Under the patronage of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, the mission of the Avila Institute is to draw Christians worldwide into deeper union with Christ through mystagogically oriented spiritual education and formation.
Based on our conviction that theology is an ongoing conversation among believers that attends to the sacred doctrine of the Church, the Avila Institute in its instruction and content will always seek full accountability and submission to the magisterium of the Catholic Church. We do this not primarily as a duty, but as a joyful embrace recognizing the Blessed Trinity is alive and actively working through the Church as the primary means of redemption and vivification of the Body of Christ and the world. We recognize that in the Catholic Church we find the fullness of truth as well as the greatest depth and breadth of wisdom available to the world on the topic of how human persons can know, love, and serve God and His creation.
In the ancient Church, mystagogy referred to catechetical instruction provided after baptism. This instruction sought to engage in a disciplined theological conversation by which the baptized might deepen their encounter with the abiding presence of the Lord. At the Avila Institute, we strive not only to convey vital connections in the content of our faith by which we can provide reasons for our hope (pedagogy aimed at a theological wisdom), but we also aim for a kind of discussion that avails students to the transformational presence of Christ by which our minds are renewed (mystagogy aimed at spiritual wisdom). We do this throughout our course work and other activities by building a community that attends to one another in holy conversation about the great truths elucidated by the Fathers, Doctors, Saints and Mystics, and all this to encourage the practice of contemplative prayer and a deeper understanding of how God is working in the pastoral challenges of the world today.
The Avila Institute is completely and energetically committed to the guidelines, directives, and wisdom set forth in Ex Corde Ecclesiae. The following outlines the central commitments we embrace as enumerated under the heading “The Nature of a Catholic University.”
Though we embrace and support all magisterium faithful and approved institutions of the Church, we are not owned by, or in any way subject to any specific religious order, organization, movement, or institution. We operate in faithful adherence to, and with the full blessing of, our local ordinary, who sits on our board.