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About Fr. Spitzer

Fr. Robert J. Spitzer, S.J., Ph.D.

Meet Father Spitzer

Born in Honolulu, Hawaii, Fr. Spitzer is a Catholic priest in the Jesuit order and is currently the President of the Magis Center. of Reason and Faith The Magis Center produces documentaries, books, high school programs, college courses, adult-education programs, and social media materials on the close connection among science, reason, and faith. Fr. Spitzer is also the President, Master of Ceremonies, and speaker at the Napa Institute.

Highlights of Fr. Spitzer’s Professional Life

  • As President of the Magis Center from 2010 to the present, he has led the effort to create the largest science-based “faith and reason” institute in the U.S., producing high school and middle school programs, parish programs, catechetical and youth ministry programs, and web-based and social media materials to turn the rising tide of unbelief among young people. He has also published fifteen books, dozens of academic articles, twelve video series, and the content for MagisCenter.com.
  • He was President of Gonzaga University from 1998 to 2009. During that time, he significantly increased the programs and curricula in faith, ethics, service, and leadership, and led the efforts to build 20 new facilities, increased the student population by 75%, and raised $200+ million for scholarships and capital projects.
  • He is currently the host of a weekly EWTN television program – Father Spitzer’s Universe – that discusses faith, science, philosophy, and culture.
  • He has made multiple media appearances, including: Larry King Live (debating Stephen Hawking, Leonard Mlodinow, and Deepak Chopra on God and modern physics), the Today Show (debating on the topic of physician assisted suicide), The History Channel in “God and The Universe” and a multiple-part PBS series “Closer to the Truth.” He has also appeared on dozens of nationally syndicated radio programs.
  • As President of the Spitzer Center since 1996, he developed and tested his model of purpose in life called, “The Four Levels of Happiness,” which he has delivered to hundreds of audiences of international and national government officials, professionals, businesses, church audiences, and university and high school students.

TV Appearances

Fr. Spitzer has appeared on various TV programs for interviews and debates, including a debate with  Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow on Larry King Live. You can also catch Fr. Spitzer weekly on EWTN's Father Spitzer's Universe.

More About Fr. Spitzer

  • Books and Articles
  • Teaching and Awards
  • Organizations
  • Boards
  • Education
  • Television

He has published eighteen books:

Books on Philosophy of Science, Metaphysics, and “Science, Reason, and Faith”

  • Science, Reason, and Faith: Discovering the Bible (OSV Press 2023).
  • Science at the Doorstep to God: Science and Reason in Support of God, the Soul, and Life After Death (Ignatius Press 2023).
  • New Proofs for the Existence of God: Contributions of Contemporary Physics and Philosophy (Eerdmans 2010) for which he won the Catholic Press Association’s Award for best book in faith and science.
  • Evidence for God from Contemporary Physics: Extending the Legacy of Monsignor Georges Lemaître (South Bend, Ind: St. Augustine’s Press, 2015).
  • The Soul’s Upward Yearning: Clues to our Transcendent Nature from Experience and Reason (Ignatius 2015).
  • Soon to be released: Science at the Doorstep to Christ (Ignatius Press, Spring 2024)
  • Soon to be released: Science, Reason, and Faith Study Bible for the RSVCE Edition (OSV Publishing, Spring 2024).
Books on Purpose in Live and Happiness
  • Finding True Happiness: Satisfying Our Restless Hearts (Ignatius 2015).
  • Healing the Culture: A Commonsense Philosophy of Happiness, Freedom, and the Life Issues (Ignatius 2000).
  • The Light Shines on in the Darkness: Contending with Suffering through Faith (Ignatius 2017).
  • Spirit of Leadership: Optimizing Creativity and Change in Organizations (Executive Excellence 20
  • Soon to be released: The Science of Happiness (Sophia, April 2024).
Books on Theology, Spiritual Life, and Morality
  • The Moral Wisdom of the Catholic Church: A Defense of Her Controversial Moral Teachings (Ignatius 2022).
  • Escape from Evil’s Darkness: The Light of Christ in the Church, Spiritual Conversion, and Moral Conversion(Ignatius 2021).
  • Christ Versus Satan in our Daily Lives: The Cosmic Struggle Between Good and Evil (Ignatius 2020).
  • Five Pillars of the Spiritual Life: A Practical Guide to Prayer for Active People (Ignatius 2007).
  • God So Loved the World: Clues to Our Transcendent Destiny from the Revelation of Jesus (Ignatius 2016).
  • Ten Universal Principles: A Brief Philosophy of the Life Issues (Ignatius 2011).

Fr. Spitzer has also published many scholarly articles in journals such as: International Philosophical Quarterly, Philosophy in Science, the Macmillan Reference Volume: Theism and Atheism, The Fellowship of Catholic Scholars Quarterly, The Business and Professional Ethics Journal, and The Journal of Ultimate Reality and Meaning.

He is the author of the materials at magiscenter.com including the Master Teacher Program in contemporary apologetics and Fr. Spitzer’s Resource Book (a 2,000 page encyclopedia of apologetics for intellectual and moral conversion).

In addition to his U.S. presentations to universities, learned societies, government officials and professional societies, he has addressed members of Tony Blair’s Cabinet in London, officials of the Russian Orthodox Church in Russia, both sides of the conflict in Northern Ireland, government officials in Costa Rica, as well as international universities, corporations, and Catholic organizations.

Career in Teaching

  • He was Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Georgetown University where he won the Edward T. Bunn Award for most outstanding professor (1988).
  • He was Associate Professor of Philosophy at Seattle University where he held the Frank Shrontz Chair of Professional Ethics (1997-1998) and won the award for most outstanding professor in the College of Arts and Sciences (1997).
  • While President of Gonzaga University, he held the John Aram Chair of Business Ethics (1999-2000) and was awarded the University’s highest honor, the Desmet Medal (2009).
  • He has won numerous other awards including honorary doctorates from U.S. universities, the Aquinas Medal (2014), the Catholic Leadership Institute Award, the Loyola Institute Award, and awards from many professional societies.
  • His academic specialties are (1) Philosophy of Science, particularly space-time theory and transcendent implications of contemporary Big Bang cosmology, (2) metaphysics, particularly the theory of time and philosophy of God, and (3) the philosophy and science of happiness and purpose in life.

Organizations Founded by Fr. Spitzer

  1. Magis Center of Reason and Faith, Garden Grove, CA (magiscenter.com)
  2. Spitzer Center in Denver, CO (spitzercenter.org)
  3. Colleagues in Jesuit Business Education (cjbe.org)
  4. Healing the Culture in Seattle, WA (healingtheculture.com)
  5. University Faculty for Life at Georgetown University (uffl.org)

Boards of Director and Trustees

Gonzaga University, Seattle University, National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (NAICU), The Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities (AJCU), The Spokane Chamber of Commerce, The Inland Northwest Blood Center, NEXT IT, as well as an officer on the Boards of the Institutes he founded.

Educational Background

  • Ph.D. Catholic University of America, 1984-1988. Philosophy Summa cum Laude

             Dissertation: A Study of Objectively Real Time.  Director: Paul Weiss.

  • Th. M. Weston School (Cambridge, MA), 1983-1984. Theology (Scripture). Summa cum Laude

            Thesis: The Depth Grammar of “Pneuma” and “En Christo” in I Cor 12

            American Bible Association Award.

  • M.Div. Gregorian University (Rome), 1980-1983. Theology. Summa cum Laude

            Thesis: Early Christological Hymns.

  • M.A. St. Louis University, 1976-1978. Philosophy. (Research) Magna cum Laude

Thesis: The Metaphysical Proof of God’s Existence in De Ente Et Essentia of St. Thomas Aquinas.

  • B.A. Gonzaga University (1970-1974) Magna Cum Laude.
  • Punahou High School (Honolulu, Hawaii), 1970 National Honor Society.

TV Programs Produced by Fr. Spitzer

  • Healing the Culture
  • The Spirit of Catholic Leadership
  • Suffering and the Love of God
  • Finding God through Faith and Reason
  • Five Pillars of the Spiritual Life
  • Jesus-Emmanuel
  • The Heavens Proclaim the Glory of God
  • In Defense of God’s Image
  • Virtue, Faith, and Freedom

Father Spitzer's Books

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Teacher Guides by Father Spitzer

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