This intensive seminar will discuss St. Thomas Aquinas’s Five Ways of proving the existence of a God and the conception that he thinks they yield: that of a God who is at once utterly simple and utterly perfect, and therefore utterly beyond our comprehension. The sessions will center on Summa theologiae, I, qq. 2-4—especially, of course, I, q. 2, a. 3, which contains the Five Ways themselves—and on selected texts from I, qq. 12 & 13.  Participants will also discuss relevant passages from other works of St. Thomas, as well as his historical influences and some related contemporary issues.


  • The seminar will be held at Gavin House, home of the Lumen Christi Institute in Hyde Park, Chicago.
  • Breakfast and lunch on the days of the seminar sessions along with several dinners will be provided.
  • Participants will be responsible for securing your own lodging for the seminar. We can assist and provide information on nearby accommodations. Participants will receive a stipend of up to $850 to offset travel and lodging expenses.
  • Participants should arrive on Sunday, June 26 and depart on Saturday, July 2 after the final session.
  • Participants will be required to read the assigned texts in preparation for the seminar.
  • This seminar was defered in 2020. As a result only a limited number of available spaces are available to new applicants.



This seminar is open to Ph.D. students in theology, philosophy, classics, and other relevant fields of study. 

  • A completed online application form.
  • An updated CV.
  • At least one and no more than two letter(s) of recommendation.
  • 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).
  • All application materials can be submitted via the online application. Incomplete applications will not be considered


Contact us with any questions.