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COVID-19 CDU Community Update

Be assured that Catholic Distance University remains fully operational, and there will be no disruption to educational services or contact with our staff or faculty. Until further notice, staff will work remotely. We encourage you to communicate with us by email to ensure a prompt response. Staff will continue to receive phone calls and voicemail, but mail will be checked only occasionally. We pray that you and your loved ones remain safe and healthy during this unprecedented time. University officials will continue to post any updates here.

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Registration for the Fall II term is underway. Courses begin on October 19th. View courses here.


September 29, 2020

Student Helps Lead Pandemic Response at Hard-Hit Hospital

Charles Aviles of the Bronx, New York, is working toward his AA degree in Liberal Arts with a concentration in Catholic Studies while working as the director of life safety, fire safety, and emergency management for Lincoln Hospital in the Bronx, which has experienced significant loss of life during the COVID-19 pandemic. Lincoln Hospital serves one of the poorest communities in the USA and has the third busiest emergency room in the nation. Charles served as the incident commander during the pandemic, working in the command center, and was then infected with COVID-19 and out of work for 15 days. Upon returning to work, he headed the Mass Fatality Program, where he tried to handle all of the decedents in a dignified manner during very difficult circumstances. Charles has been married for 30 years and has four children. He has completed 11 courses in just over 2 years. Charles’ path to Theology began when he took catechist courses through the Archdiocese of New York after learning about CDU on the archdiocesan website. “I have ministered for the confirmation class, RCIA, and a Bible study in my parish,” he says. Currently 53 years old, he will be eligible for retirement in 5 years as a NYC worker. “My goal is to earn my Master’s degree by the time I retire and then work for the Archdiocese of New York in some capacity, hopefully teaching theology,” he says. Charles would also like to join the diaconate program at some point. “CDU has been an incredible blessing for me,” he says. “The flexible programs have allowed me to manage a very high level position in the hospital with an enormous amount of responsibility. I am on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with a tier 1 classification. My position is very challenging; being a city hospital we are terribly underfunded and understaffed. I work long hours and 6-7 days a week, sometimes 16 hour days because of staff shortages. It would be impossible for me to earn a degree in a classroom environment.”  
September 23, 2020

Online Certificates for Catechist Formation Developed in Partnership with CFT

Since 1983, CDU has educated thousands of students worldwide who wish to deepen their faith. Now, in partnership with Catholic Faith Technologies, CDU has developed two affordable online certificate programs--the Basic Certificate in Catechetics and the Diocesan Certificate in Lay Leadership--to meet the needs of catechists, parents, dioceses, and parishes in response to Pope Francis’ call in the New Directory of Catechesis, which lays the guidelines for catechesis and presents universal norms to guide pastors and catechists in evangelization. Serving the Needs of Dioceses and Parishes Dioceses and parishes in need of a solution for sound, faithful training for catechists, directors of religious education, youth ministers, and diocesan and parish staff will appreciate the online convenience of CDU’s new certificate programs. According to Theodore Musco, Former Secretary for Evangelization and Catechesis for the Diocese of Brooklyn, “Catholic Distance University’s certificate programs provide dioceses and individuals with a pre-planned and well-developed program for education and formation in the Catholic Faith.  The work of planning and creating courses, as well as keeping track of CEUs or clock hours, is already done for you. I urge you not to miss out on this tremendous gift to you and the Church.” In Partnership with Catholic Faith Technologies The certificate programs are offered on Catholic Faith Technology’s user-friendly platform. CFT’s automated transcript system makes it easy for dioceses to track courses taken by staff, teachers, and volunteers who are required to earn CEUs. In addition to partnering with CDU, CFT partners with the National Catholic Education Association and a number of dioceses throughout the United States. The certificate programs are a convenient way for Catholic school teachers throughout the USA to earn required CEUs. Low Cost Tuition is $45 per course and $250 per certificate program. Contact Megan Davis at or 888-254-4238 (Ext. 731) for a group discount for 20 or more. In Tune with the New Directory of Catechesis The Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelization issued the New Directory of Catechesis to guide the proclamation of the Gospel by the Christian faithful to people of all ages and in all seasons of life. The Directory points out that to be credible witnesses of the Faith, catechists have to be “catechized before being catechists.” Since 1983, CDU has been at the forefront of educating the faithful for the growth of faith, ecclesial service, and leadership for the New Evangelization. CDU is committed to fostering a strong, vibrant learning community that reflects the ecclesial communion of the Church. The Basic Certificate in Catechetics provides catechists with a general overview of key elements of our Catholic Faith and meets many diocesan, parish, and Catholic school requirements. Courses are each worth 1 CEU or 10 clock hours.
  • Profession of Faith
  • Celebration of the Christian Mystery
  • Foundations: Life in Christ
  • Foundations: Prayer and Spirituality
  • Introduction to Scripture and the Gospel Message
  • Forming Missionary Disciples: The Basic Tasks of Catechesis
The Diocesan Certificate in Lay Leadership provides a strong foundation grounded in the documents of Vatican II and is designed for dioceses to use for certification of catechists and lay leaders. Courses are each worth 1 CEU or 10 clock hours:
  • Profession of Faith
  • Celebration of the Christian Mystery
  • Foundations: Life in Christ
  • Foundations: Prayer and Spirituality
  • Introduction to Scripture and the Gospel Message
  • Constitution on the Church
Visit to learn more and register. Online Convenience In the midst of a global pandemic that has caused many educational institutions to cancel classes and close with sudden notice, CDU’s courses continue to be offered fully online without interruption, making the new certificate programs a reliable option for the educational needs of dioceses, parishes, and individuals.
July 13, 2020

Online Teaching Course Offered Worldwide

Catholic Distance University and the International Federation of Catholic Universities (IFCU) are partnering to offer IFCU faculty members worldwide a course titled Teaching in a Digital World. CDU’s faculty members are eager to share their knowledge with colleagues whose classes have suddenly moved online due to the COVID-19 pandemic. CDU, the only exclusively online Catholic university, has been accredited to offer distance education since 1986 and has delivered online programs for 20 years. Faculty members are well versed in best practices in online teaching and have many years of successful teaching experience in the online environment. The 4-week, 10-hour course features Dr. Marie Nuar, Dr. Peter Brown, Alissa Thorell, and Kathy Vestermark presenting various elements of online teaching. President Dr. Marianne Evans Mount teaches the theory, research, pedagogy, and theology of distance education. Other topics covered include practical techniques of best practices for successful teaching online, course design, use of media, interaction, and student support. During the course, participants can develop a course of their own design on the Canvas learning platform and have many opportunities to dialogue with CDU faculty. The first course was offered in June and included faculty from the following countries and territories: Spain, Philippines, Belgium, Chile, Sierra Leone, Puerto Rico, Palestine, Congo DR, Indonesia, Spain, Italy, Colombia, Venezuela, Peru, India, and Mexico. The course will be offered to IFCU members again in July, September, and October and will then be offered to anyone who wishes to enroll. Many faculty members accustomed to classroom teaching find the online environment a challenge both for themselves and for their students. In some cases, students have internet connectivity issues, and both teachers and students have a learning curve with the adaptation to a learning management system. There is a great interest in learning how to humanize and foster a sense of community especially in a Catholic university environment. Some faculty have expressed concerns about a lack of student engagement, the effects of social isolation on students, cultural differences, and potential learning loss. Teaching in a Digital World is designed to give faculty members the expertise and knowledge they need to teach online with confidence while fostering interaction, engagement, and strong learning outcomes for students.
Would recommend
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As reported in CDU’s 2019 DEAC Annual Report, based on program exit survey data.

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CDU is partnering with Catholic Faith Technologies to provide you with online, interactive courses that prepare you to teach the Faith with passion.


For the Growth of Faith.

The mission of Catholic Distance University is to communicate the mind and heart of the Church in a digital world. Using distance education, the university educates teachers and learners worldwide in Catholic theology, the liberal arts, and faith development for the growth of faith, ecclesial service, and leadership for the New Evangelization.

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