History & Information

A pioneer in distance learning, CDU 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. CDU offered its first degree program in 1996. Today CDU is a fully online accredited university offering high quality undergraduate and graduate programs.

Location: The school’s academic and administrative offices are located in Charles Town. West Virginia.

Mission: 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 theology, the liberal arts and faith development for the growth of faith, ecclesial service, and leadership for the New Evangelization.

University Motto: Joy from The Truth, gaudium de veritate

Chairman of the Board: Stephen D. Pryor

Contact Information:  admissions@cdu.edu, 1.888.254.4CDU ext. 700 or write CDU at 300 South George Street, Charles Town, WV 25414.

Accreditation: CDU is accredited by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC), which is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as a nationally recognized accrediting agency. CDU is a candidate for accreditation with regional accreditor The Higher Learning Commission. The Graduate School of Theology is an associate member of The Association of Theological Schools. The USCCB and the Cardinal Newman Society recommend CDU as an approved university for its commitment to faithful Catholic education.

Academic Programs:

Program enrollment information is available upon request.

Continuing Education Programs:

  • Noncredit Certificates
  • Continuing education for professional development and adult faith enrichment
  • Online seminars
  • Group Subsidy Plans

Residency Requirements: There are no residency requirements for any of CDU’s programs.

Average class size: Classes average 10-20 students.

Financial Aid: Catholic Distance University’s Financial Aid Office is available to help you apply for Federal and State Financial Assistance as well as Private Student Loans. The Federal Financial Aid Program is available for students who qualify. CDU participates in the tuition assistance programs of all U.S. military services.