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Faith and Reason

Faith and Reason

  • Special Program

About Faith and Reason
Join us Sunday, July 7 through Saturday, July 13, 2024! Click HERE to register by Friday, June 28th.

Specifically designed for advanced high school and first-year college students, the Faith and Reason Catholic College Summer Program offers participants a unique opportunity to come to a richer, deeper understanding of the Catholic faith.


Click here for photos from previous years.

Program Highlights

A Catholic College Summer Program

Encouraging a life devoted to wisdom, this catholic summer program features a liberal arts approach to learning.

Specifically, participants will:

  • Explore the relationship between faith and reason 
  • Examine the perennial questions of humanity 
  • Develop their communication skills 
  • Learn how to analyze difficult arguments 
  • Prepare for college studies 
  • Integrate their moral, intellectual and spiritual development




Sample Daily Schedule and Readings

Sample Daily Schedule

7:00am Morning Prayer

7:30am Breakfast

8:00am Seminar I.2: The Happiness of this Life

9:30am Gregorian Chant rehearsal

9:45am Mass

10:30am Seminar I.3: Happiness and the Christian Life

11:30am Midday Prayer

12:00 pm Lunch

1:00 pm Hike to Wolf Rocks (while at the rocks: midday prayer and Aquinas’ proofs for the existence of God)

5:00 pm Evening Prayer

5:30 pm Supper

6:30 pm Free time

8:00 pm Music rehearsal

8:15 pm Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, Night Prayer and Benediction

11:00 pm Good night


  • SEMINAR I.2:  The Happiness of this Life


    In the last seminar we considered various examples of seeking happiness through pleasure, wealth, power, or honor. Now we turn to the connection between morality and happiness; is it possible that the only true path to happiness is living virtuously? Is there a reward in this life for those who pursue moral goodness rather than personal advantage? In short, why should we be good when we are aware that this often conflicts with our desire to secure our own interests? Consider these themes when reading the following.

    Excerpts from Plato’s Apology

    Someone will say: And are you not ashamed, Socrates, of a course of life which is likely to bring you to an untimely end? To him I may fairly answer: There you are mistaken: a man who is good for anything ought not to calculate the chance of living or dying; he ought only to consider whether in doing anything he is doing right or wrong - acting the part of a good man or of a bad. Whereas, according to your view, the heroes who fell at Troy were not good for much, and the son of Thetis above all, who altogether despised danger in comparison with disgrace; and when his goddess mother said to him, in his eagerness to slay Hector, that if he avenged his companion Patroclus, and slew Hector, he would die himself - "Fate," as she said, "waits upon you next after Hector"; he, hearing this, utterly despised danger and death, and instead of fearing them, feared rather to live in dishonor, and not to avenge his friend. "Let me die next," he replies, "and be avenged of my enemy, rather than abide here by the beaked ships, a scorn and a burden of the earth." Had Achilles any thought of death and danger? For wherever a man's place is, whether the place which he has chosen or that in which he has been placed by a commander, there he ought to remain in the hour of danger; he should not think of death or of anything, but of disgrace. And this, O men of Athens, is a true saying….

    Men of Athens, do not interrupt, but hear me; there was an agreement between us that you should hear me out. And I think that what I am going to say will do you good: for I have something more to say, at which you may be inclined to cry out; but I beg that you will not do this. I would have you know that, if you kill such a one as I am, you will injure yourselves more than you will injure me. Meletus and Anytus will not injure me: they cannot; for it is not in the nature of things that a bad man should injure a better than himself. I do not deny that he may, perhaps, kill him, or drive him into exile, or deprive him of civil rights; and he may imagine, and others may imagine, that he is doing him a great injury: but in that I do not agree with him; for the evil of doing as Anytus is doing - of unjustly taking away another man's life - is greater far. And now, Athenians, I am not going to argue for my own sake, as you may think, but for yours, that you may not sin against the God, or lightly reject his boon by condemning me. For if you kill me you will not easily find another like me, who, if I may use such a ludicrous figure of speech, am a sort of gadfly, given to the state by the God; and the state is like a great and noble steed who is tardy in his motions owing to his very size, and requires to be stirred into life. I am that gadfly which God has given the state and all day long and in all places am always fastening upon you, arousing and persuading and reproaching you. And as you will not easily find another like me, I would advise you to spare me. I dare say that you may feel irritated at being suddenly awakened when you are caught napping; and you may think that if you were to strike me dead, as Anytus advises, which you easily might, then you would sleep on for the remainder of your lives, unless God in his care of you gives you another gadfly. And that I am given to you by God is proved by this: - that if I had been like other men, I should not have neglected all my own concerns, or patiently seen the neglect of them during all these years, and have been doing yours, coming to you individually, like a father or elder brother, exhorting you to regard virtue; this I say, would not be like human nature….

    Someone may wonder why I go about in private, giving advice and busying myself with the concerns of others, but do not venture to come forward in public and advise the state. I will tell you the reason of this. You have often heard me speak of an oracle or sign which comes to me, and is the divinity which Meletus ridicules in the indictment. This sign I have had ever since I was a child. The sign is a voice which comes to me and always forbids me to do something which I am going to do, but never commands me to do anything, and this is what stands in the way of my being a politician. And rightly, as I think. For I am certain, O men of Athens, that if I had engaged in politics, I should have perished long ago and done no good either to you or to myself. And don't be offended at my telling you the truth: for the truth is that no man who goes to war with you or any other multitude, honestly struggling against the commission of unrighteousness and wrong in the state, will save his life; he who will really fight for the right, if he would live even for a little while, must have a private station and not a public one….


    1. 1. What is Socrates’ response to the claim that he should be ashamed of himself? What should one consider in determining how to live? 
    2. 2. Why does Socrates claim that the Athenians will harm themselves more than him if they put him to death? Which is worse, to act unjustly or to suffer an injustice? 
    3. 3. To what animal does Socrates compare the city? What is the point of this analogy?  How does the philosopher benefit the city?
    4. 4. Why does Socrates prefer the private life to the political life? What happens to good men when they pursue politics? 



    Excerpt from Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics

    Let us again return to the good we are seeking, and ask what it can be. It seems different in different actions and arts; it is different in medicine, in strategy, and in the other arts likewise. What then is the good of each? Surely that for whose sake everything else is done. In medicine this is health, in strategy victory, in architecture a house, in any other sphere something else, and in every action and pursuit the end; for it is for the sake of this that all men do whatever else they do. Therefore, if there is an end for all that we do, this will be the good achievable by action, and if there are more than one, these will be the goods achievable by action.

    So the argument has by a different course reached the same point; but we must try to state this even more clearly. Since there are evidently more than one end, and we choose some of these (e.g. wealth, flutes, and in general instruments) for the sake of something else, clearly not all ends are final ends; but the chief good is evidently something final. Therefore, if there is only one final end, this will be what we are seeking, and if there are more than one, the most final of these will be what we are seeking. Now we call that which is in itself worthy of pursuit more final than that which is worthy of pursuit for the sake of something else, and that which is never desirable for the sake of something else more final than the things that are desirable both in themselves and for the sake of that other thing, and therefore we call final without qualification that which is always desirable in itself and never for the sake of something else.

    Now such a thing happiness, above all else, is held to be; for this we choose always for itself and never for the sake of something else, but honour, pleasure, reason, and every virtue we choose indeed for themselves (for if nothing resulted from them we should still choose each of them), but we choose them also for the sake of happiness, judging that by means of them we shall be happy. Happiness, on the other hand, no one chooses for the sake of these, nor, in general, for anything other than itself.

    From the point of view of self-sufficiency the same result seems to follow; for the final good is thought to be self-sufficient. Now by self-sufficient we do not mean that which is sufficient for a man by himself, for one who lives a solitary life, but also for parents, children, wife, and in general for his friends and fellow citizens, since man is born for citizenship. But some limit must be set to this; for if we extend our requirement to ancestors and descendants and friends' friends we are in for an infinite series. Let us examine this question, however, on another occasion; the self-sufficient we now define as that which when isolated makes life desirable and lacking in nothing; and such we think happiness to be; and further we think it most desirable of all things, without being counted as one good thing among others- if it were so counted it would clearly be made more desirable by the addition of even the least of goods; for that which is added becomes an excess of goods, and of goods the greater is always more desirable. Happiness, then, is something final and self-sufficient, and is the end of action.

    Presumably, however, to say that happiness is the chief good seems a platitude, and a clearer account of what it is still desired. This might perhaps be given, if we could first ascertain the function of man. For just as for a flute-player, a sculptor, or an artist, and, in general, for all things that have a function or activity, the good and the 'well' is thought to reside in the function, so would it seem to be for man, if he has a function. Have the carpenter, then, and the tanner certain functions or activities, and has man none? Is he born without a function? Or as eye, hand, foot, and in general each of the parts evidently has a function, may one lay it down that man similarly has a function apart from all these? What then can this be? Life seems to be common even to plants, but we are seeking what is peculiar to man. Let us exclude, therefore, the life of nutrition and growth. Next there would be a life of perception, but it also seems to be common even to the horse, the ox, and every animal. There remains, then, an active life of the element that has a rational principle; of this, one part has such a principle in the sense of being obedient to one, the other in the sense of possessing one and exercising thought. And, as 'life of the rational element' also has two meanings, we must state that life in the sense of activity is what we mean; for this seems to be the more proper sense of the term. Now if the function of man is an activity of soul which follows or implies a rational principle, and if we say 'so-and-so-and 'a good so-and-so' have a function which is the same in kind, e.g. a lyre, and a good lyre-player, and so without qualification in all cases, eminence in respect of goodness being added to the name of the function (for the function of a lyre-player is to play the lyre, and that of a good lyre-player is to do so well): if this is the case, and we state the function of man to be a certain kind of life, and this to be an activity or actions of the soul implying a rational principle, and the function of a good man to be the good and noble performance of these, and if any action is well performed when it is performed in accordance with the appropriate excellence: if this is the case, human good turns out to be activity of soul in accordance with virtue, and if there are more than one virtue, in accordance with the best and most complete.

    But we must add 'in a complete life.' For one swallow does not make a summer, nor does one day; and so too one day, or a short time, does not make a man blessed and happy.


    1. 1. Aristotle begins by giving examples of the goods in different actions and arts. What, for example, is the good that medicine pursues?  In the second paragraph Aristotle turns to what he calls “final ends.”  What does he mean by this?  What examples does he provide of ends that we pursue that are not final?  What examples could you provide?
    2. 2. What is the final good for humans? How does Aristotle argue for this claim?  What does it mean to say that the final good for humans is “self-sufficient?”  Why does this not mean a “solitary life?”
    3. 3. Aristotle concludes this section by turning to “the function of man.” How do the examples of the flute-player, carpenter, foot, etc. help to explain his meaning?  What is the function of man and why does he rule out life, nutrition, and perception as the function for man?  Finally, what is Aristotle’s definition of happiness?
  • SEMINAR I.3: Happiness and the Christian Life

    In the last two seminars we considered various approaches to happiness.  We have discussed ancient philosophers who rule out pursuing happiness through base means, and who propose instead that one ought to pursue virtue at all costs because this is the only path to happiness.  This first part of our seminars concludes with a consideration of the Christian approach to happiness.  Can we be happy in this life?  What problems do those who pursue happiness in this life face?  What is needed in order to find true happiness? 


    Maccabees Shrine (St. Andrew Church, Cologne, Germany)

    The Holy Bible:  2 Maccabees 7:1, 2, 7-42 

    1 It came to pass also, that seven brethren, together with their mother, were apprehended, and compelled by the king to eat swine's flesh against the law, for which end they were tormented with whips and scourges. 2 But one of them, who was the eldest, said thus: What wouldst thou ask, or learn of us? we are ready to die rather than to transgress the laws of God, received from our fathers. 7[After the first had been put to death,] they asked [the second brother] if he would eat, before he were punished throughout the whole body in every limb. 8 But he answered in his own language, and said: I will not do it. Wherefore Ire also in the next place, received the torments of the first: 9 And when he was at the last gasp, he said thus: Thou indeed, O most wicked man, destroyest us out of this present life: but the King of the world will raise us up, who die for his laws, in the resurrection of eternal life. 10 After him the third was made a mocking stock, and when he was required, he quickly put forth his tongue, and courageously stretched out his hands:

    11 And said with confidence: These I have from heaven, but for the laws of God I now despise them: because I hope to receive them again from him. 12 So that the king, and they that were with him, wondered at the young man's courage, because he esteemed the torments as nothing. 13 And after he was thus dead, they tormented the fourth in the like manner. 14 And when he was now ready to die, he spoke thus: It is better, being put to death by men, to look for hope from God, to be raised up again by him: for, as to thee thou shalt have no resurrection unto life. 15 And when they had brought the fifth, they tormented him. But he looking upon the king,

    16 Said: Whereas thou hast power among men, though thou art corruptible, thou dost what thou wilt: but think not that our nation is forsaken by God. 17 But stay patiently a while, and thou shalt see his great power, in what manner he will torment thee and thy seed. 18 After him they brought the sixth, and he being ready to die, spoke thus: Be not deceived without cause: for we suffer these things for ourselves, having sinned against our God, and things worthy of admiration are done to us: 19 But do not think that thou shalt escape unpunished, for that thou attempted to fight against God. 20 Now the mother was to be admired above measure, and worthy to be remembered by good men, who beheld seven sons slain in the space of one day, and bore it with a good courage, for the hope that she had in God:

    21 And she bravely exhorted every one of them in her own language, being filled with wisdom: and joining a man's heart to a woman's thought, 22 She said to them: I know not how you were formed in my womb: for I neither gave you breath, nor soul, nor life, neither did I frame the limbs of every one of you. 23 But the Creator of the world, that formed the nativity of man, and that found out the origin of all, he will restore to you again in his mercy, both breath and life, as now you despise yourselves for the sake of his laws. 24 Now Antiochus, thinking himself despised, and withal despising the voice of the upbraider, when the youngest was yet alive, did not only exhort him by words, but also assured him with an oath, that he would make him a rich and a happy man, and, if he would turn from the laws of his fathers, would take him for a friend, and furnish him with things necessary. 25 But when the young man was not moved with these things, the king called the mother, and counselled her to deal with the young man to save his life.

    26 And when he had exhorted her with many words, she promised that she would counsel her son. 27 So bending herself towards him, mocking the cruel tyrant, she said in her own language: My son, have pity upon me, that bore thee nine months my womb, and save thee suck years, and nourished thee, and brought thee up unto this age. 28 I beseech thee, my son, look upon heaven and earth, and all that is in them: and consider that God made them out of nothing, and mankind also: 29 So thou shalt not fear this tormentor, but being made a worthy partner with thy brethren, receive death, that in that mercy I may receive thee again with thy brethren. 30 While she was yet speaking these words, the young man said: For whom do you stay? I will not obey the commandment of the king, but the commandment of the law, which was given us by Moses.

    31 But thou that hast been the author of all mischief against the Hebrews, shalt not escape the hand of God. 32 For we suffer thus for our sins. 33 And though the Lord our God is angry with us a little while for our chastisement and correction: yet he will be reconciled again to his servants. 34 But thou, O wicked and of all men most flagitious, be not lifted up without cause with vain hopes, whilst thou art raging against his servants. 35 For thou hast not yet escaped the judgment of the almighty God, who beholdeth all things.

    36 For my brethren, having now undergone a short pain, are under the covenant of eternal life: but thou by the judgment of God shalt receive just punishment for thy pride. 37 But I, like my brethren, offer up my life and my body for the laws of our fathers: calling upon God to be speedily merciful to our nation, and that thou by torments and stripes mayst confess that he alone is God. 38 But in me and in my brethren the wrath of the Almighty, which hath justly been brought upon all our nation, shall cease. 39 Then the king being incensed with anger, raged against him more cruelly than all the rest, taking it grievously that he was mocked. 40 So this man also died undefiled, wholly trusting in the Lord.

    41 And last of all after the sons the mother also was consumed. 42 But now there is enough said of the sacrifices, and of the excessive cruelties. 


    1. 1. How do the seven brethren and mother face their cruel torture? What are they dying for?  What would they rather do than betray God’s laws? 
    2. 2. What allows this noble family to so confidently face death (be sure to consider the individual statements of each of them)? Consider whether a similar consolation is offered to the philosophers we discussed in seminar two.


    St. Augustine (José de Ribera, 1635)


    Excerpt from St. Augustine’s Confessions

    Is it, then, uncertain that all men wish to be happy, since those who do not wish to find their joy in thee -- which is alone the happy life -- do not actually desire the happy life? Or, is it rather that all desire this, but because "the flesh lusts against the spirit and the spirit against the flesh," so that they "prevent you from doing what you would," you fall to doing what you are able to do and are content with that. For you do not want to do what you cannot do urgently enough to make you able to do it.

    Now I ask all men whether they would rather rejoice in truth or in falsehood. They will no more hesitate to answer, "In truth," than to say that they wish to be happy. For a happy life is joy in the truth. Yet this is joy in thee, who art the Truth, O God my Light, "the health of my countenance and my God." All wish for this happy life; all wish for this life which is the only happy one: joy in the truth is what all men wish….


    1. 1. Do all men wish to be happy? Why does it initially seem that they do not?  How are truth and happiness connected, and how does the fact that all men avoid falsehood help establish a connection between truth and happiness?


    Excerpt from St. Augustine’s City of God

    As I see that I have still to discuss the fit destinies of the two cities, the earthly and the heavenly, I must first explain, so far as the limits of this work allow me, the reasonings by which men have attempted to make for themselves a happiness in this unhappy life, in order that it may be evident, not only from divine authority, but also from such reasons as can be adduced to unbelievers, how the empty dreams of the philosophers differ from the hope which God gives to us, and from the substantial fulfillment of it which He will give us as our blessedness.  Philosophers have expressed a great variety of diverse opinions regarding the ends of goods and of evils, and this question they have eagerly canvassed, that they might, if possible, discover what makes a man happy.  For the end of our good is that for the sake of which other things are to be desired, while it is to be desired for its own sake; and the end of evil is that on account of which other things are to be shunned, while it is avoided on its own account…

    If, then, we be asked what the city of God has to say upon these points, and, in the first place, what its opinion regarding the supreme good and evil is, it will reply that life eternal is the supreme good, death eternal the supreme evil, and that to obtain the one and escape the other we must live rightly.  And thus it is written, "The just lives by faith," (Habakkuk 2:4) for we do not as yet see our good, and must therefore live by faith; neither have we in ourselves power to live rightly, but can do so only if He who has given us faith to believe in His help do help us when we believe and pray.  As for those who have supposed that the sovereign good and evil are to be found in this life, and have placed it either in the soul or the body, or in both, or, to speak more explicitly, either in pleasure or in virtue, or in both; in repose or in virtue, or in both; in pleasure and repose, or in virtue, or in all combined; in the primary objects of nature, or in virtue, or in both,—all these have, with a marvelous shallowness, sought to find their blessedness in this life and in themselves.  Contempt has been poured upon such ideas by the Truth, saying by the prophet, "The Lord knows the thoughts of men" (or, as the Apostle Paul cites the passage, "The Lord knows the thoughts of the wise") "that they are vain….”

    For what flood of eloquence can suffice to detail the miseries of this life?  Cicero, in the Consolation on the death of his daughter, has spent all his ability in lamentation; but how inadequate was even his ability here?  For when, where, how, in this life can these primary objects of nature be possessed so that they may not be assailed by unforeseen accidents?  Is the body of the wise man exempt from any pain which may dispel pleasure, from any disquietude which may banish repose?  The amputation or decay of the members of the body puts an end to its integrity, deformity blights its beauty, weakness its health, lassitude its vigor, sleepiness or sluggishness its activity,—and which of these is it that may not assail the flesh of the wise man?  Comely and fitting attitudes and movements of the body are numbered among the prime natural blessings; but what if some sickness makes the members tremble? what if a man suffers from curvature of the spine to such an extent that his hands reach the ground, and he goes upon all-fours like a quadruped?  Does not this destroy all beauty and grace in the body, whether at rest or in motion?  What shall I say of the fundamental blessings of the soul, sense and intellect, of which the one is given for the perception, and the other for the comprehension of truth?  But what kind of sense is it that remains when a man becomes deaf and blind? where are reason and intellect when disease makes a man delirious?  We can scarcely, or not at all, refrain from tears, when we think of or see the actions and words of such frantic persons, and consider how different from and even opposed to their own sober judgment and ordinary conduct their present demeanor is.  And what shall I say of those who suffer from demoniacal possession?  Where is their own intelligence hidden and buried while the malignant spirit is using their body and soul according to his own will?  And who is quite sure that no such thing can happen to the wise man in this life?  Then, as to the perception of truth, what can we hope for even in this way while in the body, as we read in the true book of Wisdom, "The corruptible body weighs down the soul, and the earthly tabernacle presses down the mind that muses upon many things?" (Wisdom 9:15)   And eagerness, or desire of action, if this is the right meaning to put upon the Greek horme, is also reckoned among the primary advantages of nature; and yet is it not this which produces those pitiable movements of the insane, and those actions which we shudder to see, when sense is deceived and reason deranged?

    In fine, virtue itself, which is not among the primary objects of nature, but succeeds to them as the result of learning, though it holds the highest place among human good things, what is its occupation save to wage perpetual war with vices,—not those that are outside of us, but within; not other men's, but our own,—a war which is waged especially by that virtue which the Greeks call sophrosune, and we temperance, and which bridles carnal lusts, and prevents them from winning the consent of the spirit to wicked deeds?  For we must not fancy that there is no vice in us, when, as the apostle says, "The flesh lusts against the spirit;" (Galatians 5:17) for to this vice there is a contrary virtue, when, as the same writer says, "The spirit lusts against the flesh."  "For these two," he says, "are contrary one to the other, so that you cannot do the things which you would."  But what is it we wish to do when we seek to attain the supreme good, unless that the flesh should cease to lust against the spirit, and that there be no vice in us against which the spirit may lust?  And as we cannot attain to this in the present life, however ardently we desire it, let us by God's help accomplish at least this, to preserve the soul from succumbing and yielding to the flesh that lusts against it, and to refuse our consent to the perpetration of sin.  Far be it from us, then, to fancy that while we are still engaged in this intestine war, we have already found the happiness which we seek to reach by victory.  And who is there so wise that he has no conflict at all to maintain against his vices? 


    1. 1. What does Augustine mean by saying that he will lay out his argument “from such reasons as can be adduced to unbelievers?” Why would he do this?
    2. 2. What is happiness (or the supreme good) according to the city of God? How does it criticize those who seek earthly happiness?
    3. 3. What reasons does Augustine give for denying the possibility of happiness in this life? It is important to see that he focuses on those sources of happiness that the philosophers claimed (the body, the intellect, and moral virtue).  Follow his argument against each.

Eligibility and Cost

Students must be at least age 15 to participate in the Faith and Reason catholic summer program. This week long program is $495, and this cost covers all meals, outings, and accommodations in the college dorms.  



  • Frequently Asked Questions

    When will I receive notifications about the program?

    Once you register, you should receive email notification within a week as to whether you have been accepted. This will also contain payment instructions. After that, you will receive an email with waivers, what to bring, etc. about a week before the first day of the program.

    When should I arrive, and when does the program end?

    Students should arrive at 1pm on the Sunday of the program check-in; we will not have a Sunday mass, so please plan on attending mass beforehand. If you would like to attend mass at the basilica before the program, here is the link for mass times: Our week concludes with a mass and light reception on Saturday at 10am to which families are invited.

    Is there a safe place to lock up my valuables?

    You will be sharing a room with one other student, and both of you will have a key to lock up your room during the day. We have never had an incident of stolen items, but you are still advised to bring as few valuables as possible, and to keep those you bring out of view in your room.

    Is bedding provided?

    Yes, bedding is provided. You do not need to bring sheets, pillows or blankets. However, you do need to bring your own towel.

    Do I need to bring a swimsuit?

    We do not swim or do any water sports as part of the program, but there is a lap pool on campus should you want to swim during breaks.

    Can I use my cell phone during the week?

    In order to promote the kind of reflection and fellowship that makes for a great week together, cell phone usage is rarely allowed during the week. With the exception of breaks and when at the dorms, phones are not to be used. And, even when you are able to use them, you are encouraged to focus your attention on reflection, prayer, and on the friendships you are forming during the week. This can be hard for parents as well: parents will have the program director’s cell phone number, as well as those of the young adult prefects, so they will always be able to get in touch if necessary. Plus, photos will be sent throughout the week so that parents can see what we are up to!

    Do I need to have formal attire for the daily masses?

    While we have mass every day, most days we are heading off to a hike or outdoor activity right afterwards, and so on those days you should wear to mass more casual/hiking attire. The two most formal occasions are the Friday evening dance, and the Saturday morning mass (to which families are invited). Of course, you are expected to dress modestly at all times, and your clothes should not contain inappropriate logos or messages.

    Can I do the Faith and Reason Summer Program more than once?

    The majority of students come back for a second, or even a third, year. There is a $150 discount for returning students. While most of the week’s activities remain the same, returning students have separate seminars in which they focus more closely on a classic text. In the past, for example, returning students have focused on G.K. Chesterton, Flannery O’Connor, the Psalms, St. Gregory the Great, and St. Thomas Aquinas.

    Is there a sibling discount?

    Yes, to help make Faith and Reason more affordable for families, there is a $150 discount for siblings.

About the Director of Faith and Reason

Dr. Michael Krom received his Doctorate in philosophy at Emory University in 2007 and is currently the chair of the philosophy department at Saint Vincent. He has authored a book on religion and politics and continues to publish works in Catholic moral and political thought. Dr. Krom will lead the Faith and Reason Catholic college summer program throughout its duration.

Michael P. Krom, PhD
Professor and Chair of Philosophy
Director, Benedictine Leadership Studies
724 805-2844

Meet the Prefects


Mary Vanden Berk

Mary Vanden Berk has been a part of the Faith and Reason Program at Saint Vincent since it started in 2012, participating as a student for several years before becoming a prefect and leading the music for the program. Attending Faith and Reason played a role in her decision to choose Saint Vincent for college, and she graduated with a BA in Vocal Performance with a concentration in Sacred Music. She is now the Manager of Sacred Music for We Are One Body® Radio and the director of the Schola Cantorum of Holy Family in Latrobe.



James Krom

James Krom is a music composition student at The Catholic University of America. He is looking forward to reprising his role as prefect at Faith and Reason, which he attended twice as a homeschooler in junior high. James also serves as organist, accompanying Faith and Reason masses and music rehearsals. Last year, he provided original tracks for the program's "Music and the Soul" session. He is planning to continue his studies in composition in graduate school.



Amanda MacMurtrie

Amanda MacMurtrie attended Regina Luminis Academy in Philadelphia, and is a graduate of Saint Vincent College. She is currently pursuing an MA in Art Therapy with a concentration in Counseling. She has prefected for Faith and Reason for the past two years and loves how the week invites students deeper into a socratic approach to a wide range of topics in the Catholic intellectual tradition, and to a week structured around Daily Mass, the Divine Office, seminars, and friendship rooted in Benedictine hospitality. Last year, she began to offer art lessons during the week, and looks forward to continuing this in the future.



Phil Tran

Phil Tran received his Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy and Theology from Saint Vincent College and his Master of Science in Bioethics from the University of Mary. He is a PhD candidate in Bioethics at the Pontifical Athenaeum Regina Apostolorum in Rome, a Program Coordinator at the University of Notre Dame's de Nicola Center for Ethics and Culture, and an Intern at the National Catholic Bioethics Center. Phil's life mission is to pursue the truth and help others live in accord with the truth. For this reason, he has been prefecting for Faith and Reason for three years and loves contributing to this summer opportunity that forms minds and hearts in the truth and towards friendship with God.