CDU Blog

Where Are CDU Graduates Today?

Posted by Catholic Distance University on Mon, Jun 05, 2017 @ 03:30 PM

CDU graduates hear God’s call.  More than nine out of ten of our master’s degree graduates are currently serving in Church-related roles, and additional graduates have expressed the desire to do so after they retire.  CDU’s MA graduates share their knowledge in a variety of roles that serve others.

Graduate Tara Star of Brockport, Pennsylvania, is a Director of Religious Education for her parish.  Tara said that CDU did more than prepare her for her role, “The theological and Church history background I acquired at CDU has helped in my position as a DRE by providing the knowledge I need to run a formation program more effectively, but CDU made me realize of the depth of faith that exists and has existed for 2000+ years, in not just my own heart, but in the Church.  I want to go out and tell the world and spread the Good News! The connections I learned and made within CDU have shown me the true charitable and missionary spirit of the Catholic Church. The Lord truly has opened my eyes, ears, and heart, to see, hear, and love like Him. My realization of that is all from CDU.” Tara represents the majority of CDU graduates who share in the ministry by teaching others. 

Melicia-Marie Antonio explains how CDU Master’s degree helped her teach others as a philosophy and theology professor for young, lay consecrated women preparing for their life of ministry in Monterey, Mexico. “I understate myself when I say that my CDU courses helped me become a better teacher: I often took my CDU notes into the classroom and taught from them! Even the writing and dialogue techniques I learned in the online classrooms were transferred to my real-life job.”

DSCN8884.jpgMelcia Antonio

Today, Melica is working towards a doctorate in moral theology at the Pontifical University in Rome.  She says, “I can still affirm that my CDU classes were among the best I have received in my life. The professors helped me to open up my horizons and have confidence in my ability to learn. They also stressed the importance of bringing theology to your knees, praying about what you have learned and letting it transform you. These are lessons I continue to transmit in a variety of small ministries I help with, from leading retreats for college students to editing a spirituality bulletin, and that I hope to pass on to my students once I have my doctorate and begin teaching again.”

Many graduates fulfill their mission through the written word and communications roles. Adrian Marcellus in Kuala Lumpur says, "As the guest editor of a Catholic publication in Malaysia for 2017, my MA from CDU provides the necessary theological knowledge which enables me to faithfully perform my role."  Adrian works for Catholic Asia News which is distributed in Malaysia.

Adrian2.pngAdrian Marcellus

Todd Nolan from Ada, Michigan, is a columnist for the international website Catholic Stand; 17% of CDU graduates work in Catholic media.  Some graduates create their own platform, like Diana Ruzicka from New Market, Alabama.  She authored the book Apostolate for Redemptive Suffering.

Paloma Cabetas of Silver Spring, Maryland, unites Christians as the co-director of the Focolare Movement of North America. Paloma emphasizes that “CDU has been an enormous help in my new role.  In a lay leadership position that puts me in contact with very diverse people, my studies at CDU have given me a solid basis in Catholic Theology, Philosophy, and Scripture from which I can dialogue with others with a new confidence, better able to explain the tenets of my faith.  I am grateful to CDU for the quality of the education provided and the flexibility that allows people with busy schedules like mine to advance their studies.”

Palaoma photo.jpgPaloma Cabetas

Robert Braswell of Upper Marlboro, Maryland, understands the Church needs the support and knowledge of volunteers.  He serves as a volunteer member of his parish executive committee and pastoral council. 

Not forgetting underserved Catholics, Dr. Araceli Lardizabal, from Atascadero, California, counsels Catholic post-abortive women, as well as incarcerated persons and their families.  John Alber, a director in the Austin Diocese’s Cursillo Movement, also reaches out to prisoners as an RCIA teacher in Texas.

CDU graduate Deacon Gerald Roersma shares his passion for Scripture with the Diocese of Grand Rapids, Michigan. “I learned a great deal in my studies, not only what is written in Scripture and what it means, but more in depth matters like how it was handed down, how it was understood when originally written, how it has been understood in the past and how it is understood today. I am grateful to my professors and CDU for the education I received … they have certainly helped me in preparing my homilies.”

jerry R photo.jpgDeacon Gerald Roersma

Statistics on recent MA graduates:

  • 61% are facilitating adult education, Bible study, or other parish ministries.
  • 28% are directors or coordinators of religious education or faith formation programs.
  • 17% are working in communications media for the Church
  • 17% of CDU graduates are pursuing doctoral studies for advanced Church positions. 
  • 14% teaching the Catholic Faith in educational institutions 
  • 8% are Deacons or living consecrated lives.
  • 6% are involved with prison ministries.

Email us about your life and career journey.   We would like to stay close to our friends and graduates.  Please email Annie at with your preferred email address or any changes in your contact information

If you are a CDU graduate interested in joining CDU Alumni Chairman, Dr. Angelo Giardino to serve on an Alumni Committee to engage graduates across the globe, please contact Annie at