Mission Vision What Others Say Activities Alumni Support Us Contact Us
Overview            Notre Dame          Vienna          Admission          Financial Aid          Faculty

The summer programs bring together students and professors to explore the enduring ideas of Western civilization through the disciplines of political philosophy, philosophical anthropology, ethics, literature and Law.

JUNE 28-JULY 26, 2014


The Opening Seminar is designed to provide a proper introduction to the summer course as a whole. Students will meet their professors, classmates and coordinators; review the calendar of curricular and extra-curricular activities; learn all they need to know about life at Notre Dame; etc. The Seminar will take place in the morning of Sunday, June 29. Participation in the Opening Seminar is compulsory for all students.


1.- All students must choose two out of the courses offered;

2.- The Truth, Goodness, and Beauty in Pluralistic Societies course is (a) opened to all participants, and (b) mandatory for all first year students;

3.- Enrollment per course is limited. Students are encouraged to complete their application to the Summer Seminar as soon as possible in order to guarantee their place in the courses of their preference. Applications will be processed on a first-come, first-served basis.


Dr. John O’Callaghan
Associate Professor of Philosophy
Director of the Jacques Maritain Center
University of Notre Dame, USA

How should we think about Truth, Goodness, Beauty, and Happiness? Needless to say, it is important to recognize individual differences in every human life. These may be differences of taste, culture, social and economic class. Such differences can lead to different judgments about the sorts of lives that are worth living. And it is important to recognize such differences to avoid a simple uniformity of human lives. But are there any goods that are common to all human beings, irrespective of these differences? Is there a final good common to all? What role does truth and beauty play in answering those questions, and what do they have to do with human happiness? Are the idea of truth and goodness compatible with the defense of human liberty and self-determination, or are they at odds with it? In this course we will investigate to what extent we can both acknowledge human difference in those things that make us good and happy, while also asking whether there is anything in life that can be said to bind all of us into a rich human community of potential friends.

Dr. John O’Callaghan. Ph.D., University of Notre Dame. Areas of interest include Medieval Philosophy, Thomas Aquinas, and Thomistic Metaphysics. He is the author of Thomistic Realism and The Linguistic Turn: Toward a More Perfect Form of Existence, among others. Articles recently published include “Concepts, Mirrors, and John of St. Thomas: Reply to Deely" in American Catholic Philosophical Association; "St. Thomas Aquinas", Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy; “Actively Forgetting the Image of God: Nietzsche and Great Texts" in Finding a Common Thread: Reading Great Texts from Homer to O'Connor. Permanent member of the Pontifical Academy of St. Thomas Aquinas.

Dr. V. Bradley Lewis
Associate Professor, School of Philosophy
Catholic University of America, USA

Thucydides’s History of the Peloponnesian War is one of the greatest historical narratives ever produced, telling the story of the epic struggle between democratic Athens and oligarchic Sparta and their allies that took place between 431 and 404 BC. But it is much more: along the way Thucydides presents deep analyses of the nature of democracy and other political regimes, the moral hazards of empire, justice among nations, and the causes of war. He penetrates to the roots of political life in human nature. His reflections are thus not only of historical interest but take us to matters of permanent relevance in human affairs.

Dr. Bradley Lewis. Ph.D., Government and International Studies, University of Notre Dame. M.A., Government and International Studies, University of Notre Dame. B.A., Government and Politics, University of Maryland. Associate Professor at the School of Philosophy of The Catholic University of America. Associate Editor of The American Journal of Jurisprudence.

Dr. William Carroll
Thomas Aquinas Fellow in Theology and Science
Oxford University, United Kingdom

Augustine's search through time and memory to find God is one of the paradigmatic stories of Western culture. In recounting his journey, Augustine leads the reader through a thicket of intellectual and psychological topics which, although set in the late 4th Century, disclose themes which men and women encounter in every age, including our own. This course will offer a systematic reading and discussion of such a great text and, in the process, an opportunity to join Augustine on his journey of intellectual and spiritual discover. We will look at the various stages Augustine passes through as he is first awakened to the pursuit of truth as a young university student in Carthage, through his prolonged encounter with Manichean dualism, to his discovery of Platonic thought, and ultimately to his conversion to Christianity. We will see Augustine's attraction to life in Carthage, where he was "in love with the idea of being in love", followed by the deepening on his desires and the search for an answer to his questions and needs. One of the attractions of the story Augustine tells is its disarming honesty. Taking advantage of that honesty, we will want to discover the ways in which Augustine's story speaks directly to the needs and desires of men and women in the 21st Century.

Dr. William E Carroll. European intellectual historian and historian of science whose research and teaching concern, among other topics, the reception of Aristotelian science in mediaeval Islam, Judaism, and Christianity; the development of the doctrine of creation ex nihilo; the appropriation of mediaeval discussions of creation and the natural sciences to contemporary science; and Galileo's Inquisition trial. Works include Creation and Science; Galileo: Science and Faith; Aquinas on Creation (with Steven E. Baldner), book chapters and numerous publications in academic journals.


July 11 (afternoon) - 12 (all day), 2014
Dr. Steve Reifenberg (Instructor)
Dr. Paolo Carozza (Keynote Speaker)

Through Dr. Paolo Carozza's lecture on “The Principle of Solidarity in International Law and International Relations” and Dr. Reifenberg's teaching, this two-day optional seminar aspires to develop introductory knowledge and practical skills for students interested in engaging in positive change in a complex world. A central theme of the course is to understand what are some of the different theoretical approaches to development, and what have we learned over the past decades from systematic research and from experience in the field about “what works.” The course makes use of cases studies, and draws lessons from instructive stories of failure as well as inspirational stories of change such as “bright spots” in development –i.e. specific interventions that have made meaningful and measurable contributions. The course aspires to help train students to think like creative, effective, and thoughtful development professionals.

Dr. Steve Reifenberg. Executive Director of the Helen Kellogg Institute for International Studies at the University of Notre Dame. Dr. Reifenberg is the former Program Director for Latin America of the Conflict Management Group, an international non-profit organization created from the Harvard Negotiation Project at the Harvard Law School. He is a graduate of Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government where he earned a Master in Public Policy.

Dr. Paolo Carozza. Director of the Kellogg Institute for international Studies at the University of Notre Dame, an interdisciplinary, university-wide institute focusing primarily on the themes of democracy and human development. From 2006 to 2010 he was a member of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and served as its President in 2008-09. Dr. Carozza earned both his A.B. and J.D. degrees from Harvard, and pursued graduate studies at Cambridge University and at Harvard Law School as a Ford Foundation Fellow in Public International Law.

Cost of optional seminar.- $180.00 USD


The Gerhart Niemeyer Graduation Seminar is the academic activity through which Phoenix senior students (Third Year) complete the Institute’s Program in Advanced Social, Economic and Political Studies.

In 2014, the Seminar discussion sessions will be held between Thursday, June 26, and Saturday, June 28. Hence, Third Year students are expected to arrive on Campus on Wednesday, June 25 (three days before the rest of the group).

The 2014 discussion sessions will be conducted by Dr. Gabriel Mora, Dr. John X. Evans and Prof. Aarón A. Castillo, with the assistance of Pablo González as the Seminar’s coordinator.

The Graduation Seminar will cost $60.00 USD.


The Seminar will be held in the University of Notre Dame, South Bend, Indiana. The University is about two hours by car from Chicago’s O'Hare International Airport and about 90 minutes from Midway International Airport. Coach USA maintains a bus shuttle several times daily between campus and both Chicago O'Hare and Chicago Midway airports. The South Shore Line trains run directly from the Chicago Loop (corner of Michigan and Randolph) to South Bend Regional Airport in South Bend (about a two-hour trip). From the airport, the Notre Dame campus is approximately a 15-minute ride by car.


$2,975.00 USD (Tuition, double/triple-occupancy accommodation, 5-Meals per week Meal Plan, and the fees for the use all libraries and recreational facilities included).


Once accepted, students can obtain a $100.00 USD discount by securing their place on the program through the payment of their $300 USD non-refundable initial fee –applicable to their tuition– prior to the following dates: April 4, 2014, for second and third year students; and May 28, 2014, for first year students.


As of 2014, all payments must be completed through the delivery of a valid check or a wire transfer to the following account:

Account Holder.- The Phoenix Institute
Name of Bank.- KeyBank
Account Number.- 6001265782
Routing Number.- 041-001-039
Zwift Number.- keybus33

Bank Address.-
525 West Cleveland Road,
Mishawaka, IN, 46545,
Tel.  1-800-539-2968

Phoenix Institute Address.-
1204 E. Verlea Drive, Tempe,
Arizona 85282, USA,
Tel. 480-966-8215

The full cost of the program’s tuition fee must be covered by June 20, preferably earlier. Admission to the campus will only possible after full prior payment of the tuition fee.  Cash payments will not be accepted.


Non-US Students who are selected to the program will receive the Form I-20 from Notre Dame University.

This form is necessary in order to obtain student visas for entry into the USA.


Because of the high cost of medical treatment in the United States, all students must purchase a medical insurance policy prior to arrival at the University of Notre Dame.

The Phoenix Institute cannot provide for any medical care or medical costs and insurance coverage.

Participants, who have not sent the Institute prior written proof of their medical insurance coverage, will not be admitted.


Registration to the Summer Seminars begins on February 28th
click here

©2008-2014 The Phoenix Institute. All Rights Reserved.