Graduate certificates are perfect for those who are prepared to study theology at the graduate level but want the flexibility to focus their studies on an area of interest while keeping their options open.

Offered through the Graduate School of Theology, which is an associate member of The Association of Theological Schools, Graduate Certificates provide deep, focused study of an aspect of theology at the graduate level. Credits earned are transferable to the MA degree program as students may decide later to pursue a full degree.

Anyone with a Bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution may enroll in Graduate Certificate programs, and reading and research courses are not required.

Graduate Certificates are offered in the following areas:

  • Sacred Scripture
  • Church History
  • Certificate for Catholic Educators*

*The Our Sunday Visitor Institute has generously provided funding to develop the Graduate Certificate for Catholic Educators.

Program Requirements

  • Certificate Earned: Graduate Certificate in Sacred Scripture, Graduate Certificate in Church History, or Certificate for Catholic Educators
  • Program Time Limit: Three years
  • Application Process: Submit application, $25 application fee, and  official transcript from accredited degree-issuing institution.

Program Goals

Students who complete the Graduate Certificate in Sacred Scripture should be able to:

  • Demonstrate acquaintance with the full range of Scriptural texts and the relationships among them
  • Exhibit familiarity with ancient and modern interpretive tools and hermeneutical methods
  • Illustrate how scholarship is related to Catholic theological and doctrinal concepts
  • Read and interpret Scriptural texts on their own in light of the best scholarship and Church tradition

Students who complete the Graduate Certificate in Church History should be able to:

  • Summarize knowledge of major stages in Catholic Church history
  • Identify and analyze at least one major historical event in the Church
  • Apply theological and secular methodologies to Church history and their relationship to one another
  • Interpret trends in ecclesial historiography
  • Develop necessary reading skills to critically engage historical texts in light of the best scholarship and Church tradition.

Students who complete the Certificate for Catholic Educators will be able to:

  • 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.

Course Lists

For descriptions of both required and elective courses, please consult the online course catalog.

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

Core Courses (9 credits required)

Course Number Course Title Credits
THEO 503 The Catholic Theological Tradition (8 weeks) 3
SCRPT 515 Biblical Foundations 3
SCRPT 530 Introduction to Scripture and Salvation History (8 weeks) 3

Elective Courses (9 credits required)

Course Number Course Title Credits
SCRPT 520 Pentateuch (8 weeks) 3
SCRPT 540 Isaiah and the Prophets 3
SCRPT 570 The Letter to the Romans (8 weeks) 3
SCRPT 571 The Gospel of St. John (8 weeks) 3
SCRPT 662 The Synoptic Gospels (available in 2020) 3

For descriptions of both required and elective courses, please consult the online course catalog.

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

Core Courses (12 credits required)

Course Number Course Title Credits
CHIST 514 Church History I: Early Christians to Middle Ages (8 weeks) 3
CHIST 524 Church History II: Renaissance to Modern Church (8 weeks) 3
THEO 503 The Catholic Theological Tradition (8 weeks) 3
THEO 631 Introduction to Christology 3

Elective Courses (6 credits required)

Course Number Course Title Credits
CHIST 544 History of the American Catholic Church (8 weeks) 3
HUM 687 Sacred Architecture 3
SCRPT 515 Biblical Foundations 3
SCRPT 530 Introduction to Scripture and Salvation History (8 weeks) 3
SCRPT 540 Isaiah and the Prophets 3

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.

For descriptions of both required and elective courses, please consult the online course catalog.

Course Number Course Title
THEO 503 The Catholic Theological Tradition (8 weeks)
RELED 560 Principles of Catholic Education (8 weeks)
THEO 682 Forming a Catholic World View: Catholic Social Teachings (8 weeks)
SCRPT 530 Introduction to Scripture and Salvation History
SPIR 501 Applied Catholic Spirituality (8 weeks)
THEO 640 Presenting the Faith in the Modern World: Dealing with Hard Questions

THE CDU ADVANTAGE

In a 2016 survey of CDU graduate students, 100% reported that they had achieved their learning goals.

CDU Offers:

  • Flexibility to study where and when you choose
  • Authentic Catholic teaching
  • Affordability
  • 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 Graduate Certificate program is nationally accredited by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC), which is recognized as a national accrediting agency by the U.S. Department of Education and is a recognized member of the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. The university is certified as a degree-granting institution by the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission.