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Robert Spitzer

President, The Magis Center; Jesuit Priest & Philosopher

Robert J. Spitzer, SJ, is a Jesuit priest, philosopher, physicist, educator, author, speaker, and retired President of Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington.

Spitzer is founder and currently active as President of Magis Institute, a non-profit organization dedicated to public education concerning the complementary relationship among the varied disciplines of physics, philosophy, reason, and faith. He is also the Chief Education Officer of the Ethics and Performance Institute, which delivers web-based ethics education to corporations and individuals. He is also President of the Spitzer Center of Catholic Organizations, which helps cultivate cultures of evangelization in Catholic dioceses, parishes, schools, and other organizations.

Spitzer received the degree of Bachelors of Business Administration from Gonzaga University, followed by a Masters degree in Philosophy from St. Louis University, a Masters of Divinity degree from the Gregorian University in Rome, a Master of Theology degree in Scripture from the Weston School (now the Boston College School of Theology and Ministry) in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and a Doctor of Philosophy from the Catholic University of America in Washington, DC.

Academic career

Spitzer began his teaching career at St. Louis University as a teaching assistant. He continued at Seattle University as an instructor of philosophy, and taught as an assistant professor of philosophy at Georgetown University, where he received the Bunn Medal for Most Outstanding Faculty Member. He then returned to Seattle University, where he was tenured as an associate professor of philosophy. During that time he held the Frank Shrontz Chair of Professional Ethics and won the award for outstanding faculty member in the College of Arts and Sciences in 1997.

On September 17, 1998, Spitzer was inaugurated as the 25th President of Gonzaga University, a position he held for 11 years.

Spitzer is affiliated with several Catholic academic associations: the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities, the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities, the American Catholic Philosophical Association, the Jesuit Philosophical Association, the Fellowship of Catholic Scholars and Colleagues in Jesuit Business Education, which he founded.

Spitzer has founded or co-founded several institutes and organizations: the Magis Institute in Irvine, California, the Ethics and Performance Institute and Healing the Culture, both located in Seattle, the Spitzer Center of Catholic Organizations in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and Philosophical Foundations of Physics and University Faculty for Life, both located in Washington, D.C.

Topic Series


Ten Universal Principles: A Brief Philosophy of the Life Issues

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New Proofs for the Existence of God: Contributions of Contemporary Physics and Philosophy

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Five Pillars of the Spiritual Life: A Practical Guide to Prayer for Active People

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Healing the Culture: A Commonsense Philosophy of Happiness, Freedom and the Life Issues

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The Spirit of Leadership: Optimizing Creativity & Change in Organizations

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