Renaissance Humanism: Opening 2017-2018 Paideia

When: Friday, Sept 15th at 5pm

Where: University of Pennsylvania


Paideia Seminar returns for AY 2017-2018 for an intercollegiate discussion on “What does it mean to be a Humanist?”  We open this discussion with Renaissance Humanism, looking at the work of Francesco Petrarch under the direction of Prof. Eva Del Soldato (UPenn).

RSVP to Elizabeth Feeney for dinner, text, and location: Read more

Faith and Reason Reading Group

When: Fridays, 2:00pm

9/22, 9/29, 10/13, 10/20, & 10/27

Co-sponsored by the Christian Union


To mark the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, Catholic and Protestant faculty will co-lead a community of Christian students through central texts of the Reformers and trace the evolution of their ideas through centuries of Christian tradition.  This fall module will convene on Friday afternoons for 6 sessions beginning Sept 22.

Register HERE!

Please direct any questions to Elizabeth Feeney: elife@sas.upenn.eduRead more

The Promises and Problems of Technology: Or, Wisdom for Living in a Digital Age

When: Wednesdays, 9/20, 9/27, 10/11, & 10/18, at 5:45pm

Where: Harrison College House


Digital and mechanical technologies have become indispensable in nearly every aspect of our lives so much so that we rarely think critically about the roles they should fill in social as well as individual existence. This semester FFT presents a module that challenges our everyday indifference to things technological. Join us as we explore the uses and abuses of technology and consider what a human-centered use of technology might really look like.

Food for Thought is a seminar for engaging foundational questions without the stress of grades or papers.  This informal seminar forum setting provides an opportunity to read and discuss some of the most influential and provocative thinkers of the ancient and modern Western Tradition.  Students and a faculty guide will read and discuss brief but momentous texts  over dinner and relaxed conversations.

RSVP Here for complementary Dinner and Texts.

All questions can be directed to Elizabeth Feeney at

Facing Failure and Defining Success

Penn faculty & religious leaders confront questions of faith and ambition


When: Postponed

Cosponsored by Locust Walk Journal

Faculty and religious leaders confront the relationship between faith and ambition at Penn, addressing the definitions of success and encounters with failure, and differences from the secular approaches to both. They will reflect on their experiences of faith within Penn’s culture of achievement and the intersection of faith and ambition more broadly.


Patricia Anton: Chaplain of the Penn Muslim Students Association

Deven M. Patel: Assoc. Prof. of South Asia Studies and Religious Studies at UPenn

Marisa Cristina March: Cosmologist at UPenn and Faculty Fellow at the Collegium Institute

Rabbi Micah Shapiro: Rabbinic Fellow for Innovation at Penn Hillel

Dr. Michael Baime: Founder and Director of the Penn Mindfulness Program


All questions may be directed to Elizabeth Feeney:

Read more

NSO Preceptorial~Socrates on College

When: Saturday, August 26, 2017

1:30 – 3:00 p.m.

Where: ARCH 108

University of Pennsylvania


Preceptorial Leaders:

Dr. Ralph Rosen is the Vartan Gregorian Professor of Humanities and outgoing Undergraduate Chair in the Department of Classical Studies.  His teaching and research interest lie in the fields of Greek literature and intellectual history, ancient comic and satirical poetic genres, and ancient medicine.  He has spent his entire professional career at Penn, having arrived in 1983 fresh from graduate school. He was an undergraduate for his first two years at Bowdoin College and finished his BA at Swarthmore College. He went to Harvard for his graduate work, where he received the PhD in Classical Philology (ancient Greek and Roman languages and literature).Dr. Rosen lives with his wife, associate faculty fellow Ellen, in Riepe College House.



Dr. Daniel Cheely is a historian of the Renaissance and Reformation.  He graduated summa cum laude from Princeton University and completed his Ph.D. at the University of Pennsylvania. Before beginning doctoral studies at Penn, he joined Teach For America in Chicago, where he taught eighth grade for R.S. Abbott School, chaired the social science division and partnered it with local universities through the Chicago History Project, and was awarded his school’s teacher-of-the-year distinction.  He is now, while serving as Executive Director of the Collegium Institute, also a Resident Senior Fellow of the Fox Leadership Program at the University of Pennsylvania and Lecturer in Penn’s History Department.


Collegium is happy to partner with Preceptorials at the University of Pennsylvania during New Student Orientation 2016.  To incoming freshmen we say welcome to Penn! Now that you’re here, what exactly is the College supposed to be helping you to accomplish over the next four years? If you’re after “an education”, how do you go about actually getting one? Imagine if, after a sabbatical of some 2400 years, Socrates reawakened as your academic advisor: how might he respond to these questions? In this preceptorial we will reflect together on some of Plato’s writings on the conditions and ends of learning. Whether these issues have long bothered you or you’ve never considered them before, please join us for a convivial first seminar with Collegium at Penn. No prior reading. All brief excerpts to be handed out and discussed in session.

Registration is now Closed.

Check back soon to sign-up for Socrates on College 2018!


St. Augustine’s Confessions


When: Monday nights, 9/25–10/23 at 7:00-8:15pm

Where: Regina Angelorum Academy,

105 Argyle Rd, Ardmore, PA 19003


Collegium Institute for Catholic Thought & Culture presents a 5-session seminar on St. Augustine’s Confessions, co-facilitated by Dr. Paul Camacho and Dr. Ian Clausen, both Arthur J. Ennis Post-doctoral Fellows in the Humanities at Villanova University.

All who wish to explore this great spiritual classic are welcome to attend.  No prior knowledge assumed.  Registration is $30 for the whole series, including the book and course.  Registration for any session allows entrance to all 5 sessions, as well as light refreshments.

St. Augustine’s Confessions
Generously hosted by Regina Angelorum Academy and St. Colman’s Parish

Session 1: Monday 9/25  – Augustine’s Restless Heart: An Introduction to the Confessions

Session 2: Monday 10/2 – Conversion(s)

Session 3: Monday 10/9 – Love and Loss

Session 4: Monday 10/16 – Education and Entertainment

Session 5: Monday 10/23 – Time and Memory


Please direct any questions to Program Coordinator, Elizabeth Feeney:

About the seminar facilitators

Dr. Paul Camacho is an Arthur J. Ennis Post-Doctoral Fellow in the Humanities at Villanova University. He received a joint-PhD from Villanova University and the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, during which time he completed a dissertation on the relationship between love and freedom in Augustine’s account of moral motivation. Paul is broadly interested in bringing classical, late antique, and medieval accounts of morality and religious devotion into dialogue with modern and post-modern philosophy. He has an on-going research interest in our cultural imagination for love, and the role that it plays in our discussions of morality and religion.

Dr. Ian Clausen is an Arthur J. Ennis Post-Doctoral Fellow in the Humanities at Villanova University. He received his MTh and PhD from the University of Edinburgh, where he studied Augustine’s theological ethics as a British Marshall scholar. His research interests include Augustine’s account of love, conscience, and education, which he explores in his forthcoming book Reading Augustine: On Love, Confession, Surrender and the Moral Self (New York & London: Bloomsbury, 2017). For more information on the book visit



Call for Applications

Associate Director and Theologian-in-Residence

Collegium Institute for Catholic Thought & Culture

Applications Open: June 15-July 31 (or until the position is filled)



Collegium Institute (CI) seeks an early- to mid-career academic theologian to serve as its full-time Associate Director (AD) in the University City area of Philadelphia. The AD will assist the Executive Director in all areas, growing and developing Collegium’s program and infrastructure, and helping him manage additional part-time staff. The AD also will serve as CI’s Theologian-in- Residence, complementing the Executive Director, who is a historian, as well as its other staff scholars.

CI is an independent, scholarly foundation established in 2013 by faculty, students, alumni, and friends of the University of Pennsylvania. Its catholic mission is two-fold: first, it draws the academic community into conversation with the Catholic intellectual tradition; second, it seeks to integrate the many, diverse parts of the university through common reflection upon the truly catholic, or universal, questions that once animated the university as a coherent whole.

To these ends it coordinates lectures, panels, conferences, reading groups, academic advising and mentorships, colloquia, non-credit seminars, for-credit courses, visiting fellowships, summer seminars, interdisciplinary communities, intermural scholarly networks, artistic performances and exhibitions, a website and multimedia productions, and other programs that foster an integrated, humane, and catholic education in University City and the broader region.


Those interested, please see further Application Requirements HERE.

June Magi Lectures

Warning: Invalid argument supplied for foreach() in /home/content/63/11588663/html/wp-content/plugins/jetpack/modules/widget-visibility/widget-conditions.php on line 238

Seeing Reality:

Conversations in Science, Faith, and Philosophy

How do we understand the universe and our place within it?  To what extent should our answer to that fundamental question be different whether we approach it as scientist, philosopher, or theologian?  What are the methodological differences that must be respected and which frameworks could enable them to fit together into a coherent whole? Faced with the widespread fragmentation of disciplines, how can we seek fruitful exchanges of insight in the modern academy? 

This one-week Collegium Summer Seminar will address these questions, through a daily series of lectures in which students will examine both cutting edge research and foundational wisdom that enables them to evaluate descriptive models of the universe, the relationship of space and time, freedom and determinism, physics and metaphysics, nature and grace, the human and the divine.

Public Lectures

Select lectures are free and open to the public. The Magi Project welcomes guests to explore themes of science, faith, and philosophy any or all of the following lectures. Morning lectures begin promptly at 9AM and afternoon lectures at 2PM.

Read more

Penn Catholic Community Brunch


When: Sunday, May 14th at 10:30am

Where: Penn Newman Catholic Center

              3720 Chestnut St, Phila, Pa, 19114

The Collegium Institute and the Penn Newman Center invite all alumni, family, and friends to join us for Sunday brunch. Reconnect with old friends and meet new ones; learn about the surprising new movements afoot in the university where the Newman movement first started; and hear remarks from

Dr. Christopher Roberts

Collegium’s Theologian-in-Residence AY 2016-2017

Literature and the Catholic Imagination

The brunch will immediately follow the 9:30AM Mass celebrated at St. Agatha-St. James Church.


For inquiries, you may contact Elizabeth Feeney at

Dr. Christopher Roberts

Dr. Roberts is Theologian-in-Residence for the Collegium Institute during academic year, 2016-17.  Before coming to the Collegium Institute, Dr. Roberts taught in the Ethics Program at Villanova University and served as the primary editor and writer for the World Meeting of Families Catechism, Love is our Mission: the Family Fully Alive. For several years he was a television journalist at PBS, including time as a reporter for the program Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly. Dr. Roberts is a graduate of Yale (BA, Religious Studies and Environmental Studies), Oxford (MPhil, Christian Ethics) and the University of London (PhD, Theology). When his diaconate training concludes in 2017, he will also receive a further MA in theology from St. Charles Borromeo Seminary here in Philadelphia.


Penn Newman Catholic Community

Serving the Penn Catholic Community since 1893, the Newman Center’s mission to support, challenge, inspire and empower students, faculty and staff to live the Gospel of Jesus Christ on campus, preparing Catholic leaders for service to the Church and world.

4th Annual Anscombe Lecture

Art and Morality: on the Relationship between Aesthetics and Ethics

Wednesday, April 5, 2017 at noon
Terrace Room (G14), Claudia Cohen Hall

Sir Roger Scruton spoke at Collegium Institute for our annual Anscombe Lecture in Ethics, addressing the history of aesthetics and the role for which we seek to use it in our modern world.

Visit us soon for a video of Sir Roger Scruton’s lecture and the following question and answer session.