Fons Vitae is an initiative of Duke Divinity School that seeks to make more available the wisdom of the Catholic intellectual tradition in the Duke University community. Inspired by the model of the Lumen Christi Institute at the University of Chicago, Fons Vitae aims to stand as a testament to the enduring relevance and transformative power of the Catholic intellectual and spiritual tradition for learners from diverse fields and backgrounds.

Our Mission

Our goal is one of collaboration, complementing the missions of our home and local institutions and initiatives while enriching the academic and spiritual fabric of our community. We desire to harness the rich space for conversation, scientific rigor, and innovative thinking characteristic of Duke as a premier research university.

Fons Vitae hosts public lectures, master classes, summer seminars, a fellowship program, and community events that highlight our tradition as a means for fostering greater love of learning and the desire for God. We see this as our contribution to Duke’s history as an institution committed to “eruditio et religio.”

Significance of Name

Drawing inspiration from the Scriptures (cf. Psalm 36:10; John 4:14) and the wider spiritual and theological tradition of the Christian faith, the center of which is the person of Jesus Christ, the initiative has assumed the name “Fons Vitae.” This name signifies our effort to sponsor programs that advance the knowledge and love of God as the “Fountain of Life” (“Fons Vitae”) and thereby help Catholic and non-Catholic learners grow in the wisdom that deepens faith and bears great intellectual fruit.


Fons Vitae is a member of the In Lumine Network and has partnerships with Duke Catholic CenterEcclesia in America Network, and Trinitarian Ontology.

Faculty & Staff

Peter Casarella, Ph.D.

Professor of Theology
Executive Director, Fons Vitae
Duke Divinity School

Troy Kassien, M.A., M.T.S.

Program Coordinator, Fons Vitae
Duke Divinity School