Summer Institute

Summer Institute

Truth. Goodness. Beauty.

Learn what philosophy and theology have to say about these three transcendentals, alongside like-minded teens at the beautiful Mundelein Seminary.


In this 5-Day Summer Institute, high school students are introduced to college-level philosophy and theology through an investigation of the three “transcendentals” (truth, goodness, and beauty). Notre Dame professors Jay and Jennifer Newsome Martin will lead students through a discussion of  Plato, Aristotle, Augustine, Bonaventure, Aquinas, Newman, Ratzinger, von Balthasar, and relevant biblical texts. 

Academic excellence is balanced with spiritual formation. We learn how to pray the Liturgy of the Hours together. We reflect on the vocation to which God is calling us.

We also balance work and play. Mornings are for lectures and discussion; afternoons and evenings for excursions to the city and fun programming (including a trip to Six Flags!) 

Open to all high school students, including incoming college freshman.

Our Faculty

Jennifer Newsome Martin is Associate Professor in the Program of Liberal Studies at the University of Notre Dame, where she also received a PhD in 2012. She is a systematic theologian with areas of research interest in 19th and 20th century Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox thought, trinitarian theology, theological aesthetics, religion and literature, French feminism, ressourcement theology, and the nature of religious tradition.

Jay Martin is Assistant Teaching Professor of Theology at the University of Notre Dame, where he also earned a PhD and MTS. He writes and researches modern Catholic theology and its engagement with theory, particularly psychoanalysis, French and German philosophy, and radical emancipatory political theory.

“Lumen Christi’s Newman Forum has created and developed a program that we wish every Catholic high school student could attend, not only to help begin them on their own intellectual and spiritual journeys, but also to have a staggering amount of fun, too. The thoughtful balance of intellectual, spiritual, and social activities in the gorgeous natural setting of the Mundelein Seminary campus made this event the highlight of our son’s year…”

— Jenny and Jay Martin, Professors of Theology at Notre Dame (and high school parents!)