Institute Day: Fenwick High School

Evolution, Consciousness & the Environment

Friday, September 14, 2018; Oak Park, IL

The McGrath Institute for Church Life at the University of Notre Dame and Fenwick High School invite teachers to a 1-day workshop where participants will gain valuable insights for teaching at the interface of science and religion.

Topics Covered

Stephen M. Barr, Ph.D. will speak on the history and compatibility of science and religion, focusing on questions of evolution.  

Christopher T. Baglow will speak on theological, philosophical, and scientific approaches to human consciousness.

Philip Sakimoto, Ph.D. will speak on the environment and recent magisterial teachings on ecological responsibility, focusing on Pope Francis's recent encyclical Laudato Si'



Through the generous support of the John Templeton Foundation, Fenwick High School, and the McGrath Institute for Church Life at the University of Notre Dame, this Institute Day is FREE of charge for teachers who register by September 1, 2018.

Please complete your registration by September 7, 2018. For questions or concerns, please email

Register for the Institute Day


Friday, September 14

     8:15 AM  Opening check-in
     8:30 AM  Opportunity for Mass
     9:00 AM  Welcome & Introduction
     9:20 AM  Presentation 1 -  Stephen Barr, Ph.D. - "Myth of a Conflict"
     10:45 AM Break
     11:00 AM Presentation breakouts - 
          Evolution - Chris Baglow, Ph.D.
          Climate - Phil Sakimoto, Ph.D.
     12:15 PM  Lunch
     1:15 PM Presentation - Stephen Barr, Ph.D. - "Human Consciousness"
     2:45 PM Evaluation and Closing Prayer
     3:00 PM End

Location - Directions

Fenwick High School, 502 Washington Boulevard, Oak Park, IL 60302

Click here for directions.


Stephen M. Barr, Ph.D.

Professor of Physics
Department of Physics, University of Delaware

Prof. Stephen Barr teaches physics and astronomy at the University of Delaware. In addition to his research, Dr. Stephen M. Barr has also written and lectured extensively on the relationship between science and religion. He was was awarded the Benemerenti Medal in 2007 for service to the Church and elected to the Academy of Catholic Theology in 2010. He is the founder and President of the Society of Catholic Scientists and the author of Modern Physics and Ancient Faith (2003), A Student's Guide to Natural Science (2006) and The Believing Scientist: Essays on Science and Religion (2016).

Christopher T. Baglow, Ph.D.

Director of the Science and Religion Initiative
McGrath Institute for Church Life, University of Notre Dame

Chris Baglow is Director of the Science and Religion Initiative of the McGrath Institute for Church Life of the University of Notre Dame. Since 2005 he has been a leader in the integration of faith and science in Catholic schools, including national week-long summer seminars for Catholic high school science and religion teachers such as the Steno Learning Program in Science and Religion (2011-2014) and Foundations New Orleans. Baglow is the author of the high-school religion textbook Faith, Science and Reason: Theology on the Cutting Edge (Midwest Theological Forum, 2010; 2nd edition in progress).

Philip Sakimoto, Ph.D.

Director of the Program for Academic Excellence
University of Notre Dame

Dr. Philip Sakimoto is an astrophysicist and science educator who currently serves as the Director of Notre Dame’s Program for Academic Excellence and teaches in the Sustainability Minor. He was formerly the Program Manager and Acting Director of NASA’s Space Science Education and Public Outreach Program.  

Last year, in collaboration with the McGrath Institute for Church Life, he produced the planetarium program Let There Be Light, which served as the opening segment of the Vatican’s exhibition Energy for Our Common Home, at the 2017 International Expo in Astana, Kazakhstan. He holds a B.A. in physics from Pomona College, and an M.A. and Ph.D. in astronomy from the University of California, Los Angeles.