"I formed the Word on Fire Institute to respond to what I think is the greatest challenge of our time..."
Be formed as an evangelist and lead the culture to Christ with beauty, goodness, and truth...
Large Call to Action Headline
Training and forming leaders to effectively engage those on the existential peripheries
Spiritually forming Institute leadership across the country to adopt a lifestyle and spirituality that naturally seeks to evangelize the culture.
Inculcating these leaders in Bishop Barron's style and method of evangelizing the "nones"
Managing and guiding these leaders in their missionary movement efforts

Institute Course #1: Theology of Hans Urs von Balthasar
Institute Course #2: John Henry Newman: The Greatest Catholic Theologian Since Aquinas

Bishop Robert Barron is the founder of Word on Fire Catholic Ministries and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. He is also the host of CATHOLICISM, a groundbreaking, award-winning documentary about the Catholic Faith, which aired on public television.

Bishop Barron is an Amazon bestselling author and has published numerous books, essays, and articles on theology and the spiritual life. He is a religion correspondent for NBC, and has also appeared on FOX News, CNN, and EWTN.

Word on Fire Institute Church & Media Fellow

John Allen Jr. is the editor of Crux, the leading Catholic news source, specializing in coverage of the Vatican and the Catholic Church. He has written eleven books on the Vatican and Catholic affairs and is a popular speaker on Catholicism, both in the United States and internationally. He is also a senior Vatican analyst for CNN.

In addition to hosting The John Allen Show, John will be offering exclusive access to Institute members each month to answer any and all questions they have about the state of the Church, as well as any other matters regarding the latest news.

Institute Course: Christian Community as Leaven for the World

Leah Libresco has worked as a statistics professor and data journalist. She grew up as an atheist and converted to Catholicism while studying at Yale. Through various relationships and reading the likes of Lewis and Chesterton, Leah began to learn more and more about the Catholic faith and was received into the Catholic Church in 2012. Her conversion unfolded through her popular blog, Unequally Yoked, and was also covered by various media outlets including CNN, NBC News, and The Blaze. 

Leah is the author of two books, Arriving at Amen (Ave Maria Press, 2015) and Building the Benedict Option (Ignatius Press, 2018). She continues to write about faith, philosophy, math, and musical theatre on her blog, and her writing has appeared in The Washington Post, First Things, The Weekly Standard, The American Interest, The American Conservative, America, Fare Forward, and many other outlets.

Institute Course: The People You Will Meet (Coming Soon!)

Born and raised in a German-Catholic farming family in the Arkansas Delta, Fr. Gadberry joined the US Air Force in 2005-2008 where he served in the Iraq War in 2007. He earned his Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy and the Liberal Arts at St. Joseph Seminary College in St. Benedict, Louisiana; his Bachelors in Sacred Theology at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, Italy; Bachelors in Sacred Theology; and he double specialized in Theology and Spirituality of Saint Augustine and the Theology and Spirituality of Joseph Ratzinger at the Pontifical Augustinian University in Rome, Italy. He has appeared on the hit television show "American Ninja Warrior" and is a serious Crossfit athlete.

Institute Course: Imaginative Apologetics

Dr. Holly Ordway is Professor of English and faculty in the M.A. in Apologetics at Houston Baptist University; she holds a PhD in English from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. 

She is the author of Apologetics and the Christian Imagination: An Integrated Approach to Defending the Faith (Emmaus Road, 2017) and Not God’s Type: An Atheist Academic Lays Down Her Arms (Ignatius, 2014).

Dr. Ordway is also a published poet, and a Subject Editor for the Journal of Inklings Studies. Her academic work focuses on the writings of the Inklings, especially C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien. Her current book project is Tolkien’s Modern Sources: Middle-earth Beyond the Middle Ages (forthcoming from Kent State University Press, 2019).

Institute Course: To the Peripheries!

Fr. Damian Ference is a priest of the Diocese of Cleveland. He graduated from Borromeo Seminary/John Carroll University in 1998, and after earning his MA and M.Div from Saint Mary Seminary and Graduate School of Theology he was ordained for the diocese of Cleveland in 2003.

He served as parochial vicar at St. Mary Parish in Hudson, Ohio from 2003-2007, and, in 2009, earned his licentiate in philosophy from The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. Fr. Ference has served at Borromeo Seminary in Wickliffe, Ohio as Director of Human Formation and Assistant Professor of Philosophy, and is currently a doctoral student in philosophy at the Pontifical University of St. Thomas in Rome, Italy.

Institute Course: Faith and Science (Coming Soon!)

Stacy A. Trasancos earned a PhD in Chemistry from Penn State University and an MA in Dogmatic Theology from Holy Apostles College and Seminary. Before becoming Catholic, she worked as a chemist for DuPont before leaving to raise children. Now she teaches chemistry and physics for Kolbe Academy and theology and science courses for Holy Apostles and Seton Hall University.  

She has been interviewed on Catholic radio, including Sirius XM The Catholic Channel, Relevant Radio, Redeemer Radio, Ave Maria Radio, Radio Maria, EWTN Global Catholic Network, Catholic Answers Live, and Breadbox Media, and was featured on Subject Matters on Salt & Light TV.

Dr. Trasancos has written numerous articles for Catholic publications, such as U.S. Catholic, St. Austin’s Review, The Integrated Catholic Life, National Catholic Register, Catholic Answers Magazine, and Catholic World Report. She is the author of Science Was Born of Christianity: The Teaching of Fr. Stanley L. Jaki and Particles of Faith: A Catholic Guide to Navigating Science (Ave Maria Press).

Institute Course: How 'Nones' Can Misread the Bible

After earning his BA in Theology and Philosophy at Notre Dame, Dr. Pagliarini taught high school in a Catholic mission parish in Belize. He then moved to Rome to study theology at the Angelicum and work as a guide in the Vatican Necropolis (the "Scavi"). He spent the following three years in Austria completing masters work at the International Theological Institute and then returned to Rome for further study at Pontifical Biblical Institute.

Dr. Pagliarini married his wife Katie in 2010 and returned to Notre Dame to begin doctoral work in Old Testament. Anthony and Katie live in South Bend with their four children. They teach in the Department of Theology at Notre Dame, where Anthony is also the Assistant Director of Undergraduate Studies. 

Institute Course: Happiness and the Meaning of Life (Coming Soon!)

Dr. Frey is a wife and mother of six. She is currently an assistant professor in the philosophy department at the University of South Carolina. Prior to joining the philosophy faculty at UofSC, she was a Collegiate Assistant Professor of Humanities at the University of Chicago, where she was a member of the Society of Fellows in the Liberal Arts and an affiliated faculty in the philosophy department. She earned her PhD in philosophy at the University of Pittsburgh.

Institute Course: The Seven Big Myths About the Catholic Church

Dr. Christopher Kaczor is Professor of Philosophy at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. He holds a PhD (1996) from the University of Notre Dame and did post-doctoral work in Germany at the Universität zu Köln.

He has authored several books, the latest of which is The Seven Big Myths about the Catholic Church (Ignatius, 2012) and Life Issues, Medical Choices (co-authored with Dr. Janet Smith, Servant, 2016). Dr. Kaczor's research on issues of ethics, philosophy, and religion has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, Huffington Post, National Review, NPR, BBC, EWTN, ABC, NBC, FOX, CBS, MSNBC, and The Today Show.

Institute Course: Re-enchanting the Secular (Coming Soon!)

Dr. Petrusek is the Assistant Professor of Theological Studies at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. He earned his PhD in Religion ad Ethics at the University of Chicago Divinity School and his M.A. in Religious Ethics at Yale University. His interests and specializations include meta ethics, the intersection of philosophical and theological ethics, Christian ethics, ethics and political theory, natural law, virtue theory, distributive justice, and human dignity. He has published in the Journal of the American Academy of Religion, the Journal of Moral Philosophy, and Philosophy and Theology, and has served as an on-air analyst for Noticias Mundo Fox and CNN Español.

Institute Course: Rediscovering the Catholic Narrative (Coming Soon!)

Tod Worner is a husband, father, Catholic convert & practicing internal medicine physician. He is the Managing Editor of the forthcoming Word on Fire Institute Journal, “Evangelization and Culture”. His blog, “Catholic Thinking”, is found at Aleteia.com. He also writes for Patheos (“A Catholic Thinker”) and the National Catholic Register. Follow him on Twitter @thinkercatholic.

Word on Fire Institute Educational Fellow

Robert Mixa is the Educational Fellow at the Word on Fire Institute. He earned a BA in Philosophy from Saint Louis University and a Masters in Theological Studies at the Pontifical John Paul II Institute at the Catholic University of America in Washington, DC. 

Prior to joining the Word on Fire Institute, he taught high school philosophy and theology near Chicago. A voracious reader, Robert is always exploring new dimensions of the Catholic tradition, hoping to better share the Gospel in our secular age. 

Institute Course: The 8 Principles of Word on Fire

Jared Zimmerer is the Director of the Word on Fire Institute, and holds a Master’s Degree in Theology from Holy Apostles College and Seminary where he wrote his thesis entitled Thomas Merton's Perspective of Asceticism as an Evangelical Strategy

He is an author, speaker, and holds a bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology, with a passion for the sports and fitness culture. He spent four years as the Director of Adult Catechesis and Family Life at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Parish in Grapevine, Texas before joining the team at Word on Fire. He has written two books, The Ten Commandments of Lifting Weights and Man Up! Becoming the New Catholic Renaissance Man. Jared has appeared on EWTN and has been interviewed on numerous radio shows and podcasts.

Institute Course: Reaching the Indifferent

Dr. Matt Nelson is the Assistant Director of the Word on Fire Institute. He holds a Doctor of Chiropractic (D.C.) from the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College in Toronto, and a Bachelor of Education degree from the University of Regina. He is currently pursuing a M.A. in philosophy from Holy Apostles College and Seminary.

Matt is also the author of Just Whatever: How to Help the Spiritually Indifferent Find Beliefs That Really Matter (Catholic Answers Press, 2018). He has been a regular contributor to the Catholic Answers Online Magazine, Strange Notions, and the Word on Fire blog. He has appeared on Salt and Light Television, and has been interviewed on Catholic Answers Live, EWTN radio, Relevant Radio, Redeemer Radio, Ave Maria Radio, and Breadbox Media, and a number of podcasts.

Word on Fire Institute Manager

Before becoming Catholic, Amber was very active in her faith at a non-denominational Bible church and was involved in various ministries during her time at Texas A&M University, where she received her bachelor’s degree. Leading to her conversion, she was influenced by the witness of faithful Catholics and religious, the beauty of the Catholic faith, and ultimately - the Eucharist. She was fully received into the Church in 2016 at St. Mary’s Catholic Center in College Station, TX.

She has worked in communications and media for various educational, religious and non-profit organizations, and has spent the past two years working in the film industry. Amber is a coffee enthusiast and gear nerd; she spends her free time pursuing creative projects and is passionate about helping organizations share their story and achieve their goals through visual media."
Every Institute member gets FREE unlimited access to ALL of Bishop Barron's films, public talks, future recordings, and study materials on Word on Fire Digital!
(A $199.95/year value!)
1. Unlimited Access to All Past, Present, and Future Institute Courses from Bishop Barron and Qualified Experts
2. Unlimited Access to Exclusive Online Events and LIVE Web Classes by Bishop Barron and the Institute Fellows
3. Support From Other Members and Institute Fellows in the Community Forums 
4. Unlimited Access to ALL of Bishop Barron's Films and Study Programs
5. The New Institute Journal Evangelization & Culture in the Mail Four Times a Year & Digital Copies of ALL Back Issues
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Your $27/month membership supports this new and exciting evangelistic initiative and will also help Word on Fire Catholic Ministries, a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, continue to produce and distribute high-quality Catholic films, conferences, and resources bringing Christ to the culture.
* No Contracts. Cancel Anytime. 

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