Summer Institute

Summer Institute

Truth. Goodness. Beauty.

Learn about these three transcendentals, from both philosophical and theological perspectives, with like-minded teens at beautiful Mundelein Seminary.


In this 5-Day Summer Institute, high school students are introduced to the disciplines and distinct methodologies of philosophy and theology through college-level lecture and discussion of the three “transcendentals” of truth, goodness, and beauty. Figures under consideration include Plato, Aristotle, Augustine, Bonaventure, Aquinas, Newman, Ratzinger, von Balthasar, as well as relevant biblical texts. 

We balance academic formation with spiritual formation, focusing on themes of discernment, vocation, and the practices that comprise an intellectually informed and responsible life of faith. In addition to a balance of the spiritual and intellectual, we balance work and play. Mornings are devoted to lectures and discussion, with afternoons and evenings filled with excursions 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. Her first book, Hans Urs von Balthasar and the Critical Appropriation of Russian Religious Thought (University of Notre Dame Press, 2015),  was one of 10 winners internationally of the 2017 Manfred Lautenschlaeger Award for Theological Promise (formerly the John Templeton Award for Theological Promise). She is also the co-editor of An Apocalypse of Love:  Essays in Honor of Cyril O’ Regan (Herder & Herder, 2018). Other work has appeared in Modern Theology, Communio: International Catholic Review, and in a number of edited volumes and collections of essays.

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.

“More than just an opportunity to teach young people about the philosophy and theology of truth, beauty, and goodness, the Newman Forum Summer Institute was a chance for us as professors to return to the most fundamental and abiding questions at the intersection of faith and reason *with* younger students, to think through and reflect on these important issues together, and to do so prayerfully and collaboratively… 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!)