“Economics and Catholic Social Thought: A Primer

May 23-25, 2016

University of Notre Dame

Martijn Cremers, University of Notre Dame
Jesus Fernandez-Villaverde, University of Pennsylvania
Mary Hirschfeld, Villanova University
Joseph P. Kaboski, University of Notre Dame
Andrew Yuengert, Pepperdine University

This seminar is designed as an introduction to Catholic social thought for graduate students and junior faculty in economics and finance. Participants will cover foundational principles in Catholic social thought starting with the human person, dignity, freedom, subsidiarity, solidarity, and the common good, and moving toward applications of these principles to conceptual understandings and ethical considerations involving economic topics such as utility theory, firm objectives, wages, markets, globalization, poverty, and development. Participants will delve into social encyclicals, secondary sources, and relevant economics texts.

Format: There will be two sessions each day, featuring a different instructor. Each instructor will open with a lecture, and then we will turn to a seminar style discussion of the texts and issues at hand. In the final sessions, we will discuss how the material can be applied to each student's particular area of interest.

Location: The seminar will take place at the University of Notre Dame. Students will be provided with a travel stipend, accommodations, and meals.

Application Information:
This seminar will be open to Ph.D. students and junior faculty in Economics, Finance and related fields.

Applicants will be required to submit a completed online application form, including:

  • An updated CV.
  • A statement of research interest no longer than 750 words.
  • One academic writing sample (30 pages maximum).

All application materials can be submitted via the online application. Incomplete applications will not be considered. 15 students will be admitted to this seminar.

Application materials must be received by 11:59pm on MARCH 4, 2016.

*Admitted Applicants will also be also be given the option to attend the 8th annual conference on Economics at Catholic Social Thought, entitled “Care for our Common Home: Economics, Environment, and Catholic Social Thought,” starting at 4pm on Thursday May 19th, continuing through Friday May 20th in Chicago.

The Lumen Christi Institute exists to promotes the Catholic Intellectual Tradition and is committed to the integration of the intellectual and spiritual life. The Institute welcomes seminar participants of all or no religious affiliation, and wants to assure all applicants that the opportunities to participate in devotional activities are optional.

Please direct any further questions to contact@credo-economists.org.


The Lumen Christi Institute Associates Program offers graduate and undergraduate students at the University of Chicago opportunities for greater scholarly exchange and enrichment during their time as students.  Participants in the program will receive invitations to conferences, as well as private colloquia, master classes, study retreats, dinners, and occasionally downtown events organized by the Institute.  The Institute also supports the intellectual work of Associates by helping to organize and fund reading groups and study circles that enable graduate students to better integrate faith and scholarship.  Associates are invited to participate in the planning of certain programs and to play a role in making suggestions in areas of scholarly interest that may be suitable for our University Program.  In short, the Associates Program at the Lumen Christi Institute offers students at the University of Chicago greater participation in the life of the Institute with the ultimate goal of strengthening both faith and intellectual life in equal measure.


How To Apply

Please fill out the application form  to apply. Direct any questions to our program coordinator, Mark Franzen at mfranzen@lumenchristi.org 


Frequently Asked Questions

Will the list of associates be made public?

No, the Institute will not make a list of its associates public, nor will associates be mentioned by name in private literature to donors or foundations.  Any individual wishing to make their status be publicly known can do so.


Is there any cost associated with being an associate?

No.  It may be that if an associate chooses to participate in one of our international or regional events, some part of travel costs will need to be met personally.  But generally speaking, there is no charge to be an associate, or to participate in our events designed for associates.


Can I become an Associate if I am not a student at the University of Chicago?

Yes.  If you are a graduate student who resides in Chicago and often participates in our events, and yet are not a graduate student at the University of Chicago, you are still encouraged to apply.


What sort of commitment am I making as an Associate?

An Associate is someone who explicitly commits to participating more fully in the life of The Lumen Christi Institute, to the extent that his or her schedule allows.