Earn College Credits While in High School or Homeschool

Catholic Distance University and the National Catholic Bioethics Center (NCBC) are teaming up to offer two 15-week, 3-credit online Bioethics courses for high school and homeschool students who have a minimum unweighted GPA of 3.0. These courses offer students a unique opportunity to deepen their appreciation of the sanctity of human life as created by God.

Students will:

  • Develop a clear understanding of the Catholic perspective on issues surrounding life, gender, and the dignity of the human person.
  • Be taught content that is faithful to the magisterium of the Catholic Church by NCBC staff in collaboration with local teachers.
  • Learn to navigate difficult decisions they will face when seeking health care and caring for loved ones.
  • Earn transferable college credits at a significant discount from a fully accredited Catholic university.

What is the National Catholic Bioethics Center

National Catholic Bioethics Center

Founded in 1972, the NCBC is recognized as a faithful and trusted source of bioethics education, serving the Catholic Church in the United States and internationally. NCBC provides education, guidance, and resources to the Church and society to uphold the dignity of the human person in healthcare and biomedical research. Learn more at ncbcenter.org.



Catholic Bioethics 1 focuses on the foundations of Catholic moral theology, the moral principles undergirding the patient-professional relationship, and moral decision-making/conscience formation from the Catholic perspective. It also offers an introduction to the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services, the US Bishops’ guiding document for health care decision-making. Topics covered include beginning-of-life ethical challenges, including when human life begins, abortion (including the US Supreme Court’s 2022 Dobbs decision), contraception/sterilization, natural family planning and fertility awareness-based methods of family planning, prenatal genetic screening, and assisted reproductive technologies.

Catholic Bioethics focuses on the role of Catholic Social Teaching in health care and ethical challenges in scientific research, particularly ethical issues concerning the development and manufacture of pediatric and COVID-19 vaccines. Other topics addressed include gender ideology, how Catholic anthropology and theology reply to the ideology, and the role Catholic health care should play in responding to people who experience gender incongruence. The remainder of the course focuses on end-of-life ethical challenges, including end-of-life decision making, advance directives, do-not-resuscitate orders, medically assisted nutrition and hydration, determination of death, organ/tissue donation, and assisted suicide/euthanasia.