The manifold and deepening social, political, and economic crises that people and their governments face have called forth a strongly renewed interest in the Christian social teaching tradition, and the contributions that insights from the tradition might make to responding to these exigencies. This revival of interest brings several thorny problems in its wake: Why does the Church speak on these matters, and based on what authority? What role does the Church properly have in this context? What contributions can she make to such worldly concerns? What does the Church have to offer in responding to the complexities of the contemporary world situation? These represent particularly important questions given the Catholic Church’s revived role as a transnational, global organization whose views have assumed increasing significance in a post-Cold War world with increasingly diffuse sources of recognized authority. 

The first week will provide a fundamental introduction to the history, philosophical currents, and theology that informs the Catholic social tradition. The second week features an interdisciplinary and international conversation between American and European participants concentrated on the meaning of social justice and its principles in light of the Christian tradition; a consideration of the Christian sources that inform the “social market economy” and the institutions of the “social-state”; and the challenges that AI and digitalization pose to human work and well-being. 

The seminar will feature lectures, discussions, and working groups, but also opportunities to meet with political, social and Church leaders. The program has the special goal of bringing American and German students into conversation to share their perspectives, to build networks and to seek common approaches to addressing both to contemporary crises and unforeseen developments in a way that will keep the human at the center of all our considerations.

Format: coming soon!

Location:  The seminar will take place at Abtei Michaelsberg, Siegburg, Germany.

Application Information: This seminar will be open to MA, MTS, MDiv, PhD, JD, Post Doc, and advanced undergraduates in all disciplines.

 Applicants will be required to submit:

  • A completed online application form.
  • An updated CV.
  • At least one and as many as two letter(s) of recommendation from a member of the program in which the student is currently enrolled.
  • A statement of research interest no longer than 750 words, which includes an explanation of how this seminar might bear on the student’s current or future research plans.
  • One academic writing sample (30 pages maximum).


Can I apply for more than one seminar? Yes. You may apply for multiple seminars. Please indicate your order of preference in your statement of purpose for each application. Each applicant may only be admitted to one seminar.

I have attended a Lumen Christi Institute seminar in the past. May I still apply? Yes!

Do I have to be Catholic to apply? No. The Lumen Christi Institute exists to promotes the Catholic intellectual tradition and is committed to the integration of the intellectual and spiritual life. The Institute welcomes seminar participants of all or no religious affiliation, and wants to assure all applicants that the opportunities to participate in devotional activities are optional.

In addition to the travel stipend, are there other funding possibilities? Seminar participation includes an opportunity to give a formal presentation and inclusion in the official program and schedule. We encourage participants to seek funding from their home institutions or other sources to supplement the travel stipend offered by the Lumen Christi Institute.

When do I get my travel stipend? Stipends are distributed as a refund after successful completion of the seminar and seminar evaluations. Exceptions can be made on case by case basis.

Contact us with any further questions.