Word on Fire Institute

January 13th & 14th, 2023
A Conference on Faith and Science
In-Person Tickets Sold Out!
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This conference is made possible with support from the John Templeton Foundation.

The Word on Fire Institute is excited to announce its inaugural Wonder Conference, an annual opportunity to engage with theologians and other experts on important issues at the intersection of the Catholic faith and secular culture.

Due to overwhelming demand, in-person conference tickets are already sold out. However, we are now offering digital access to the livestream and recordings inside the Word on Fire Institute! Join now for $27/month.

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Why faith and science?

A perceived incompatibility between faith and science has led to a rise in the number of religiously unaffiliated. This perception runs counter to the experience of the Catholic tradition, which conveys the beautiful harmony between faith and science. The Wonder Conference will bring together recognized experts in physics, philosophy, technology, theology, and history to address this issue.

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the  glory

of God.

Psalm 19:1

Evening Event Featuring Comedy Entertainer Jen Fulwiler

Jen Fulwiler is a standup comic, bestselling author, and mom of six. She was the host of the daily talk radio show The Jen Fulwiler Show on the national SiriusXM network, and when she launched her own podcast, This Is Jen, it debuted in the iTunes Comedy Top 10. She has been featured on the Today show and CNN, and her viral social media sketches have racked up millions of views. Her standup comedy special, The Naughty Corner, is out now on Amazon.

Meet the Speakers

Bishop Robert Barron

Bishop Robert Barron is Bishop of the Diocese of Winona-Rochester (Minnesota) and the founder of Word on Fire Catholic Ministries. He served as the Rector/President of Mundelein Seminary / University of St. Mary of the Lake from 2012 until 2015. On July 21, 2015, Pope Francis appointed Bishop Barron to be Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. He was ordained bishop on September 8, 2015. On Thursday, June 2, 2022, Pope Francis appointed Bishop Robert Barron the ninth Bishop of the Diocese of Winona-Rochester.

Jennifer Wiseman, PhD

Dr. Jennifer Wiseman is an astrophysicist, author, and speaker. She studies the process of star and planet formation in our galaxy and is also interested in national science policy and public science engagement. She studied physics at MIT, co-discovering comet Wiseman-Ski in 1987, and continued in astronomy with her doctoral research at Harvard. She has worked with several international observatories and is currently a senior astrophysicist at the Goddard Space Flight Center.

Fr. Robert J. Spitzer, SJ, PhD

Robert Spitzer is a Jesuit priest and the President of the Magis Center of Reason and Faith and the Spitzer Center. Author of thirteen books and host of the weekly EWTN program Father Spitzer’s Universe, he frequently speaks and writes on faith, science, philosophy, and culture, and he has appeared on Larry King Live, the Today show, and PBS.

Karin I. Öberg, PhD

Karin Öberg is professor of astronomy at Harvard University. With a speciality in astrochemistry, her research aims to uncover how chemical processes affect the outcome of planet formation, especially the habitability of nascent planets. She serves on the board of the Society of Catholic Scientists.

Christopher Baglow, PhD

Christopher T. Baglow is the director of the Science and Religion Initiative in the McGrath Institute for Church Life at the University of Notre Dame. With a doctorate from Duquesne University, he has spent thirty years working in Catholic education and is the author of the textbook Faith, Science, & Reason.

Stephen Bullivant, PhD

Stephen Bullivant is the Director of the Benedict XVI Centre for Religion and Society and a professor of theology and the sociology of religion at St. Mary’s University, Twickenham in London. Author of ten books, he holds doctorates in theology and sociology and researches contemporary religion in Europe and America.

Richard DeClue, STD

Richard DeClue is the Cardinal Henri de Lubac Fellow in Theology at the Word on Fire Institute. He has earned three ecclesiastical degrees in theology at the Catholic University of America and specializes in systematic theology, with a particular interest in the thought of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI.

Christopher Kaczor, PhD

Christopher Kaczor is the St. Thomas Aquinas Fellow for the Renewal of Catholic Intellectual Life and the Dean of Academic Fellows at the Word on Fire Institute. He is also Professor of Philosophy at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. He has authored several books, and his research on issues of ethics, philosophy, and religion has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, National Review, the Today Show, and more.

Daniel Kuebler, PhD

Daniel Kuebler is the Dean of the School of Natural and Applied Sciences at Franciscan University of Steubenville and author of The Evolution Controversy: A Survey of Competing Theories. With a doctorate in molecular and cell biology, he performs research on adult stem cells from bone marrow and fat tissue. He also serves on the board of the Society of Catholic Scientists.

Fr. Joachim Ostermann, OFM, PhD

Joachim Ostermann, OFM, holds a doctorate in biochemistry from the University of Munich. After a career in universities and biotechnology companies in the US and Canada, he changed course and became a Franciscan friar. He is the author of Remembering Francis: Making Sense of Modern Life.

Lawrence Principe, PhD

Lawrence M. Principe is the Drew Professor of the Humanities at Johns Hopkins University in the Departments of the History of Science and Technology and of Chemistry. He has published two books on the history of science and received the 2021 St. Albert the Great Award from the Society of Catholic Scientists for his work on science and religion.

Fr. Anselm Ramelow, OP, PhD

Anselm Ramelow, OP, is a Dominican friar with a PhD in philosophy from the University of Munich. A professor at the Dominican School of Philosophy & Theology, his research interests include free will, the relationship between faith and reason, and philosophical aesthetics.

Tod Worner, MD

Dr. Tod Worner is a writer, speaker, professor, practicing internal medicine physician, and the Managing Editor of Evangelization & Culture, the journal of the Word on Fire Institute. He is passionate about exploring truth, goodness, and beauty, and his writing can be found at Word on Fire, Aleteia, National Review, New York Post, and on Twitter @thinkercatholic.

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Topics to be Discussed

Science and the Church

Artificial Intelligence


Technology and Spirituality


Embracing Mystery

Nature and Well-Being


Science and Evangelization

The Scientific Revolution

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Our Sponsors

Lost, all

lost in

wonder  at

the God

thou art.

What is included in the $27 Monthly Membership Fee?

• Access to the Live Stream of all Keynotes at the Wonder Conference
• Access to the Recordings of all Keynotes and Breakout Sessions at the Wonder Conference
• A New Member welcome gift
• A quarterly copy of the Evangelization & Culture journal
• Access to all of Bishop Barron's films and study programs, and 30+ online courses on science, theology, evangelization, writing, happiness, and more!

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Friday Schedule

1:00 pm  |  Keynote Address 1 (Live Stream)

Fr. Robert Spitzer: The Evidence for God from Science
2:15 pm  |  Breakout Sessions (will be recorded)

Daniel Kuebler: Evolution and Catholic Theology
Richard DeClue: How the Church Created Science
Fr. Anselm Ramelow: AI and the Role of Technology in Our Relationship with God
3:15 pm  |  Keynote Address 2 (Live Stream)

Karin Öberg: The Wonder and Limits of Science
4:30 pm  |  Breakout Sessions (will be recorded)

Tod Worner: Embracing Mystery in Medicine
Fr. Joachim Ostermann: The Franciscan View of Nature and Natural Being
Christopher Kaczor: Science, Faith, and Happiness
8:30 pm  |  Evening Entertainment with Jen Fulwiler

Saturday Schedule

9:30 am  |  Keynote Address 3 (Live Stream)

Bishop Barron: Faith, Science, and Evangelization
11:15 am  |  Breakout Sessions (will be recorded)

Lawrence Principe: How to Understand the Scientific Revolution
Christopher Baglow: Science and the Bible
Stephen Bullivant: Science, Atheism, and the Unaffiliated
12:45 pm  |  Keynote Address 4 (Live Stream)

Jennifer Wiseman: Universe of Wonder: Galaxies, Black Holes, Planets, and Life
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Wonder Conference is an annual opportunity to engage with theologians and other experts on important issues at the intersection of the Catholic faith and secular culture. Keynotes and speakers at this conference include, but are not limited to: Bishop Robert Barron, Karin I. Öberg, Fr. Robert Spitzer, Fr. Joachim Ostermann, Jennifer Wiseman, and many others! The mission of this two-day conference is to have experts in the fields of physics, philosophy, technology, theology, and history come together to discuss and correct the perceived gap between faith and science. This conference is in part made possible with the support of a grant from the Templeton Foundation.

The $27 fee is the monthly membership fee to the Word on Fire Institute. Membership includes access to the Live Streams of the 2023 Wonder Conference keynotes, Recordings of the keynotes and breakout sessions, as well as the following:

• A New Member welcome gift
• A quarterly copy of the Evangelization & Culture journal
• Access to all of Bishop Barron's films and study programs, and 30+ online courses on science, theology, evangelization, writing, happiness, and more!

In-person tickets to the Wonder Conference are sold out. Join the Word on Fire Institute for $27/month to get virtual access to the conference keynotes and breakout sessions, as well as to 30+ online courses from Bishop Barron and the Institute Fellows, a FREE welcome package, and so much more!

The Word on Fire Institute is an online membership site designed to provide our global evangelical community with the resources they need to proclaim Christ to a secular culture.

Membership to the Word on Fire Institute is $27 monthly and charges automatically to your billing method provided. You may choose to cancel the Word on Fire Institute at any time by calling or emailing.

Word On Fire Catholic Ministries is a nonprofit global media apostolate that supports the work of Bishop Robert Barron and reaches millions of people to draw them into—or back to—the Catholic faith. Word on Fire is evangelical; it proclaims Jesus Christ as the source of conversion and new life. Word on Fire is Catholic; it utilizes the tremendous resources of the Roman Catholic tradition—art, architecture, poetry, philosophy, theology, and the lives of the saints—in order to explain and interpret the event of Jesus Christ. Word on Fire Catholic Ministries exists to draw people into the Body of Christ, which is the Church, and thereby give them access to all the gifts that Jesus wants his people to enjoy. To be most effective in this mission, Word on Fire places an emphasis and urgency on the use of contemporary forms of media and innovative communication technologies.

Founded in 1987, the John Templeton Foundation supports research and catalyzes conversations that inspire people with awe and Wonder. We fund work on subjects ranging from black holes and evolution to creativity, forgiveness, and free will. We also encourage civil, informed dialogue among scientists, philosophers, theologians, and the public at large. Our aspiration is to help people create lives of meaning and purpose and to become a global catalyst for discoveries that contribute to human flourishing.

With an endowment of $3.9 billion and annual giving of approximately $140 million, the Foundation ranks among the 25 largest grantmaking foundations in the United States. Headquartered outside Philadelphia, our philanthropic activities have engaged all major faith traditions and extended to more than 58 countries around the world.

FAQs for In-Person Attendees

• Two (2) days of attendance at ALL general and breakout sessions of the Wonder Conference, featuring engaging and thought-provoking presentations by Bishop Robert Barron, Karin I. Öberg, Fr. Robert Spitzer, Jennifer Wiseman, and more.
• One (1) conference dinner at the Gaylord Texan Resort & Convention Center in Grapevine
• One (1) breakfast at the Gaylord Texan Resort & Convention Center in Grapevine
• One (1) lunch at the Gaylord Texan Resort & Convention Center in Grapevine

Wonder Conference is open to and appropriate for individuals and couples. For those who wish to attend with their children, the content is appropriate for mature middle school-aged children and older.

Hotel room reservations are made separately from the conference registration process. Since it is up to each individual to determine whether they would like to book a hotel room or not, you may attend the conference without booking a hotel room if you wish.

Those attending Wonder Conference will receive dinner on Friday and breakfast and lunch on Saturday.

Yes, the Gaylord can accommodate dietary allergies/restrictions. Meals will be prepared according to your needs. Speak to food wait staff before dining.

We are not offering any sacraments at this conference. St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church is only 1 mile from the hotel if attendees would like to visit there.

Children that are ages 8 and younger can be covered for Conference Meals under your ticket. Any other family member or additional guest staying in your hotel room that wants to be counted towards Conference Meals will require the purchase of an additional day pass ($595 early bird rate) for each person. The Gaylord Texan Resort facilities and the surrounding area do have alternative food options available.

Please note that check in at the Gaylord Texan Resort and Conference Center is scheduled for 4:00 p.m. If you arrive earlier than 4:00 p.m., please check in at the front desk and as rooms become available, you will be given your room keys. You can make arrangements with the Bell Stand to hold your luggage until your room becomes available. You will then either claim your luggage yourself or you will make arrangements directly with the Bell Stand to deliver your luggage to your room.

Check out is at 11:00 a.m. We will have luggage storage for guests after checkout until the end of the conference.

Self-parking discounted to $15+ tax for Wonder attendees
$31.00 + tax daily valet, per day
$42.00 + tax overnight valet, per day

Not at this current time.

Business casual is suggested for the Wonder conference.
(For men, the suggestion includes: trousers, slacks, khakis, button-down shirts, polos and sport coat optional. For women, the suggestion includes: a skirt or slacks, blouse, blazer, or dress and an appropriate heel or flat shoe.)

The Wonder Conference Registration opens at 10:00 am on Friday, January 13th. We suggest that you arrive no later than 12:00 p.m. on Friday, January 13, 2023, and have a departing flight no earlier than 3:00 p.m. on Saturday, January 14, 2023.

You may receive a refund through December 1, 2022. If you cancel after December 1, 2022, Word on Fire will retain your entire payment. Technical issues, no shows, non-participation, and other issues are not eligible for a refund.

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