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Meet Dr. Peter Howard, Avila Institute Professor

Dr. Peter Howard is one of our team of professors for the Avila Institute for Spiritual Theology. He lives in Aspen, Colorado with his wife and four children.

He’s been working as Director of Evangelization and Adult Faith Formation at St. Mary Catholic Church in Aspen since 2006. Additionally, he is a videographer and speaker who has spoken at the 2012 Midwest Catholic Family Conference in Wichita, Kansas, the United States Air Force Academy, parish retreats, and on Catholic radio.

Dr.Peter Howard -- Avila

“As a professor at Avila, there are two things I especially love from this privilege,” Dr. Howard shared with us. “The first is being actively involved in its unique mission to make accessible to the world the riches of spiritual theology, that, up to now, you would have had to go to Rome to study in order to have decent classes on it.

“As a professor with a doctorate in dogmatic theology, I know firsthand how easy it is to treat theology in a merely objective fashion —  where we merely learn about Christ and the mysteries of salvation, but we don’t personally encounter the living mystery of Christ in our souls (what we like to call the “mystagogical” approach to theology). I like to remind my students that Lucifer knows more about theology than we ever will on this side of eternity —but he never embraced the mystery and glory of God that comes only as a gift to those who humbly receive it.

“Secondly, I love the humbling, yet joyful, experience of witnessing the powerful transformation that takes place in the minds and hearts of Avila's students as they enter into the mysteries of our faith from this mystogogical approach we professors at Avila teach.  One cannot seek the face of Christ in such a way and not be left untouched.”

Dr. Howard served on the advisory board for the Archbishop Fulton Sheen Foundation and is the founder and president of The Fulton Sheen Society. He is also the director of the Catholic Hour grassroots movement, which is committed to bringing about an authentic spiritual renewal of all states of life: married, single, priesthood, and religious.

In addition to hosting “The Catholic Hour,” a television show in Aspen, he has served the Church in various capacities, from working for a metropolitan tribunal to serving as the director of communications, theological consultant, and executive assistant to Bishop Michael Sheridan in Colorado Springs.

Dr. Howard completed his Doctorate in Sacred Theology (S.T.D.) from the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas (Angelicum) in Rome, Italy. His expertise is in Mariology, especially that of Venerable Fulton J. Sheen, which was the subject of his dissertation.

“At Avila, both professor and student seek His face together in every class,” Dr. Howard wrote us, “and as a professor of Mariology, it is a great joy of mine to do so through the spiritual magnifying glass of Our Blessed Mother.”


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With live, interactive, online courses, the Avila Institute can bring the classroom to you no matter where you are located in the world. Want to know more about what the Avila Institute has to offer you? Read more here.

Art: Dr. Peter Howard photograph used with permission.

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About Nicole Garcia

Nicole Garcia is an Admissions Counselor for the Avila Institute. She is excited to speak with anyone who is interested in learning more about the Avila Institute. All those discerning the Avila Institute are in her prayers. Know that if you feel even a tiny pull or interest, Nicole hopes to hear from you! To learn more about the School of Spiritual Formation or the Graduate Program at the Avila Institute for Spiritual Formation, please contact Nicole at or 520-429-4524.

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