Academic Conferences

Academic Conference page pic

Franciscan University hosts many conferences during the academic year which are sponsored by our academic departments.

Fidelity & Freedom Symposium: Academic Freedom and Revealed Truth

Join Franciscan University of Steubenville for the first of three symposia in honor of the 25th anniversary of Ex corde Ecclesiae, Pope John Paul II’s visionary Apostolic Constitution on Catholic Higher Education. Through an honest dialogue on the goods of academic freedom and revealed truth, the symposium aims to help academics and administrators discover a path toward fuller incorporation of Ex corde Ecclesiae in the life of Catholic universities.

Defining Platonism: A Colloquium in Honor of John M. Dillon's 75th Birthday

Franciscan University hosts colloquium at Berkeley for eminent Plato scholar, John M. Dillon, in honor of his 75th birthday. For the past 50 years, Dr. John M. Dillon, Regius professor of Greek at Trinity College, Dublin, has advanced the study of Plato and the Platonic tradition as it developed through the centuries and impacted Western thought and culture.

The invitation-only colloquium, titled “Defining Platonism,” will be held September 13–14, 2014, in Berkeley, California. Franciscan University’s Department of Classics and the Department of Philosophy at University of California, Berkeley, are collaborating to organize the event. Find out more at the conference page.

The Power of Beauty

"Beauty will save the world," writes Dostoevsky, yet beauty is seen by many as a weak and expendable arrow in the metaphysical quiver that includes the more robust good and true. Many think of beauty as a mere decoration of human life, a luxury rather than a spiritual necessity... We invite papers that do justice to the particular power of beauty to renew both individual persons and also entire communities. We invite our participants to go beyond a formal defense of the existence of beauty, to glimpse not just the most general traits of beauty, but to capture its power to impart new life, its deep affinity with love, its power to awaken deep aspirations in the human heart... We also welcome papers that explore the reasons for the hostility to beauty that some have expressed. Find out more at the conference page.

Humanae Vitae at 45: Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Holiness

Forty-five years after Pope Paul VI promulgated his landmark encyclical Humanae Vitae the prophetic—dire—warnings contained therein have proved prophetic. A team of prominent scholars, headlined by His Eminence Seán Cardinal O'Malley, archbishop of Boston, came together last September to deepen understanding of the encyclical and address challenges in promoting the culture of life.

Find out more at the conference page.

Summer Ancient and Biblical Languages Institute

Learn to read ancient texts in their original languages. Latin, ancient Greek, and Biblical Hebrew become accessible in these five- or ten-week summer sessions of intensive language training. No prior knowledge of the languages is needed.

Find out more!

Truth, Conscience, and Religious Freedom

The HHS mandate for contraceptive, sterilization, and abortifacient coverage in health insurance plans, health-care institutions requiring medical personnel to participate in morally objectionable procedures, legal liability for businesses refusing on religious grounds to provide services for same-sex “weddings,” students forbidden to engage in religious expression in public schools, zoning laws used to stop Bible studies in private homes—these and many more issues have surfaced in recent years concerning religious freedom in the United States. Truth, Conscience, and Religious Freedom explores some of these issues and examines the state of religious freedom in the U.S. in light of our founding, history, and constitutional principles; the broader thinking about rights prevalent in our culture; the international religious freedom situation; and Dignitatis Humanae, the Catholic Church’s leading document on the religious liberty, which was promulgated nearly 50 years ago.

Find out more at the conference page.

Media & Faith: New Beginnings

Can a person successfully practice the Christian faith in a global media environment? How do you continue to grow in your Christian faith while working in today’s media industry? What challenges and opportunities are there for Christians in the new digital media environment?

The Media & Faith conference is expressly designed to answer such questions, and to assist individuals in living out their Christian faith while making the transition from school to the workplace.

Find out more at the conference page.

Science & Faith Conference

The Science and Faith Conference explores questions about the intersection in human knowledge of faith and reason. The last conference addressed the question, "Can science inform our understanding of God?" Watch videos of the talks from the conference of our exceptional lineup of speakers and respondents at the conference recap page.

Bioethics Conferences

Our Center for Bioethics holds regular conferences, hosting such prominent speakers as Professor Robert George of Princeton University, His Excellency, Anthony Fisher, OP, auxiliary bishop of Sydney, Australia, and many others.

Learn more at the Center pages

Conference on Christian Philosophy

Each year the MA Philosophy Program sponsors a scholarly conference on Christian philosophy. Philosophers and scholars from around the world meet for several days to discuss the work of an important Catholic philosopher or an important philosophical topic or school in the Catholic philosophical tradition. Whenever possible, graduate courses are offered in conjunction with the conferences to augment the courses and sometimes to allow graduate student participation in the conference. 

Our last conference was on the question, "Must Morality Be Grounded in God?

Symposium: Vatican II and the Year of Faith

Franciscan University hosted a symposium on Saturday, April 13, 2013, on “Vatican II and the Year of Faith” as requested by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI. This symposium brought together three internationally-renown speakers to present on the importance of the Second Vatican Council in the areas of the Christian philosophy of the human person, the recovery of patristic insight into the Word of God, and the perennial and contemporary relevance of Vatican II for the Christian faithful of today. Get the audio and video of the speakers as they reflect on the work of the Holy Spirit guiding and directing the world to the truth and salvation offered to us by God through Christ and the Church.

Vatican II and the Year of Faith

Creative Cornerstones

Our annual elementary educators' conference, Creative Cornerstones inspires teachers from pre-kindergarten through grade 6 with new ideas and pedagogical techniques. This conference is offered in June by the Graduate Education Department.  

Find out more or contact James Anderson at or at (740) 284-5269

Professional and Pastoral Care of Persons with Same-Sex Attractions

The Department of Graduate Counseling and the Department of Theology presented Dr. Philip Sutton, the founder and first director of the Graduate Counseling Program at Franciscan University on this important and timely topic.

 View the conference page.

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