Marianne Evans Mount, PhD

About Marianne Evans Mount, PhD


BA English, Skidmore College, NY
MA English and Education, Columbia University, NY
MA Religious Education, Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas, Rome
Advanced Catechetical Diploma, Congregation for the Clergy
PhD Human Development (Adult Learning and Distance Education), Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, VA

Dr. Marianne Evans Mount became president of Catholic Distance University in 2008. She has served in a variety of leadership positions since the founding of CDU in 1983 as a catechetical institute offering paper-based correspondence courses. As CDU grew to become the global online university it is today, accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and the Association of Theological Schools, Marianne helped sow the seeds of that growth by serving as education director from 1983 to 1985, executive director from 1985 to 1996, and executive vice president from 1997 to 2008 before becoming president.

In addition to raising her two children, Marianne spent her early career teaching English to high school and junior high school students and directing a high school religious education program at her parish. She also volunteered at her local parish for many years as a Eucharistic minister.

She earned her Ph.D. in Human Development from Virginia Tech in 2008, and Verlag Publishers published her dissertation, The Lived Experience of Adult Faith Formation in an Online Learning Community, in 2009.

In 2022, Marianne was appointed as a consultor to the Vatican’s Congregation for Catholic Education. This 5-year assignment recognizes her many years of service in the innovative realm of distance education. She is the only American to receive this honor, and CDU is the only U.S. institution represented. This year, she also published an article in Educatio Catholica, the journal of the Congregation for Catholic Education.

Marianne has served as a public member of the Board of Commissioners of the Association of Theological Schools and as a commissioner of the Accrediting Commission of the Distance Education and Training Council. She has also served as associate director of the Board of Trustees for the Arlington Catholic Herald Diocesan Newspaper. In 1998, she was invested as a Dame of Malta.

As an innovative leader in the field of education, Marianne has received numerous awards and served as a presenter for a variety of organizations. Just this summer she spoke at the International Federation of Catholic University’s General Assembly on how Catholic universities serve the public good.

In 2017, she addressed the staff of the Congregation for Catholic Education on the pedagogy of distance education, as the Congregation was preparing a document for Pope Francis giving approval to use distance education courses for ecclesiastical degrees.

In 2022, Christendom College honored Marianne with the St. Catherine of Siena Award for Distinguished Service to the Church and Catholic Higher Education. Other awards she has received include the DETC Distinguished Service Award in 2005, the Loudoun County Woman of the Year for Education Award in 2007, Mount St. Mary’s University’s Bicentennial Medal for pioneering work in Catholic distance education in 2007, and the Outstanding Graduate Research Award at the 27th Annual Research to Practice Conference in 2008.