New Continuing Ed Platform Features Updated Courses for Just $89

Our new, mobile-friendly continuing education platform featuring updated courses and certificate programs is open for registration. We’ve slashed the course price nearly in half with a special introductory rate of $89 for students from dioceses that do not currently partner with CDU. Browse the site today, and be sure to bookmark the page for easy access. Follow the “Quick Start Guide” below to set up your account and begin registering!

If You Have Taken CDU Continuing Ed Courses Before:

If you had an account with us on Canvas, click on the Sign In button and click on Forgot Password to reset your password on the new system, and enter the email address you used for Continuing Education courses on Canvas.

After resetting your password, open your profile, click on Settings, verify the information, and save the profile. Then click on the Access Codes tab and enter your Diocesan Access Code (this is the same as the “promo code” you were given by your diocese. We’ve simply changed the name.). This only needs to be done once.  The code is saved to your profile, and when you register for a course, the discount is reflected in the price in your cart.

If You Have NOT Taken a CDU Continuing Ed Course Before:

Click on the Sign Up button, which leads to the registration form, and fill out all required fields. The last field on the form is the Diocesan Access Code, which must be entered if your diocese offers a discount through CDU. If you are unsure whether your diocese participates and has a code, check the list of partner dioceses at

Proceed to the course catalog by clicking on Courses, pick a course you want to register for, and proceed to payment.


Deacon and DRE Reflects on Spiritual Insight Gained during Graduate Study

Deacon Fernando Enrique Luces (MA in Theology, 2021) is a permanent deacon at St. Rita’s Church in Long Island City, New York. He works as a director of religious education at Our Lady of Light Parish in the St. Albans neighborhood of Queens. Permanent deacons cannot work at the same parish they serve in his diocese.

“My studies have helped me feel more confident with my theological knowledge in general and in facing the challenges I have found in my work as a DRE,” Deacon Luces says. “As a deacon, I have developed a profound spiritual insight that I apply in the Catechesis with the students.”

“The flexible time to study, the classmates of various cultures, and the excellent faculty and staff made it possible for me to achieve my goals,” he adds.

Deacon Luces most enjoys working in the house of the Lord. “It is a blessing for me, because I have the  opportunity to pray daily with God in the tabernacle and ask His advice to work out any difficulties I might have,” he says.

A big challenge in the Diocese of Brooklyn during the pandemic is following the diocesan protocol. All attending Church must wear a face mask, take their temperatures, disinfect their hands, and keep their social distance. At the end of the Mass, the whole Church is clean and disinfected.

Deacon Luces is grateful to his wife, Roxana, for helping him with his diaconate and her support as he completed his theological studies. He likes to read religious books and watch classical religious movies in his free time. “Being grateful for the blessings and gift of God is what is essential and illuminates my service as a DRE and a deacon,” he says.

Reflecting on his undergraduate education, he says it was secular and not as challenging as his theological education. “My educational experience at CDU is incomparable,” he says. “I experienced the presence of God through constant prayer in my studies, who guided me spiritually all along.”

Winter II Term Features New Literature Course

New faculty member Brandon Harvey will teach ENG 111 Introduction to Literature in the Winter II term, which begins March 14th. Students who complete this 8-week course will become familiar with some of the most magnificent works of the great authors of the past and also become comfortable conversing about them to explore the ideas of today.

With the addition of this course, BA degree students can now complete all nine of their required English Language Arts credits at CDU.

ENG 111 is an initial survey of the importance of literature and some of the great works of Imaginative Literature. Professor Harvey will lead students through an examination of texts that provide examples of different literary forms and genres from various time periods to engage the Great Conversation of Western Civilization through such literature but also within the Catholic Tradition. Students will engage these masterpieces through both critical and reflective reading to develop and analyze key ideas.

Brandon Harvey has experience teaching children, teens, college students, and men in formation for the diaconate and has also served as headmaster of a Chesterton Academy. Besides teaching and speaking, he regularly works as a theological/editorial consultant for authors, publishers, screenwriters, producers, and occasionally actors.

Professor Harvey is in the process of completing a doctorate in the Great Books of Western Civilization at Harrison Middleton University in Tempe, Arizona, and has completed post-graduate studies at the Liturgical Institute, Mundelein, Illinois, and the International Marian Research Institute, Marian, Ohio. He earned his MA degree in Theology at Franciscan University of Steubenville, Ohio.

Preparing the Incarcerated for Re-Entry

Drawing upon tremendous success in working with local ex-offenders, Gatekeepers—a nonprofit based in Hagerstown, Maryland—is producing a video series that will take their “Business of Living” re-entry program into state and federal prisons.

The 14-part series prepares the incarcerated for reentry into society with step-by-step instruction. This innovative program is being digitally reproduced and distributed by CDU’s digital prison ministry team in partnership with the Order of Malta Federal Association’s prison committee and will be offered online in prisons this Fall.

CDU’s educational outreach to the incarcerated, which began 38 years ago, continues to be strong with the loving support of Marguerite Trainor. Serving prisoners with Catholic courses has a profound impact on lives as exemplified in recent notes from students.

“These few words are to express my thanks for all your work and assistance with my religious education. May God continue to bless you and the ministry… On May 5, 2021, I was officially received into the Order of Preachers… I am expected to make my life promise in about one more year… Becoming a Dominican and working for God has been the best thing that has happened in my life!”—Mr. Harold R., O.P.

“Your institution is the center of my life. You have brought me to a place in my life which I had never envisioned, and for that I am grateful. There won’t be a time in my life in which I will not be learning with you and from you.”—MS

We are grateful to be able to serve the incarcerated Church and for the donations and grant support that enables us to serve the underserved.

New Five-Term Academic Calendar Adopted

Beginning with the 2021-22 academic year, five terms will be offered instead of six, which will allow for more breaks between terms and several recesses throughout the year, including one during Holy Week. This change was made in response to student feedback indicating a desire for final exam periods that do not extend into the next term and greater accommodation for the many students who assist with sacramental and liturgical preparation just before Easter. Now, just one summer term will be offered rather than two.

Our Sisters Will Be Missed

After nearly 20 years as Dean of Catechetical Programs, Sister Mary Margaret Ann Schlather, SND, has returned to the Sisters of Notre Dame in Chardon, Ohio, for a well-deserved retirement. She also successfully led accreditation efforts and has left a legacy of joy.

Sister Rebecca Abel, theological librarian since 2015, retired recently as well. The online library blossomed under her direction, and she showed great devotion to serving students. We wish her a blessed retirement with the Sisters of St. Benedict in Ferdinand, Indiana.

Sister Mary Brendon Zajac, SND, DMin, Assistant Academic Dean at St. Mary Seminary and Graduate School of Theology, retired from the Board of Trustees in June. Her experience in accreditation greatly benefitted CDU, and we are grateful for her selfless hard work.

New Board Members

CDU welcomes Brian Maher to the Board of Trustees. After a 33-year career with the Exxon Corporation and post-merger ExxonMobil, Maher’s vast executive-level financial management experience will benefit CDU. Maher is an honors business graduate of Dartmouth College and received an M.A. in International Economics from The Fletcher School of Law & Diplomacy. Maher serves on multiple boards and lives in Naples, Florida, and Basking Ridge, New Jersey, with his wife Shelley.

We welcome Michael Miotto to the Board of Trustees. He is an innovative IT executive with state-of-the-art experience in multiple industries, including higher education. Most recently, he led Ford Motor Company through the Industry 4.0 revolution by enabling industrial IoT, cloud computing, virtual/augmented reality, and artificial intelligence fueled by big data and analytics. He has also served as CIO at American Public University System and Credit Acceptance Corporation and CTO at e-Chemicals and MRM Digital Ad Agency. We look forward to benefiting from his extensive expertise to keep CDU on the cutting edge of technology.

Dr. Charles Wasaff Retires from Board of Trustees

A retirement celebration for Dr. Charles R. Wasaff was held on June 10th and hosted by the Most Reverend Michael F. Burbidge, Bishop of Arlington. Dr. Wasaff, a trustee since 2012 and chairman from October 2017 until March 15th, was honored for his strategic leadership. As the first elected lay chairman of the Board of Trustees, he led CDU through rigorous accreditation processes, and accreditation with ATS was granted under his tenure.

By developing a powerful board and instituting an advisory board, he assembled a team that rivals those of the most prestigious universities and positioned CDU for future growth. Under Dr. Wasaff’s leadership, CDU developed a new MA degree program in Theology and Educational Ministry and a Catechetical Coordinator Certificate program. He oversaw articulation agreements with American Public University System and Shepherd University and encouraged CDU to partner with the International Federation of Catholic Universities.

Reflecting the love of Christ, he recognized that we have the tools and expertise to educate not only those who serve but also the underserved. This vision gave rise to CDU’s Mission Diocese Scholars program, which enables areas without local Catholic universities to employ CDU graduates to evangelize and inspire the peripheries. He also initiated CDU’s digital prison ministry program. Jesus says, “you will know them by their fruits.” We are grateful to Dr. Wasaff for the bountiful harvest he created for CDU.

We Welcome New Team Members

Dr. Elizabeth Shaw was named associate dean of accreditation. She currently teaches philosophy and is also associate editor of the quarterly journal The Review of Metaphysics.

Cynthia Stalcup, a 2020 honors graduate of CDU’s MA in Theology and Educational Ministry program, joined the staff as catechetical subject specialist and Student Life coordinator. Stalcup has been active in parish youth ministry since 1992 in the Diocese of Arlington. She currently serves as a catechist at St. Theresa Catholic Church in Ashburn, Virginia, and is also CDU’s Outstanding Graduate of the Year.

Stephanie Garrett is our new librarian. With more than 30 years of business, development, and leadership experience, she will engage and support students while growing the digital library. She previously served as executive director of Tenn-share, a Tennessee library consortium in Nashville. Garrett has a Master
of Science degree in Information Sciences from the University of Tennessee and also earned a BA in Theology from Aquinas College in Nashville, where she graduated with honors.

Student & Alumni News

Grad Publishes Guide to Christian History Rudiments of Christian History: An Outline of Persons, Events, and Teachings is a new book by Michael Petruzzelli (MA in Religious Studies, 2001), an educator who holds several degrees and taught theology at a Catholic high school in the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C., for 10 years. The book was published in April by Christian Publishing, Inc.
Written in the format of an informal outline, Petruzzelli’s book presents a summary of some of the major topics of the 2,000-year+ span of Christian history. He provides various interpretations of causal relationships of key events, insight regarding historical persons who significantly impacted the course of Christian history, and a concise explanation of basic Christian teachings and theologies. You can review a synopsis of the book on YouTube or purchase the book in bookstores or on Amazon.

Alumnus to Be Ordained a Deacon Recent graduate Asadur M Minasian, who earned his MA degree in Theology in July 2021, will be ordained to the Sacred Order of Deacons by His Excellency Bishop Mikael Mouradian, Eparch of the Armenian Catholics in the U.S. and Canada. The event will take place at St. Mark’s Armenian Catholic Church in Wynnewood, Pennsylvania, on Sunday, September 12.

Let the Perpetual Light Shine upon Her After a life filled with blessings, CDU graduate May Gay Moore, 78, entered eternal life on August 11, 2021. A wife and mother, May’s greatest interest and passion was her Catholic faith. She taught CCD and in the RCIA program at the Little Creek Catholic Chapel in Virginia Beach, Virginia. She earned her Master of Arts degree in Theology at age 64, an accomplishment of which she was immensely proud.

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