Dr. Tim Gray, Denver Chapter
Dr. Tim Gray is a busy man. He leads the Augustine Institute, a Denver-based organization offering a master’s program in sacred scripture, evangelization and catechesis. He’s also a professor at Denver’s St. John Vianney Theological Seminary, a member of the Napa Institute board of directors, and a working author. Gray, 47, and other Catholic leaders developed the Augustine Institute to train Catholics in theology and leadership for the New Evangelization, as well as to create catechetical tools, leadership formation resources and youth ministry programs for parishes and dioceses. Gray spoke with Legatus magazine staff writer Brian Fraga.
How is the Augustine Institute doing?
We are growing every year. We just acquired Lighthouse Catholic Media so that we could bring together our content generation and their distribution channels in a closer strategic way to reach more souls for Christ. We have over 376 students this semester, and we just had an incoming class of 88 new students, which is our largest incoming class ever.
To what do you attribute the increased enrollment and interest?
We have a phenomenal faculty that is interested in the Catholic faith and knows it deeply, but they’re also interested in engaging the culture. That’s what is unique and why people are drawn to us. They love that we have a devotion to scripture and the theology and tradition of the Church. They love our orthodoxy, but they also love that we want to understand postmodernism and how to engage it.
Why is the institute named for St. Augustine?
The first thing is: Here’s a man who is deeply embedded in the world of his day — and in the culture of ancient Rome. We live in a modern, sophisticated and oftentimes pagan culture, and how do we, like Augustine, come to personal conversion?
He was also a master of rhetoric, using his finely honed communication skills to communicate the Gospel. We’re trying to teach our students how to communicate the faith in a compelling, winsome way.
Augustine also wanted to engage the worldview of Roman paganism. In The City of God, he tells of this conflicting worldview between the city of man and the city of God, and that’s really what we try to train ourselves and our students to do, to understand a biblical Catholic worldview but also to understand the underpinnings of the postmodern culture worldview so we can engage it effectively.
How do you find time to juggle all your responsibilities?
I gave up TV a long time ago. The great thing about the Augustine Institute is we built it with a great team, and so I don’t have to do everything. I’ve got a team of people who are more capable than I am.
I love to read. I love hiking, fishing, backpacking, skiing. That’s the great thing about living in Colorado. I also love listening to classical music. I love the theater and the arts.
How did you come to be involved with Legatus?
I started speaking at Legatus chapters about 10 years ago, and the Denver Legatus chapter was such a terrific, dynamic chapter. They kept asking me to join. Once the Augustine Institute grew large enough that I could become a member, I did.
I’m a huge fan of Legatus because through Legatus, my wife and I have met some of our very best friends. The most important thing for us as Christians today is to live our faith. To do that well, we need to have models and a community, and Legatus is one of the most unique organizations in that it allows both those things to happen.