Catholic Distance University

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Catholic Distance University
Catholic Distance University Seal.png
Other name
MottoGaudium de veritate
Motto in English
Joy from the Truth
Religious affiliation
Roman Catholic
ChancellorThe Most Rev. Timothy Broglio
PresidentMarianne Evans Mount, Ph.D
Academic staff
Location, ,
United States
ColorsRed, blue, black

Catholic Distance University (CDU) is a private online Roman Catholic university based in Charles Town, West Virginia. It exclusively offers online undergraduate and graduate degrees and certificate programs.[1] CDU's programs aim to meet the goals set out in the Ex Corde Ecclesiae issued by Pope John Paul II regarding Catholic colleges and universities.[2] CDU was the first Catholic institution to offer an MA in Theology completely online. Several Catholic dioceses partner with CDU to help train their catechists.[3]


Catholic Distance University was established in 1983 in the Arlington diocese by Bishop Thomas Jerome Welsh.[4] In 2015, the university relocated its headquarters to Charles Town, West Virginia, as part of its strategic vision. CDU offers an accredited bachelor's degree completion program in theology, a master's degree in theology, a master's degree in theology and educational ministry, graduate certificates, an undergraduate certificate, a catechetical diploma, and a variety of catechetical certificates.[5] The university's programs are offered completely online; CDU launched its online campus in 2005.[6] According to Georgetown University's Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate, in the academic year 2007–2008, CDU was the top Lay Ecclesial Ministry Program by number of enrollments.[7]


In 2003, Bishop Paul Loverde became the university president as Bishop Thomas Jerome Welsh, the university's founder, became chairman emeritus. Bishop Loverde was succeeded by Dr. Marianne Evans Mount in 2008.[8]


Catholic Distance University currently offers the Associate of Arts, Bachelor of Arts, and Master of Arts. It also offers graduate certificates and non-degree programs. All of the degree programs and certificates focus on religious topics such as theology, ministry, or church history.

Accreditation and affiliations[edit]

The West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission authorized Catholic Distance University to operate as a degree-granting institution of higher education in West Virginia. The State Council of Higher Education for Virginia certifies CDU to operate in Virginia as an out-of-state private, non-profit degree-granting institution[9] and the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC) has accredited CDU since 1986.

In 2015, CDU began the process of gaining regional accreditation and programmatic accreditation. CDU is a candidate for accreditation with The Higher Learning Commission, and its Graduate School of Theology is accredited by The Association of Theological Schools.[8] In March 2015 the university was also approved for membership in the International Federation of Catholic Universities on the recommendation of Catholic University of America and Australian Catholic University.[10]

Notable faculty and alumni[edit]

  • Clayton Fountain, federal prisoner serving a life sentence who converted to Catholicism in prison


  1. ^ "The Catholic Distance University". 2009-10-23. Retrieved 2012-06-12.
  2. ^ "CDU History". 1990-08-15. Archived from the original on 2012-03-25. Retrieved 2012-06-12.
  3. ^ Catholic Online (2011-03-27). "Arlington Diocese partners with Catholic Distance University - Prwire - Catholic Online". Retrieved 2012-06-12.
  4. ^ Flach, Mike. "Diocese's founding bishop remembered for personal touch - The Arlington Catholic Herald". Archived from the original on 2011-03-07. Retrieved 2012-06-12.
  5. ^ "Laity, Marriage, Family Life, and Youth". Archived from the original on June 3, 2011. Retrieved July 1, 2011.
  6. ^ "CDU History". Archived from the original on 2012-03-25. Retrieved 2012-06-12.
  7. ^ Gautier, Mary L., Ph.D. (April 2008). "Catholic Ministry Formation Enrollments: Statistical Overview for 2007–2008" (PDF). Washington, DC: Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate, Georgetown University. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-03-31. Retrieved 2012-12-15.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  8. ^ a b "CDU History". Catholic Distance University. Archived from the original on 9 September 2017. Retrieved 9 September 2017.
  9. ^ "SCHEV Degree Inventory". Archived from the original on 2016-02-02. Retrieved 2012-06-12.
  10. ^ "2015 Annual Report". Catholic Distance University. Archived from the original on 9 September 2017. Retrieved 9 September 2017.

External links[edit]