COLLIS Institute for Catholic Thought and Culture at Cornell University, the In Lumine Network, and the Lumen Christi Institute partner to organize "Explorations in Integral Ecology: Science, Theology, and Creation," a weeklong intensive seminar at Cornell University integrating theological study with direct scientific observation of the natural world and experiences of creation. Led by Sr. Damien Marie Savino, F.S.E., PhD (Dean of Science and Sustainability, Aquinas College) and Fr. Terrence Ehrman, C.S.C, PhD (Department of Theology, University of Notre Dame), this program aims to inspire and educate undergraduates of all academic backgrounds to pursue a God-centered response to current environmental challenges in the holistic spirit of integral ecology. With its setting at Cornell University's Ithaca campus in the heart of the Finger Lakes region, the seminar will allow participants to explore the rich natural beauty of the area through field-based study and excursions which may include visits to Cayuga Lake, Cascadilla Gorge, Ithaca Falls, and the "living laboratory" of Cornell University's 3,600-acre Botanic Gardens. In the classroom, participants will delve into a range of theological texts, including authors such as St. Basil the Great, St. Bonaventure, St. Francis of Assisi, Pope Francis, and Josef Pieper. Students may also have the opportunity to meet leaders in sustainability research at Cornell University. This program is free for accepted students; undergraduate students of all backgrounds are invited to apply.



  • The seminar will take place at Cornell University, in Ithaca, NY. 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
  • Lodging and meals will be provided for the duration of the seminar.
  • Participants will arrive on Sunday, June 18 and depart on Saturday, June 24. The seminar will take place from Monday to Friday, with lecture, discussion, and/or field excursions throughout the day
  • 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 2023 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 (Updated April 3)
  • 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.” This event is cosponsored by the St. Kateri Institute and member institutes of the In Lumine Network, including the Harvard Catholic Forum, the Nova Forum, COLLIS, the St. Anselm Institute.



What is integral ecology? Integral ecology (from Latin integralis, meaning "whole") is a theme of Catholic Social Teaching. It proposes a holistic framing of creation, emphasizing the connections and relationship between its parts. Integral ecology calls for the integration of knowledge from various academic disciplines and other domains to repair ruptures in these relationships.

I'm not an environmental studies or ecology majorCan I still apply? This program does not presuppose any specific science background. We welcome applications of all majors and backgrounds.

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

Do I have to be Catholic to apply? No. The Lumen Christi Institute and other institutes within the In Lumine Network exist to promote the Catholic intellectual tradition and are committed to the integration of the intellectual and spiritual life. We welcome seminar participants of all or no religious affiliation, and wants to assure all applicants that the opportunities to participate in devotional activities are optional.

Application Deadline: Rolling Basis