Free Virtual Discussion Night: Tropical Tree Diversity with Dr. Dan Koenemann

Mark your calendars for a fascinating discussion on Tuesday, June 18, at 7:30 p.m. EST as CDU welcomes Dr. Dan Koenemann for a captivating presentation “Toward a Better Understanding of Tropical Tree Diversity.” 

This virtual event will be held on Zoom. Secure your spot by registering here.

Dr. Koenemann, a renowned expert in tropical forestry, will guide us through the awe-inspiring world of tropical forests. His presentation aims to deepen our appreciation of these vital ecosystems by exploring their intricate diversity. From morphological and ecological variations to genetic and reproductive differences, tropical forests offer a treasure trove of natural wonder that Dr. Koenemann is eager to share. 

Dr. Koenemann hopes that participants will “come to a greater realization of the wonder of the natural world and of creation.” Catholic Social Teaching invites us to enter into a relationship of respect and care for the earth. Dr. Koenemann’s presentation will help form a fuller understanding of the delicacy of the environment and our role in caring for God’s creation.

This appreciation will inspire respect and a feeling of responsibility to care for these God-given environments, viewing them as a divine gift deserving of our stewardship.

Join us as we discuss some key topics, including:

  • The incredible diversity of plants in tropical forests
  • The various forms of diversity within these ecosystems, including morphological, ecological, genetic, and reproductive aspects
  • The crucial importance of ongoing research in understanding and preserving tropical forests

This event is not only an opportunity to expand your knowledge but also to be transformed by the divinely creative beauty of tropical forests. Dr. Koenemann’s insights promise to leave you inspired and motivated to contribute to the conservation of our planet’s most diverse and vibrant habitats.

Don’t miss this chance to engage with one of the foremost experts in tropical tree diversity. Register today and prepare to embark on a journey into the heart of nature’s most magnificent forests.

Discussion Night “The mystery of church in the thought of Gottfriend W. Leibniz (1646-1715)”

You’re Invited: Virtual Discussion Night onThe mystery of church in the thought of Gottfriend W. Leibniz (1646-1715) with Rev. Dr. Avelino Gonzalez-Ferrer

Join us as we delve into the mysteries of Leibniz’s understanding of the Nature of the Church. This promises to be a stimulating and spiritually enriching event that you won’t want to miss.

Mark your calendar for this enlightening virtual Discussion Night on April 25th at 7:30 p.m. EST on Zoom.

About Rev. Dr. Avelino Gonzalez-Ferrer
Our speaker, Rev. Dr. Avelino Gonzalez-Ferrer, brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to this discussion. As a Catholic priest of the Archdiocese of Washington and former Vatican official, Dr. Gonzalez-Ferrer holds a doctorate in Sacred Theology from the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas in Rome, Italy. His insights promise to deepen our understanding of Leibniz’s theological-metaphysics and its relevance to contemporary ecclesiology.

We’ll Explore

  • Gain a deeper understanding of Leibniz’s concept of the Church as a “moral person.”
  • Learn how Leibniz’s theological-metaphysics can inform our contemporary understanding of the nature of the Church.
  • Engage in stimulating discussion and exchange ideas with fellow members of the CDU community.


Date: April 25th/span>

Time: 7:30 p.m. EST

Platform: Zoom

To register follow the link 

Gala 2023

For more Photos and Videos of our breathtaking event please click the links.
Thank you for supporting our 40th Anniversary Gala.
To make a donation, click here.


Catholic Distance University celebrated 40 years of its mission to communicate the mind and heart of the Church in a digital world. The annual CDU gala was held at the Army Navy Country Club in Arlington, Virginia. A symbolic way to celebrate 40 years, the Catholic Diocese of Arlington is the founding diocese of CDU. It was a night to remember when Dr. Michael P. Warsaw, the Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of EWTN Global Catholic Network, was honored with the Founders Award, the university’s highest distinction.

In addition, President Emeritus Marianne Evans Mount, Ph.D., was presented with the Vatican’s Dame of St. Gregory Cross by Papal Nuncio, His Eminence Cardinal Christophe Pierre, and the Most Reverend Timothy P. Broglio, President of the USCCB. This distinction is highly deserved. Dr. Mount has a storied history of supporting Catholic education and evangelization. Since the establishment of the Order of St. Gregory the Great on September 1, 1831, only 25 people have been awarded the Grand Cross. The honor is bestowed upon individuals in recognition of their personal service to the Holy See and the Catholic Church, their extraordinary labors, and the examples they set in their communities and their countries.

The gala drew guests from all across the world to join the Convocation Mass, including graduates, faculty, staff, supporters, friends, and family.

Dr. Maria Sophia Aguirre named CDU’s next president
After announcing her retirement last year, Dr. Marianne Evans Mount passed the reins of the Office of the President to someone new. Dr. Mount was involved in CDU leadership in many capacities before becoming president in 2008. Her passion to see the university succeed has influenced her to remain involved in the university, including by becoming a trustee of the Board.

Following a wide search full of talented candidates at the top of their field, Dr. Maria Sophia Aguirre was selected as the new president of CDU in June 2023. A dynamic, leading-edge addition to the university, Dr. Aguirre is a visionary who is equipped and ready to carry the university into the future.

High achievement for the university
This year, CDU was ranked fourth among the top online theology programs by Forbes, CDU being the top Catholic online theology program. The Associate of Arts in Liberal Arts degree was ranked 17th out of 3,000 online programs by, a trusted resource for higher education program rankings and planning. The gala highlighted all of these achievements and more, all while celebrating the class of 2023 graduates.

Dr. Sophia Aguirre’s Visionary Conversation on Guadalupe Network Radio

In a recent episode of “Catholic Lunch Break” on Guadalupe Network Radio, Dr. Sophia Aguirre joined host Wyatt Goolsby for a compelling conversation that highlighted her journey in Catholic Distance University’s mission, education and her innovative vision for the future of Catholic Distance University.

Dr. Sophia Aguirre, renowned for her expertise in economics and higher education brings a unique perspective to the dialogue. As an educator, author, and advocate for the marginalized, her insights resonate deeply with those seeking to integrate their faith into their daily lives and societal interactions.

They talk about the transformative potential of technology, and how CDU is pioneering the integration of AI and big data design into the curriculum, providing students with cutting-edge skills that are essential for success in the digital age. However, unlike secular institutions CDU remains deeply committed to ensuring that these advancements are guided by a Christian anthropology—a framework that recognizes the inherent dignity and worth of every human person.

CDU also prepares to launch new initiatives in online education, including an exclusively Spanish-language program on Catholic social teaching. By offering students a holistic education that integrates faith, reason, and technological innovation, CDU seeks to empower them to become leaders in their fields while remaining steadfast in their Christian identity.

In conclusion, Dr. Sophia Aguirre’s goals for Catholic education, as shared on “Catholic Lunch Break,” offers a compelling glimpse into the future of online learning. With a focus on liberal arts education, AI, Ecclesial administration management and big data design that prepares students for success in their careers. As we embark on this journey together, may we draw inspiration from CDUs vision and strive to build a world where education nurtures both minds and souls.

To listen to the full episode please visit Guadalupe Radio Network

To watch the full interview please visit Catholic Distance University (

Discussion Night


You’re Invited: Virtual Discussion Night on Home and Identity with Dr. Aguirre

Join us for an intellectual deep-dive on Creating Home and Identity with Dr. Maria Sophia Aguirre, President of Catholic Distance University.
Mark your calendar for this enlightening virtual Discussion Night on February 7th at 7:30 p.m. EST on Zoom.

About Dr. Maria Sophia Aguirre
With years of dedicated academic research in the subjects of home, economics, and identity, Dr. Aguirre’s insights promise to illuminate the role that home plays in shaping successful societies and fostering authentic happiness, a conversation that so desperately needs to happen in our rapidly changing society.

We’ll Explore

  • The impact and consequences of introducing new technologies into our lives and homes
  • The why and how of creating a person-centered home for forming a healthy relationship with identity and self
  • The profound impact of family dinners and relationships on the building of human and social capital
  • The significance of actions, even those within the safety and sanctuary of our own homes


Date: February 7th

Time: 7:30 p.m. EST

Platform: Zoom


New Year Message

Joyous New Year’s To You and Yours

Dear CDU community,
As we wrap up one year and start another, I wanted to take a moment to reflect on the year behind us
and extend warm wishes for the one ahead.

To you and all of your loved ones, I wish you a new year filled with the blessings and joy of the Lord. May
we all draw nearer to the heart of God and grow in holiness this year. Let us continue to pray for peace,
hope, and love throughout the world for 2024.

It has been a wonderful experience hitting the ground running and getting to know the university
community in 2023 as I started my tenure as president.

There are big things in store for the university in 2024. We look forward to sharing exciting news with
you in the coming months, including the development of new undergraduate and graduate programs
and a rebranding of the university.

I am so grateful for the blessing that you are to Catholic Distance University. Your support of our
community is immeasurable.

May God bless you in 2024. Know of my prayers for you and your loved ones each day.

New Year’s Blessings,
Sophia Aguirre

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