Continuing Education Certificates

"Truth means more than knowledge: knowing the truth leads us to discover the good" (Benedict XVI, 2008).

Far from being just a communication of factual data – 'informative' – the loving truth of the Gospel is creative and life-changing – 'performative' (cf. Spe Salvi, 2). Catholic Distance University recognizes that many Catholic adults desire to study the Faith so they can actively share this knowledge with others and work to evangelize the world. Catholic adults, by nature of their Baptism, are called to an ongoing reflection on the 2000 year heritage the Church has recorded and developed in order to integrate the Faith into contemporary society.

In response, CDU offers several noncredit certificates designed to provide a systematic approach to Catholic doctrine, Sacred Scripture, Catholic morality, Church history, catechetical principles and methods, and Vatican II. The tabs below give more information about each of these certificates.

Basic Certificate in Apologetics

Given our increasingly secular society and the atheistic worldview often promoted by the mainstream media and academic/scientific establishment, the need to strengthen the faith of Catholics and equip the faithful to better explain and share the Faith has never been greater.

This need is especially evident in the large number of young people who are leaving the Catholic Faith, especially during and after college.

By participating in the seminars for this certificate program, you can strengthen your faith and equip yourself to better explain and share with family and friends why Catholics believe what we do about God, Jesus, Salvation, Church, Suffering and Evil.

View Certificate Outcomes

Certificate Requirements

Completion of the following six apologetics seminars:


For a description of each of the 2017 seminars, click HERE and then click on each seminar icon.


Request Certificate

Students should complete the required seminars and then submit a Certificate Request Form.

Certificate in the Catechism of the Catholic Church

Benedict XVI reminds Catholics that the Catechism of the Catholic Church is “a precious and indispensable tool” for the task of evangelization. Those who study the Catechism will be able to give reasons for what they believe, and in this way, assist the numerous people who are experiencing a crisis of Faith in our contemporary society.  Most dioceses of the United States require catechists to have a basic course on the Catechism of the Catholic Church.  Those who achieve the CDU Certificate in the Catechism of the Catholic Church will have the confidence and ability to assist others in using the Catechism of the Catholic Church to find answers to questions about Church doctrine, liturgical life, Christian morality, and prayer.

Certificate Objectives

 Certificate Requirements

  • Completion of five courses in the Catechism of the Catholic Church series

 

For a description of each of these courses, click HERE and then click on each course icon.

 

Required Courses for the Certificate in the Catechism of the Catholic Church

Course Number Course Title CEUs
THEO N008 Christian Prayer 2
THEO N004 Introduction to the Catechism 2
THEO N005 The Profession of Faith 2
THEO N006 The Celebration of the Christian Mystery 3
THEO N007 Life in Christ 3


Request Certificate
Students should complete the required courses and then submit a Certificate Request Form.


Basic Certificate in Catechetics

This catechetical certificate demonstrates that a catechist has taken courses designed to impart the essential knowledge and skills needed to hand on the Faith. Ideally, this initial formation should precede the beginning of one’s catechetical ministry. Catechists who complete these basic courses and seminars should have the confidence and skills to be a parish catechist.

Certificate Objectives

Certificate Requirements

  • Completion of four theology courses on the Catechism of the Catholic Church
  • Completion of one required Catechetics course
  • Completion of one required Scripture course


For a description of each of these courses, click HERE and then click on each course icon.

Required Independent Study Courses in the Catechism of the Catholic Church

Course Number Course Title CEUs
THEO N008 Christian Prayer 2
THEO N005 The Profession of Faith 2
THEO N006 The Celebration of the Christian Mystery 3
THEO N007 Life in Christ 3


Required Catechetical Independent Study Course

Course Number Course Title CEU's
RELED N001 Basic Catechetics for Discipleship, Part 1 1


Required Scripture Course

Course Number Course Title CEU's
SCRPT N004 Introduction to Scripture and the Gospel Message 1


Request Certificate
Students should complete the required courses and then submit a Certificate Request Form.

Advanced Certificate in Catechetics

Those who teach with authority change lives. Children, young people, and adults eagerly respond to knowledgeable and trained catechists. This training takes commitment, dedication, confidence, and zeal. With the courses and seminars required by the Advanced Certificate in Catechetics, lay volunteers, religion teachers, and parents become true catechists – those trained to teach the Faith with wisdom and knowledge.

Certificate Objectives

Certificate Requirements

  • Prerequisite certificate: Basic Certificate in Catechetics
  • Completion of the following required catechetical course RELED N042 Forming Disciples: Basic Tasks of Catechesis
  • Completion of any 2 Scripture online seminars or independent study courses
  • Completion of 1 online seminar or independent study course on Church History
  • Completion of 1 online seminar on Social Teachings or the independent study course: THEO N106 Constitutions on the Church in the Modern World
  • Completion of 1 online seminar or independent study course on Spirituality

Course List

For a description of each of these courses, click HERE and then click on each course icon.

View list of Online Seminar Courses.


Request Certificate
Students should complete the required courses and then submit a Certificate Request Form.

Basic Certificate in Catholic Education

Speaking to Catholic Educators in America, Benedict XVI remarked:

In every aspect of their education, students need to be encouraged to articulate a vision of the harmony of faith and reason capable of guiding a life-long pursuit of knowledge and virtue. As ever, an essential role in this process is played by teachers who inspire others by their evident love of Christ, their witness of sound devotion and their commitment to that sapientia Christiana which integrates faith and life, intellectual passion and reverence for the splendor of truth both human and divine, steadfast in faith and witness. (Benedict XVI, May 5, 2012.)

Each of the following courses addresses ways that Catholic Educators can fulfill their essential roles of teaching, inspiring, and witnessing the Church’s patrimony of integrating life with the harmony of faith and reason.

View Certificate Outcomes

Certificate Requirements

Completion of the following five independent study courses:

  • RELED N066  The Catholic School: Identity and Leadership (1 CEU)
  • RELED N034  Pioneers in American Catholic Education (1 CEU)
  • RELED N042  Forming Disciples: The Basic Tasks of Catechesis (1 CEU)
  • RELED N004  NDC: Vitalizing the Catechetical Ministry (1 CEU)
  • THEO N168 JPII: The Culture of Life (1 CEU)

Completion of one of the following independent study courses or seminars:

  • RELED N001  Basic Catechetics for Discipleship (1 CEU)
  • RELED N036  Teaching High School Religion (1 CEU)
  • RELED N113 Missionary Discipleship: Encounter Jesus and Spread the Good News (1 CEU)  

Request Certificate

Students should complete the required seminars and then submit a Certificate Request Form.

Basic Certificate in Christian Morality

St. John Paul II clearly defined Christian Morality in the encyclical: Veritatis Splendor.  In that magnificent document, he describes morality as “not so much about rules to be followed, but about the full meaning of life. This is in fact the aspiration at the heart of every human decision and action, the quiet searching and interior prompting which sets freedom in motion.” …Today more than ever we need to have clarity about how the gift of freedom can lead us to the absolute Good, God Himself Who has revealed Himself fully in Jesus Christ” (VS 7) 

St. John Paul II further points out that “ the Second Vatican Council called for a renewal of moral theology, so that its teaching would display the lofty vocation which the faithful have received in Christ…”(VS 7).  This vocation not only requires finding Christ in order to follow Him, but inviting Christ to walk the path of life with each person. (VS 7)

View Certificate Outcomes

Certificate Requirements

Completion of the following six independent study courses:

  • Life in Christ (THEO N007) 1 CEU
  • Basics of Morality (THEO N163) 1.5 CEUs
  • Constitution on the Church in the Modern World (THEO N106) 1 CEU
  • The Ten Commandments: One – Five (THEO N164) 1.5 CEU’s
  • The Ten Commandments: Six – Ten (THEO N165) 1 CEU)
  • The Way to Inner Peace and Mercy  (THEO N068) 1 CEU

Request Certificate

Students should complete the required seminars and then submit a Certificate Request Form.

Basic Certificate in the New Testament

“Besides the four Gospels, the canon of the New Testament also contains the epistles of St. Paul and other apostolic writings, composed under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, by which, according to the wise plan of God, those matters which concern Christ the Lord are confirmed, His true teaching is more and more fully stated, the saving power of the divine work of Christ is preached, the story is told of the beginnings of the Church and its marvelous growth, and its glorious fulfillment is foretold.” (DV 20)

View Certificate Outcomes

Certificate Requirements

Completion of the following six independent study courses:

  • The Gospel of St. Matthew (SCRPT N066) 1 CEU 
  • The Gospel of St. Mark (SCRPT N067) 1 CEU
  • The Gospel of St. Luke (SCRPT N068) 1 CEU
  • The Gospel of St. John (SCRPT N162) 1 CEU
  • The Acts of the Apostles (SCRPT N061) 1 CEU
  • The Letters of St. Paul, Part I (SCRPT N174) 1 CEU

Request Certificate

Students should complete the required seminars and then submit a Certificate Request Form.

Basic Certificate in the Old Testament

“Now the books of the Old Testament, in accordance with the state of mankind before the time of salvation established by Christ, reveal to all men the knowledge of God and of man and the ways in which God, just and merciful, deals with men. These books, though they also contain some things which are incomplete and temporary, nevertheless show us true divine pedagogy. (1) These same books, then, give expression to a lively sense of God, contain a store of sublime teachings about God, sound wisdom about human life, and a wonderful treasury of prayers, and in them the mystery of our salvation is present in a hidden way. Christians should receive them with reverence” (DV 15)

View Certificate Outcomes

Certificate Requirements

Completion of the following six independent study courses:

  • Introduction to Genesis (SCRPT N022) 1 CEU
  • The Psalms: Israel’s Prayer and Ours (SCRPT N050) 1 CEU
  • The Historical Books of the Old Testament (SCRPT N034) 1 CEU
  • Wisdom Books of the Old Testament (SCRPT N145) 1 CEU
  • The Prophets and Morality (SCRPT N148) 1 CEU
  • Christ: The Suffering Servant of Isaiah (SCRPT N 146) 1 CEU

Request Certificate

Students should complete the required seminars and then submit a Certificate Request Form.

Basic Certificate in Prayer and Spirituality

Pope Francis reminds us that prayer is a way of life—a spiritual way of living day to day:

“Pray always, without ever losing heart” (Lk 18:1). This is the Christian way of life: remaining steadfast in prayer, in order to remain steadfast in faith and testimony. Here once again we may hear a voice within us, saying: “But Lord, how can we not grow weary?  We are human… even Moses grew weary…!”  True, each of us grows weary. Yet we are not alone; we are part of a Body! We are members of the Body of Christ, the Church, whose arms are raised day and night to heaven, thanks to the presence of the Risen Christ and his Holy Spirit. Only in the Church, and thanks to the Church’s prayer, are we able to remain steadfast in faith and witness. (Pope Francis Homily_Oct16, 2016.)

Each of the following courses address ways of praying that are meant to bear fruit in daily living.

View Certificate Outcomes

Certificate Requirements

Completion of the following six independent study courses:

  • Christian Prayer (THEO N008) 2 CEUs
  • The Our Father: Gateway to Scripture (SPIR N057) 1 CEU
  • Scriptural foundations of the Hail Mary (SPIR N037) 1 CEU
  • Liturgy of the Hours (THEO N158) 1 CEU
  • Eucharistic Devotions (SPIR N055) 1 CEU
  • Classics in Prayer and the Spiritual Life (SPIR N156) 1 CEU

Request Certificate

Students should complete the required seminars and then submit a Certificate Request Form.

Basic Certificate in Vatican II

The Second Vatican Council, according to Benedict XVI, “is a powerful appeal to us to make a daily rediscovery of the beauty of our faith, to understand it deeply through a more intense relationship with the Lord, and to live out our Christian vocation to the full.” This Basic Certificate in Vatican II will equip a person with knowledge of the most significant documents that were developed by the Council Fathers, and with an increased appreciation for the universal vocation to holiness that the baptized are called to embrace.

This certificate is made possible through the generous support of the OSV Institute.

Certificate Objectives

Certificate Requirements

  • Completion of 6 required online independent study courses/seminars


For a description of each of these courses, click HERE and then click on each course icon.v

Required Independent Study Courses/Seminars

Course Number Course Title CEUs
THEO N105 The Constitution on the Church, Lumen gentium 1
THEO N106 The Constitution on the Church in the Modern World, Gaudium et spes 1
THEO N107 The Constitution on Divine Revelation, Dei Verbum 1
THEO N108 Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, Sacrosanctum concilium 1
SPIR N064 Vatican II: Lay Spirituality 1
CHIST N161 History of Vatican Council II 1

 
Request Certificate

Students should complete the required courses and then submit a Certificate Request Form.

Basic Certificate in Church History

The Catholic Church has been an integral part in the development of civilizations since the time of the Apostles.  In today’s society, Catholics need to know the history of the Church to intelligently respond to questions and inaccurate facts so frequently repeated by the media. Those who complete the courses and seminars required for receiving this certificate will be able to describe the history of the Church in America and portray correctly the role and activities of the Church during several historical periods in the last 2000 years.

Certificate Objectives

 

Certificate Requirements

  • Completion of three History of the Church in America online independent study courses
  • Completion of three elective Church History online seminars/courses


For a description of each of these courses, click HERE and then click on each course icon.

Required History of the Church in America Courses

Course Number Course Title CEUs
CHIST N128 Early American Catholic History 1492 - 1808 1
CHIST N138 The Rise of American Catholicism 1808 - 1908 1
CHIST N148 Modern American Catholic History 1908 - Present 1


Elective Church History Online Seminars

 

Request Certificate
Students should complete the required courses and then submit a Certificate Request Form.

Basic Certificate in Sacred Scripture

Pope Benedict XVI strongly encouraged Christians to read and reflect on the Bible by pointing out both the significance of the Scriptures as the basis for ecumenical discussion and the importance of being knowledgeable about the strong connections between the Old and New Testaments. This Basic Certificate in Sacred Scripture will indicate that one has obtained an overview of the structure and content of the Bible as well as the Catholic approach to the use of Sacred Scripture.

Certificate Objectives

 

Certificate Requirements

  • Completion of 2 required Scripture independent study courses
  • Completion of any 2 Scripture seminars focusing on the Old Testament
  • Completion of any 2 Scripture seminars focusing on the New Testament

For a description of each of these courses, click HERE and then click on each course icon.

Required Scripture Independent Study Courses

Course Number Course Title CEU's
SCRPT N004 Introduction to Scripture and the Gospel Message 1
SCRPT N113 The Way Catholics Use Scripture: Pope Benedict’s Verbum Domini 1


Elective Scripture Online Seminars

 

Request Certificate
Students should complete the required courses and then submit a Certificate Request Form.

"It was important for me to pursue a degree as a way to learn more about the Catholic faith and to grow in my relationship with God. The Bachelor completion program offered a systematic way of learning the faith while completing my Bachelor's degree, something I've wanted to finish for many years."

-Dawn Louise Johnson
BA in Theology