Is your institution accredited by at least one regional or national education association? (Yes/No)
Please identify each accreditor and indicate whether it is approved by the U.S. Department of Education:
The Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC) – yes
The Council for Higher Education Accreditation – yes
The West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission has authorized Catholic Distance University to operate as an institution of higher education in West Virginia. CDU is certified to operate as an out-of-state institution by the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia.
Please cite evidence of student or alumni accomplishment, such as graduation rate, graduate school placement, job placement, awards, etc.
The 2019 graduates in the BA in Theology completion program fulfilled program requirements with an average GPA of 3.72 and an average time of 3.67 years. Over the past eight years, 89% of those eligible to graduate completed the program and were awarded degrees.
In 2019 those who received the Associate of Arts Degree with a concentration in Catholic Studies were awarded the degree with an average GPA of 3.34 and spent an average of 3 years to complete.
Of the 2016-2019 alumni, 84% of undergraduate alumni are working or volunteering in Church-related ministry positions.
Please identify any notable public recognition of your institution’s academic quality in the last three years, such as rankings, awards, etc.
One-hundred percent of CDU graduates responding to program exit surveys in 2019 stated that they achieved their learning goals, would recommend CDU to another, expressed satisfaction with their studies, and indicated that they are equipped to teach the Faith—all seem to indicate the value of CDU services and educational offerings.
CDU has been an accredited distance education institution for more than 35 years, was the first to offer online Catholic education in the United States, and is committed to this service of Catholic theology, catechetics, and evangelization for years to come. Ninety percent (90%) of those who graduated from 2014–2019 are currently in Church-related ministries.
Without neglecting difficult topics and ideas, how does your institution avoid leading students into serious error and spiritual harm through blasphemous, dissident, or heretical material in the bookstore, library, lectures, and course content?
CDU carefully screens all faculty for commitment to magisterial teachings as evidenced by past writings, affiliations, etc. Those teaching in a theology-related discipline either sign an Oath of Fidelity to the universal and ordinary Magisterium or receive a Mandatum from the Bishop of Arlington. Those teaching in a non-theology related discipline are required to complete a response to mission form prior to their hiring. All faculty hires must be approved by the Faculty Governance Council. Secondly, course syllabi themselves must be approved by the Faculty Governance Council after a process of comment and query which examines the course objectives, content, the choice of readings for adequacy, suitability and orthodoxy. Course books that have already been vetted in this manner are the only books offered for sale in the CDU bookstore. Thirdly, the course content itself is carefully screened by the Academic Dean or the Faculty Chair so that confusing or theologically ambiguous statements can be clarified. Finally, because CDU operates completely online, the university has the ability to monitor not only the course content but much of the communication that takes place between faculty and students. Library books are added to the CDU library by the librarian in consultation with faculty.
How are the insights of the Catholic faith integrated throughout the curriculum and course content in all subject areas?
CDU follows the vision of a Catholic university according to St. John Paul II in Ex Corde Ecclesiae, a vision that stresses the unity of all truth, and the integration of faith and reason. CDU believes that all courses ought to be designed to enhance the study of theology while providing a broad, liberal arts education that stimulates a desire for lifelong learning, a continuing sense of wonder, and the courage to live an authentic Christian life in and through specific vocational career paths and in our common vocation as human persons.
All the general education courses offered at CDU have a theological inflection, while respecting the principles proper to each discipline. The biology course is the study of living beings, but will include the theological ramifications of topics, including evolution and assisted reproductive technologies. The courses in composition and literature are designed to equip students in the literary, analytical, and verbal skills needed in the study of theology. The mathematics course is designed to enable students to more fully appreciate the truth of Galileo’s claim that “Mathematics is the alphabet by which God has written the universe.” In addition to stressing the beauty of math in the created order, the course also establishes math’s practical relevance to everyday living. The philosophy courses are specifically designed to establish the basis in human reason on which the truths of the Faith are built.
How does the institution’s academic program form students in love and knowledge of God, for sainthood?
The love and knowledge of God centers around the Person of Jesus Christ. Appropriately, CDU’s academic programs are Christ-centered not only in theological courses but in courses in all disciplines that have as their premise the unity of all truth found in the Logos of God.
How does the institution’s academic program prepare students for the renewal of culture in the light of Christ?
CDU’s academic programs all have pride of place for the study of theology at the center in relation to other disciplines. Each program in its own way, however, is intended to equip students to witness “Joy from the Truth” to the wider world. This is done through the study of philosophy as a pathway to common truth shared by all people. It is done through the study of human civilization at the undergraduate level. It is also done though many courses in theology and other disciplines that specifically train students with awareness of how best to engage with ideas present in the wider world.