Word on Fire Institute

January 13th & 14th, 2023
A Conference on Faith and Science
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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. This year’s conference is on faith and science.


VENUE: Gaylord Texan Resort & Convention Center

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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

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.

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.

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.

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.

Daniel Kuebler, PhD

Daniel Kuebler is a biology professor at Franciscan University of Steubenville and author of The Evolution Controversy: A Survey of Competing Theories. With a doctorate in philosophy and molecular biology, he researches epilepsy and sports injuries.

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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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.

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Topics to be Discussed


Existence of God

Understanding the Scientific Revolution

Science as a Gift to the Church

Embryo Research / Brain Death / Catholic Ethics (TBD)

Faith, Science, and Evangelization

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Lost, all

lost in

wonder  at

the God

thou art.

What is included in the price of the Wonder Conference package?

• Two (2) days of attendance at general and breakout sessions of the Wonder Conference
• One (1) night at the world-class, stunning, and one-of-a-kind Gaylord Texan Resort & Convention Center
• 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

Price: $795 EARLY BIRD SPECIAL! $595

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Friday Schedule

1:00 pm  |  Keynote Address 1 — Fr. Robert Spitzer: How Science Proves the Existence of God
2:15 pm  |  Breakout Sessions — 3 concurrent sessions
3:15 pm  |  Keynote Address 2 — Karin Öberg: The Philosophy of Science
4:15 pm  |  Breakout Sessions — 3 concurrent sessions
5:00 pm  |  Break
6:00 pm  |  Social Hour
7:15 pm  |  Dinner
8:00 pm  |  Evening Entertainment — Jennifer Fulwiler

Saturday Schedule

8:00 am  |  Breakfast
9:00 am  |  Keynote Address 3 — Bishop Barron: Faith, Science, and Evangelization
10:15 am  |  Breakout Sessions — 3 concurrent sessions
12:30 pm  |  Lunch with Final Remarks — Jared Zimmerer
2:00 pm  |  End Conference
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Things to do in DFW

Historic Downtown Grapevine

Founded in 1844, Grapevine is the oldest community in Tarrant County. Historic Downtown Grapevine, anchored by Main Street, is home to wine tasting rooms, the Grapevine Vintage Railroad, the Palace Arts Center, the Grapevine Glockenspiel Clock Tower, one-of-a-kind shops, live entertainment venues, restaurants, and art galleries.

Distance to Historic Downtown Grapevine: ~ 5 minute drive

Fort Worth Stockyards

Once home to cowboys, cattlemen, and outlaws, today the Stockyards National Historic District is one of the most popular attractions in Texas. This living museum pays tribute to Fort Worth's Wild West heyday with daily cattle drives and plenty of restaurants serving up cowboy cuisine.

Distance to Ft. Worth Stockyards: ~45 minute drive

The Sixth Floor Museum

The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza chronicles the life, death, and legacy of President John F. Kennedy. The museum is in the former Texas School Book Depository building, where evidence of a sniper was found after the assassination of President Kennedy on November 22, 1963.

Distance to The Sixth Floor Museum: ~ 30 minute drive

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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, 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.

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.

• 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, and more.
• One (1) night at the world-class, stunning, and one-of-a-kind Gaylord Texan Resort & Convention Center, located near DFW Airport, LEGOLAND® Discovery Center, Cowboys Golf Club, Historic Downtown Grapevine, and water sports on Lake Grapevine, including all taxes and resort fees.
• 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

You can buy a ticket at: https://wordonfirecatholicministries.ticketspice.com/WONDER-conference.

You can also call us at 866-928-1237 or email us at [email protected].

In order to put on our inaugural conference, Word on Fire agreed to the hotel’s agreement to book rooms at the Gaylord Texan Resort and Conference Center.

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

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.

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.)

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

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.

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.

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