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 Bagow, 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

Dr. 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 relation between science and religion. He was elected to the Academy of Catholic Theology in 2010 and was awarded the Benemerenti Medal in 2007 for service to the Church.  He is the President of the Society of Catholic Scientists.

He is the author of Modern Physics, Ancient Faith (2003), A Students Guide to Natural Science (2006), and more recently The Believing Scientist: Essays on Science and Religion (2016).  He has also written for a variety of national publications and lectures widely on the relation of science and religion for broad academic and religious audiences.

Christopher T. Baglow, Ph.D.

Full Professional Specialist
McGrath Institute for Church Life, University of Notre Dame

Dr. Chris Baglow is from New Orleans, LA, where he served Notre Dame Seminary as a Professor of Dogmatic Theology. He holds a Ph.D. in Systematic Theology from Duquesne University. Baglow’s creative work includes Faith, Science, Reason: Theology on the Cutting Edge, a high school religion textbook on the relationship between the Catholic faith and modern science, and the seminary course Emergence of the Image: Human Evolution from Scientific, Philosophical and Theological Perspectives.  

Since 2007 he has directed programs of Catholic academic integration at St. Mary’s Dominican H.S. (New Orleans, LA) and McGill-Toolen Catholic H.S. (Mobile, AL). He is currently working on a 2nd edition of his textbook and is Director of Foundations New Orleans, a week-long summer seminar program for Catholic high school science and theology teachers sponsored by the McGrath Institute for Church Life at the University of Notre Dame. 

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.