CDU Blog

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

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