Joy from the Truth.

Earn Your Degree Online While Deepening Your Faith!

Find Your Program

Don't Put Your Education on Hold. Make This the Year to Grow in Your Faith and Register by March 5.

Register By March 5, 2018 | Start Date (8 Week) March 5, 2018 | Next Session (12 & 8 Week) May 7, 2018


March 20, 2018

BA Grad Finds That Theology Informs All

Aiko Foster-Sutherland, a wife and mother living in Okinawa, Japan, recently earned her BA degree in Theology. A convert to Catholicism in 2011, she began her studies at CDU because she wanted to learn the truth from a Catholic perspective. Aiko worked as a portrait photographer and ran a guesthouse until last year, when she took time off to raise her 2-year-old daughter. Aiko enjoyed the opportunity to interact with people she might not have met otherwise. “One can be in a classroom with a member of the military, a stay-at-home mom, a homeschooled teenager, and a brother who is on his way to priesthood! CDU is truly international and friendly to anyone who wants to deepen one’s faith,” Aiko says. Far from being impractical, the study of theology helped Aiko integrate her faith with her work as a portrait photographer. “My main goal is to empower young women through photography to help them to know they are beautiful just as God made them, and they don’t need to be anyone else or try to fit into the standards of society.” I want them to understand, “you are precious in my eyes.”(Isa 43.4) “Learning theology changed how I approached my clients,” Aiko adds. Learning about the significance of man’s body and soul in her Fundamental Moral Theology class struck a chord with Aiko. “The idea was not foreign to me when I read it, but it spoke to me,” she says. “Although physical beauty fades away, there is spiritual side that can’t be neglected if one is to be the kind of person that God wants one to be.” Aiko says it was a bit difficult at first because her business was to sell beauty, but she knew in her heart that her work and faith could not exist separately. Aiko has also handed on the faith to others. She was at a party mingling with prospective clients and began a conversation with a woman in her mid 20s. Their conversation led to friendship; Aiko shared her faith with her new friend and was able to answer questions she asked about Christianity. “A year later, she got baptized in the Catholic Church,” Aiko says. “Because I was studying theology, I was able to share not only my experiences of God but also theological answers to questions she had.” In Japan, Catholics comprise just 0.5% of the population. “In my church, you can count young families on one hand,” Aiko says. Many priests are from overseas, and there are few Japanese priests in her diocese. “There is an interesting history behind how the Catholic Church came to Japan, and it is profound to know how the missionaries did their work in such an unfamiliar culture,” she says. “It’s culturally challenging for Christianity to grow here. There is a lot of work to do in the Catholic Church in Japan.” Aiko was Protestant before she converted to Catholicism in 2011. “I wanted to deepen my relationship with God but could not find what I was looking for and did not know where to look,” she says. Aiko started reading more books and realized that many were written by Catholic priests “by chance.” “I grew to love Catholicism,” she says. Aiko’s husband was raised Protestant as well, but a priest he met while working in Malaysia inspired him to consider the Catholic priesthood. He chose to marry Aiko instead. “We attended a Protestant church for a while, but both of us felt that we were led to the Catholic Church. After a year of examination and prayer, they decided to become Catholic. “I searched high and low to pursue a degree in theology as a lay person, but I couldn’t find a school I was interested in. Then I found CDU, or more accurately, CDU found me!” Aiko says. When asked what she enjoyed most about her education at CDU, Aiko mentions the weekly discussions. “Students have the same faith, yet they have different ways of thinking,” she says. “It was truly interesting to read other students’ posts.” She also appreciated the diverse makeup of students. “Most of the students are from the States, but some were from different parts of the world, and it made the conversations interesting,” she says. While earning her degree, Aiko was working, studying, and raising a child, which was not easy. “But by the grace of God, I was able to graduate,” she says. Aiko says that learning theology helped her to fall in love with the word of God and learn to serve Him better. “It transforms your approach to God. Studying theology will not leave you unchanged!” she says. “As St. Jerome said, ‘Ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ,’” she adds.
March 12, 2018

THEO 440 and 640. Presenting the Faith in the Modern World: Dealing with the Hard Questions

“In a society increasingly marked by secularism and threatened by atheism, we run the risk of living as if God did not exist.”--Pope Francis Offered to both undergraduate and graduate students, Presenting the Faith in the Modern World: Dealing with the Hard Questions introduces students to the application of Catholic teaching to real life situations in contemporary Western society. Students will engage with both contemporary secular and religious views at odds with Catholicism and learn to dialogue pastorally and constructively with those who hold contrary viewpoints. The course is taught by Professor Christopher Padgett, a lay evangelist, teacher, prolific author, and musician who travels the world giving missions and concerts. He is a frequent guest on EWTN and has been heard on prominent Catholic radio stations and highlighted in several Catholic magazines.
January 30, 2018

BA Grad Reflects on Intellectual Formation and Spiritual Growth

Following a year of study in the BA completion program, Michael Ryan Grasinski has earned his degree. “CDU exposed me to the treasure contained within the Tradition of the Church, and I can honestly say I learned more about my faith in the past year than at any point prior,” he says. “It really seemed to be the answer to my prayer. I never thought I'd be able to finish my BA, but by the grace of God I was able to do that.” Michael worked in sales and account management when he began to sense that God was calling him to a different path. After a long period of discernment, he matriculated at Mount St. Mary’s Seminary in Emmitsburg, Maryland. “My year in the seminary was pivotal in my continued education and my overall formation; it laid the foundation for my life,” he says. “After I spent a year in the seminary, I knew I wanted to finish my BA, but it seemed impossible due to practical reasons, mainly time, money, and location. Stumbling upon CDU was a true grace, and it provided the perfect opportunity to not only finish my undergraduate education, but to do so in the area of greatest interest to me,” he says. As Michael transitioned from Mount St. Mary’s to CDU, there was a continuity of intellectual formation that he says was invaluable in his spiritual growth. “The value of an education is realized by the effort you put in to it, and for me personally, it was CDU that provided the framework and instruction necessary to make that effort fruitful,” he says. Class discussions helped Michael learn to articulate what he knew, which was sometimes more challenging than he expected. “A true test of what one knows is how simply one can explain it,” he says. “This became a great exercise in learning how to synthesize extremely complex thoughts.” “To study theology through the lens of the Church is to put on the mind of Christ,” Michael says. Like many other students, he finds that theology informs his thinking on a range of subjects, especially Christian vocation. “Christian vocation is both a gift and a mission,” he explains. “We receive a vocational call from God to bring the light of Christ to others, and at the same time, this mission is a gift. As we read in the Gospel, we are called to be the light of the world and the salt of the earth; this means being transformed in the spirit of our mind and following Christ every day.” He also clearly articulates the interplay of faith and reason. “Both faith and reason are necessary, and they in no way negate one another,” he explains. “By the grace of God, I have faith, and I now seek understanding. Faith is not merely blind acceptance; rather, through our God-given intellect, we plunge into the mysteries of God through the life of the intellect, thus further informing our faith.” In an increasingly secular world, theology is also useful in responding to contemporary challenges. “We live in a world where man's fundamental identity has become lost, and it is the practice of theology that can respond to this identity crisis,” Michael says. “Theology explains the deepest yearnings of man's heart and thus is able to respond to the many challenges facing modern man. Gaudium et Spes explains this perfectly in that theology, as viewed through the lens of the Magisterium, can answer the many questions that trouble man today.” In his free time, Michael enjoys spending time outdoors with his wife contemplating the beauty of God’s creation, immersing himself in the intellectual tradition of the Church, doing DIY projects, and learning how to be a better cook. “I'm very grateful for my opportunity at CDU,” Michael says. “Coming from a business background, I can see the immense value a school like CDU will continue to have in a world that is quickly changing and lacking orthodox Catholic schools.”

Start Your Future Today


CDU is truly a learner-centered institution that makes lifelong learning in the faith not only a goal, but a reality for thousands of Catholic adults worldwide who are earning accredited degrees, certificates, and diplomas without leaving the comfort of home.

Public Notice: CDU Seeking Recognition from the Higher Learning Commission…Read More


CDU has been a pioneer since 1983 using flexible, convenient distance technologies to bring high quality educational programs to each learner.

Studying the faith prepares you to share your knowledge with others and integrate your faith in everyday life. Take the first step and sign up for a class today!

Order and sell textbooks all in one convenient place. Pick up some CDU apparel while you’re here.


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.

  304-724-5000 | Toll Free 1-888-254-4CDU | Fax 304-724-5017        115 West Congress Street, Charles Town, WV  25414