Graduate Program courses at the Avila Institute for Spiritual Formation are designed for those looking to further their education at the Graduate level. Courses are meant for those that have a minimum of a Bachelor’s Degree or extensive experience or knowledge of the Catholic Faith. All Graduate Courses can be taken at the Continuing Education and Personal Enrichment levels also.

Those interested in taking courses must first apply to the Avila Institute. Upon acceptance into the Avila Institute, students will then be instructed on how to enroll in courses. The application fee is $40 for laypersons and $15 for Priests and Religious.

Important Notes:

  • Details are subject to change – check back for more information and changes. Or, to receive updates on upcoming courses and schedules, please email and ask to be added to the email list (emails are only sent a few times per quarter).
  • Classes are offered “live online” meaning students and professor join at a specific time for an interactive online environment.
    • Graduate students are required to participate live online (exceptions made for international students and work related conflicts). Classes are recorded and available to students for viewing later for these purposes, unforeseen circumstances, or for watching a second time.
    • Continuing Education and Personal Enrichment track students are highly encouraged to participate live online but it is not required. Classes are recorded and available to students for viewing later so so  scheduling conflicts need not be a deterrent in these tracks.

Course Offerings

Courses are nine weeks long and are $450 per course (full and partial scholarships are available).

Upcoming Courses: Summer Quarter (June-August)

  • Christian and Non-Christian Spiritualities: This course explores the distinguishing characteristics of Christian spirituality in relationship to the major forms of spirituality known today. First it looks at what the nature of spirituality is, what questions in must answer, and then identifies distinguishing characteristics of Christian spirituality to major forms of spirituality today. Participants will be able to better understand authentic spirituality versus those that might impose themselves and thereby mislead a Catholic in modern culture. This course is based on discussions by Hans Urs von Balthasar and the instruction provided by the CDF.
  • The Nature of Mystical Wisdom in the Life of the Church: The International Theological Commission distinguishes scientific theological wisdom from mystical wisdom in the life of the Church and proposes that they constitute different ways of participating in the life of God. At the same time, the nature of mystical wisdom in the life of the Church remains an area of great misunderstanding among theologians and contemplatives. A disciplined understanding of difficult connections between mystical wisdom and the life of the Church opens up meaningful conversations regarding the primacy of contemplative prayer and the mystical life in ministry and apostolic efforts, especially the work of evangelization. In this course we will distinguish mystical wisdom from scientific theological wisdom and examine how it develops in the life of prayer as proposed in the writings of Saint Teresa of Avila, Saint John of the Cross, Blessed Elisabeth of the Trinity, Saint John Paul II and then begin a verse by verse exploration of the Song of Songs to demonstrate their teachings.
  • Wisdom of the Saints from St. Hildegard of Bingen to St. Therese: This course provides an overview of the spiritual doctrine of Saint Hildegard, Saint Thomas Aquinas, Saint Catherine of Siena, Saint John of Avila, Saint Teresa of Avila, and Saint John of the Cross. During the first five hundred years into the second millennium of Christianity, a host of saints rediscovered the power of mental prayer, devotion to Christ and the need for ongoing conversion summarized by Saint Benedict in terms of quaerere Deum, lectio divina, conversatio morum and habitare secum. Thus this second course on the wisdom of the saints flows from the first but is specified by the number of Doctors of the Church – most of whom have been declared only in the last fifty years.

For listing and description of all Graduate courses, as well as information on earning a Graduation Certificate of Spiritual Formation, Personal Enrichment Certificate or Continuing Education Certificate, please visit the Graduate Studies page or contact our Admissions Counselor at

To apply, please click HERE.

For the latest course offerings, please contact us at