At its February 7-8, 2019, meeting, the Board of Commissioners of the Association of Theological Schools (ATS) unanimously voted CDU’s Graduate School of Theology a Candidate for Accreditation. Founded in 1918, ATS accredits more than 270 graduate schools of theology and most Catholic seminaries in the United States and Canada. Member schools offer post-baccalaureate professional and academic degree programs to educate students for the practice of ministry and for teaching and research in the theological disciplines.

The Graduate School of Theology’s purpose is to provide a transformative learning experience in the digital space and to develop leaders and teachers for the new evangelization in the 21st century. Nearly ninety percent of Graduate School of Theology alumni serve the Church in some ministry, including as youth ministers, directors of religious education, catechists, school teachers, liturgy directors, professors of theology, parish administrators, religious sisters, and diocesan staff. Others use their education to work in the public, non-profit, or private sectors in a variety of fields including education, healthcare, and business.

Notable alumni include Dr. Angelo Giardino, chair of the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Utah School of Medicine. Well known within the medical community, his career has focused on treating and preventing suffering in children who may have experienced abuse or neglect. Dr. Giardino serves on the National Board of Directors for Prevent Child Abuse America, the National Review Board for the Protection of Children, and the U.S. Center for SafeSport, in addition to CDU’s Board of Trustees. He also serves as a consultant to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Fifty-two percent of Graduate School of Theology alumni are women. Since CDU was founded in 1983, its educational programs have offered women an opportunity to more fully enter into the life and leadership of the Church community. About one-third of the graduate school’s faculty members are women, and a number of women serve on CDU’s Board of Trustees.

Collectively, ATS member schools enroll approximately 74,500 students and employ more than 7,200 faculty and administrators. The mission of ATS is to promote the improvement and enhancement of theological schools to the benefit of communities of faith and the broader public. Member schools are committed to the following shared values: diversity, quality and improvement, collegiality, and leadership. Candidacy is the first step toward full accreditation, which would likely be achieved in a period of two years.

CDU has been continuously accredited by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission, a national accreditor, since 1986 and is authorized to grant degrees through the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission. In November 2018, CDU was named a Candidate for Accreditation with the Higher Learning Commission, which accredits post-secondary educational institutions in a 19-state region that includes West Virginia, where CDU is headquartered.