Science & Religion Seminars

Learn teaching methods that enhance the dialogue between science and religion in Catholic education, challenging the notion that the two disciplines are in conflict.

Science teachers will learn how to engage the Catholic vision of creation and the human person while upholding the integrity and value of independent scientific investigation. Religion teachers will explore how science informs and enhances their appreciation of God's creation and action. Both will receive a deeper understanding of the task of Catholic education to create "a synthesis of culture and faith... reached by integrating all the different aspects of human knowledge... in the light of the Gospel" (Sacred Congregation for Catholic Education, "The Catholic School," no. 34).

The Science & Religion Initiative offers summer seminars at the University of Notre Dame campus and Notre Dame Seminary in New Orleans. During the academic year, the initiative hosts Institute Days at Catholic high schools across the nation to provide excellent in-service programming for teachers and administrators.

In most cases, school participation is by application or invitation only.

Foundations Seminars

University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN (June 12-17, 2022)

Foundations Notre Dame features lectures by scientists, philosophers and theologians, collaborative discussions and implementation workshops, with special tracks in chemistry, physics/astronomy, biology, philosophy and theology. This seminar will be live streamed, so participating schools may choose online participation.

St. Joseph Abbey and Seminary College, St. Benedict, LA  (June 19-24, 2022)

Foundations New Orleans offers lectures, hands-on scientific experiments, collaborative discussions and implementation workshops, designed for schools with STEM approaches to science education. Because of its laboratory component, Foundations New Orleans requires on-site participation.

Preview the Foundations Application

Apply now for Foundations seminars 2022

 

Have questions about applying? Contact Heather Foucault-Camm, Program Director, Science and Religion Initiative.

I have been waiting for a way to incorporate my Catholic faith into the subject I teach, and this seminar is giving me the tools that I needed to do that.

Therese Wildman, Science teacher

There’s such a spirit of collaboration here that I think is so powerful. Both the materials and the structure of our days has just been above and beyond my expectations. I wish I could bring my entire faculty here

Kasey Aust, Theology teacher

Programming for Alumni Schools

Capstone Seminar

Kraków, Poland (July 3-9, 2022)

With much excitement, the Science and Religion Initiative welcomes your school's application to our 2022 Capstone Seminar covering both "The History of the Relationship Between Science and Religion" and "The Problem of Evil". This seminar will be held in Kraków Poland and will include: lectures delivered by distinguished scholars, the opportunity to walk in the steps of Copernicus at the Jagiellonian University, guided tours and reflections at Auschwitz, and a pilgrimage to the Shrine of Pope St. John Paul II.

The Science and Religion Initiative, thanks to the generosity of the John Templeton Foundation, will be able to provide lodging, breakfast and dinner for selected participants, in addition to a per diem for lunch, and a stipend of $2000. Participants would be responsible for airfare to and from Krakow and for personal expenses.

Participants will be selected from a combination of alumni schools of our Foundations Seminars and schools with advanced curricula in science and religion. Additionally, schools and participants that have attended previous Capstone seminars are invited to re-apply, although we will also accept new participants from alumni schools. Because of limited space, we are only accepting applications from schools that designate one administrator, one science teacher and one religion/theology teacher.

The deadline for applications is December 1, 2021, although preferential consideration will be given to schools submitting a complete application by November 1, 2021. Successful applicants will be notified of admission decisions by December 15, 2021.

 

Apply now for Capstone Seminar 2022

Program Highlights

Foundations Seminar

Highlights of the Foundations Seminars include:

  • Inspiring talks from leading scientists and theologians
  • Development of lesson plans and teaching materials with curriculum experts
  • Collaboration with seminar faculty on how to develop an elective course in Science & Religion for high school students
  • Housing, meals, course materials, stipend, and up to 60 contact hours of professional development 

Schools are required to apply with a minimum of three teachers - one from each subject area of biology, physics/chemistry, and religion/theology. Schools choosing to send three teachers representing these academic subjects will receive first priority.

Capstone Seminar

Highlights of the Capstone Seminar include:

  • In depth exploration of a topic related to science and religion
  • Advanced lesson planning sessions with peers
  • Colloquia with presenters to continue the dialogue on presentations
  • Breakout sessions specifically for attending principals and administrators to discuss hopes and challenges in their schools
  • Housing, meals, course materials, stipend, and up to 35 contact hours of professional development 

Schools are required to send a school administrator to participate in the Capstone Seminar with their teachers. Administrators may include the principal, president, dean, etc.

Faculty

For both the Foundations and Capstone Seminars, the McGrath Institute invites the best faculty available in their areas of concentration. Professors from schools like Notre Dame, Harvard and the University of Delaware are regular lecturers in these programs. 

Board and Stipend

Stipends are $750 per on-site participant and include a certificate for 60 hours of professional development. Stipends are $350 for online participants and include a certificate for 40 hours of professional development.

Participants are asked to cover the cost of their travel. Once at their assigned location, lodging and meals will be provided by SRI for each participant (participants are responsible for their own expenses).