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What is the Graduate Program in Spiritual Theology?

May 18, 2017 by  
Filed under Avila Institute, Dylan Jedlovec

The Avila Institute helps the faithful grow in the interior life through the School of Spiritual Formation. For those who want to go deeper, we offer another program: The Graduate Program in Spiritual Theology. This article explores the answer to the question: what is the graduate program? You can apply today.

What is the Graduate Program in Spiritual Theology?

What is the Graduate Program in Spiritual Theology? Learn more at our website.

What is the Graduate Program in Spiritual Theology? Learn more at our website.

The Avila Institute's Graduate Program in Spiritual Theology is a forty-credit hour online graduate-level program that can be taken over a span of 2-4 years. The program involves twelve courses, an apostolic experience, and a retreat experience. It equips students to engage in parish ministry, catechesis, and other apostolates or professions that require the animating life of Christ to achieve their mission.

What are the courses like?

Students in the Graduate Program study orthodox Catholic spirituality by investigating the traditions of the Benedictines, Carthusians, Carmelites, Franciscans, and Dominicans, among other spiritual traditions in the Church. Students learn through courses that cover a range of topics including spiritual direction, the Doctors of the Church, degrees of prayer, gifts of the Holy Spirit, Discernment of Spirits, the evangelical counsels, and the nature of mystical wisdom in the Church.

Each course lasts for two hours one night a week in the evening. The amount of outside work required is approximately two hours of work for each hour in the classroom. Students attend live, interactive classroom settings where they can ask questions and interact with our top-notch faculty.

What is Spiritual Theology?

According to Father Jordan Aumann, O.P., author of a book renowned in the field of spiritual theology titled Spiritual Theology, 

“Spiritual Theology is that part of theology that, proceeding from the truths of divine revelation and the religious experience of individual persons, defines the nature of the supernatural life, formulates directives for its growth and development, and explains the process by which souls advance from the beginning of the spiritual life to its full perfection.” – Father Jordan Aumann, O.P.

Spiritual theology connects what we experience on our knees in prayer with the truths outlined by the Church. As a result, it is important that we get this right. That is why we ensure our faculty members are not only faithful to the magisterium of the Church but also understand the nature of mystical wisdom and are engaged in an interior journey themselves.

Can I take courses without enrolling in the Graduate Certificate Program?

In addition to the Graduate Program, we also offer the same courses in two different formats:

  • Continuing Education– Allows for professional and apostolate leaders in the Church to further their education to take courses on a pass/fail basis.
  • Personal Enrichment– Allows for students to take courses in a less academically rigorous format that cuts outside work in half by 1/3-1/2 compared to the Graduate-Level program.
  • School of Spiritual Formation– Offers less-intensive courses on a pass/fail basis. Covers a wider range of topics from a less academic perspective.

What is the graduate program? In short, it is a Master's level education in spiritual theology. It will equip you to serve the Church through a deep understanding of the interior life and its role in the faith.

You can apply for enrollment today!

To see a full list of course offerings and learn more about the program, visit our website. Contact us at with any questions.


Art for this post What is the Graduate Program in Spiritual Theology?: Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Pietro Novelli, 1641, PD-US author's life plus 100 years or less, Wikimedia Commons.

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About Dylan Jedlovec

Dylan Jedlovec was formerly an Operations Administrative Assistant at the Avila Foundation, parent organization of, the Avila Institute for Spiritual Formation, and Divine Intimacy Radio. Finishing up an undergraduate degree in Marketing and Economics from Samford University, Dylan is first and foremost a disciple of Christ and a son of the Church. Dylan has a heart for evangelization on college campuses, and has worked closely with FOCUS as a student missionary and served as President of the Catholic Student Association at Samford. As a member of the University Fellows Program at Samford, Dylan developed a love for the writings of the Saints, particularly the Doctors of the Church, through his studies of the core texts of the Western Intellectual Tradition. This love for the rich intellectual tradition of the faith brought him to the Avila Foundation, where he seeks to further the kingdom through feeding Christ’s sheep. In his free time, Dylan enjoys watching baseball, reading, hiking, running, and lifting weights (although you can’t really tell).

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