The Lumen Christi Fellows are selected from students at the University of Chicago and other area universities. Fellows demonstrate an interest in the Catholic intellectual tradition and in sharing community with peers. They receive invitations to private events, dinners, and seminars, while committing to reasonable participation in Lumen Christi programs. Fellows are invited to focus on key areas relevant to their interests: Scripture, Theology and Philosophy, Political Thought, Science and Religion, Catholic Literature and Culture, the University and Liberal Education. The Fellows’ leadership team coordinates with Lumen Christi staff on vision and programming. Interested students are encouraged to apply.

Direct any further questions to Mark Franzen.

Modern Science and the Christian Faith for Undergraduate Students
August 7-13, 2022
University of Virginia

Chris Baglow (McGrath Institute for Church Life at the University of Notre Dame)

Stephen M. Barr (University of Delaware; President, Society of Catholic Scientists)

The goal of this seminar is to provide  students with the background knowledge and conceptual tools necessary to  understand and think clearly about the relation of science and faith.  This will help them to integrate scientific and theological ways of  understanding in their own thinking, and make it possible for them to  help others (including their future colleagues and students) to achieve  such integration. The overarching goal is to help develop a cadre of  people with a broad and informed understanding of these issues who can  be the nucleus from which wider outreach efforts might grow.

Among the topics discussed will be the  historical relationship of the Church and science; the relation of faith  and reason; evidence for God in the existence and order of the cosmos;  God and Nature; primary and secondary causality; the supernatural and  miracles; modern physics and natural theology; Creation and providence;  the beginning of the universe and modern cosmology; God and time; human  origins and human distinctiveness; rationality, freedom and the soul;  physicalist reductionism and the human mind; Genesis and scriptural  interpretation; biological evolution; biology and human nature; the  Fall, original sin and concupiscence.

Preparatory readings will include excerpts from:

  • Modern Physics and Ancient Faith (Stephen M. Barr)
  • The Believing Scientist (Stephen M. Barr)
  • Thomistic Evolution (Fr. Nicanor Austriaco et al.)
  • Science and Belief in a Nuclear Age (Peter E. Hodgson)
  • God’s Mechanics (Br. Guy Consolmagno)
  • God and Reason in the Middle Ages (Edward Grant)
  • Galileo Goes to Jail and Other Myths about Science and Religion (ed. Ronald L. Numbers)
  • Mind and Cosmos (Thomas Nagel)
  • The Faith of the Early Fathers (William A. Jurgens)
  • Confessions (St. Augustine)
  • City of God (St. Augustine)
  • On the Literal Meaning of Genesis (St. Augustine)
  • Summa Contra Gentiles (St. Thomas Aquinas)
  • In the Beginning (Joseph Ratzinger)
  • addresses and statements on science and religion by Pope St. John Paul II
  • Communion and Stewardship: Human Persons Created in the Image of God (International Theological Commission)
  • sections of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. 


  • Admitted students will be required to arrange their own travel to and from the seminar.
  • Admitted students will be granted a stipend of $350 to offset travel costs in addition to having their lodging and meals covered for the duration of the seminar.
  • Participants will arrive on Sunday, August 7 and depart on Saturday, August 13. The seminar will take place from Monday to Friday, with a lecture and discussion session each morning and afternoon.
  • Participants will be required read the assigned materials in preparation for the seminar.
  • In order to receive the $350 stipend, students must participate fully in all seminar activities and complete a survey at the end of the seminar.


  • Open to all undergraduate students, including those who graduate in 2022 and recent graduates.
  • Applicants must submit an online application, including details on their course of study, a statement of interest, and a letter of recommendation.
  • Applications will be evaluated on a rolling basis.
  • 15 applicants will be admitted to the seminar.

This seminar is part of Lumen Christi Institute and In Lumine Network programming through "In Lumine: Supporting the Catholic Intellectual Tradition on Campuses Nationwide" -- a project generously supported by the John Templeton Foundation.

Lumen Christi Institute