Thanks to your generosity, CDU is able to reach far and wide geographically. Your support means students have access to the high-quality academic programs authentically Catholic education that CDU is proud to offer. We're so honored you're considering joining us on our mission to communicate the mind and heart of the Church in the world.



At CDU, our community is who we are. If you're an alum or want to support the strength of our alumni community, consider making a donation to the alumni appeal.


These offer emerging leaders in mission dioceses the opportunity to earn a Masters of Theology degree. Help CDU invest in leaders who will share the truth with those in need.


End of year contributions are like Christmas presents. CDU is grateful for last minute tax-deductible gifts as they offer relief from rising expenses. Remember CDU this holiday season.


The gala is a fun night packed with an academic convocation Mass for graduates, silent auction, cocktail social and formal awards dinner. Not only will you be supporting our award winners and graduates, you will also be supporting the only exclusively online Catholic university in the ACCU. As CDU’s only annual fundraiser, the Gala provides much needed revenue to fulfill our strategic mission for Catholic online education that nurtures the spiritual and intellectual life of Catholics around the globe.


CDU educates incarcerated students in the U.S. by offering faith-based continuing education correspondence courses for only $10 to cover postage, and free courses are offered in English and Spanish in hundreds of U.S. prisons through digital tablets. Our incarcerated brothers and sisters have taken 1,400,000 free courses to date. Help share the good news by donating today. Read more about our prison ministry program here.


The Faith and Word are unchanging, but technology and the needs of the Church change rapidly. The Annual Appeal supports new initiatives that help CDU grow and adapt to better educate the world about the Word, the Faith and the Truth.


CDU is striving to reach the hearts of the faithful through Catholic Social Teaching, the Church’s wisdom about building a just society and living lives of holiness amidst the challenges of the modern world. With support from the Lilly Endowment, Inc., CDU is developing new educational programs to lead the way: an AA degree in Theology with a concentration in Catholic Social Teaching taught in Spanish especially for Hispanic students, and a graduate certificate program in CST taught in English for both ordained and lay ecclesial ministers. With your support, and our experience in educating the underserved, we will provide an on ramp to higher education for Hispanic/Latino students, prepare students and ecclesial ministers for service in ministries of charity, assist parishes in their outreach efforts, and foster greater collaboration with Catholic dioceses and nonprofits that are tending to the needs of those in our communities every day. please prayerfully consider making a pledge to support future servers.


The CDU Online Library provides students 24/7 access to a comprehensive collection of books, databases, and research resources, all in digital format and comparable to the resources found in a brick-and-mortar theological or seminary library.

Information has value. Quality, up-to-date digital resources for academic studies, which are formatted for academic research, are not free and are not necessarily discoverable through a Google search. CDU needs your support to acquire these resources to support our students.

Whether materials are Purchased or Subscribed, they require a hosting platform that often results in an admin fee. Further, it is imperative that we gain access to copyrighted material with the rights to download, copy & print which increases expenses.These rights protect the students, faculty, and the institution from copyright infringement.

We need your support to preserve and grow access to a wide variety of theological resources for the next generation of church leaders and teachers.

By supporting CDU’s digital library you will ensure students, prisoners and alumni can remotely access literary resources and research support from anywhere in the world; students have access to the same level of high-quality resources they would find at a brick-and-mortar institution, as well as the Catholic academic and theological content that is not available in their local library or from popular Catholic websites.


Give a donation that supports CDU’s mission and allows the university to direct your gift to the area of greatest need. Your gift may cover escalating expenses, accreditation costs, program development, technology, new student support services, scholarships, or communications. Covering rising costs is paramount as CDU strives to remain affordable and accessible to all, especially underserved populations and those who wish to serve the Church. Your support allows us to offer programs at nearly half the cost of attending a traditional brick and mortar university. Give an unrestricted donation today.


Your generous support helps CDU to:

  • Bring on-demand online courses to Catholic adults anytime, anywhere.
  • Educate American service men and women deployed around the world.
  • Prepare directors of religious education, teachers, and catechists to teach, promote, and defend the Catholic faith
  • Bring the healing Word of God to Catholic prison inmates who take courses to deepen their faith and evangelize fellow inmates.
  • Educate Mission Diocese Scholars to serve as faithful leaders and teachers in financially challenged or geographically isolated regions.
  • Develop new courses.
  • Subsidize tuition to keep education accessible and affordable.
  • Build CDU’s campus resources and online library.
  • Deliver inspiring webinars and seminars to ignite the passion of lifelong learning and evangelization.
  • Invest in technologies that best allow CDU to teach all nations.

CDU fills a unique role in the Church and is different from other Catholic universities:

  • Our programs are offered completely online; we don’t incur the expenses of a brick and mortar campus.
  • CDU is faithful to the Magisterium, Catholic Tradition, and the Word of God.
  • Your donation impacts students directly.
  • All of our programs are focused on the Faith.
  • As a non-profit university, CDU strives to keep tuition affordable.
  • Without transportation, room, and board costs, a degree is attainable at a fraction of the cost.
  • More than 80% of students who enroll graduate.
  • Nine out 10 MA graduates are in positions that serve the Church.
  • CDU augments secular programs that do not offer faith-based courses in their degree programs.
  • Anyone can take a course regardless of location, time zone, or challenging schedules.
  • CDU can cost effectively develop specialized curriculum for emerging needs.


  • Talk about the good work that CDU is doing and help us build our brand awareness to educate more students.
  • Introduce us to your friends to expand our network.
  • Donate to CDU.



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Mail to:

Catholic Distance University

Department of Institutional Advancement

300 South George Street,

Charles Town, WV 25414

Phone:  Annie Hager 888-254-4238 ext. 727


Yes! Never forget the importance of sharing the Word and teaching others about the Faith. Choose easy monthly, quarterly, or daily contribution options with your credit card. If you can spare $1 per day, you can underwrite a credit hour for a future server, $100 per month underwrites a graduate course, $350 per month adds another collection of Catholic ebooks to our library, $750 per month underwrites a mission diocese getting unlimited access to adult continuing education courses, and $1350 per month underwrites a graduate scholarship. Contact to set up a regularly scheduled monthly donation.

Leave a lasting legacy by sharing joy from the truth and teaching all nations about the Catholic Faith.  For our friends over 70 years old who are eligible for a special tax advantage using the charitable IRA rollover provision, please remember CDU when planning your donations for your qualified charity distribution (QCD). These gifts can count toward your annual required minimum distribution from your IRA, without being taxed as income, as long as program criteria are met. Supporters enjoy this program for their year-end giving because it immediately benefits programs that support those who serve as well as the underserved. Please consult your tax advisor before completing a charitable IRA rollover. Contact for information.

Catholic Distance University has served the incarcerated church since 1984 by offering paper-based courses that feed both the spirit and the intellect. A number of CDU’s incarcerated students have earned BA and MA degrees in Theology and Advanced Catechist Certificates. Many more have taken inspiring continuing education courses that have deepened their relationship with God and provided a new sense of purpose.

  • Many  incarcerated students have used their education to evangelize fellow inmates, spreading the Word of God and knowledge of His great love to those imprisoned in an environment mired in hopelessness and despair.
  • CDU’s courses have helped inmates to become chaplains’ assistants who evangelize and minister to their fellow inmates when priests and chaplains are unavailable. In addition, many chaplains are not Catholic.

A number of paper-based educational programs are offered to incarcerated students. With opportunities ranging from continuing education to graduate-level study, there is an appropriate program or course for every inmate.

Free continuing education courses are also offered to incarcerated students through tablets available in prisons. Hundreds of thousands of incarcerated brothers and sisters have enrolled through this innovative, faithful program at no charge, and courses are now available in English and Spanish.

Non-credit Continuing Education Courses

CDU offers four non-credit continuing education courses in paper format. The only prerequisite is a letter of recommendation from the inmate’s priest or chaplain stating his or her ability to read and write at a high school level and a brief written statement from the inmate about how he or she plans to use the education to grow in faith.

Courses offered:

THEO N060 The Ten Commandments, Part A

THEO N061 The Ten Commandments, Part B

RELED N024 Christian Prayer

RELED N021 Profession of Faith

Tuition: Just $10 per course! (The Catechism of the Catholic Church is included with the first course)

Advanced Catechist Certificate

Learn to explain and communicate the content of Catholic Doctrine in a systematic way: profession of faith, liturgy and sacrament, moral teachings, and the nature of prayer for communication with God and others. Students must complete 11 non-credit continuing education courses.

Tuition: $10 per course (textbooks must be purchased separately)

Taking Courses at CDU

All courses are offered in paper format, and only one course may be taken at a time. To request an enrollment form, write to Sarah, Prison Ministry Program, CDU, 300 South George Street, Charles Town, WV 25414;

After students submit an enrollment form, all required materials, and tuition payment, CDU will mail a folder containing course materials, directions, assignments, self quizzes and tests to the incarcerated student. Return envelopes for mailing tests and assignments to CDU for grading are provided for your convenience.

If tuition payment is a problem, we encourage incarcerated students and their chaplains to ask a relative, friend, church, or organization to help sponsor the cost.

“Showing mercy to those who have strayed can be life changing. Mercy overcomes every wall, every obstacle, and can instill new life and hope in others.”—Pope Francis

“CDU courses are a marvelous resource that provides me with the knowledge needed to serve the Lord to the best of my ability.”—Pierre O.

For more information, contact Sarah Reimer, 304-724-5000, ext. 719;

The achievement of one of CDU’s deceased incarcerated students is chronicled in a book titled A Different Kind of Cell: The Story of a Murderer Who Became a Monk, available from Amazon.

The following programs are not accepting new students currently:

Undergraduate Program

  • Bachelor of Arts in Theology (undergraduate degree completion program)

Students who have not yet earned a bachelor’s degree but have earned a minimum of 81 undergraduate credits, including general education credits, can complete their degree through this program, which is designed to expand one’s knowledge of the Catholic Faith. Upon successfully earning 39 credits in theology at CDU, students receive a BA in Theology degree. Candidates must apply to the program and meet all requirements to be accepted. Contact CDU to request an application form.

Tuition: $345 per credit hour (textbooks must be purchased separately)

Graduate Program

  • Master of Arts in Theology

Students who have earned an undergraduate degree can pursue CDU’s 36-credit graduate degree. Candidates must apply to the program and meet all requirements to be accepted. Contact CDU to request an application form.

Tuition: $475 per credit hour (textbooks must be purchased separately)

Catholic Distance University’s quality education is made possible by the generosity of the following organizations:

  • The Our Sunday Visitor Institute, a Catholic foundation that supports Catholic initiatives to further the mission of Our Sunday Visitor Publishing Company including evangelization, religious formation, and education, has generously awarded grants to CDU for many initiatives including funding for the 2017 website redesign, the development of the Master of Arts Degree in Theology and Educational Ministry and Certificate for Catholic Educators programs, noncredit independent study courses on the Second Vatican Council, and the revision of numerous online academic courses at the graduate and undergraduate levels.
  • Knights of Columbus Supreme Council supports CDU’s technology modernization efforts.
  • Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston, the Knights & Dames of the Order of Malta Federal Association, the Fricano Foundation, and St. James the Greater Catholic Church have generously supported CDU’s prison outreach.
  • EWTN generously provides academic and continuing education to their staff members through CDU.