Summer Seminars

Exploring Foundational Questions

Each year, institutions from across FEHE’s extensive network host a wide range of summer seminars for high school students, undergraduates, graduate students, and young professionals.

Ranging in subject matter from moral philosophy to modern bioethics, and metaphysics to marriage, our summer seminars offer a vision of human flourishing at both the individual and the societal level. The seminars offer unique opportunities for rigorous study of classical traditions and contemporary questions, conducted in a spirit of intellectual friendship, free inquiry, interdisciplinary study, and truth-seeking.

Summer Seminars Schedule 2024

Moral Life and the Classical Tradition

The Witherspoon Institute
July 7-13, 2024
A week-long program for students interested in the ancient philosophical tradition and its influence on the Christian moral life.

Human Meaning and the Moral Life

The Austin Institute
June 16 - 22, 2024
A highly interactive week-long seminar that explores fundamental philosophical questions concerning what it means to be human.

The Undiscovered Country: On Life after Death

The Collegium Institute
June 24-26, 2024
This in-person summer seminar is apart of the Collegium Institute’s Young Catholic Leaders Initiative for advanced high school students. The workshop will take place primarily at the University of Pennsylvania’s Newman Center.

Happiness, Virtue, and God in Philosophy and Literature

The Houston Institute
June 17-21, 2024
A seminar that explores ancient and medieval visions of the crucial elements of a life that is happy in a deep way: virtue or moral excellence, friendship in its various modes (including marriage as a distinctive type of friendship), and knowledge of God.

Principles of American Constitutionalism

The James Madison Program, Princeton University
July 7-13, 2024
A one-week seminar that invites students to study the fundamental questions of equality and liberty in American political life.

The Body, Vulnerability, and Bioethical Implications

The Abigail Adams Institute
June 23 - 29, 2024
The contemporary ethos views bodily constraints as arbitrary and manipulatable through technology. Are bodily limitations problems to be overcome, or meaningful in their own right? This course will explore classical themes concerning the body and matter, put them in conversation with modern and post-modern approaches, and conclude with two concrete applications.

First Principles

The Witherspoon Institute
June 9-22, 2024
A two-week intensive seminar that examines two topics central to the work of the Witherspoon Institute: the purpose of the university and friendship and marriage.

The Machine Has No Tradition

The Abigail Adams Institute
June 16 - 22, 2024
An immersive week-long seminar that studies the essence of technology and life in a technological society, including consideration of how technology is reshaping our souls and our society and what a humanistic approach to technology might look like.

Medical Ethics

The Civil Discourse Project, Duke University
June 13-15, 2024
A seminar that invites students to examine the central ethical questions that arise in the everyday practice of medicine and to interpret those questions through a moral framework drawing from both natural law and medicine’s traditional orientation toward the patient’s health.

Natural Law and Public Affairs

The Witherspoon Institute
June 25-June 29, 2024
A week-long seminar that examines the application of natural law insights to moral and political issues, including religious liberty and the role of the state; just war and capital punishment; abortion and euthanasia; and marriage and sexuality.

Statesmanship in American History

The James Madison Program, Princeton University
July 15-19, 2024
A seminar that allows up to 20 high school teachers to participate in a weeklong professional development event on the study of statecraft.

Moral Foundations of Law

The James Madison Program, Princeton University
July 21-27, 2024
A one-week seminar that covers some of the most contested areas of inquiry in legal philosophy today, including legal positivism, practical reason, human good and positive law, morals legislation, pluralism, crime and punishment, property, and rights and duties.

Thomistic Seminar

The Witherspoon Institute
July 28-August 3, 2024
A week-long seminar that invites students to think about angels, demons, human beings, and our ideas about what more perfect intellectual activity might be.

Eudaimonia: Philosophical, Theological, and Psychological Perspectives

Collegium Institute
July 21 - 27, 2024
What is a good human life? What are the virtues and community types that enable us to live well? This seminar will explore the nature of virtue and happiness by putting philosophical and theological perspectives on eudaimonia in dialogue with the empirical findings and theoretical frameworks of contemporary psychology, especially the field of positive psychology situated at Penn. Possible topics to be explored include: (1) eudaimonia and its relation to subjective well-being, (2) virtue in the context of community and social institutions, (3) the significance of religion and transcendence for human flourishing, (4) interdisciplinary perspectives on concepts like (a) freedom and grace, conditioning and constraint; (b) acquired virtue and infused virtues, or (c) sin/failure and forgiveness/resilience.