Dear CDU Fellow Alumni:
Catholic Distance University continues to pave the way and set new digital standards for a faith-filled, inspiring Catholic education. Additional accreditations are an important part of CDU’s strategic vision. While CDU has held national accreditation since 1986 and received pontifical recognition and other accolades for its quality and fidelity to the Church, regional and programmatic accreditations will enhance the credentials of our graduates. CDU will be the first fully and exclusively online Catholic university to achieve this status. I am sure you agree that our graduates have worked hard and deserve credentials that reflect full status among accreditors.
While the pursuit of accreditation has pushed CDU to work more thoughtfully and invest in longer work hours, the reward has been a remarkable blessing to the CDU Community. In November 2018, CDU was awarded Candidacy by the Board of the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). Our comprehensive visit for full accreditation will take place April 27-28, 2020.
In June 2018, the full membership of the Association of Theological Schools (ATS) voted unanimously to welcome CDU as an Associate Member. In February 2019 the Board of Commissioners of ATS awarded Candidacy to CDU and approved our full accreditation visit for March 16-19, 2020. Our staff is diligently preparing thousands of pages of documentation and self-study reports for both accreditors.
It is impossible to speak about our accreditation success without speaking about investments that CDU has made to enhance the infrastructure, digital library, faculty, marketing, and staffing to meet the standards of regional and programmatic accreditors. Much of the cost has so far been carried generously by the Board of Trustees, which has launched a Strategic Bridge Initiative to raise $1.5 million dollars over three years (2018, 2019, and 2020) to fully fund CDU’s investments that lead to regional and programmatic accreditation. The Board is committed to our mission and the importance of the credentials we award to our graduates.
The goal to raise $1.5 million over three years is a University-wide challenge that must engage our entire CDU Community, including our loyal donors, alumni, students, staff, and friends. We are inviting each member of our community to sacrifice for the future so that each student and graduate will earn credentials that represent the highest academic quality and fidelity to the teachings of the Church, in addition to recognition of our expertise in the pedagogy of distance education that broadens the Church’s missionary reach to “proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ and the Church to the ends of the earth.”
Pope Francis has called us to “break down walls and to build bridges.” When contemplating your participation in the Strategic Bridge Initiative, please think of your gift as helping to build a new bridge that offers all members of the Church a door into the depth of the richness of the Catholic Church’s teachings and traditions. CDU’s pioneering vision reaches the peripheries, delivering our academic programs to smartphones, tablets, laptops, and technologies awaiting us in the new millennium. As Pope Benedict reminded us in 2009, “These technologies are truly a gift to humanity, and we must endeavor to ensure that the benefits they offer are put at the service of all human individuals and communities, especially those who are most disadvantaged and vulnerable” (World Communications Day Message, 2009).
We are truly stretching our resources during the accreditation process. Your support as alumni is vital. Our accreditors monitor the percentage of alumni who give as a measure of institutional engagement. Thus, your participation is paramount to our success, no matter the size of the gift. We have improved our online donation giving page on the website to include a reoccurring monthly gift. Since 9 out of 10 graduates serve the Church, we understand that you are already giving. We are asking for a sacrificial gift of whatever fits your budget to help CDU achieve our 100% alumni participation goal.
CDU is here always to serve you. Email firstname.lastname@example.org with your updates, suggestions or concerns.
CDU will always accompany you on your lifelong journey in faith through discounts on seminars and independent study courses. Just contact email@example.com for the alumni promo code. In addition, alumni can audit any graduate or undergraduate course for only $300.
Thank you for your continuing prayers and financial support; we pray for you daily and thank you for all the ways you help to advance our mission to make Jesus Christ present in a digital world.
Peace in Christ,
Lissa Hutcheson, MA, OPL
CDU Alumni Committee Chairperson
Benefits to alumni:
- CDU alumni can audit academic courses for just $300 subject to space availability.
- CDU alumni will receive 30% off seminars. (Contact Annie at firstname.lastname@example.org for Alumni discount promo codes).
- CDU alumni can take an on-demand, non-credit continuing education courses for just $99. (Contact Annie at email@example.com for Alumni discount promo codes).
- Your participation advances CDU’s mission to share joy from the truth and teach all nations.
- Lifelong membership in a supportive network of alumni, faculty and CDU administration.
- Lifelong access to CDU’s online campus, digital resources, and online library.
- Enjoy exclusive online webinars and events for alumni and friends.
- An active voice in planning and alumni priorities. Join the alumni committee or send us your suggestions.
- Periodic exclusive specials on continuing education courses and inspirational messages.
- Quarterly Alumni e-newsletters.
- Access to Digital Continent, CDU’s journal for graduate theses on theological subjects of interest.
- Alumni association membership certificate.
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Thank you for helping CDU plant seeds of awareness and share the Faith online.
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