Program Goals

  • Teach, promote, and defend the Catholic Faith
  • Demonstrate knowledge of Church teaching and the ability to access, interpret, and apply these teachings in various Church and Catholic education settings.

Program Requirements

  • 18 Credits

Program Time Limit: 3 years

Application Process

  • Complete the free online application for admission.
  • Have an official transcript from the accredited institution where you completed your undergraduate degree sent to
  • Have someone who is familiar with your academic or professional work submit a letter of recommendation to
  • Submit a brief statement of purpose (250 words or less) to on why you are pursuing online graduate study in theology.

Students will be notified of acceptance via email shortly after all materials have been submitted and reviewed.

Accepted students may begin by taking one of three courses: THEO 503 The Catholic Theological Tradition, THEO 510 Revelation and Faith, or SCRPT 530 Introduction to Scripture and Salvation History.

Credits earned are transferable to the MA degree programs as students may decide later to pursue a full degree.

Program Costs

  • Tuition: $1,485 x 6 courses = $8,910
  • Technology fee: $165/course x 6 courses = $990
  • Books: $100/course (estimate) x 6 courses = $600
  • Total: $10,500
  • Detailed cost of attendance budgets can be found here.

Course Preview

Course Lists

The Certificate program offers students an overview of basic Catholic theology, Scripture, Catholic social teaching, along with the feature course, Principles of Catholic Education.  Learners selecting this option will have basic coursework to provide sound religious formation for Catholic youth and adults and accurate information to discuss the Faith with who may be seeking a faith life or are otherwise unaffiliated with the Catholic Church.

Course Number Course Title
THEO 503 The Catholic Theological Tradition
RELED 560 Principles of Catholic Education
THEO 682 Forming a Catholic World View: Catholic Social Teachings
SCRPT 530 Introduction to Scripture and Salvation History
SPIR 501 Applied Catholic Spirituality
THEO 640 Presenting the Faith in the Modern World: Dealing with Hard Questions

Classes are 8 weeks long unless otherwise noted.

CDU reserves the right to substitute suitable comparable courses different from the ones listed for the student to complete the certificate.

6 credits required. Courses are 8 weeks long unless otherwise noted.

Course Number Course Title Credits
CHIST 544 History of the Catholic Church in America 3
CST 500 Foundations of Catholic Social Thought 3
CST 510 Social Doctrine of the Church, 1891-1965 3
SCRPT 530 Introduction to Scripture and Salvation History 3
SCRPT 615 History of Biblical Interpretation 12 weeks 3
SCRPT 640 Isaiah and the Prophets 12 weeks 3


In a 2022 survey of CDU graduate students, 100% reported that they had achieved their learning goals.

CDU Offers:

  • Authentic Catholic teaching
  • Flexibility to study where and when you choose
  • The lowest undergraduate tuition of any U.S.-based online university offering Catholic theology
  • A global Catholic community
  • Knowledgeable and accessible faculty
  • Engaging online courses with discussion forums
  • Mobile app for study on the go
  • Online library staffed by a theological librarian
  • 24/7 technical support

Get started today!

The certificate program is offered through the Graduate School of Theology, which is accredited by the Commission on Accrediting of the Association of Theological Schools. The CDU Graduate School of Theology aims to provide a transformative learning experience in the digital space and to develop leaders for the new evangelization in the 21st century.