CDU History

When CDU opened its doors to students in 1983, the school had two staff members, one course on the Apostles’ Creed using audio cassette tapes by Father John Hardon, SJ, and two part-time faculty. Thirty years later, the school has grown into an accredited Catholic university with full and part-time students from all 50 states and 60 countries - studying graduate and undergraduate theology and pursuing continuing education courses, seminars, and certificates for adult faith formation. Our faculty include world-renowned theologians and Scripture scholars. Here are some brief highlights of the CDU story:

  • 1983: The school officially opens its doors as the Catholic Home Study Institute (CHSI) and becomes the first catechetical institute in the United States to award the Catechetical Diploma and teach the Faith to adults using correspondence courses exclusively.
  • 1986: CDU gains accreditation from the Accrediting Commission of the Distance Education and Training Council, which is recognized as the premier accreditor of distance education by the U.S. Department of Education.
  • 1996: The name is changed to The Catholic Distance University as the school expands to offer a fully accredited Master of Arts in Theology Degree program.
  • 2000: CDU partners with the Diocese of Arlington to pilot a three-week, online interactive seminar for one hundred catechists from the Diocese.
  • 2003: Bishop Paul S. Loverde, Bishop of Arlington, takes the helm as president and chairman of CDU, with Bishop Welsh becoming chairman emeritus.
  • 2004: CDU’s new Bachelor of Arts in Theology degree completion program is accredited by DETC.
  • January 2005: CDU launches its innovative online campus and online Student Life Center.
  • 2006: MA degree program is made available totally online.
  • 2008: CDU marks its 25th Anniversary and honors Bishop Welsh at the 2008 Gala. Dr. Marianne Evans Mount takes the helm as president and Bishop Paul Loverde continues as chairman of the CDU Board of Trustees.
  • 2010: CDU begins a new partnership program with US dioceses to offer CDU noncredit courses and seminars at a special tuition rate.
  • 2011: A new comprehensive academic management database system (CAMS) is implemented; students are introduced to MyCDU - a personalized portal where students register for courses, pay balances, print transcripts, and view grades.
  • 2011: CDU adds another accredited degree program, the Associate of Arts in Liberal Arts with a concentration in Catholic Studies. This new two-year degree program offers a fully online liberal arts program for the professional development of catechists, parents, aspiring Catholic school teachers, professional career-seekers in the Catholic Church, and young people seeking an affordable college education grounded in the Catholic intellectual tradition.
  • 2012: CDU offers a Graduate Certificate in Sacred Scripture.
  • 2014: CDU offers a Graduate Certificate in Church History.
  • 2015: CDU teams up with OSV to offer the OSV-CDU MA in Theology degree and Graduate certificate for DREs and Secondary school teachers.

 

 

"Fifty years ago, who would have dreamed you could earn a theological degree wherever you lived, however much time you had? Yet thanks to the Internet and the creative team at Catholic Distance University, it's never been easier. Two-thousand years of Catholic tradition is now just a click away. If you're looking for an innovative, orthodox, and robust education that fits into your busy schedule, I encourage you to consider Catholic Distance University."

- Brandon Vogt
blogger and author of
The Church and New Media
May 2013
 

"Just recently, I was with a mother and religious education coordinator in Germany who has completed her Master's degree with CDU. How could she have studied in a traditional degree program so far from home? Now she is even better prepared to serve Catholic communities in my Archdiocese!"

- Most Reverend Timothy P. Broglio
Archbishop for the Military Services