Catholic Distance University

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Catholic Distance University
Catholic Distance University Seal svg.png
MottoGaudium de veritate
Motto in English
Joy from the Truth
AffiliationRoman Catholic
ChancellorThe Most Rev. Timothy Broglio
PresidentMarianne Evans Mount, Ph.D
DeanPeter Brown, Ph.D
Academic staff
Studentsapprox. 750 annually
Location, ,
ColorsRed, blue, black             

Catholic Distance University (CDU) is a private Roman Catholic university based in Charles Town, West Virginia, in the United States. 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] The chairman of the board of trustees is Dr. Charles R. Wasaff, and Archbishop Timothy P. Broglio of the archdiocese for the Military Services, USA, serves as university chancellor and vice chairman of the board of trustees.


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]


Catholic Distance University currently offers the following degree programs:

Additionally, CDU offers the following non-degree programs:

  • Continuing Education Certificates
  • Non-credit Continuing Education Courses

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[8] and the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC) has accredited CDU since 1986.[9]

In 2015, CDU began the process of gaining regional accreditation and programmatic accreditation. In March of the same year the university was approved for membership in the International Federation of Catholic Universities on the recommendation of Catholic University of America and Australian Catholic University.[10] CDU is a candidate for accreditation with the Higher Learning Commission, a regional accreditation agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. CDU's Graduate School of Theology is an associate member of the Association of Theological Schools.


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.[9]

Notable faculty and alumni[edit]


  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. ^ Archived from the original on June 3, 2011. Retrieved July 1, 2011. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  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.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
  8. ^ "SCHEV Degree Inventory". Retrieved 2012-06-12.
  9. ^ a b "CDU History". Catholic Distance University. Retrieved 9 September 2017.
  10. ^ "2015 Annual Report". Catholic Distance University. Retrieved 9 September 2017.

External links[edit]