Born in Honolulu, Hawaii on May 16, 1952, Fr. Spitzer is a Catholic Priest in the Jesuit order, and is currently the President of the Magis Center of Reason and Faith (www.magiscenter.com) and the Spitzer Center (www.spitzercenter.org). The Magis Center produces documentaries, books, high school programs, college courses, adult-education programs, and social media materials to show the close connection between faith and reason in contemporary physics, philosophy, and historical study of the New Testament. The Spitzer Center produces facilitated curricula to strengthen strategic planning, culture, and spiritual practice in Catholic organizations as well as culture and ethics in nonprofit and for-profit organizations. He is also the President, Master of Ceremonies, and speaker at the Napa Institute in Napa, California and Washington, D.C. (www.napa-institute.org).
Some highlights of Fr. Spitzer’s professional life:
- 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 more than $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.
He has published ten books:
- The Light Shines on in the Darkness: Contending with Suffering through Faith
- God so Loved the World: Clues to our Transcendent Destiny from the Revelation of Jesus
- The Soul’s Upward Yearning: Clues to our Transcendent Nature from Experience and Reason
- Finding True Happiness: Satisfying Our Restless Hearts
- Evidence for God from Contemporary Physics: Extending the Legacy of Monsignor Georges Lemaître
- New Proofs for the Existence of God: Contributions of Contemporary Physics and Philosophy (for which he won the Catholic Press Associations Award for best book in faith and science)
- Ten Universal Principles: A Brief Philosophy of the Life Issues
- Healing the Culture: A Commonsense Philosophy of Happiness, Freedom and the Life Issues
- Spirit of Leadership: Optimizing Creativity and Change in Organizations
- Five Pillars of the Spiritual Life: A Practical Guide to Prayer for Active People
He is completing a Catholic Faith Compendium to complement The Catechism of the Catholic Church with scientific evidence, philosophical and theological explanations, and spiritual guidance. This encyclopedic work and on-line tool has the potential to change theological education in high schools, university Catholic centers, parishes, and confirmation/RCIA programs.
He has also 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.
He has also 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 (www.magiscenter.com).
He has given hundreds of presentations to 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 Costa Rica, as well as international universities, corporations, and Catholic organizations).
Fr. Spitzer has had a rewarding career in teaching.
- He was Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Georgetown University where he won the Edward T. Bunn Award for most outstanding professor at the University (1989).
- He was 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).
*Brief 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 De Ente Et Essentia of St. Thomas Aquinas.
Episode | March 6th, 2020 | 48 mins 45 secs
california, catholic, catholic podcast, catholic radio, christian, ethics, evangelization, femininity, feminism, laziness, men, morality, relationships, sacraments, the spiritual works of mercy, theology
Are you a good listener? Are you aware of the needs of others? Are you able to find common ground with other people? Father Robert Spitzer of The Magis Center joins Trending with Timmerie. Together they will talk about how men and women listen, how we can better listen to God, prayer, discernment, character formation, self awareness, and the Spiritual Works of Mercy.
Episode | March 4th, 2020 | 48 mins 7 secs
almsgiving, california, catholic, character development, children, christian, evangelization, fasting, happiness, hope, laziness, prayer, pro-life, sacraments, self improvement, the corporal works of mercy, virtue, workplace
We’re supposed to be doing it during Lent, but what exactly is almsgiving? Father Robert Spitzer of The Magis Center joins Trending with Timmerie to discuss the Corporal Works of Mercy, miracles, charity, justice, discomfort, impatience, the homeless, the sick, and the dying.
Episode | February 7th, 2020 | 48 mins 45 secs
california, career, catholic, catholic bioethics, character development, christian, family, feminism, friendship, gender ideology, happiness, hope, laziness, marriage, moms, parenting, pro-life, sacraments, same sex attraction, self improvement, sex, single life, virtue, workplace
What is a woman? Father Robert Spitzer of The Magis Center joins Trending with Timmerie to unpack the many gifts of femininity to dive deeper into the identity of women. Hips don't lie? Controversy has stirred over depictions of women during the Super Bowl halftime show featuring J. Lo and Shakira. Listen for a discussion on everything from sex trafficking to empathy. Conversations will cover beauty, virtue, children, marriage, productivity, feminism, eternity, the Women’s March, gender identity, objectification, finding balance, and an un-affirmed generation.
Episode | February 5th, 2020 | 48 mins 7 secs
career, catholic, catholic bioethics, character development, chastity, children, christian, contraception, courage, dads, dating, eucharist, feminism, fertility & infertility, friendship, gender ideology, happiness, marriage, masculinity, mental health, porn, prayer, pro-life, sacraments, same sex attraction, self improvement, sex, single life, spiritual warfare
Has the modern idea of “self determination” gone too far? Father Robert Spitzer of The Magis Center joins trending with Timmerie to discuss: the will and the battle that free will poses. Overcome lower level desires and answer the upward call of God. St. Augustine in his Confessions says “You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it rests in you.” Are you allowing the restlessness of desires and dissatisfaction rule your life? Join Trending as they discuss free will and how to make changes to achieve true satisfaction in Jesus Christ. They’ll discuss gender ideology, same sex attraction, porn, chastity, pride and more.
Episode | January 10th, 2020 | 48 mins 45 secs
abortion, california, career, catholic, catholic bioethics, chastity, children, christian, contraception, dads, evangelization, feminism, fertility & infertility, marriage, masculinity, moms, parenting, pro-life, sex, single life
Father Robert Spitzer of the Magis Center joins Trending with Timmerie. They’ll discuss abortion in 2020 and what is to be expected from the Supreme Court as the battle over Roe v. Wade continues. Listen in regarding major changes in fertility both domestically and abroad as Japan faces record low birth rates. What can Catholics do? Finally they’ll discuss why the public loves Ricky Gervais’ comments from the Golden Globes.
Episode | January 8th, 2020 | 48 mins 3 secs
california, career, catholic, character development, christian, confession, dating, eucharist, evangelization, friendship, laziness, marriage, masculinity, mental health, prayer, pro-life, sacraments, self improvement, single life, virtue
Reorient yourself and your life in the context of faith and the salvation of your soul. Father Robert Spitzer of the Magis Center joins Trending with Timmerie to discuss three sane decisions to help you save your soul. Together they’ll discuss how the mystery of our faith and communion should be at the heart of who we are as Catholics. The world may understand mercy, but it needs to turn toward the great mystery of Christ. They’ll touch on friendship, marriage, vocation, singleness, and more.
Episode | December 6th, 2019 | 48 mins 45 secs
advent, anxiety, california, catholic, character development, christian, confession, confirmation, depression, mental health, sacraments, self improvement, sex, single life, virtue
Starting off the second week of advent with the theme of – peace. World peace, meditation, yoga, mental health. Who isn’t trying to find peace within the world or themselves? Father Robert Spitzer, president of the The Magis Center and co-founder of The Napa Institute, joins Trending with Timmerie to discuss the second advent wreath candle’s theme of peace. As people face ongoing interior dissatisfaction and the feel that they no longer belong, you will learn what the virtue of peace is and how you can develop your faith and character.
Episode | December 4th, 2019 | 48 mins 7 secs
advent, california, catholic, character development, christian, confession, confirmation, happiness, hope, laziness, mental health, prayer, sacraments, same sex attraction, self improvement, single life, virtue
Father Robert Spitzer of the The Magis Center joins Trending with Timmerie as they discuss hope. The first candle of the Advent wreath stands for hope. It’s time to go beyond the abstract and to understand the theological virtue of hope in a time where people are stuck in despair, hopelessness, and mental health crises. They’ll discuss religion, slothfulness, prayer, the “nones”, the sacrament of reconciliation, conversion, advent, and more to help you achieve a hope filled life.
Episode | October 2nd, 2019 | 47 mins 59 secs
california, career, catholic, character development, chastity, christian, dating, friendship, happiness, marriage, masculinity, prayer, sacraments, self improvement, spiritual warfare, virtue
Are you happy? Did you know there are levels of happiness? You can navigate to a deeper place of fulfillment with the tools in this episode. Father Robert Spitzer of Magis Center joins Trending with Timmerie to discuss his Four Levels of Happiness and a how to guide to go deeper. This will include discussions on prayer, depression, comparison, ego, anxiety, suicide, stress, marriage, and more.