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; and the Fall, original sin and concupiscence.

Preparatory readings may include excerpts from:

  • Modern Physics and Ancient Faith (Stephen M. Barr)

  • The Believing Scientist (Stephen M. Barr)

  • 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)

  • Communion and Stewardship: Human Persons Created in the Image of God (International Theological Commission)

  • The Blind Watchmaker (Richard Dawkins).

  • Catechism of the Catholic Church

  • Addresses and statements on science and religion by Pope St. John Paul II

  • “Hylomorphism and Human Wholeness:  Perspectives on the Mind-Brain Problem.” (Theology and Science),  Michael J. Dodds, OP, 

  • "Thomas Aquinas Meets Nim Chimpsky:  On the Debate about Human Nature and the Nature of Other Animals." (The Aquinas Review), Marie I. George



  • The seminar will take place at Harvard University in Cambridge, MA. 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 In Cambridge, MA on Sunday, July 3 and depart on Saturday, July 9. The seminar will take place from Monday to Friday, with a lecture and discussion session each morning and afternoon.

  • Participants will be required to 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 graduate students and postdoctoral fellows in STEM fields, medicine, the history of science, philosophy, theology, and relevant fields.

  • Applicants must submit an online application, including details on their course of study, a statement of interest, and a letter of recommendation (optional).

  • For full consideration, apply by April 15. After April 15, applications will be evaluated on a rolling basis.

  • 15 applicants will be admitted to the seminar.


This seminar is made possible through the support of grant #62372 from the John Templeton Foundation, “In Lumine: Promoting the Catholic Intellectual Tradition on Campuses Nationwide” 



I am a PhD student graduating this academic year. Can I still apply?  Yes!

I am currently an undergraduate but have been admitted to a graduate program for the next academic year. Can I still apply? Yes, please indicate this in the statement of purpose in your application.

I have attended a Lumen Christi Institute seminar in the past. May I still apply? Yes!

Do I have to be Catholic to apply? No. 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.