The Augustine Institute, a Denver-based Catholic graduate school for the laity, has announced this week that the Commission on Accrediting of Theological schools has granted it full accreditation.

“This is a major milestone for us, especially coming in our tenth year of work,” the institute’s president, Dr. Tim Gray, said in a Feb. 29 video message.

The Association of Theological Schools’ help in guidance through the difficult process has helped the Augustine Institute “improve the quality of our graduate education and professional standards,” Dr. Gray noted.

He said that he looks forward to “leading the Augustine Institute’s graduate school of theology to more distinguished achievements” including the development of a scholarship program.

“With the help of our generous benefactors, our students will be able to put their theological and practical training to immediate use for the sake of souls and for the greater glory of God,” he said.

Academic Dean Dr. Christopher Blum lauded the accreditation, saying that it “affirms the academic integrity and excellent student services the school has provided over the years.”

The Augustine Institute opened its doors in 2005 as a graduate school for the laity, in response to St. John Paul II’s call for a New Evangelization. Since then, through its Denver campus and distance-education program that launched in 2008, the school has had over 200 graduates.

It launched a parish programing initiative in 2010 with “YDisciple,” a Catholic formation program for teens and their mentors, and has since created adult programs for parishes and RCIA groups including the popular “Lectio” and “Symbolon” series.

In 2014, the institute teamed up with Lighthouse Media and Ignatius Press to offer Catholic faith formation programs to a wider audience and opened an Orange County campus on the Christ Cathedral grounds.

Last year, the institute launched, a website for individuals and parishes offering access to all of its parish video programs, along with several Ignatius Press book titles, feature films, and Lighthouse Media audio presentations.