Catholic Distance University Partners with Our Sunday Visitor To Launch New MA and Certificate Program in Theology

CHARLES TOWN, WV —  A partnership between Catholic Distance University (CDU) and Our Sunday Visitor (OSV) has resulted in both the new CDU-OSV MA and the CDU-OSV Certificate Program in Theology for Directors of Religious Education (DREs) and Catholic school teachers. The announcement was made jointly by CDU and OSV.

The partnership is the latest development in a 25-year long collaboration between the pioneering online university and the country’s premier Catholic publisher of formational and informational materials.

“Both the MA and the Certificate are outstanding additions to the CDU curriculum,” said Marianne Evans Mount, PhD, president of the university. “The MA in Theology is designed for adults balancing family, work and Church responsibilities and the certificate provides an overview of basic Catholic theology, Scripture and Catholic social teaching — so vital for teachers and catechists today.”

Jerome B. Kearns, executive director of Our Sunday Visitor Institute, which funded the initiative, said,  “We anticipate that this degree and certificate will be of great assistance to Catholic dioceses, parishes and schools by providing solid educational and faith formation material that is easily accessible virtually anywhere in the country. OSV is honored to partner with CDU on these very important and inspiring programs.”

CDU-OSV MA in Theology

The MA option requires 36 credits, culminating with a program portfolio and reflection paper.  Created together with OSV, the program features a new course — Principles of Catholic Education — that will use OSV religious education materials for practical applications.  It also includes new courses on Social Teachings, Catholic Spirituality and Ecumenism, in addition to core theology courses.  No thesis is required and students are given five years to complete the program.

CDU-OSV Graduate Certificate

The 18 credit Graduate Certificate in Theology provides an overview of basic Catholic theology, Scripture and Catholic social teaching.  It was designed to support the ministry of teachers and catechists who teach in schools and parish religious education programs. It also is a pathway for those who are preparing to study Theology at the graduate level.  Students are allowed three years to complete and all credits are transferable to CDU’s MA degree program.

Dr. Mount added that the new programs are ideal for those who seek to teach, promote and defend the Catholic faith, noting that,  “Our goal is to fully equip DREs and teachers for their important ministry of faith formation in parishes and school.”

Fresh content is delivered on the widely used and accepted Canvas platform, which integrates all dimensions of online leaning.  Multimedia presentations, video and lectures benefit every type of learner. Faculty-guided weekly discussions provide an opportunity to interact with professors and other students.

Greg Erlandson, publisher of Our Sunday Visitor, which includes the popular Alive in Christ/Vivos en Cristo basal curriculum, said the addition of an online master’s and graduate certificate program is a real contribution by CDU to catechesis in this country.  Mr. Erlandson added, “OSV believes students enrolled in these programs will have the necessary coursework to provide sound religious formation for Catholic youth and adults.  In addition, these courses will help the educators, catechists and others in the program to grow in their own discipleship formation, strengthening their relationship with Christ and deepening their commitment to the Church.”

Mr. Erlandson noted that, “Our Sunday Visitor Institute is grateful for the wonderful work CDU is doing for the Church and for the university’s pioneering leadership in Catholic online education.”

About CDU

A pioneer in distance learning, CDU is the only Catholic University that operates totally online.  It was founded in 1983 as the first catechetical institute in the United States to award the Catechetical Diploma and teach the Catholic faith to adults using distance education. In its early days, CDU operated as a correspondence school.  Twenty years ago It became part of the web. Today CDU students are located in all 50 states and 68 countries.  Using distance education, CDU offers accredited degrees in Theology and the Liberal Arts, including graduate degrees and certificates.  The university also provides continuing education courses and certificates online and continues its active outreach to the incarcerated Church through correspondence courses.  Bishop Paul S. Loverde is chairman of CDU’s Board of Trustees and Marianne Evans Mount, PhD serves as president. For more information, visit

About OSV Institute

Our Sunday Visitor Institute was established to carry on the vision of Archbishop John F. Noll who founded Our Sunday Visitor for one purpose — to help form and inform Catholics and to help them see the world through the eyes of faith. The Institute seeks, supports and encourages innovative Church-related programs and activities which are in accord with the mission established by Archbishop Noll.  Jerome B. Kearns serves as executive director, Our Sunday Visitor Institute. For more information, visit

President Mount Speaks to the Catholic Cafe

Do you wish you knew more about your Catholic faith? Do you think you’re too far past your “college days”? Are you just too busy to do it? Many faithful Catholics feel exactly the same way! That’s why we’ve invited Dr. Marianne Mount, President of Catholic Distance University, to join us in the Luxurious Corner Booth. We discuss not only why it’s important to learn more about your faith, but how you can do it online and fit it neatly into your own personal schedule!

Click here to hear the Catholic Cafe’s interview of CDU’s Marianne Evans Mount.

A Second Rome: Catholic Distance University Nurtures the Heart of the Church

Students get a faithful Catholic education, rooted in the teachings of the Catholic Church, without leaving home

It’s becoming increasingly common for colleges and universities to offer online programs. After all, these programs are often more affordable and convenient for students and allow them to continue working while pursuing a course of studies. But Catholic Distance University—a pioneer in online education—has taken online learning a step further, creating an exclusively online Catholic university with community, a rich pedagogy and vast resources.

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Catholic Distance University Will Honor Carl Anderson and Archbishop Lori with the Founders Award

NOVEMBER 5, 2016

CHARLES TOWN, WV – Carl A. Anderson, Supreme Knight, and Archbishop William E. Lori, S.T.D., Supreme Chaplain of the Knights of Columbus and Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Baltimore, will be honored with the 2016 Founders Award by Catholic Distance University (CDU).

The award will be presented by the university at its annual Gala on Saturday, November 5, in Arlington, Virginia. The announcement was made by Marianne Evans Mount, PhD, president of the university.

“Carl Anderson and Archbishop Lori are exceptional Church leaders, and Catholic Distance University is honored to recognize them with the Founders Award,” said Dr. Mount.

“The organization they represent — the Knights of Columbus — promotes spiritual renewal among Catholics by strengthening them in holiness and unity, according to Pope Benedict,” added the CDU president. “The Knights are in the vanguard in supporting the evangelization of family life through the mission of the domestic Church.”

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Dr. Carole Brown on Relevant Radio

CDU’s own Dr. Carole Brown was interviewed on Relevant Radio’s “Morning Air” talk show on September 21, 2016. Click this link to hear Dr. Brown speak about the three stages of spirituality.

Marianne Mount on Jen Fulwiler Radio Show

CDU President Dr. Marianne Evans Mount was interviewed on the “Jen Fulwiler Radio Show” on September 14, 2016. Click below to hear Dr. Mount speak about CDU and the importance of lifelong learning.

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Archbishop Lori, Knights honored for commitment to Catholic higher education

November 08, 2016

By Christopher Gunty

ARLINGTON, Va. – What started as correspondence courses by mail more than three decades ago is now an online university that awards degrees in Catholic theology to students around the world.

Catholic Distance University moved its headquarters from Virginia to Charles Town, W.V., in 2014, but continues to educate students in all 50 states and more than 60 countries in graduate certificate programs and associate’s, bachelor’s and master’s degree programs. CDU claims to be the only all-online Catholic university in the United States.

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Knights’ Leaders Recognized for Commitment to Higher Education

From Knightline, News for Knights of Columbus leaders, December 2016 issue

At its annual dinner and awards ceremony Nov. 5 in Arlington, Va., Catholic Distance University bestowed its Founder’s Award upon Supreme Knight Carl Anderson and Supreme Chaplain Archbishop William Lori for their contributions to Catholic education. This award constitutes the university’s highest honor.

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