The Catechetical Diploma (Undergraduate)

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CDU is authorized to award the Catechetical Diploma, a valuable teaching credential in the Church. CDU was the first Catechetical Institute in the United States to award the Catechetical Diploma and teach the Faith to adults using distance education exclusively.

Responding to the commission Christ gave to his followers to make disciples of all nations, each person is called to share the Gospel message of God’s love. Through systematic study of the profession of Faith, liturgy, Sacred Scripture, moral teachings, and spirituality, students achieve this ecclesiastical teaching certificate and equip themselves to teach the Faith with authority and confidence. Courses in the diploma program are eligible for undergraduate credit.

  • CDU is one of the few catechetical institute in the United States approved by the Vatican Congregation of the Clergy  to offer this notable teaching credential exclusively through distance education.
  • CDU has more experience in delivering theological distance education than any other Catholic institution in the world.
  • CDU students are serious adult learners who are hungry for solid, authentic Catholic teachings.
  • CDU courses are written and taught by world-renowned Catholic theologians and scripture scholars.
  • CDU provides 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.
  • Program Requirements:Completion of 36 credits – 33 core credits and 3 elective credits
    • Catechetical project, such as an essay, research paper or lesson plan
    • A comprehensive (closed-book) examination when all courses and project are completed
    • Minimum 2.0 grade point average
  • Program Time Limits: Completion of all requirements within five years from the date of acceptance into the program
  • Application process: application form, $25 application fee, letter of recommendation, official transcript (from high school degree or GED) or official transcript(s) from the most recent college(s) attended;

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

Required Courses

Course Number Course Title Credits
RELED 432 General Catechetics for the New Evangelization 3
SCRPT 303 Survey of the Old Testament - 8Wk 3
SCRPT 306 Survey of the New Testament with the CCC - 8Wk 3
SCRPT 330 Introduction to Scripture and Salvation History - 8Wk 3
SPIR 301 Applied Catholic Spirituality - 8Wk 3
THEO 304 Foundations of Catholicism - 8Wk 3
THEO 313 God, Man and the Universe - 8Wk 3
THEO 332 Jesus Christ: God, Man, and Savior - 8Wk 3
THEO 342 The Four Constitutions of Vatican II - 8Wk 3
THEO 353 Sacraments: Masterworks of God - 8Wk 3
THEO 468 Principles of Moral Theology - 8Wk 3


Elective Courses

Course Number Course Title Credits
CHIST 314 Church History: Early Christians to the Middle Ages - 8Wk 3
CHIST 324 Church History: Renaissance to the Modern Church - 8Wk 3
SCRPT 310 Reading Scripture Theologically - 8Wk 3
THEO 103 The Moral Life: Living the Virtues - 8Wk 3
THEO 418 Introduction to St. Thomas Aquinas 3

Click here to see a listing of Online Seminars

Students who complete this program should be able to:

  • Synthesize the essential and fundamental content of Catholic Doctrine as described in the Catechism of the Catholic Church,
  • Explain the Profession of Faith with increased understanding,
  • Demonstrate knowledge of Sacred Scripture by describing the essential theological concepts of Church teaching and worship derived from the Scriptures, and demonstrate how Jesus Christ is the center of Salvation History,
  • Describe the nature of the Church and the vocation of the laity infurthering the mission of Jesus Christ,
  • Identify with greater precision the foundations of Catholic morality and its applications in his or her life,
  • Describe the preparation, celebration, and effects of the Sacraments, and incorporate sacramental theology within the work of catechesis,
  • Integrate catechetical principles and methods for faithful catechesis particularly in directing religious education or evangelization programs, and
  • Understand the proper relationship of Christian prayer, Sacred Scripture, and doctrinal truths to influence a Catholic approach to daily life.