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Avila Institute’s Online Spiritual Formation Program FAQ

May 13, 2013 by  
Filed under Avila Institute, Dan Burke, Training and Education

Online Spiritual Formation Program – FAQ – The Avila Institute

We were overwhelmed and delighted with the incredible response to our new online spiritual theology program. This really is a dream for us and many have expressed the same is true for them!

If you missed the announcement you can find more information HERE. We were delighted to be deluged with questions and applications. In order to help better explain what we are offering, we put together this preliminary Frequently Asked Questions list for you. We can’t promise that it answers all questions or answers them well, but it is a start and we will keep it up as the questions continue to come in.

If we missed a question that is important to you, please send an email to us by clicking on:

For those who are interested in studies in spiritual theology, please don’t delay your application as the program is already filling up. As soon as the new web site is up, we will let you know.

Q: Are the courses available online?

A: This question never fails to make us smile. Yes, online courses are the only kind we offer.

Q: Are there other courses?

Yes, there are two full years of graduate program courses. These can be taken individually or as an entire course of study.

Q: Must I have an undergraduate degree to participate?

A: No. Those with undergraduate degrees are often best equipped to complete graduate level work. However, the requirement for participation is that you have sufficient capability and commitment to complete the work. This is determined through the application process.

Q: What if I find the graduate program too difficult? Can I stay in the program but complete the courses at a lower level of rigor?

A: Yes. If you find the coursework too difficult either because of circumstances, time challenges, or other factors, you are welcome to switch to the Personal Enrichment (PE) program. The PE program works on a pass/fail basis and requires less rigor to complete.

Q: Am I too old to pursue this program?

A: Are you ever too old to deepen your love of Christ?

Q: Can I take personal enrichment or continuing education courses and then later apply those credits toward the full graduate program?

A: No. While a student starting in the Graduate Program can apply those credits to Personal Enrichment or Continuing Education courses (CE), a student cannot take Personal Enrichment (PE) and Continuing Education Course credits and apply them to the Graduate Program. This is because the standards of the Graduate Program are higher than those of the CE or PE programs.

Q: Will my professional organization accept your continuing education credits?

A: Students seeking continuing education should seek advance approval from their own professional organizations or employers to ensure that the content of our coursework meets the requirements of their organizations. We would be more than willing to help explain our program to your organization as needed.

Q: Can I take just one course at a time?

A: Absolutely! You don’t need to make a multi-year commitment in order to start the program. You can take one course at a time if you like.

Q: Can I audit a class?

A: The Personal Enrichment program is designed to serve those who are not able to commit enough time/energy toward the graduate level work but who nonetheless desire to engage in and absorb the content as best as they are able. The PE program is the lowest level of engagement possible while still finding an experience that is beneficial.

Q: Is the Avila Institute Accredited?

A: No. Though the academic rigor and quality of education will be equivalent to traditional graduate programs, the Avila Institute is not accredited.

Q: Will other institutions accept our coursework with Avila as credits for their classes? 

A: We are too early in the process to know the answer to this question.

Q: Can I apply the coursework from other institutions for credit in the Avila Institute.

A: Because of the unique nature of spiritual theology and the approach we take in our formation, it is not probable. There are some institutions like the Teresianum in Rome where this might be possible but it is too early to make this determination.

Q: Are scholarship funds available and if so, how are they awarded?

A: Absolutely! We are joyfully committed to serving the Lord’s faithful poor (those who are circumstantially poor or those who have taken a vow of poverty). We award based on severity of need and the likelihood of success in the program.

Q: Do scholarship funds cover books or other expenses?

A: No. Scholarship funds only cover the partial or full expense of the tuition for each course. Those who require scholarship funds for tuition may inquire as to additional support and we may be able to find a donor to assist, but funding beyond tuition will not be the norm.

Q: Can I take just one course and then determine which program is best for me?

A: Absolutely!

Q: What time will your courses be delivered? Can I take them at a different time?

A: They will be live/online at 6:30 Mountain Time/U.S. If you are in the graduate program, you can take a recorded course at a different time due to illness or unforeseen circumstances. If you are pursuing continuing education or personal enrichment credits, you can take these courses either live or recorded at your convenience. Of course, we much prefer that all students have the richest experience possible and this will occur in the live/online environment.

Q: How much time should I expect on coursework in any given week?

A: For the graduate program you will spend approximately two hours in class each week for each class. For every one hour of class time, it would be wise to assume two hours of out of class time. For the PE or CE programs, it is safe to assume that the workload will be reduced by approximately one-third to one-half.

Q: I am very excited about this program, how can I apply?

A: Go to the “Avila Insitute” button in the top navigation bar and click on application for admission link.

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About Dan Burke

Dan is the President of the Avila Foundation, the parent organization of, the Avila Institute for Spiritual Formation, Divine Intimacy Radio and Divine Intimacy Radio - Resources Edition, Into the Deep Parish Programs, the Apostoli Viae (Apostles of the Way) Community, the High Calling Seminary Preparation Program, and the FireLight Student Leadership Formation Program, author of the award-winning book, Navigating the Interior Life - Spiritual Direction and the Journey to God, Finding God Through Meditation-St. Peter of Alcantara, 30 Days with Teresa of Avila, Into the Deep, Living the Mystery of Merciful Love: 30 Days with Thérèse of Lisieux, and his newest book The Contemplative Rosary with St. John Paul II and St. Teresa of Avila. Beyond his "contagious" love for Jesus and His Church, he is a grateful husband and father of four, the Executive Director of and writer for EWTN's National Catholic Register, a regular co-host on Register Radio, a writer, speaker and pilgrimage director who provides online spiritual formation and travels to share his conversion story and the great riches that the Church provides us through authentic Catholic spirituality. Dan has been featured on EWTN's Journey Home program and numerous radio programs.

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