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“Thank you heartily for the excellent education that you and your teaching staff have given to Joseph during this past year. He grew so much: academically, socially and spiritually. I am so proud of him. I am also so impressed by the knowledge, wisdom, integrity and holiness of you professors. You have all been such mentors to Joseph. I know the value of this education. As you know, it is very similar to the St. Ignatius Institute education that I received from Fr. Fessio. I thanked God every day that I was there. God bless you, your family and the college.” Sincerely in Christ, Christine P. (Joseph’s mom).

“I was able to get into the classroom easily and am enjoying Fr. Fessio’s extensive knowledge.” – T.K., a student taking Fr. Fessio’s Ecclesiology: The Liturgy course

“I’m more excited now to take the course because of the beautiful writing of Pope Benedict XVI’s, I will miss him so much and will pray for his health and divine spiritual guidance. I’ve read The Spirit of the Liturgy twice and keep going back to read it for the many reference and explanation that Pope Benedict had written. It will be a privilege to take the course of Fr. Fessio who was a student of Pope Benedict. God bless!” – L. Armstrong


Fr. Joseph Fessio, S.J., S.T.D

Fr. Joseph Fessio, S.J., Th.D.

Theology Instructor: Fr. Joseph Fessio, S.J., Th.D.

Fr. Joseph Fessio, Founder of Ignatius Press – Publisher of the Holy Father’s two JESUS OF NAZARETH books, will be offering online theology courses with lectures on each book chapter, study questions, and video clips with the answer to each of the study questions, and exams.

Below is the first video lecture in the theology series. 

RC Introductory Lecture from Liberal Studies Program on Vimeo.


Fundamental Theology: Revelation and Christology 

This 3-credit hour introductory course in theology consists in a careful reading of three texts. C.S. Lewis’ Miracles provides a philosophical propaedeutic to the theological understanding of Divine Revelation. It addresses the preliminary questions of whether Revelation is possible and what the criteria are for evaluating the Christian claim that God has revealed himself in Jesus Christ. The Second Vatican Council’s Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation (Dei Verbum) presents an authoritative expression of the Church’s self-understanding of Revelation and its relation to Scripture, Magisterium and Theological Tradition as that tradition was taught by great witnesses and scholars. G.K. Chesterton’s masterpiece The Everlasting Man offers a broad historical-theological overview of man’s place in nature and Christ’s place in history. ENROLL HERE.

543bf3733b95b-2Fundamental Theology: The Creed 

This 3-credit hour course in theology will take as guide the foundational work of Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, Introduction to Christianity. This text examines the principal elements of the Christian Creed: belief in the triune God, in Jesus Christ, in the Spirit and the Church. It does this making explicit reference to post-Enlightenment skepticism in faith and the supernatural.   Orthodoxy by G. K. Chesterton will serve as an apologetic preparation for this: how one man, himself steeped in this post-Enlightenment mentality, was came to accept the Creed. ENROLL HERE.

Jesus of Nazareth

This 3-credit hour course explores the central figure of Biblical revelation, Jesus Christ, in the light of two complementary exegetical approaches: historical-critical method and canonical exegesis. The former focuses on the historical author and his intended meaning within his historical context. The latter focuses on reading the texts within the totality of the one Scripture, and this includes the author’s being part of a living community to which God has spoken. The primary texts are Joseph Ratzinger/Pope Benedict’s Jesus of Nazareth, Books 1 and 2. ENROLL HERE.

The Liturgy

This 3-credit hour course responds to the questions: What is the Liturgy? How did it develop historically? What is its relation to space, time, music, art, and the body? The primary text is Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger’s The Spirit of the Liturgy, which will be supplemented by substantive magisterial documents, especially the Second Vatican Council’s Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy (Sacrosanctum Concilium), the detailed historical context of which is provided in The Organic Development of the Liturgy by Dom Alcuin Reid. ENROLL HERE.

fessio_onlineFather Fessio, born January 10, 1941 attended high school at Bellarmine College Preparatory in San Jose, CA from 1954 to 1958. Before entering the Jesuit novitiate in 1961, he completed undergraduate studies in Civil Engineering at the University of Santa Clara, California. He entered the novitiate on September 7, 1961. Before his ordination as a Roman Catholic priest, he earned a B.A (in 1966) and an M.A. (in 1967) in Philosophy from Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington. He was ordained as a Roman Catholic priest on June 10, 1972. By that time, he had also earned an M.A in Theology from his studies in Lyons, France. In 1975, he earned his doctorate in Theology from the University of Regensburg, West Germany. His thesis director was Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger now Pope Benedict XVI. Less well known perhaps is that Fr. Fessio is a founder.

1968 – Co-founder Director of Project 50

1976 – Founded the St. Ignatius Institute, University of San Francisco, CA

1978 – Founder and Editor, Ignatius Press

1995 – Co-Founder, Adoremus: Society for the Renewal of the Sacred Liturgy

1998 – Founded the Catholic Radio Network

2002 – Founded Campion College of San Francisco

2002 – Founding Chancellor of Ave Maria College and Ave Maria University

2010 – Founding Chancellor of UOWC Network of Cooperating Colleges

father-joseph-fessio-sj-and-pope-benedict-xvi-in-castel-gandolfo-300x219Fr. Fessio is a Catholic evangelizer. As such he became an educator and a publisher.

1966 – 1967 Taught Philosophy at Gonzaga University, Spokane, Washington

1967 – 1969 Taught Philosophy at University of Santa Clara, California.

1974 – Taught Systematic and Spiritual Theology, University of San Francisco

1979 – Director, Religious Books on Tape, Audio Division of Ignatius Press

1988 – 1991 Editor, 30 Days, In the Church and the World

1991 – Publisher, The Catholic World Report

1995 – Publisher, Catholic Dossier, Catholic Faith, Homiletic & Pastoral Review

Sign up here for online theology classes with Father Joseph Fessio.