Pontifex University is a Roman Catholic university, loyal to the Magisterium, and grounded in the Catholic intellectual tradition. We offer affordable, high-quality educational programs for credit or for personal enrichment combining online programs with optional in-residence programs, seminars, and workshops. All Pontifex University educational programs are designed to be in accord with this supernatural aim, namely, the transformation of the person so that all they do might be directed to the common good and in accord with the Will of God. We believe, in the words of Pope Pius XI (that):
"The proper and immediate end of Christian education is to cooperate with divine grace in forming the true and perfect Christian, that is, to form Christ Himself in those regenerated by Baptism...For precisely this reason, Christian education takes in the whole aggregate of human life , physical and spiritual, intellectual and moral, individual, domestic and social, not with a view of reducing it in any way, but in order to elevate, regulate and perfect it."
- Pope Pius XI, Divini Ilius Magistri
The History & Governance of Pontifex University
Pontifex University is an authentic Roman Catholic institution formed in 2015, operated by Holy Spirit College Inc., and overseen by a self-perpetuating Board of Trustees that governs the Solidarity Association of the Christian Faithful, a public juridical body established by decree pursuant to Cann. 298-329. In its governance of Pontifex, the Association is supported by a distinguished Academic Advisory Board. The offices and campus of Holy Spirit College Inc. are at 4465 Northside Dr. NW, Atlanta, GA 30327.
Pontifex University Programs
Pontifex offers in-person and online programs: an online Master of Sacred Arts; a Master of Theological Studies with online or in-person options, an in-person Master of Theology, a blended Master of Sacred Arts in the Theology of the Body and the New Evangelization; an in-person Master of Religious Education; and a completely online Doctorate in Theology.
Founded in 2015, Pontifex has grown tremendously in students and programs in the past 5 years.
Pontifex teaches both online and campus-based courses and programs. For the 2016-2017 academic year the only degree program offered was the Master of Sacred Arts (MSA) program. This was offered in the 2017-2018 academic year and the Theology Doctorate program (Th.D.) which includes coursework that comprises in itself a 24-credit Diploma in Theological Foundation (DTF) program, was introduced during course of the year 2018-19.
In the year 2019-2020 a third program, a Master of Arts in the Theology of the Body and the New Evangelization (MSA.ToB.NE) was introduced. This is offered through a partnership with the Theology of the Body Institute (tobinstitute.org) which is based in Philadelphia, PA. Faculty from the Theology of the Body Institute teach classes at residential workshops which take place in various locations in the US and Canada; faculty of Pontifex teach online course.
In the year 2020-21 the two education programs were introduced. These are the Master of Education in Catholic School Administration (M.Ed); in parallel with this the Education Doctorate (Ed.D) was introduced.
Incorporation of Holy Spirit College and the Creation of Pontifex College
In 2019 Pontifex University formally merged with Holy Spirit College, a campus based Catholic liberal arts college which is at 4465 Northside Dr NW, Atlanta, GA 30327. As a result, Pontifex University became a single entity comprising two constituent colleges, Pontifex College and Holy Spirit College. What had previously been the teaching arm of Pontifex University, changed its name to Pontifex College and offers online courses; and Holy Spirit College offers campus-based courses. Entrance to programs can be through either college. Holy Spirit College administers admissions of those who expect to take primarily campus-based courses; Pontifex College administers admissions of those who expect to take primarily online courses. Once formally admitted however, there is great flexibility within a single University and students are free to take any academically justifiable combination of online and/or campus-based courses.
The History of Holy Spirit College prior to incorporation within Pontifex University
Holy Spirit College was founded in 2005 as an independent, authentic Catholic liberal arts college governed by a self-perpetuating Board of Trustees and supported by a distinguished Academic Advisory Board. Founded as an undergraduate College which offered core college courses in the liberal arts to students enrolled at Holy Spirit Preparatory School, Holy Spirit College graduates went on to study at many of the finest undergraduate institutions in the United States, including Harvard, the University of Notre Dame, Emory University, Vanderbilt University, and the Naval and Air Force Academies.
In 2009, Holy Spirit College was authorized by the Georgia Nonpublic Postsecondary Education Commission (GNPEC) to offer the Bachelor of Philosophy degree (BPhil). Spring 2010 was a time of growth and structuring of the program as Holy Spirit College entered into an articulation agreement with Ave Maria University, adopting their core curriculum which allowed for students attending the College during the freshman and sophomore years to transfer to Ave Maria University and complete a major not offered at Holy Spirit College. With the finalization of the articulation agreement, the formal expansion of program offerings began July 1, 2010.
In August of 2010, in addition to the dual credit students from Holy Spirit Preparatory School, the college admitted its inaugural group of full-time undergraduate students. August 2010 also marked the first semester for graduate students enrolled in the Master of Theological Studies program. The College awarded its first MTS degree in the spring of 2012.
A Master of Theology program began in the spring of 2011. At the same time, Archbishop Wilton Gregory of the Archdiocese of Atlanta recognized Holy Spirit College as an official Catholic College. The College awarded its first MTh degree in the spring of 2015.
With the merger between Holy Spirit College and Pontifex into Pontifex University, Holy Spirit College surrendered it’s GNPEC degree granting status to operate under the existing religious institution status enjoyed by Pontifex.
Holy Spirit College is blessed with a beautiful and mature campus setting shared with both Holy Spirit Parish and Holy Spirit Preparatory School. The College enjoys dedicated facilities within the parish complex with classrooms, a satellite library, a break room, offices, and a student commons room.