Dear Angelicum Academy Junior and Senior Students,

The Great Books Program is the core of secondary education – its “backbone,” to use Dr. Adler’s metaphor. It is interdisciplinary, and essential. However, it is not all of education.

Because of that, we added Fr. Joseph Fessio’s four Theology Online courses to offer students the opportunity to learn a higher level of theology, systematically, specifically dogmatic theology (what we believe), including some apologetics (how to present and defend our beliefs to others). We are now adding one other theology option: ascetical and mystical theology, sometimes referred to as Catholic spirituality or spiritual theology, which “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. The real purpose of the study of the spiritual life is not to produce scholars but to form holy Christians.” – Fr. Jordan Aumann, O.P.

We are doing so in a unique partnership with the Avila School of Spiritual Formation, which has teaching orthodox Catholic Spirituality as its mission. We have been friends with the founders of the Avila Institute for years now, and you may read ABOUT them and their mission HERE.

At the Avila Institute’s online School of Spiritual Formation, students meet weekly under the tutelage of a professor and prayerfully dive into study – exploring the Christian mysteries in ways ever ancient and ever new. While some level of catechesis or knowledge of the faith would be helpful, it is not required. Lessons and readings are accessible and lucid to all, yet deep, intelligent, and challenging.

All courses are live, online and interactive. Most are offered in the evenings, about 6:30 PM PST (9:30 PM EST), at various times of the year. Each course is six weeks long, consisting of one ninety-minute session each week. Tuition ranges from $175 to $250 per course. Grading for all Avila School of Spiritual Formation courses is on a Pass/Fail basis. They are adding exciting new courses all the time and students may take as many courses as they want.

To enroll in the program and start taking courses, you just need to fill out the application HERE. If you type “Angelicum Academy” into the “Other Pertinent Information” section on page five of the application, and when you complete the application enter the following code: “Waived”, the $20 application fee will be waived.

While none of these courses are required by any  Angelicum Academy program, we are happy to invite and encourage Angelicum Academy Junior and Senior students (sorry, it’s not available to Freshmen and Sophomores) to visit the Avila Institute website (linked above) and to consider taking any of the courses below, perhaps beginning with one of the first three listed, peradventure motivated by the admonition of the Mystical Doctor of the Church, St. John of the Cross:

“O souls, created for these grandeurs and called to them! What are you doing? How are you spending your time? Your aims are base and your possessions miseries! O wretched blindness of your eyes! You are blind to so brilliant a light and deaf to such loud voices because you fail to discern that insofar as you seek eminence and glory you remain miserable, base, ignorant, and unworthy of so many blessings! In the evening of life, we will be judged on love alone.”

In Dmo.,

Patrick S.J. Carmack

Angelicum Academy President



  • Foundations of Prayer and Union with God

  • An Introduction to Moral Theology

  • 117 Exploring the Source and Summit

    • 101 Transformation in Christ

    • 110 Saint Elizabeth of the Trinity

    • 115 Evangelization and the Spiritual Life

    • 118 Exploring Theosis: The Patristic Understanding of our Participation in the Divine Nature

    • 119 Experiencing God: The History of Catholic Spirituality

    • 120 Standing in the Gap: Responding to the Question: “Can You Pray for Me?”

    • 210 The Holy Spirit in the Life of the Church

    • 222 Introduction to St. Francis of Assisi

    • 223 Introduction to St. Therese of Lisieux

    • 225 Introduction to St. Teresa of Avila

    • 226 St. John of the Cross and Our Journey into the Mystery of God

    • 230 Introduction to St. John of the Cross

    • 248 Growth in Holiness: Doctors of the Interior Life

    • 250 Contemplative Prayer and the Angelic Doctor

    • 251 Marian Apparitions in the Modern World

    • 273 Spiritual Warfare in Modern Times: Screwtape Letters

    • 275 Angels and Demons

    • 279 Healing the Imagination: A Reading Course in Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings