Bachelor of Arts in Theology

The Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Theology degree completion program helps students expand their knowledge of the Catholic faith and develop the skills needed to competently explain the essential teachings of the Catholic Church using Sacred Scripture, Sacred Tradition, and Magisterial documents, and some very significant textbooks in each field.

Program Requirements

  • Completion of 81 general education credits
  • Completion of 39 theology credits at CDU - 30 core credits and 9 elective credits
  • The BA 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 also certified as a degree granting institution by the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission and the West Virginia Community and Technical College System.
  • Go 'back to school' with other adult learners who are also busy raising families and working careers.
  • All courses use a distance learning format that allows students to study at a time and place that best suits busy schedules and lifestyles.
  • There are no residency requirements, so unlike many other distance learning programs, there is never the need to drive to a college campus or meeting place.
  • CDU courses provide faithful and systematic teachings of Sacred Scripture, the living tradition of the Church, and the authentic Magisterium, as well as the spiritual heritage of the Fathers and Doctors of the Church.
  • Many adults are nervous about taking an online course. CDU offers a full-time technical help desk that is available daily to answer questions and solve computer issues.
  • At CDU, distance learning is all about creating and building a faith filled learning community. The online student union provides a place for prayer and spiritual support, lively discussions and general conversation, and program-specific question and answer desks.
  • CDU’s one-of-a-kind program Academic Skills online course helps adult learners ease back into the rigors of college work with a seminar that teaches online academic writing, time and task management, and study skills.

Lifelong Formation
Analyzes and synthesizes the key concepts and vocabulary of Catholic theology at a BA level, including Scripture and Tradition, and the documents of the Church.

Exhibits an understanding of how Catholic theology informs the Christian vocation in the world.

Faith Development
Analyzes and synthesizes the key concepts and vocabulary of Catholic theology, at a BA level, including Scripture and Tradition, and the documents of the Church.

Exhibits an understanding of the Christian vocation in the world.

Exhibits a capacity to explain and apply the relationship between faith and reason within upper-level courses and the role of philosophy in the study of theology..

Communication for Community
Analyzes and synthesizes the key concepts and vocabulary of Catholic theology, including Scripture and Tradition, and the documents of the Church.

Exhibits an ability to engage in online discussion that demonstrates a knowledge of the teachings of the Church and how they inform the Christian vocation in the world.

Collaboration for the Common Good
Integrates the basic teachings of Catholic theology, including moral, spiritual, and sacramental theology, and Church history to enable students to evaluate and respond with clarity to contemporary ideas that may contradict the teachings of the Catholic Church.

  • Program Requirements: 120 credits-39 theology credits-(30 core credits and 9 theology elective credits), 81 General Education credits
  • Program time limits: 4 years
  • Application process: Submit program application, $25 application fee, have official transcript(s) submitted from issuing institutions
  • Acceptance:
    • Students must have a minimum of 60 undergraduate, general education credits earned before applying.
    • Students who submit official transcripts with credits earned in the past 5 years must have at least a 2.0 GPA from the most recent issuing accredited institution. If the overall GPA is below a 2.0, the student must successfully complete (C grade or higher) a first course at CDU before being accepted into the program and being able to apply for federal financial aid.
    • Students with official transcripts that are over 5 years old must successfully complete (C grade or higher) the first  course at CDU before being accepted into the program and being able to apply for federal financial aid.
    • CDU reserves the right to deny admission to students with more than three transcripts.

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

Required Theology Core --30 credits
Course Number Course Title Credits
ENG 105 Introduction to Composition for Theology 3
PHIL 305 Introduction to Plato and Aristotle 3
SCRPT 310 Reading Scripture Theologically 3
SCRPT 330 Introduction to Scripture and Salvation History 3
THEO 304 Foundations of Catholicism* 3
THEO 313 God, Man and the Universe 3
THEO 332 Jesus Christ: God, Man, and Savior 3
THEO 342 The Four Constitutions of Vatican II 3
THEO 353 Sacraments: Masterworks of God 3
THEO 468 Principles of Moral Theology 3

*Students who have already studied Catechism I and II at the AA Level are exempt from taking THEO 304. These students are required to take three additional elective credits.

Theology Electives - 9 credits
Students can fulfill the additional 9 credits of  theology electives by choosing additional CDU courses.

Click here to see a sample course schedule.

Transfer of Theology Credits: Maximum of six transfer undergraduate credits, providing they meet the requirements of the program (Catholic theology from a Catholic institution).  Credits must have been earned no more than five years prior to transfer and approved by the Academic Dean who determines if transfer credits align with the CDU theology curriculum.

In order to qualify for acceptance into the BA degree completion program, students must have already completed at least 60 of the 81 general education credits.   The general education credits must be at the 100 level or higher and one must have received a grade of C or higher from an accredited institution. Experiential credit can't be used in place of academic credit. To assist with calculating credits, a student may download the Basic Course Requirement Worksheet. Please keep in mind that these credits are based on semester hours not quarter hours.

CDU allows students to work on their remaining general education credits and theology credits at the same time.

General Education Requirements --81 credits
Oral and written communications
(i.e. English, literature, speech)
6 credit hours
Social sciences
(i.e. history, sociology, economics, political science)
12 credit hours
Natural sciences
(i.e.biology, chemistry, physics, geology)
6 credit hours
Math and information technology
(i.e. mathematics, statistics, computer usage)
6 credit hours
Foreign language
(i.e. modern and/or classical)
3 credit hours
Humanities and fine arts
(i.e. art, music, philosophy)
6 credit hours
Electives 42 credit hours

General Education requirements may also be fulfilled via the College Board's Advanced Placement (AP) program and College-Level Examination Program (CLEP) and the Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education Support (DANTES) Subject standardized Testing (DSST).

The following courses may be used to fulfill general education or elective requirements:

For a description of each of these courses, please consult the online course catalog.
Course Number Course Title Credits
BIO 150 Nutrition 3
CHIST 314 Church History I: Early Christians to the Middle Ages 3
ECON 105 Elements of Economics 3
GREEK 101 Biblical Greek I* 3
GREEK 201 Biblical Greek II* 3
GREEK 417 Advanced Biblical Greek Lab* 1
HUM 251 Ancient Civilization 3
HUM 252 Christian Civilization 3
HUM 253 A Global Civilization 3
LATIN 101 Latin I (revised)* 3
LATIN 201 Latin II* 3
PHIL 235 Elements of the Philosophy of the Human Person 3
RELED 432 General Catechetics for the New Evangelization 3
SCRPT 303 Survey of the Old Testament 3
SCRPT 306 Survey of the New Testament with the CCC 3
SCRPT 370 The Letter to the Romans 3
SPIR 301 Applied Catholic Spirituality 3
THEO 103 The Moral Life: Living the Virtues 3
THEO 338 Madonna: Mary in the Catholic Tradition 3
THEO 412 Catholic Apologetics 3
THEO 418 Introduction to St. Thomas Aquinas 3

*These language classes cannot be used for both foreign language general education requirements and BA program electives.

"For me, Christian faith has always been a communitarian reality.  I do not think I would have had the strength to persevere in my vocation or my Catholic studies without the help of others.  CDU provides a very special community where, even without seeing one another or talking to one another personally, I have felt we know one another and have become a real family of faith."

-Paloma Cabetas
MA Theology
CDU Alumna