Catholic Distance University
The Catholic Distance University was established in 1983 as the first Catechetical Institute in the US approved by the Vatican Congregation for the Clergy to offer adult faith formation and theological education exclusively through distance education. Today, CDU offers online programs at a variety of levels to adults in 37 countries worldwide. CDU offers noncredit continuing education, undergraduate and graduate education. In addition, the university awards an accredited Master of Arts degree in Theology, a Bachelor of Arts in Theology Degree (degree-completion), the Catechetical Diploma, and an Advanced Catechist Certificate. Their continuing education three-week online interactive seminars are designed especially for catechists, Catholic schoolteachers, parishioners, parents, Catholic professionals, and all adults who are hungry for inspiring, faith-filled programs in fidelity to the Church’s authentic Magisterium. CDU specializes in learner-centered, collaborative online learning communities and has over twenty years of experience in distance learning.
Types of Programs: Online Master of Arts Degree in Theology, Bachelor of Arts in Theology Degree Completion Program, Catechetical Diploma, Advanced Catechist Certificate, and Adult/Catechist Faith Enrichment through online interactive seminars. All programs are administered through online and paper-based technologies. No residency required. Website: www.cdu.edu
Ave Maria University's Institute for Pastoral Theology
Of special interest to those in the Diocese of Madison will be Ave Maria University's Institute for Pastoral Theology, which is currently being held at St. John Vianney Parish in Janesville. This is a solid program meeting one weekend a month for three years and leading to a master's degree in theology. More information is available here.
Other Catholic distance learning programs
Many Catholic colleges, universities, seminaries and schools of theology offer classes through distance learning. In some cases, programs are offered at alternate sites beyond the academic institution's campus. In other cases, programs are offered via the internet, sometimes utilizing video, real-time sessions, and email discussions. All of these distance learning options enable students living far from the campus to access the educational resources. The USCCB's Committee on the Laity has developed a list of many such opportunities which is available here.