Program Overview

  • Offers Church History study at the graduate level without the requirements of a full Master’s program.

Program Goals

  • Summarize knowledge of major stages in Catholic Church history
  • Identify and analyze at least one major historical event in the Church
  • Apply theological and secular methodologies to Church history and their relationship to one another
  • Interpret trends in ecclesial historiography
  • Develop necessary reading skills to critically engage historical texts in light of the best scholarship and Church tradition.

Program Requirements

  • 18 Credits

Program Time Limit: 3 years

Application Process

  • Complete the free online application for admission.
  • Have an official transcript from the accredited institution where you completed your undergraduate degree sent to
  • Have someone who is familiar with your academic or professional work submit a letter of recommendation to
  • Submit a brief statement of purpose (250 words or less) to on why you are pursuing online graduate study in theology.

Students will be notified of acceptance via email shortly after all materials have been submitted and reviewed.

Accepted students may begin by taking one of three courses: THEO 503 The Catholic Theological Tradition, THEO 510 Revelation and Faith, or SCRPT 530 Introduction to Scripture and Salvation History.

Credits earned are transferable to the MA degree programs as students may decide later to pursue a full degree.

Program Costs

Tuition and Fee details can be found here.

For more information on aid visit our Financial Aid Office.

Course Preview

Fill out the form to begin the application process if you plan to earn an undergraduate or graduate degree or certificate.

Graduate Application

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Course Lists

Students will earn a total of twelve credits from the following selection of courses:

Course Number Course Title Credits
THEO 503 The Catholic Theological Tradition 3
CHIST 514 Church History I: Early Christians to Middle Ages 3
CHIST 524 Church History II: Renaissance to Modern Church 3
THEO 632 Christology 3

CDU reserves the right to substitute suitable comparable courses different from the ones listed for the student to complete the certificate.

6 credits required. Courses are 8 weeks long unless otherwise noted.

Course Number Course Title Credits
CHIST 544 History of the Catholic Church in America 3
CST 500/PHIL 512 Foundations of Catholic Social Thought 3
CST 510 Social Doctrine of the Church, 1891-1965 3
CST 520 Catholic Social Teaching: John Paul II Benedict XVI, and Francis 3
SCRPT 530 Introduction to Scripture and Salvation History 3
SCRPT 615 History of Biblical Interpretation 12 weeks 3
SCRPT 640 Isaiah and the Prophets 12 weeks 3


In a 2022 survey of CDU graduate students, 100% reported that they had achieved their learning goals.

CDU Offers:

  • Authentic Catholic teaching
  • Flexibility to study where and when you choose
  • The lowest undergraduate tuition of any U.S.-based online university offering Catholic theology
  • A global Catholic community
  • Knowledgeable and accessible faculty
  • Engaging online courses with discussion forums
  • Mobile app for study on the go
  • Online library staffed by a theological librarian
  • 24/7 technical support

Get started today!

The certificate program is offered through the Graduate School of Theology, which is accredited by the Commission on Accrediting of the Association of Theological Schools. The CDU Graduate School of Theology aims to provide a transformative learning experience in the digital space and to develop leaders for the new evangelization in the 21st century.