Fons Vitae is an initiative of Duke Divinity School that seeks to deepen the Catholic intellectual presence and its cross-disciplinary engagement in the Duke University community and to serve as a Catholic think-tank at the service of all people of goodwill in our region and beyond.

Upcoming Events

Fons Vitae invites scholars and experts to Duke to lecture and host workshops on diverse subjects. These events are not so much coordinated by theme as they are by their desire to address issues of immediate importance to learners in our community and to respond to challenges facing the world today.
Fri, Apr 19, 2024 | 12:45 - 1:45pm | 0012 Westbrook, Duke Divinity School

Do We Need a Feast of Creation? | A Lecture by Janet Soskice

Janet Soskice recently took part in an ecumenical colloquium at Assisi on this question. Here she will tell us something about it, and give a version of her own paper on the doctrine of creation and the glory of creatures.

Past Events

Learn about past events, including classes, lectures, and workshops.


Fons Vitae sponsors programs that promote God as the “fountain of life” and that help learners from diverse fields and backgrounds to grow in wisdom, knowledge, and awareness of authors and modes of thinking formed and handed down by the global Catholic Church. In all its efforts, Fons Vitae seeks to engage with wide-ranging contemporary questions and concerns and to contribute to conversations happening in the Church, the academy, and the wider culture today.

Latest News and Features

Read the latest from Fons Vitae and other developments in Catholic intellectual life at Duke Divinity School.
Duke Divinity Announces Certificate in Catholic Studies
March 1, 2024
The new certificate is designed to engage students in the study of the global Catholic experience, practices, and teachings over the centuries and in the present.
The History and Future of Catholic Intellectual Institutes
February 28, 2024
The Lumen Christi Institute interviews Peter Casarella on the founding of Fons Vitae at Duke, as well as where he thinks institutes for Catholic thought at non-Catholic universities need to go in the future. Read the article on the Lumen Christi website.
Saint Óscar Romero Relic Dedicated in Goodson Chapel
January 31, 2024
A service in Goodson Chapel was held at the culmination of the International Week of Prayer for Christian Unity (Jan. 18–25) to dedicate a relic of Saint Óscar Romero.
students and faculty in classroom

Summer Seminar Series

Catholic Thought and Spirituality

Coming together at Duke Divinity School for a week of study and learning in the summer, scholars, graduate students, and young professionals from across the country and the globe meet to bring Catholic thought and spirituality to bear on a key question or theme that has wide-reaching and interdisciplinary implications. The Summer Seminar of 2023 was devoted to the relationship between faith, science, bioethics, and ecology.

Word of Life Faculty Gatherings

Cross-Disciplinary Conversations

These gatherings bring faculty together from across disciplines at Duke for the purpose of allowing Catholic perspectives to enter into conversations among diverse fields. Over a meal and with a guiding theme and text, faculty members engage with questions and topics to which the Catholic intellectual tradition can both speak and be engaged with in a challenging and rigorous manner.

The primary goal is to provide a forum that pushes back on the increasingly fragmented landscape of academia today, which often prizes specialization over dialogue and skepticism over trust, all of which comes at the expense of the wisdom that can be sourced in all disciplines and brought into conversation with Catholic thinking.

faculty members talk at a table
Stained Glass window in Westbrook building shows bright colors

Catholic Fellowship

Weekly Gatherings

Fons Vitae’s earliest activities consisted of coming together for Midday Prayer, a meal, and encouraging conversation. These weekly gatherings remain a mainstay of Fons Vitae. They create an important space for fellowship among Catholic students and other friends in the university community who are eager to pray, build community, and walk together in a life of Christian discipleship.

Certificate in Catholic Studies

The Divinity School also offers a Certificate in Catholic Studies, designed to engage residential M.Div. and M.T.S. students in the study of the global Catholic experience, practices, and teachings over the centuries and in the present.

Make a Gift

Your donation supports our work deepening the Catholic intellectual presence and its cross-disciplinary engagement.