Meet The Graduates of Pontifex University

Here, we highlight the journeys of our graduates. We hope this will inspire current and future Pontifex University students. We at Pontifex University are proud of the quality of our graduates, and we are happy to promote them and their publications and work since they studied with us.


Dr. Rafael Xavier Gonzalez

(Doctorate of Theological Studies)

​Dr. Rafael Xavier Gonzalez studied Theology, Philosophy, Latin and Greek in two seminaries, one in Spain and another in Peru, specializing in Thomism, Suárism, and Molinism. He has lectured at varied parishes and centers on approved Marian apparitions. Rafael is also a veteran of the Iraq war. He is currently a teacher in a classic liberal arts high school and an adjunct professor of philosophy.

Dr. Rafael Gonzalez has published "True Catholic Doctrinal Development: The Modal Distinction of Francisco Suárez and its Christological-Theological Consequences." In this book, he discusses Suárez’ modal distinction, which seems to satisfy both medieval Thomism (and neo-Thomism) and the newer pejoratively called “la nouvelle théologie” in their views of the distinction between nature and supernature, philosophy and theology. In other words, the traditional Scholastic theology and the more contemporary Ressourcement theology are synthesized by Suárezian modes, which emerges from the synthesis that is Christ himself.

Dr. Rafael is currently working on a new book on anthropology which stems from his thesis on the modes. It deals with how Original Sin affects man, and he incorporates Suarez’ modes as metaphysical categories to aid the theological explanation.

" In my new book (which is the publication of my PhD thesis), I am delving into the understanding of man in his fallen nature. What kind of attitude should we have towards it? Optimism or pessimism or both in different aspects? I demonstrate how, with the Catholic pluralist intellectual thought, that is, within orthodoxy, both sound anthropological optimism and pessimism exist. I also show a radical, unsound optimism and pessimism towards man exists. Today, with optimism running amok in and outside the Church, we need more anthropological pessimism towards man." - Dr. Rafael Xavier Gonzalez

" Pontifex University is an affordable orthodox Catholic University that offers a host of degrees. My experience there was great. I met lasting friends online and even got linked with the Scala Foundation through Pontifex. The people that work there are real academics and very professional. They are willing to work with you and address individual needs and concerns. In the end, it was a fantastic experience!" - Dr. Rafael Xavier Gonzalez



Dr. Ethan Tyler Graham

(Doctorate of Theological Studies)

Dr. E. Tyler Graham has been teaching high school for 25 years and has a humanities B.A. from Stanford University, an M.A. in religion from Syracuse, an M.T.S. from Ave Maria University, and a Th.D. from Pontifex. He currently lives in Ave Maria, Florida, with his wife and children. There, both spouses teach at, and all 6 children attend or have graduated from Donahue Academy, a Catholic classical school. He is currently an adjunct faculty member of Ave Maria University's graduate program in education.

His dissertation (to be published by Pontifex University Press as Modeling the Master) applies a Girardian analysis to the pedagogical work of Msgr. Luigi Giussani (in particular, his text The Risk of Education) and develops a theology of the Catholic high school teacher. The work fuses Church teaching, perennial philosophy, and personal experience in high school pedagogy to forge a path forward for the Catholic educator in the modern world. It ends with a hypothesis regarding the driving themes of the Second Vatican Council. Dr. Graham has published, "The Gravity of Education and Modeling the Master." Others include many published articles in journals such as Homiletic & Pastoral Review, The Imaginative Conservative, VoegelinView, Religion, and Contagion. Editor of Gravissimum, the Catholic Classical Journal,

" The work of Pontifex University is consistent with the Second Vatican Council's declaration that modern media, if properly utilized, can be of great service to mankind since they greatly contribute to men's entertainment and instruction as well as to the spread and support of the Kingdom of God. Pontifex University aids the faithful in providing educational opportunities that are faithful to the Magisterium, relevant to the contemporary Catholic, and valuable for advancing Catholic intellectual life today. The Pontifex Th.D. was, for me, a perfect way to blend my professional life with the intellectual life at the service of the Kingdom of God." - Dr. Ethan Tyler Graham



Rev. Kingsley Nwoko, STL, Th.D

(Doctorate of Theological Studies)

Rev. Dr. Kingsley Nwoko is an ordained Roman Catholic Priest for ministry in the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston. He is a passionate and charismatic priest who loves being a priest and providing pastoral accompaniments to those called to the vocation of marriage.

Fr. Kingsley holds a Licentiate degree in Sacred Theology of Marriage and Family from the Pontifical Institute of John Paull II for Studies on Marriage and Family at Vatican City, Rome. He also holds a doctorate in Sacred Theology from Pontifex University, Atlanta, Georgia, specializing in Marriage and Family.

He is the Founder of Lumina School of Love, a Center for Marriage Formation and Pastoral Accompaniment of the Domestic Church. Lumina School of Love provides integrative and holistic formation for the vocation to marriage.  Fr. Kingsley is the author and facilitator of "Before the Vows," "Discovering Love with Clarity," "Love on Flames," etc., programs created with the framework of Catechumenal Pathways for Married Life, currently in implementation in the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston. He also volunteers his expertise with the Office of Family Life, Office of Young Adults, and Campus Ministry of the Archdiocese of Galveston- Houston.

Fr. Kingsley taught Theology of Family Life as an adjunct professor at the University of St. Thomas, Houston, at the Center of Faith and Culture.

“As a full-time priest in the parish, one thing that was challenging for me was how to combine my parish ministry and my passion for academics without abandoning my parish. Pontifex University became the game changer, the only solution; not only did it have all I needed in Catholic education, but its online component enabled me to do both. I cannot ask for more when it comes to Pontifex.”



(Master of Sacred Arts Theology of the Body and the New Evangelization)

My name is Babu John, and I live in Dallas, Texas, although I am originally from India. I am a full-time Catholic missionary focusing on the Theology of the Body (TOB). Over the past nine years, I have traveled in the US and across the globe as an instrument of the Holy Spirit, educating and inspiring young people, teachers, parents, seminarians, and religious leaders with the transformative teachings of Pope St. John Paul II's Theology of the Body and other teachings of the Church.

I am also the founder and president of TOB FOR LIFE, a religious non-profit organization. The purpose of TOB FOR LIFE (Theology of the Body for Life) is to spread the love and hope of Jesus Christ through a bold, compelling, Christian response to the sexual revolution and gender crisis, as addressed by the late Pope St. John Paul II. This outreach is intended for people of all nationalities, races, religions, and colors to bring true happiness and a new vision of life globally and across denominational lines.

I received my Theology of the Body education at the Theology of the Body Institute, PA, under the guidance of Christopher West and Bill Donaghy, and graduated as a certified speaker. Additionally, I hold a bachelor's degree in philosophy. I am also honored to be the first graduate of Pontifex University with a master's degree in theology and sacred arts, specializing in the theology of the body and new evangelization. It was a wonderful, unforgettable experience to be a Pontifex student and go deeper into the church's teachings.

I want to share my experience with Pontifex's online programs, which enabled me to pursue my studies while managing other commitments. The in-person programs at the Theology of the Body Institute were genuinely life-changing. During my studies at Pontifex University, I had the opportunity to delve deeply into the profound Catholic intellectual tradition. The academic programs, firmly rooted in the Magisterium, facilitated my intellectual growth, and nurtured my spiritual development. As a result, I now possess a stronger faith and a deeper understanding of the Catholic Church.

Pontifex has helped me explore the profound teachings of St. John Paul II's Theology of the Body and other writings. His call for a "New Evangelization" deeply resonates with my mission—to fervently share the gospel in fresh ways that meet the needs of our time.

My journey doesn't end with graduation; it's just the beginning—a lifelong commitment to beauty, truth, the Catholic Church, and the new evangelization.


Christopher West

(Doctorate of Theological Studies)

Christopher West has been on the front lines of teaching and promoting St. John Paul II’s Theology of the Body since he first discovered it in the early 1990s. His global lecturing has taken him to dozens of countries on six continents and to hundreds of locations across the United States. He is an award-winning author of multiple best-selling books, numerous audio and video programs, and has accumulated millions of views and listens on his popular podcast and YouTube videos. West’s work has crossed both denominational and secular lines, having been featured in The New York Times, on ABC News, Fox News, MSNBC, and in countless Catholic and evangelical media outlets.

West graduated with a Master’s in Sacred Theology from the Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family in 1997. There he had the privilege of studying under personal friends and collaborators of John Paul II, such as Stanislaw Grygiel, Lorenzo Albacete, and William May. Over the next twenty years he worked on and off on pursuing his doctorate in the midst of raising a family and running a busy, global ministry. He was delighted to discover Pontifex’s doctoral program in 2017, as it allowed him to complete and submit what he had already been developing over the years as his dissertation. He was also pleased that the Th.D. program at Pontifex enabled him to work under the direction of renowned theologian and biblical scholar Michael Waldstein, S.S.L., Ph.D., Th.D., with whom West had collaborated closely on the 2006 critical English translation of John Paul II’s Theology of the Body. West’s dissertation, which he successfully defended in 2019, proposed a method of translation and inculturation of John Paul II’s dense scholarship for a wider audience. The specific question he explored was: How can the riches of the salvific but academically dense work of John Paul II’s Theology of the Body become bread broken for all in service of the new evangelization?

To serve that end, which has always been his particular theological interest and charism, West co-founded the Theology of the Body Institute in 2004 and serves today both as its President and as Professor of Theological Anthropology in its jointly sponsored master’s program with Pontifex. Thousands have traveled from around the world to Black Rock Retreat Center in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, to immerse themselves in the five-day intensive courses West and other distinguished faculty offer there. Thousands more have taken advantage of these courses online, all of which has attracted a steady flow of students to pursue Pontifex University’s unique “Theology of the Body and the New Evangelization” master’s program which incorporates multiple courses offered by the TOB Institute.

Dr. West’s unrepeatable teaching-style integrates his deep appreciation of beauty in creation, music, and movies with his deep love of the mystical tradition of the Church, encouraging his students to journey from “head to heart” in their approach to theological studies. “When theology remains only an academic exercise of ‘the head,’” West observes, “it’s merely informational. Theological information is fine and good as far as it goes. But when we have the courage to open our hearts prayerfully to the work of the Holy Spirit, engaging the theological treasures of the Church becomes not only informational, but deeply transformational. That’s where my interest lies, both as a student of theology and as a teacher of it. And I remain deeply grateful to Pontifex for welcoming me both as a student and as a teacher. It has been a rich blessing both personally and professionally.”

Joachim Arnold

(Master of Sacred Arts)

Joachim Arnold is a graduate from Texas A&M International University with a B.F.A. and holds an M.S.A. from Pontifex University.  He is a middle school teacher in Texas. He has published a book of the translations of J.A.D. Ingre, as well as an article, Les Principes du Dessin selon Ingres,  in the Bulletin of the Ingres Bourdelle Museum.