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What Does the Avila Institute Have to Offer Me?

Dan Burke and Dr. Anthony Lilles founded the Avila Institute in order to serve all who seek to develop a deeper relationship with our Lord.

With live, interactive, online courses, the Avila Institute can bring the classroom to you no matter where you are located in the world. Classes are recorded so if, for instance, you are from Malta, Ireland or Australia, you can still participate. Our professors either have doctorates or masters degrees from faithful Catholic institutions. More importantly, they all have serious personal prayer lives and live according to Church teachings. This enables them to teach far more than mere theory or ideas, but to teach in a way that draws the hearts of our students to God.

Can you relate to one of the following scenarios?

  • I go to church on Sundays and try to pray the rosary when I have time.
  • I pray daily and know the basics of the catechism but I want to strengthen my prayer and dig more deeply into the wisdom of the saints.
  • I am new to the Church and want to start delving deeper into theology.
  • I hear people talking about a “personal relationship with Christ” and that doesn’t describe my experience.
  • I want to learn more.

The School of Spiritual Formation is a great starting point. With courses on the foundations of prayer, living the virtuous life, discernment of spirits, and the saints and doctors of the Church, the School of Spiritual Formation is designed to offer students an engaging study in the foundations and principles necessary to grow and flourish in their relationship with Christ. These principles are based on the areas of personal prayer, understanding of divinely revealed Truth, and growth in holiness. The program offers a sound spiritual theological approach where students study the writings of Sacred Scripture, various saints and doctors of mystical theology, the Catechism of the Catholic Church, as well as recent Church documents. The Program focuses on personal prayer, foundational Catholic truths, and the call to holiness resulting in a life-giving transformation in Christ through the grace of the Holy Spirit.

Courses are six (6) weeks long and 2 hours per class. Each course is $150 and scholarships are available.

Or do one of the scenarios below better describe you?

  • I have a deep prayer life, am very involved in the Church and want to delve even deeper into spiritual theology.
  • I have basic training in spiritual direction but I want to dig deeper into this discipline.
  • I want to apply my spiritual beliefs to my profession which is outside the Church.
  • I want to a deeper knowledge of spiritual theology to apply to my vocation within the Church.

Then the Graduate Program in Spiritual Theology might be the right path for you. Whether you take the courses at the Graduate, Personal Enrichment or Continuing Education level, the Graduate Program equips students to deepen their relationship with Christ through mystagogical engagement preparing them to be shepherds and guiding the Lord’s flock through their ministry, employment or volunteerism. Successful completion of the program prepares graduates to:

1) Deepen their relationship with Christ through mystagogical engagement with the ascetical and mystical riches of the Church and

2) Engage in parish ministry, catechesis, and other apostolates or professions that require the animating life of Christ to achieve their mission.

A graduate should be well prepared to enter training programs for spiritual direction and counseling with advanced standing.

The Graduate Program is offered at three levels in order to best suit any specific outcomes you want from the program. All courses in the Graduate Program are offered at all three levels of study.

For more information on any of our programs, please contact us at or visit

Program_Level_pdf for post on Avila Institute


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