Graduate Degree Assistance Program

The Diocese recognizes the benefits derived from the continued education of parish Directors of Youth Ministry (DYMs), Directors of Religious Education (DREs), and other diocesan youth workers. The Diocese supports the additional effort and commitment of those employees wishing to increase their knowledge, skills, and abilities by enrolling in courses for academic credit outside of the workplace.

With the creation of the new Master of Arts in Catechetics and Evangelization (“MACE”) program at Franciscan University of Steubenville (FUS), the Catholic Diocese of Arlington (CDA) will now offer a new opportunity for DYMs, DREs, and other eligible Religious Education and campus ministry staff to work toward this Master's degree. This will enrich ministry leaders in catechesis and evangelization and equip individuals with the means necessary to build up the Kingdom of God for the New Evangelization. Each offering of this program will be limited to a cohort of 20 students.

Endowments created through the 2001 Rooted in Faith ~ Forward in Hope campaign exist to support the formation and training of religious education and youth ministry leaders. (Additional contributions to these endowments are welcomed to ensure their continued growth in the future.) With funds from these endowments, the CDA will pay for 95% of the tuition costs (approximately $1425 per course) of the MACE degree.

We will not be accepting any new registrations until the initial cohort has completed the program. If have any questions or are interested in applying to be part of a new cohort (possibly in 2024), please contact Christine Najarian with the Office of Youth, Campus, and Young Adult Ministries at or 703-841-2559.

The links below include the application for the program and a participant agreement that will be signed by each participant accepted to the program. This is for your reference; please do not fill out the application until you have contacted our office. 


Rooted in Faith