Recent Grad Reflects on the Value of a CDU Education

CDU Student Christopher Ricketts

Graduate Christopher E. Ricketts recently earned his BA degree in Theology. “The degree completion program was perfect because it allowed me to finish what I had already started,” he says. Christopher was able to apply the general education credits he had earned at another university toward his degree requirements, and he was able to use his GI Bill benefits to finance his education.

“I am deeply grateful for these last two years at CDU,” he says.

Christopher decided to pursue a degree in theology after realizing that he was a “typical cradle Catholic.” “I did not have the knowledge of the Faith one would expect of someone who had practiced it since birth,” he says. “I wanted to learn more about our Faith, so I enrolled at CDU to learn more and grow in appreciation of the rich beauty of the Church.”

A parishioner at Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic Church in Winchester, Virginia, Christopher is an active volunteer. “My passion in serving the Church is through music,” he says. He sings in the church choir, cantors for weekly liturgies, funerals, and weddings, and occasionally directs the choir at rehearsal. He also sings for a semi-professional choir based in Ashburn, Virginia. “It gives me great joy to give glory to God by singing during the holy sacrifice of the Mass,” he says.

“I was looking for online schools, and CDU stood out to me as having a great program,” Christopher says. “Not only was the material challenging, but I found the discussion with fellow classmates to be quite engaging and rewarding,” he adds.

Of his faculty and classmates, he says, “It gives me hope and reassurance that there are so many holy and knowledgeable people who serve Christ with joyful hearts. I am in awe of them and appreciate their input as I learned so much from them.” 

Reflecting on his experience at CDU, he says, “In one sense, my studies opened my eyes to the depth, beauty, and richness of our Catholic Faith, and allowed me to see how much I had been missing. On the other hand, these same studies have given me a brief understanding of how much I have yet to learn.”

Earlier this year, Christopher left his job as a store manager working 50+ hours per week to homeschool his children and be available so his wife can focus on her non-profit ministry, Filumena Birth & Bereavement, which provides doula services to expectant mothers experiencing both live births and miscarriage or stillbirth.

He is considering graduate programs, but for now he plans to continue reading about and growing in the Faith. “In some way or another, I plan to serve the Church in whatever way possible to spread the Good News about our Lord,” Christopher says.