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August 12, 2009
Biblical, Catechetical schools get new director
By John Gleason
On July 1, Ben Akers took over as the director of the Denver Archdiocese’s Catholic Biblical and Catechetical schools. Originally from Virginia, Akers attended Christendom College and studied theology and philosophy. After spending two years in the seminary at Mount St. Mary’s in Emmitsburg, Md., he earned a master’s degree in theological studies.
Relocating to Colorado Akers went to work for the Fellowship of Catholic University Students (FOCUS), first at the University of Denver then the University of Colorado in Boulder. During this time he also was an adjunct teacher at the Catholic Biblical School.
For the past five years Akers has been living in Rome, Italy, where he and his wife Heather directed the Christendom College Study Abroad Program. While there he earned a License in Sacred Theology in dogmatic theology from the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas.
Asked what he is most looking forward to about his new job, Akers said it is being part of such a successful and respected program.
“For 27 years people have had access to study the word of God with educated instructors that are trained in current biblical scholarship,” he said. “I’ve talked to many former students who tell me the Catholic Biblical School has changed their life. It’s exciting to be part of a program where the word of God is being made accessible to people, the people respond and it’s changing their lives.”
Akers also spoke at length about some of the courses being offered this fall through the Denver Catechetical School, including a two-year study of the “Catechism of the Catholic Church,” which Akers will be leading, and an in-depth look into Church history.
“Both these programs are incredible,” he said. “In “Walk through the Catechism,” we’ll be devoting a full semester to each of the four pillars: the creed, the sacraments, Christian morality and the life of prayer. And in ‘Epic Church History’ students will get a big picture look at the 2,000-year history of the Church. Both should be very popular programs.”
Akers emphasized that it’s the instructors of the school who deserve the most praise.
“Archbishop Charles J. Chaput wrote a speech for (this year’s recent) National Catholic Biblical Conference which was delivered by Bishop James Conley,” he said. “In it the bishop said, ‘I strongly recommend that you find good and trustworthy guides for your study of Scripture. It’s why the Denver Catholic Biblical School has teachers who have studied the Scriptures both academically, and from the heart and mind of the Church.’”
Akers said that’s precisely what the Catholic Biblical School offers: trustworthy guides to help people study the word of God.
For more information on registration and classes at the Catechetical School or the Catholic Biblical School, call 303-715-3195.