of Jesus Christ and his Church.  Dr. Brown explains critical interpretive issues and wrestles with disputed questions as you learn various ways of making sense of the Bible as a unified and coherent story with profound implications for today.  Join Dr. Peter Brown on the journey of salvation.

Both courses begin on March 6th, so register today! To browse all of our Winter II term courses, click here.

Tags: Academics

Julianne Stokes Presents Thesis at Conference

Posted by Catholic Distance University on Mon, Feb 06, 2017 @ 11:07 PM

Stokes.jpgOn April 23, 2016, Julianne Stokes presented her Master's thesis at the First Annual Graduate Conference on Personalist Philosophy, which was hosted by The Hildebrand P
roject in conjunction with Franciscan University of Steubenville, Ohio.

Julianne and her husband Jon live in New York State. They have eight children, and both serve as catechists in the Syracuse Diocese, where they promote Theology of the Body, Teen Star, Respect Life, and New York State Right to Life. Julianne also works as a substitute teacher at a Catholic elementary school.

She received an invitation encouraging the submission of graduate papers on personalism from John Henry Crosby, founder and president of the Hildebrand Project. Her thesis, which is featured in the Advent 2016 issue of Digital Continent, just happened to address personalist thought on women.

"CDU introduced me to the thought of the great personalists of the 20th century," Julianne says. "Dr. Aaron Urbanczyk taught me the philosophy of Hans Urs von Balthasar and shepherded me through the thesis writing process."

Julianne completed her MA in Theology in 2016 and has put her education to good use. "I have been able to find work as a teacher in both private and public schools," Julianne says. "Every member of the faculty, along with the administrators and the staff, has encouraged and inspired me. Personally, the entire course of classes for my Master's has informed my life and developed my Faith in every aspect," she adds.

"The community here online is a great joy to me," Julianne says. "They have enriched my relationship with God and my neighbor. I love my alma mater, Catholic Distance University!"

Tags: Student Profile

CDU Graduates Excel and Serve

Posted by Catholic Distance University on Mon, Feb 06, 2017 @ 10:56 PM

Hutcheson 2.jpgSupporting student achievement is paramount at CDU, and it shows.  In a 2016 survey, 100% of graduates stated they had achieved their learning goals. CDU measures effectiveness in many ways, but our most important indicator is that graduates and alumni are inspired to share with others and use their knowledge, gifts, and talents in the service of the Church. 

Unlike other online universities, eight out of ten of those enrolled in the MA in Theology program at CDU graduate and earn degrees. Our 2016 MA graduates achieved an average GPA of 3.65, and 90% are serving in Church-related ministries.  

Clarrisa Hutchenson, a recent Master’s graduate, shares her goals and CDU experience. “In order to experience Christ more fully in my life, as well as to share the teachings of the Church confidently, I needed more education in the faith.  As a full time working director of catechetical ministry, a wife, a mom, and now a grandmother, I needed affordability and the flexibility of being educated in theology while living my life.  Thanks to CDU, I was able to complete a Master’s degree while fulfilling the multi-faceted vocations God has for me in this life.”

The 2016 graduates in the BA in Theology completion program earned an average GPA of 3.63. Nine out of ten students who enrolled not only earned their degree, they finished in an average of 3 to 3.5 years. Most students who enroll in the program are either seeking a Church-related ministry or desire to study the Faith more deeply so that in the future they can participate in volunteer ministries in their parish or diocese. At the time of graduation, nearly six out of ten students had obtained theological Church-related ministerial positions, and the others expressed the desire to serve in volunteer or teaching ministries in the near future.

In the Associate of Arts Degree Program with a concentration in Catholic Studies, a relatively new program, six out of ten of the first applicants eligible to graduate were awarded the degree with an average GPA of 3.78. They invested an average of 2 to 2.5 years to complete the program.

CDU is committed to successful outcomes for our students and the Church, in service to God's plan. Please help us share this good news!

Tags: Student Profile

Mark Your Calendars for Three Apologetics Seminars

Posted by Catholic Distance University on Mon, Feb 06, 2017 @ 10:54 PM

Catholic Distance University (CDU) is pleased to announce three new apologetics seminars are being offered in 2017:

  1. Making The Case For Christ
  2. How Are We Saved?
  3. Why Do We Need The Church?

These 3-week-long online seminars are accessible from anywhere in the world and are being taught by Professor Steven Hemler, president of the Catholic Apologetics Institute of North America (CAINA) and author of The Reality of God: The Layman's Guide to Scientific Evidence for the Creator. These new apologetics seminars will strengthen your faith and equip you to better explain and share with family and friends why Catholics believe what we do about Jesus, salvation, and the Church.

Given our increasingly secular society and the atheistic worldview often promoted today, the need to strengthen the faith of Catholics and equip the faithful to better explain and share the Faith has never been greater. This need is especially evident in the large number of young people who are leaving the Catholic Faith, especially during and after college.

As New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan declared, “We have failed to equip our young people and ourselves with the art of credibly, convincingly, and compellingly defending and presenting our beloved Faith. Apologetics prepares us to survive a rational criticism of our Faith that is all over the place today. We need it more than ever.”

All three apologetics seminars being offered in 2017 are available at a special package price of only $299 total. The tuition may even be as low as $30 per seminar if you live in a diocese that is a CDU subsidy partner.  Encourage your diocese or parish to become a partner and share joy through the truth. Enroll today!

Making the Case for Christ (February 6–27, 2017)

Week 1: Was Jesus a Real Historical Person?

Week 2: Is Jesus Truly God?

Week 3: Did Jesus Really Rise from the Dead?


How Are We Saved? (March 13–April 3, 2017)

Week 1: Do Near-Death Experiences Reveal the Reality of Heaven and an Afterlife?

Week 2: Why Were Christ’s Passion and Death Needed for Our Salvation?

Week 3: How Do We Accept God’s Gift of Salvation?

Why Do We Need The Church? (July 3–24, 2017)

Week 1: Why Does the Church Still Matter Today?

Week 2: Why Are the Sacraments Important?

Week 3: Why Go to Mass?

Tags: Adult Education

Student Profile: Aiko Foster-Sutherland

Posted by Catholic Distance University on Mon, Feb 06, 2017 @ 10:50 PM

Aiko Foster-Sutherland is a busy mother, business woman, and CDU student.  She is pursuing her BA in Theology from Japan. Aiko answered some questions to share her CDU experience from 7,630 miles away!

Tell us about where you live.

Naha, Okinawa, is a small sub-tropical island. It’s like a dot on the world map and the most remote place in Japan! A lot of US military people fall in love with this island while they are stationed here. It’s like Hawaii in Japan. 

Why did you choose a CDU education?

“I was looking for an online school that is passionate about the Catholic faith, and CDU is well-established and friendly for people who have a job. I started studying simply to deepen my faith through studying the Bible.”

How is CDU helping you reach your educational goals?

“CDU has wonderful professors who also have Catholic faith. They are highly educated, and they are very eager to help students to deepen the knowledge of the subject. CDU’s faculty and staff have been so encouraging to keep my passion for God burning. “

Since you are in a foreign country, do you feel a connection or sense of community with faculty and other students?

“Yes, I do. I have been through different stages of my life while I have been a student at CDU such as a promotion at work, moving between countries, giving birth to my daughter, and starting my own business. It’s been very challenging to stay focused on my studies, but the faculty members have helped me so much as I was going though all those stages.”

“Other students have been inspiring to me. They are from different backgrounds and upbringings. Studying at CDU helps me to realize God calls us regardless of our background and nationality. I met some students who are in the same boat as I am and they motivate me when I feel overwhelmed.”

What unique educational challenges are you experiencing in Japan?

“The population of Christians in Japan is less than 1%, so I don’t have a lot of people to share what I learn. It can get lonely sometimes, but being connected to other students at CDU helps”. 

Do you have any prayer requests?

“I’d like to break my financial difficulties and continue my education to earn a CDU Master’s degree. Also, I want to be used for God… Pray for me that I will reach out to the souls of Japanese people.”

Tags: Student Profile

Read More Into the Gospels Through Adult Education Courses

Posted by Catholic Distance University on Mon, Feb 06, 2017 @ 10:42 PM

Dig deeper into the Sunday Readings – CDU has just the right size of course on each of the Gospels to stimulate an expanded appreciation for the life and teachings Jesus shares with us through His Sacred Word.  Why not invite a friend to study with you one of the on-demand, digital Gospel courses: that of St. Matthew, St. Mark, St. Luke, or St. John! To get started, review the courses here:

The Gospel of St. Matthew 

The Gospel of St. Mark

The Gospel of St. Luke

The Gospel of St. John

Then register  at and enjoy the course at your convenience.  Be ready for the transforming power of the Holy Spirit!

Review our vast collection of courses and be amazed. 

“The professor shared an amazing amount of information, videos, scientific facts and theological and philosophical evidence in the class 'Proof of God’s Existence'. I have been blessed by having taken this course. – Elaine, continuing education student

Did you know that if your diocese is a CDU partner, your non-credit continuing education classes are only $30? Please urge your diocese to become a CDU continuing education partner and share the joy of the truth with your whole diocese.

Tags: Adult Education

Is Distance Learning For You

Posted by Therese Cashen on Wed, Sep 15, 2010 @ 08:12 AM

Looking for a great opportunity to meet and interact with Catholics from around the world, while furthering your formal education?

  • Do you need a higher level degree for your job but don’t have the flexibility to drive to a college campus several nights a week?
  • Would you like the opportunity to continue your education at a time and place that is convenient for your schedule?
  • Does your current schedule simply not allow you to attend on-campus classes every week?
  • Are you comfortable using email and accessing the Internet?
  • Is being part of a learning community something you value?
  • Are you self-motivated?
  • Do you feel comfortable trying new ways to learn?
  • Does the opportunity to interact with adults from all over the world excite you?

If you answered "yes" to these questions, then distance education could be for you. CDU offers several learning formats designed to meet the varying needs of adult learners.

Tags: Distance Learning