Skip to content
Sign up for monthly email updates of faith and science articles from Magis Center!
About Fr. Spitzer

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

Meet Father Spitzer

Fr. Spitzer is a Catholic Priest in the Jesuit order and President of the Magis Center and the Spitzer Center. President of Gonzaga University from 1998 to 2009, he significantly increased their programs and curricula in faith, ethics, service, and leadership. He also led the efforts to build 20 new facilities, increased the student population by 75%, and raised more than $200 million for scholarships and capital projects. 

Fr. Spitzer has made many TV appearances including: Larry King Live (debating Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow), the Today Show (debating on the topic of active euthanasia), The History Channel in “God and The Universe,” a multiple part PBS series “Closer to the Truth,” and the Hugh Hewitt Show. He currently appears weekly on EWTN in “Father Spitzer’s Universe“.

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

  • Articles
  • Teaching
  • Education
  • Specialties
  • Organizations
  • Boards
  • Productions

Published Articles

  • Published many scholarly articles in journals such as: International Philosophical Quarterly, Philosophy in Science, the Business and Professional Ethics Journal, and the Journal of Ultimate Reality and Meaning.

  • Written an online Encyclopedia of Reason and Faith which responds to questions about the evidence for God, Creation, and the transmateriality of human consciousness as well as questions concerning the historicity of Jesus.

  • Presentations to hundreds of universities, learned societies, professional societies, corporations, non-profit organizations, and government agencies both nationally and internationally (including 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 El Salvador, international universities, corporations, and Catholic organizations).

Career in Teaching

  • Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Georgetown University where he won the Edward T. Bunn Award for most outstanding professor at the University (1989).

  • Associate Professor of Philosophy and visiting Professor of Business at Seattle University where he won the award for most outstanding professor in the College of Arts and Sciences (1997) and held the The Frank Shrontz Chair of Professional Ethics (1997-98).

  • 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)

  • Numerous other awards including honorary doctorates from U.S. Universities, the Catholic Leadership Institute, the Loyola Institute, and other professional societies.


Educational Background

  • Ph.D. — Catholic University of America, 1984-88. Philosophy Summa cum Laude. 

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

  • Th.M. — Weston School (Cambridge), 1983-84. Theology (Scripture). Summa cum Laude.

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

  • M.Div. — Gregorian University (Rome), 1980-83. Theology. Summa cum Laude.

  • Thesis: Early Christological Hymns.

  • M.A. — St. Louis University, 1976-78. Philosophy. (Research) Magna cum Laude.

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

  • B.B.A. — Gonzaga University, 1970-74. Public Accounting and Finance Magna Cum Laude.

  • High School — Punahou High School (Honolulu, Hawaii), 1970 National Honors Society.

  • Entered the Jesuits August 17, 1974, took first vows August 21, 1976, was ordained a priest on June 11, 1983, and took final vows April 4, 1992.

Academic Specialties

(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) organizational ethics and its relationship to personal and cultural transformation. Other Studies: leadership, historical exegesis of the New Testament, the life issues, and philosophy of culture.

Organizations Founded by Fr. Spitzer

  • Magis Center in Garden Grove, CA -

  • Spitzer Catholic Institute in Ann Arbor, MI -

  • Colleagues in Jesuit Business Education -

  • Healing the Culture in Seattle, WA -

  • University Faculty for Life at G

  • Philosophical Foundations of Physics at Georgetown University

  • Ethics and Performance Institute in Coeur d’Alene, ID


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.

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.

Father Spitzer's Books