Frequently Asked Questions
While many universities offer online programs today, most prioritize their campus-based programs. At CDU, online students are our only students! CDU has educated students from afar since 1983 and has been online since 2000. That’s 20 years! CDU was the first university to offer accredited online theological degrees and faith formation in the United States. Our student testimonials confirm our transformative curriculum.
Distance education is a systems approach to education. While more and more institutions are now forced to offer online classes, many do not have fully integrated systems to support students working remotely, unlike CDU. In addition, our small class sizes ensure that students receive personalized attention from caring faculty and staff. CDU has mastered the art of creating courses that nurture interaction, discussion, and collaboration with classmates and faculty that highlights a pedagogy that enriches the whole person.
CDU follows the vision of a Catholic university according to St. John Paul II in Ex corde ecclesiae, which stresses the unity of all truth and the integration of faith and reason. All courses are designed to enhance the study of theology while providing a broad, liberal arts education that stimulates a desire for lifelong learning, a continuing sense of wonder, and the courage to live an authentic Christian life in and through specific vocational career paths and in our common vocation as Christians who serve the common good.
Yes, CDU has been accredited by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission, a recognized accrediting agency, continuously since 1986. The Graduate School of Theology is accredited by the Commission on Accrediting of The Association of Theological Schools. CDU is also a candidate for accreditation with the Higher Learning Commission, an accreditor in the North Central region of the United States, which includes West Virginia, CDU’s home state.
CDU’s academic programs all have pride of place for the study of theology at the center in relation to other disciplines. Each program in its own way, however, is intended to equip students to witness “Joy from the Truth” to the wider world, where they touch the lives of many and strive to make fishers of men. The study of philosophy provides a pathway to common truth shared by all people, and at the undergraduate level, the study of human civilization provides this opportunity. Courses in theology and other disciplines specifically equip students to engage with ideas present in the wider world.
Certainly! CDU has been forming missionary disciples throughout the world since 1983. While many of our students choose CDU initially to grow in their knowledge of the teachings of the Church, we know that of the 2016-2019 alumni, 90% are now serving in Church-related ministries in faith formation, education, catechesis, evangelization, youth ministry, and media and communications, to name a few. A number of graduates have entered the seminary, been ordained as priests, become permanent deacons, or entered religious life. All CDU graduates bring their transformative relationship with Jesus Christ to their families, communities, and professions. CDU is a path of lifelong service for the Church, often in the fields of theology, catechetics, healthcare, and evangelization. Our graduates radiate the love of knowing God more deeply.
Hours of Operation
CDU office hours are Mon – Fri, from 9 am to 5 pm EST. Online participation in courses on the Canvas platform is available to students 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
CDU observes the following Holy Days and holidays throughout the year. On these days the administrative offices are closed.
Holy Thursday – Thursday before Easter
Good Friday – Friday before Easter
Memorial Day – Last Monday in May
Independence Day – July 4
Feast of the Assumption – August 15
Labor Day – 1st Monday in September
Feast of All Saints – November 1
Thanksgiving – 4th Thursday in November
Day after Thanksgiving – 4th Friday in November
Feast of the Immaculate Conception – December 8
Christmas Break – December 23 – January 1
Staff members can be contacted by email by clicking on the links or at the following extensions by dialing (888) 254-4238.
Admissions ext. 700
Continuing Education ext. 713
Student Accounts/Finance ext. 708
Financial Aid ext. 733
Registrar ext. 716
Technology ext. 726
Office of the President ext. 717
Faculty Chair and Academic Advising ext. 703
Academic Dean ext. 701
Student Life ext. 732
Marketing ext. 717
International students seeking admission must present an English evaluation (not just a translation) of their credentials. An English translation differs from an English evaluation in that the evaluation refers to the quality of the foreign school attended, the equivalency of the student’s coursework to the CDU degree, and the equivalency of the student’s international scores into a U.S. equivalent grade. There are several recognized agencies throughout the country that provide this service. It typically costs around $100. There are no additional fees assessed for international students to take courses at CDU.
Those presenting official high school and/or college transcripts are not required to provide SAT, ACT, or GRE scores. Those who have not yet earned college credit must submit an official state high school transcript. For homeschooled students from states that do not issue official state transcripts, CDU requires either a GED exam, SAT, or ACT scores along with a transcript.
Yes! Students can register for term courses as long as they have the academic prerequisites to do so.
You are not required to apply to a program to take a course. You can start as a non-matriculating student and then apply to a program if you decide that CDU is right for you. Any courses taken within 5 years can be applied towards a degree program. We welcome all students!
Students who are interested in earning a graduate degree or certificate need to possess a Bachelor’s level degree or higher but a theology background is not required.
Students are strongly advised to begin with only one course per term to acquaint themselves with the demands of online coursework. Students wishing to take more than one course should consult with the registrar. Undergraduate students who wish to be considered full time in a semester are advised to take no more than a course load of two 3-credit courses per concurrent term. Graduate students who wish to be considered full time in a semester are advised to take no more than a course load of one 3-credit course per concurrent term. Students who wish to take courses in overlapping terms should consult the academic advisor or the academic dean.
Online courses are delivered through Canvas, our Learning Management System. Once logged in, students can view and access courses via the dashboard on Canvas. The link to the dashboard may be found in the navigational links on the left.
Clicking on a course icon takes you to the course home page, where you can navigate to various elements of the course such as the welcome area, the course syllabus, and the weekly modules. See picture below. Students also have access to the Student Life Center and the Library. Online help in Canvas is available 24/7 by clicking on the Help icon in the navigation on the left hand side.
Courses that you have registered for are available for preview the weekend before the semester begins. You will receive an email from Student Life informing you when the preview will be made available for a course. You are strongly encouraged to familiarize yourself with the course syllabus and participation guidelines and introduce yourself to your instructor and classmates. In the introduction to each module, the instructor will provide you with instructions for the week.
To take courses at CDU, you need a computer or tablet with an Internet connection and a modern web browser (e.g., Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Edge). For courses with audio or video, Adobe Flash or a media player may be needed. A printer is also strongly encouraged. Please see the Canvas guide for system requirements for our online learning management system. For academic courses with final exams, an online proctoring service will be used. See the FAQ below for proctoring service system requirements. We recommend using the Chrome browser if you are using a Mac computer.
Final exams for academic courses will be taken using RPNow, an online proctoring service.
You will need a:
- Desktop computer or laptop (not a tablet, Chromebook, or mobile device)
- Webcam and microphone (built-in or external)
- Connection to network with sufficient internet speed: at least 300 kb/s download speed and 300 kb/s upload; satellite and dial up connections are not supported
- One of the following operating systems: Windows 8, 8.1, 10 or MAC 10.13, 10.14, 10.15; Windows OS is not supported on MAC
Be sure you are accessing the exam through the left sidebar, RPNow for Students, not through the final exam module or the right sidebar, ‘To Do’
A green box will pop up on the left-hand side, top of your screen Insert Access Code
Click the green box and it will populate the access code box.
Access to the Online Library is available to all enrolled academic students via Canvas. Links to the Online Library can be found on the left sidebar of each course. Librarian Sr. Rebecca Abel is available at firstname.lastname@example.org and on the Pronto Library group to provide assistance and answer questions.
Pronto is the application for real-time social communication between members of the CDU community. The desktop version of Pronto can be accessed in your Canvas account by using the button on the global navigation bar on the far left (scroll to the bottom). But the version for mobile devices provides the best user experience. Pronto is like using text/ Instagram or Twitter but all within the CDU community. For a complete guide to Pronto in Canvas see: What is Pronto? How does it work? Or view the Pronto information page in Student Life: https://cdu.instructure.com/courses/74/pages/getting-started-with-pronto