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


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.”

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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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