Life-Time Free Alumni Audit

Education as Accompaniment: A New Approach to Lifelong Learning

Why should a student’s investment be limited to just a few years, especially within disciplines that encourage, and even require, continual growth and formation?

St. Bernard’s realizes that students are looking for education and formation that lasts a lifetime – an education and formation that does not simply rely on the impact of the past, but provides a continually fresh experience of theological and ministerial learning. In answer to this need, St. Bernard’s launched the Free Alumni Audit in Fall 2021 - a new model of graduate alumni formation that achieves our goal of providing continuing education that is not only passive, but mirrors the active, engaging, and dynamic experience of our master’s programs.

Every student who has graduated with a Master’s degree from St. Bernard’s, regardless of graduation year, is automatically eligible to audit graduate courses for the remainder of their life, for free* - only a $55 fee applies, thereby providing an 85% discount. With this initiative in place, the expenses associated with a Master’s degree are no longer an investment that will bear fruit for a few concentrated years only; now, the upfront investment in theological education will provide formational accompaniment and enrichment throughout the entirety of one’s life. Matriculation into a graduate degree at St. Bernard’s now means lifelong access to an almost endless variety of structured theological and ministerial experiences, all with the characteristic breadth and depth of engagement our students have come to expect at St. Bernard’s.

*One audited course per academic year (Fall-Spring- Summer semesters); credit students will receive priority for in-person attendance when available. Excluded are a small percentage of our courses that are either addressed to specific populations or have registration based on the professor’s discretion.


For those who graduated in Spring 2017 or after or who have audited a course in the past:

  • Take a look at our Course Offerings page to choose a class for an upcoming semester
  • Log in to your Populi account
  • Follow the instructions in our System and Software Guidebook to register yourself. Be sure to select “Courses to Enroll In”
  • Fill out this form to inform us that you are taking advantage of your yearly free alumni audit. Please note that we encourage you to audit multiple courses each year but only one can count for your free audit

Please contact our Office of the Registrar for assistance.

For those who graduated before Spring 2017 and have never audited a class before:

  • Take a look at our Course Offerings page to choose a class for an upcoming semester
  • Fill out the Alumni Audit Application
  • Once your application is processed, you will receive a link to set up your Populi account
  • Log in to your Populi account and follow the instructions in our System and Software Guidebook to register yourself. Be sure to select “Courses to Enroll In”
  • Fill out this form to inform us that you are taking advantage of your yearly free alumni audit. Please note that we encourage you to audit multiple courses each year but only one can count for your free audit

Please contact our Office of the Registrar for assistance.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Who can take advantage of the Free Alumni Audit?
    Anyone who graduated with a Master’s degree can take advantage of this offer! You must have been awarded one of the following degrees from St. Bernard’s: Master of Arts in Pastoral Studies, Master of Arts in Theological Studies, Master of Arts in Catholic Philosophy, Master of Divinity, Graduate Certificate in Pastoral Studies. Alumni from any year and any campus in the school’s history, dating back to 1893, can take advantage of this offer. Students who did not finish their degree, who transferred out of St. Bernard’s, or who completed a diocesan certificate or one of our Graduate Certificates (CCP, CCB, CCL, CCFA, CCBS) are not eligible. The Registrar will confirm your alumni status.
  • What does it mean to audit a course?
    Auditors are able to engage in the full experience of graduate courses. They can sit in on lectures, participate in the discussions, and are viewed as equal learning partners. Auditors do not complete course assignments, but are encouraged to do the course readings. Auditors have access to both the live lectures and the Populi and Canvas pages for their courses.
  • Can I audit more than one course?
    Yes! We welcome auditors into all of our courses and we encourage you to audit multiple courses. However, only one audited course per academic year can count towards your free alumni audit. The academic year is defined as: Fall, Spring, Summer I, Summer II.
  • Can I take a course for credit?
    Yes, if you are interested in completing the course assignments, we welcome you to take a course for credit, either as a non-matriculated student or as part of one of our Graduate Certificates. The tuition and fees for courses taken for credit can be found by clicking Tuition, Fees, & Financial Aid
  • When are the courses?
    St. Bernard’s academic year is broken up into three semesters: Fall, Spring, and Summer (Summer is divided into Summer I and Summer II). Courses from any semester can be audited. You can find specific dates for each semester on our Academic Calendar. Courses for each upcoming semester are listed on our Course Offerings page.
  • How much does the Alumni Audit cost?
    For alumni that would like to take advantage of this opportunity, the cost of auditing is reduced to $55 (technology and registration fee). This is an 85% reduction off the typical auditing price of $355. Once you register for your course, you must complete this form in order to be eligible for the reduced price: https://forms.office.com/Pages/ResponsePage.aspx?id=6kx4-Nx9wkuTitcb1bSeOjhc_0qYVkpMgZf3slPHP5pUNlJVNVhPOEEwNklJUFZNTExBQlpRUDFZVS4u
  • How can I pay my auditing bill?
    The auditing bill can be paid via check, credit card, or electronic checking account withdrawal. Credit cards or checking accounts can be used by logging on to Populi, navigating to “My Profile” and then selecting the Financial tab. Checks can be made out to St. Bernard’s School of Theology and Ministry and sent to 120 French Road Rochester, NY 14618.
  • Who should I contact for more information or assistance?
    You can contact Sophia Zdanowski, the Registrar and Director of Development, for further assistance.