MA in Theology and Educational Ministry

The MA in Theology and Educational Ministry is a variation of the standard graduate theology degree, specifically tailored to Directors of Religious Education (DREs), secondary school teachers, and catechists.   This MA program option requires 36 credits, culminating with a program portfolio and reflection paper.  The program includes courses in Social Teachings, Salvation History, Catholic Spirituality, and Ecumenism, in addition to basic core theology courses, which will fully equip DREs and teachers in their important role of faith formation in parishes and schools.  Learners selecting this option will have the necessary coursework to provide sound religious formation for Catholic youth and adults, and accurate information to discuss the Faith with those who may be seeking a faith life or who are otherwise unaffiliated with the Catholic Church. 

The Our Sunday Visitor Institute has generously provided funding to develop the MA in Theology and Educational Ministry.

  • The MA program at CDU 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.
  • Our distance learning format gives students the flexibility to study at times and places that best fit their schedules, eliminating the need to spend extended time on a college campus or driving to class each week.
  • CDU is dedicated to providing a program of faithful and systematic teachings of Sacred Scripture, the living tradition of the Church, and the authentic Magisterium, and the spiritual heritage of the Fathers, Doctors and Saints.
  • CDU is the right size university to meet your needs. We have more students than you'll find in the theology departments of most major universities - and yet, because theology is all we teach, we are small enough to know each student personally.
  • To assist students and ease any 'nervousness' about taking online classes, CDU offers a full-time online technical help desk and student center faculty assistance.
  • At CDU, distance learning does not mean isolated and impersonal. Our community-based online student center provides a place for prayer and spiritual support, lively discussions and general conversation, and program-specific question and answer desks.
  • CDU courses are written and taught by world-renowned Catholic theologians and scripture scholars.

By the end of the CDU MA in Theology and Educational Ministry program, a student:

  • Synthesizes the Church’s teaching on divine Revelation including, Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition, and the Magisterium of the Church, and how it bears on the Church’s mission of evangelization.
  • Exhibits a mature understanding of the Christian vocation in the world and a capacity to teach and defend the Catholic faith in wider culture.
  • Teaches the truths of the Catholic faith.
  • Demonstrates the ability to refer, in careful and appropriate ways, to Scriptural passages related to the fundamental teachings of the Church in a demonstrated capacity to apply various approaches to Scriptural interpretation as these have been recommended in the Constitution on Divine Revelation.
  • Engages in critical theological thinking through reflection and analysis of theological and philosophical concepts and texts.
  • Achieves an understanding of the principles of Scripture, moral theology, and Catholic Social Teachings and an ability to apply them to a contemporary social, cultural, or biomedical issues.
  • Demonstrates competence to impart teachings of the Catholic faith.
  • Articulates the ethical and moral principles of the Christian life, and how they inform the growth of the Christian community.


  • Program Requirements: 36 credits- 33 core credits, 3 elective credits, 2 sets of comprehensive exams, and program portfolio
  • Program Time Limit: 5 years
  • Application Process: Submit application, $25 application fee, an  official transcript of a Baccalaureate Degree or higher level degree from an appropriately accredited institution.
  • Acceptance:  Students must successfully complete 3-credit, eight week Theo 503, The Catholic Theological Tradition course with a 3.0 (B)  or higher.

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

Required Courses

Course Number Course Title Credits
THEO 503 The Catholic Theological Tradition (8wks) 3
THEO 510 Revelation and Faith: Fundamental Theology (8 and 12 wks) 3
THEO 631 Introduction to Christology 3
THEO 641 Theology of the Church 3
THEO 551 Theology of the Sacraments 3
THEO 560 Fundamental Moral Theology (8wks) 3
  First comprehensive exam  
RELED 560 Principles of Catholic Education (8wks) 3
THEO 682 Forming a Catholic World View: Catholic Social Teachings (8wks) 3
SCRPT 530 Introduction to Scripture and Salvation History (8wks) 3
SPIR 501 Applied Catholic Spirituality (8wks) 3
THEO 640 Presenting the Faith in the Modern World: Dealing with Hard Questions 3

Elective Courses (Choose one)

Course Number Course Title Credits
THEO 617 The Evidence for God from Contemporary Physics and Philosophy 3
RELED 550 Principles for Ecclesial Service 3
Second comprehensive exam 5 randomly selected questions out of the 7 courses  

"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