Do you ever feel inadequate when it comes to explaining or defending your Catholic Faith with family, friends, or coworkers?
You’re definitely not alone.
I’ve polled the 14,900+ people who subscribe to my weekly theology emails. As soon as someone subscribes to the weekly email newsletter, I send them an email and ask, “Okay, what’s your #1 spiritual struggle as a Catholic? Please tell me so that I can start writing or recording resources to help you.”
Over the years, the number 1 response goes something like this:
I can’t explain my faith to my family and friends. I feel inadequate. I don’t know where to go for the answers. I don’t know what to say. I love them so much, but I’m just not trained.”
Can you relate?
After hearing this hundreds of times, I realized that there is a huge need for theological training and I wanted to do something about it. I have a PhD in the philosophy and theology of Saint Thomas Aquinas. I’ve written four popular books on Scripture, Catholicism, and philosophy. I offer a free weekly podcast for listeners about Catholic living. I’m on EWTN and Catholic radio. But these avenues were not enough.
We need something deeper and innovative. Millions of people are leaving the Church.
We need a game changer…
On October 7, 2013 (Feast of the Holy Rosary), I founded the New Saint Thomas Institute – an online school for studying Catholic theology under the guidance of Saint Thomas Aquinas. My goal was threefold:
- This innovative solution had to be affordable. NSTI could not be expensive like college and theological Master’s programs that cost something like $2,000 per course! We solved that. Our tuition is 98% cheaper than college and Master’s programs.
- This innovative solution had to be designed for busy people. How could busy fathers, mothers, husbands, wives, college students, clergy, and grandparents access content in a fast, easy, and fun way? We solved that. We deliver our content online through HD video and mp3s. There are no scheduled times. You show up when you want and everything is there for you at your fingertips.
- This innovative solution had to be high quality. These aren’t YouTube videos strung together or cheap recordings of me in my basement. These are Hi-Def video lessons filmed and produced in our studio by a professional team of videographers and editors. We use the highest quality cameras, lenses, mics, and equipment. Our site is responsive and can be used on a desktop, tablet, iPad, or smart phone. I create my best content for NSTI, and I teach you about St Thomas Aquinas, St Augustine, the Blessed Virgin Mary, Atheism, Apologetics, Church History, Councils, controversies, etc. It’s like being in a classroom with a professor…but in your living room or office.
Since our founding, we’ve added two new goals:
- This solution must foster a global community. We did not foresee that the NSTI would have international appeal with Members in 24 different nations already. We have been investing a lot of resources in making NSTI like a “Catholic Facebook” on the inside so that Members can “friend” each other and form “groups.”
- This solution must offer a Certificate option. In the first several months, several hundred Members asked if they could earn a “Certificate in Theology” option and we launched that option on the anniversary of St Thomas Aquinas’ death (March 7, 2014). We are adding new lessons to it every week. We are also discussing future (more-advanced) Certificates, such as a “Certificate in Biblical Theology” or a “Certificate in Marian Theology.”
I never expected that the New Saint Thomas Institute would become so influential and valuable to its Members. There is clearly a gigantic demand and we can hardly keep up with it!
As you may remember, the initial 500 spots sold out in the first few hours of opening day on October 7, 2013 (Feast of the Holy Rosary). In the first three months we grew to over 1,000 Members in 24 different nations.
I had made a vow to Our Lady of Guadalupe that if she grew NSTI into “1,000 Members” I’d fly to Mexico City and personally thank her. Our Lady made it all happen and I fulfilled that vow. I traveled to Mexico City with Scott Hahn and visited the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in February of 2014. Here’s a photo – you can see Our Lady of Guadalupe in the background:
With the demand, we had to close the doors and limit the numbers in the New Saint Thomas Institute. I want thousands to learn more and more about their Catholic Faith, but I don’t want us to grow too fast. In the early days, we did experience technical stress on the site because of all the students flooding the system. It takes a lot of bandwidth to stream 1080 HD videos to 1,100 people all over planet Earth!
So there is a currently a waiting list to join the New Saint Thomas Institute.
As of June 23, 2014, there are 266 people on the NSTI Waiting List. This just blows me away. We are not going to allow an unlimited number of Members to join, so if you want to enroll, you must get on the Priority Enrollment Waiting List!
So if you want to try and enroll in the New Saint Thomas Institute, here’s what you need to know:
- I want this to be fair, but I also realize that due to constraints some may not get in. I feel really bad about that, so if you don’t get in, I apologize. I’m writing you this message so that everyone is aware.
- We will likely open a limited enrollment on or around Tuesday July 1, 2014 (Feast of the Precious Blood of Jesus).
- We are going to notify everyone on our 266+ person Priority Enrollment Waiting List with a private invitation before we open general enrollment to the public – probably sometime via email on Monday June 30, 2014. This email will contain a special private link to enroll only to those on the Priority Enrollment Waiting List. Don’t miss it!
- Current tuition stands at the still ridiculously low point of Basic Member @ 25/month and Premium Member @ 47/month. For those on the Waiting List, Premium Member is On Sale at 37/month. That’s a locked tuition. It won’t ever go up on you.
- However, the price of tuition will no longer be available at 37/month (locked forever) after midnight Tuesday July 8, 2014. After Tuesday July 8, the price of tuition will be set at 47/month.
My guess is that all the Premium Member (37/month) spots will sell out in the first day or several days. We will then officially close down enrollment for NSTI, raise the future Premium tuition to 47/month, and perhaps open a limited number of spots at some point in the future.
I pray for all the NSTI Members every day and I have this great sense that Christ is using all the NSTI Members to make an eternal impact for Our Lord Jesus Christ in our generation. New Saint Thomas Institute has so much potential. It’s so exciting!!!
So if you want to join the New Saint Thomas Institute and start growing in your Catholic Faith, as well as receive the early invite and secure the Sale price of 37/month, then you need to get on the Priority Enrollment Waiting List as soon as possible. First come, first enroll. You’ll receive a confirmation email email from our team when you get on the Waiting List.
You can join the NSTI “Priority Enrollment Waiting List” and receive a private invite to NSTI by clicking here.
I look forward to seeing the new class NSTI Members on the inside of NSTI Monday and Tuesday (June 30 and July 1)!!!