“All of our faculty members are committed to marrying the life of the mind with the life of faith.”

Students who come to the Augustine Institute are marked both by deep ardor and deep intellectual formation. For that reason, we have assembled a faculty with the intellectual depth and pastoral heart to carry out the exciting mission of forming students intellectually, spiritually, as well as evangelically. Our faculty are dedicated to forming students in the Catholic intellectual tradition in order to enrich their spiritual lives and to prepare them for evangelical work. All of our faculty members are committed to marrying the life of the mind with the life of faith, and all hold a mandatum from the Catholic church. Our faculty includes biblical scholars, theologians and historians trained in their discipline, but who also have frontline experience with parish life and Catholic education.

BENJAMIN D. AKERS, S.T.D.

Associate Professor of Theology | Associate Dean

 

Biography

I’ve always had a desire to participate in the work of the New Evangelization through teaching. One of the greatest gifts I’ve received in my life is to have incredible teachers and mentors who have introduced me to the rich theological tradition of the Catholic Faith and helped open my mind to the story of salvation found in the Sacred Scriptures (cf. Lk 24:45).  And they encouraged me to do the same for others. I’ve been able to participate in this work through evangelization on college campuses with FOCUS (Fellowship of Catholic University Students) and in theological and catechetical formation in the Archdiocese of Denver as director of the Denver Catholic Biblical School and Catechetical School and adjunct for the St. John Vianney Theological Seminary. My experience living and studying in the heart of the Catholic Church in Rome, Italy, has inspired me to teach theology in a way that integrates history, art, literature and spirituality.

Education

S.T.D. Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas [Rome, Italy] (2017

S.T.L. Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas [Rome, Italy] (2009)

M.A. Theological Studies, concentration in Scripture Christendom College (2004)

B.A. Theology, Philosophy (minor) Christendom College (1998)

Courses

Jesus and the Gospels

Discipleship and the Christian Life

The Creed

Contact

Email: ben.akers@augustineinstitute.org | Phone: (303) 937-4420

CHRISTOPHER BLUM, PH.D.

Professor of History & Theology | Academic Dean

 

Biography

Inspired by my mentors and fellow graduate students at the University of Notre Dame in the 1990s, my top professional goal has been to contribute to the renewal of Catholic higher education in the United States. My own thinking about Catholic higher education has been shaped by the thought of Bl. John Henry Newman, Alasdair MacIntyre, and Benedict XVI. I wholeheartedly agree with Benedict’s judgment that we are living amidst a crisis of truth and that “the windows must be flung open again” so that we may “see the wide world” and learn from nature and God’s Word what is our origin and true destiny. Through my teaching and writing, I hope to contribute to the recovery of the right understanding of nature as deeply intelligible and beautifully ordered, in a word, as God’s Creation.

Education

Ph.D. History & Philosophy of Science. University of Notre Dame

B.A. Biology. University of Virginia

Courses

The Church and Modernity

Faith and Reason

Nature and God

Virtue, Happiness, and the Common Good

Contact

christopher.blum@AugustineInstitute.org | (303) 937-4420

MARK GISZCZAK, PH.D.

Associate Professor of Sacred Scripture

 

Biography

I have the great blessing to be a professor at my alma mater, the Augustine Institute, where I have been teaching since 2010. I have a passion for Scripture and I love helping Catholics read, pray, and understand the Bible. We have such a rich treasury in God’s word and yet so much of it remains unexplored by so many. I want to help others drink deeply from Scripture as a source of spiritual sustenance. In particular, I am deeply interested in the oft-overlooked texts of the Old Testament. I wrote my dissertation on the characters in the Song of Songs and in my research, I continue to explore the fascinating details of this biblical book and many others.

In 2015, I wrote a book on the tough parts of the Bible called Light on the Dark Passages of Scripture. I have also contributed to the Augustine Institute’s Bible in a Year and to the Ignatius Catholic Study Bible. I write regularly on my blog, CatholicBibleStudent.com, and occasionally at CatholicExchange.com. I have written introductions to every book of the Bible, hosted at Catholic News Agency. You can also find me on my YouTube channel, on my podcast, or on Twitter.

Education

Ph. D. in Biblical Studies, The Catholic University of America, Washington, DC (2013)

S.S.L., Pontifical Biblical Commission, Rome (2016)

S.S.B., Pontifical Biblical Commission, Rome (2014)

  1. A. in Sacred Scripture, Augustine Institute, Denver, CO (2007)
  2. Phil. in Philosophy and Theology, Ave Maria College, Ypsilanti, MI (2005)

Courses

Salvation History

Prophets

Psalms and Wisdom Literature

Pauline Literature

Jesus and the Gospels

Contact

mark@augustineinstitute.org | (303) 937-4420

SCOTT HEFELFINGER, S.T.L.

Assistant Professor of Theology

 

Biography

Christ’s promise of “life in abundance” (Jn 10:10) has been for me a source of continued fascination and hope. What does this life look like, and how can we share in it? It is a great blessing and joy to be able to reflect on this question, to unfold the truth of God’s merciful promises, and to share that truth with others. Thus, my interests in dogmatic and moral theology revolve around the good life lived in Christ and the abundant expressions this life finds in culture, music, literature, and the varied communities we inhabit. In researching and teaching these topics, I have taken special inspiration from St. Thomas Aquinas, St. John Paul II, and Pope Benedict XVI. Formed in a particular way by missionary work, the culture of the family, and the common pursuit of truth, I am delighted to continue the evangelical work of seeking and sharing the truth at the Augustine Institute.

 Education

Ph.D., Moral Theology, University of Notre Dame (exp. 2018)

S.T.L., Systematic Theology, International Theological Institute (2011)

S.T.M., Theology, International Theological Institute (2008)

B.A., Music, University of California, Berkeley (2003)

Courses

Moral and Spiritual Theology

Leadership for the New Evangelization

Civilization of Love

The Theology of Christian Marriage

Theology Seminar

Contact

scott.hefelfinger@AugustineInstitute.org | (303) 937-4420

ELIZABETH KLEIN, PH.D.

Assistant Professor of Theology

 

Biography

The study of the early Church Fathers has been central to my formation. It therefore is my joy and privilege to introduce people to the Catholic intellectual tradition, and particularly to St. Augustine, whose holistic understanding of the truths of the faith is, I believe, an inexhaustible resource. Early Christian art, liturgy, and the lives of the saints – the places where theology is lived out and expressed in the life of the Church – have also been sources of inspiration for my teaching, research and spirituality.

Education

Ph. D. University of Notre Dame (2016)

M.A. McMaster University (2011)

B.A. Sc. McMaster University (2009)

Courses

The Creed

Contact

elizabeth.klein@AugustineInstitute.org | (303) 937-4420

JOHN SEHORN, PH.D.

Assistant Professor of Theology

 

Biography

Following my completion of a B.A. in History at Arizona State University (2005), I began an M.A. program in Early Christian Studies at the University of Notre Dame. I immediately developed a deep fascination with the theology of the Fathers of the Church, and I was particularly drawn to their scriptural exegesis. When I finished my M.A. in 2008, I stayed on at Notre Dame to pursue a Ph.D. in the History of Christianity (2015). My dissertation focused on Origen of Alexandria’s homilies on Ezekiel, and I remain very interested in patristic theology and exegesis, as well as biblical studies and medieval theology.

Education

Ph.D. in Theology (History of Christianity), University of Notre Dame (2015)

M.A. in Early Christian Studies, University of Notre Dame (2008)

B.A. in History, Barrett Honors College, Arizona State University (2005)

Courses

Evangelization of the Ancient World

Jesus and the Gospels

Pauline Literature

Reading the Bible with the Fathers

City of God Summer Seminar for College Students

Contact

john.sehorn@AugustineInstitute.org | (303) 937-4420

MICHAEL BARBER, PH.D

Associate Professor of Scripture & Theology

 

 

Biography

I am Associate Professor of Theology and Scripture at the Augustine Institute in Denver, CO. In addition to my teaching, academic research and publishing, I also give popular-level presentations at Catholic conferences and parish events around the United States. For booking, see www.TheSacredPage.com

Education

Ph. D. Scripture, Fuller Theological Seminary (2010).

M.A. Theology, Franciscan University of Steubenville (2001)

B.A. Theology and Philosophy, Azusa Pacific University (1998)

Courses

Pauline Epistles

Jesus & the Gospels

Contact

michael.barber@AugustineInstitute.org | (303) 937-4420

DOUGLAS BUSHMAN, S.T.L.

Professor of Theology, Pope St. John Paul II Chair of Theology for the New Evangelization

 

Biography

One of the greatest blessings of my life was to have all that my parents raised me to be and all that I had previously learned confirmed and set forth in a systematically compelling way in my undergraduate studies in philosophy at the College of St. Thomas (B.A. 1976). Providence arranged that during those four formative years men and women of outstanding Christian virtue and learning would inspire me and occasion a hearing of the call to holiness as never before. The resulting desire to know my faith more fully led to graduate studies at the University of Fribourg, Switzerland (S.T.L., 1980), where I studied under the Dominican faculty who imparted a vibrant Thomism that incorporates the study of Scripture and the Church Fathers, the teaching of Vatican II, and the best of pre- and post-Vatican II theology. Years of teaching theology at virtually every level of the Church’s life—parish adult education, diocesan formation for catechists, adults, deacon candidates, and Catholic school teachers and administrators—has reinforced that the speculative and pastoral dimensions of theology mutually enrich one another. As a member of the faculty of the Augustine Institute, all of this is now placed at the service of research, publishing, and teaching on the New Evangelization.

Education

S.T. L. University of Fribourg, Switzerland (1980)

B.A. Philosophy, College of St. Thomas (1976)

Courses

Theology of the New Evangelization

Theology of Conversion

Contact

douglas.bushman@AugustineInstitute.org | (303) 937-4420

TIM GRAY, PH.D.

Professor of Sacred Scripture | President

Biography

Tim Gray is President of the Augustine Institute and well known Catholic speaker and author. He received an MA from Franciscan University of Steubenville, ThM from Duke University, and PhD in Biblical Studies from Catholic University of America.

Under Dr. Gray’s leadership, the Augustine Institute has created popular programs including Symbolon, a comprehensive program of faith formation for adults, FORMED, a digital platform with Catholic film, ebooks, and audio talks, and Signs of Grace, a sacramental preparation program for children. He is the author of several books including Peter: Keys to Following Jesus and Praying Scripture for a Change: An Introduction to Lectio Divina.

Tim and his wife Kris, and son Joseph, live in Littleton, Colorado.

Education

Ph.D. Biblical Studies, Catholic University of America

Th.M. Duke Divinity School

M.A. Franciscan University of Steubenville

Courses

Pauline Epistles

Scripture Elective

Contact

tim.gray@AugustineInstitute.org | (303) 937-4420

TIMOTHY HERRMAN, PH.D.

Professor of Theology

 

 

Biography

After completing the systematic study in theology at the Pontifical Gregorian University, Dr. Herrman turned to the Augustinianum: Institute of Patristic Science of the Pontifical Lateran University to focus his attention on the Church Fathers and especially Augustine. He brought together his interest in the early Church and biblical theology with a thesis entitled “Christology in Old Testament Pseudepigraphia.” After completing the License in Sacred Theology, Dr. Herrman returned to the United States and enrolled at the Institute for Philosophical Studies at the University of Dallas. The UD doctoral program’s comprehensive study in philosophy, political philosophy, literature and theology not only richly enhanced the context of his previous study but it also purified some of the concepts and principles that were at the foundation of his theology. In the end, Dr. Herrman produced a work that brought together his interest in patristics, philosophy and theology with a critical examination of the soul in Augustine’s Confessions.

While at UD, Dr. Herrman met and began working for Prof. Douglas Bushman in the graduate degree program in theology called the Institute for Religious and Pastoral Studies. In 2001, Prof. Bushman and Dr. Herrman left the University of Dallas to join the faculty of Ave Maria University. With Prof. Bushman and a host of talented faculty and staff, Dr. Herrman continued to provide graduate level theology to students around the country through the Institute for Pastoral Theology. Then, in 2014, Dr. Herrman left AMU to take advantage of a research grant hosted by the Augustine Institute in Denver focused on the study of pastoral theology. Over the years, Dr. Herrman has taught multiple courses in theology and philosophy at the undergraduate and graduate level and has spoken on a variety of religious topics to groups and organizations around the country.

Courses

Theology of the New Evangelization

Theology of St. Augustine

Contact

tim.herrman@AugustineInstitute.org | (303) 937-4420

BRANT PITRE, PH.D.

Distinguished Research Professor of Sacred Scripture

Biography

Dr. Brant Pitre is Distinguished Research Professor of Scripture at the Augustine Institute in Denver, CO. He earned his Ph.D. in Theology from the University of Notre Dame, where he specialized the study of the New Testament and ancient Judaism. He is the author of several articles and the books Jesus, the Tribulation, and the End of the Exile(Baker Academic, 2005), Jesus and the Jewish Roots of the Eucharist(Image Books, 2011), Jesus the Bridegroom (Image Books, 2014), Jesus and the Last Supper (Eerdmans, 2015), and The Case for Jesus (Image, 2016). Dr. Pitre is an extremely enthusiastic and engaging speaker who lectures regularly across the United States. He has produced dozens of Bible studies on CD, DVD, and MP3, in which he explores the biblical foundations of Catholic faith and theology. He currently lives in Gray, Louisiana, with his wife Elizabeth, and their five children.

Education

Ph.D., Christianity and Judaism in Antiquity, Systematic Theology, University of Notre Dame (2004)

M.T.S., Biblical Studies and Theology, Vanderbilt Divinity School (1999)

B.A., Philosophy and English Literature, Louisiana State University (1997)

Courses

Jesus and the Gospels

Scripture Elective

LUCAS POLLICE, M.T.S.

Associate Professor of Theology and Catechetics | Director, M.A. in Leadership for the New Evangelization

Biography

I have been extraordinarily blessed to be a humble worker in the vineyard of the Lord over the past 20 years in service to the New Evangelization.   It all began in 1993 with World Youth Day in Denver, CO (my hometown) where St. John Paul II deeply inspired me to dedicate my life to serving the Church wherever and however the Lord wished.   Since then I have had the amazing and deeply humbling opportunities to teach and be an Assistant Principle at a Catholic school in Keller, TX, a Director of Religious Education at a parish in Arlington, TX, and the Director of Catechesis at the Diocese of Fort Worth, TX.   Those experiences have given me a deep love for serving the Church, especially in the areas of RCIA and Adult Faith Formation, but also in the work of forming catechists and other parish leaders to do the important work of the New Evangelization.   In 2012, I was called back home to Denver, where I began my work here at the Augustine Institute where I have been very blessed to work on catechetical projects such as Symbolon:  The Catholic Faith Explained, Beloved: Finding Happiness in Marriage, Forgiven:  The Transforming Power of Confession, and other AI catechetical video series as well as assisting with the creation of FORMED.org.  I have also had the great opportunity to travel across the country doing diocesan training for RCIA, Adult Faith Formation, and parish catechetical leaders.  In 2014, I was invited to teach in the MA in Leadership for the New Evangelization Degree program focusing on catechetics and pastoral theology.  In 2017, I began my current work as director of the Leadership Degree Program where I have found a real love and passion for forming leaders for the New Evangelization by bringing my experiences in the “trenches” of ecclesial service to train and form those who have a desire to also be humble workers in the vineyard of the Lord.    I have a deep love and devotion to St. John Paul II who has been my inspiration throughout my years of service to the Church and I deeply desire to pass on that same inspiration on to my students as they prepare for their own humble service to the Church in this time of the New Evangelization.

Education and Honors

Benemerenti Medal Awarded by His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI for Exemplary Service to the Church (2011)

M.T.S. Institute for Pastoral Theology, St. Mary’s College of Ave Maria University (2003)

B.A. Theology Franciscan University of Steubenville 1996

Courses

Catechesis for the New Evangelization

Pastoral Care and Ecclesial Life

Contact

lucas.pollice@AugustineInstitute.org | (303) 937-4420

Visiting Faculty

GWEN ADAMS, Ph. D.

Visiting Assistant Professor of Theology

Biography

Dr. Gwen Adams holds a British research PhD degree from Liverpool Hope University and the Maryvale Institute and an MA in Catholic Studies from the University of St. Thomas, MN. She is experienced in a number of apostolic and academic endeavors, having served as a youth minister, farm intern, diocesan marriage tribunal advocate, mentor of Catholic undergraduate households, and teacher on the middle-school, high-school, undergraduate, and graduate levels.

Dr. Adams has presented at the Center for Ethics and Culture Conference (University of Notre Dame), the Symposium on Advancing the New Evangelization (Benedictine College), the Diocese of Burlington, the Diocese of Superior, and other locations around the country. She has written for the Church Life Journal, Faith and Culture, The St. Austin Review, and Vianney Vocations. She is a contributing author to Why Believe?, the Augustine Institute’s high-school apologetics curriculum and is completing her first book, relating interview-based stories of successful American priest and lay apostolates since Vatican II (forthcoming, Augustine Institute Press).

Dr. Adams is the founder of Bardstreet (www.bardstreet.com), a creative workshop hosting the annual Come Away and Rest Awhile Retreat for educators and producing youth and young adult theater, including Puss-in-Boots and The Taming of the Shrew (2019).

SEAN INNERST, D.TH.

Professor of Theology and Catechetics

Email: sean.innerst[at]archden.org | Phone: (303) 715-3199

EDWARD SRI, S.T.D.

Visiting Professor of Theology

 

 

Biography

After studying theology at Franciscan University (M.A. 1995) and at the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas in Rome (S.T.L. 1998, S.T.D 2001), I was blessed to teach undergraduate students at Benedictine College for nine years (1997-2006) and to work with Curtis Martin to launch FOCUS (Fellowship of Catholic University Students), which started there in 1998. As a professor at the Augustine Institute since 2006, I have taught classes in Scripture, Moral and Spiritual Theology, Mariology, the New Evangelization, Christian Marriage and the Theology of the Body. I also have served as content director for several of the Institute’s parish programs, including Symbolon: The Catholic Faith Explained and Beloved: Finding Happiness in Marriage and served as executive director of the Institute’s digital platform Formed.org in the year of its launch.

While various scholars and saints have influenced my thought, our most recent popes’ emphasis on the New Evangelization has shaped my teaching the most. I find St. John Paul II, Pope Benedict XVI and Pope Francis each, in their own way, to have shed much light on the present crisis we face in our secular, relativistic world. We have not only lost faith and our ability to reason well. We have lost what Pope Benedict called “the art of living.” And these recent pontiffs have also pointed out paths forward to engage the culture with the joy of the Gospel. I pray that my teaching and writing, whether in Scripture, Mariology, the virtues or the saints, will be of service to the new evangelization, helping equip my students to engage post-modernity and propose the timeless teachings of Christ in a timely way for our age.

Education

M.A. Franciscan University (1995)

S.T.L., S.T.D Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas in Rome (1998, 2001)

Contact

edward.sri@AugustineInstitute.org

JARED STAUDT, PH.D.

Visiting Associate Professor of Theology