Bishop Barron has spoken about his dream of evolving Word on Fire from a ministry into a movement. The first step of that process is to form a community of evangelists who share the same mission and desire to proclaim Christ to the culture using beauty, goodness, and truth.
This was the primary motive behind the establishment of the Word on Fire Institute, an easy-to-use digital platform offering members specialized training, community discussions, live presentations, and more. The Institute launched on October 1, 2018—the feast day of Saint Thérèse of Lisieux, Word on Fire’s heavenly patroness.
Now, you can take courses in theology, philosophy, evangelization, and culture from Bishop Barron and the Word on Fire Institute Fellows on any of your devices.Join Now
Creative Writing and Evangelization
We need our writing to show forth what is good, true, and beautiful in an intentional way that is artistically compelling while presenting the faith as meaningful through the power of the imagination. This involves a lot of skills that require time to learn and do well.
Dr. Holly Ordway’s course is for anyone interested in creative writing and the power of writing for evangelization. You will find insight into the way the imagination works for evangelization and explore different forms and genres as you discover how to get started and grow as an author. We’ll look at the foundations of the writer’s life, both practical and spiritual. We’ll also look at the writing process and different forms: creative non-fiction, personal testimonies, poetry, fiction, drama, and more. All of this will give you a view of the great range, diversity, and opportunity that writing provides for evangelization.
The Art of Happiness
Blending social science and Catholicism, this course combines cutting-edge research and top-notch scholarship with the lives of great saints and our incredible inheritance of Church teaching. There are even surprising places to discover where secular science reinforces sacred wisdom. Plus, you’ll receive clear take-aways and action items that you can put into practice right now—to build more happiness for yourself, and to help you share more joy and peace with your family, your friends, and everyone else God puts before you!
Faith, Science, and Sin
Dr. Christopher Baglow of Notre Dame’s McGrath Institute of Church Life considers the mysteries of the Catholic Faith in dialogue with scientific discoveries, allowing us avoid the shallowness that John Paul II says debases the Gospel and leaves us ashamed before history.
This course introduces us to some of the richest insights of the Catholic intellectual tradition. We confront the problem of evil amidst God’s good creation and confront fundamental questions: What makes being human so special? How might modern science become a stepping stone rather than a stumbling block to understanding what we believe?
Faith & Science Summit
Join us for a multi-day conversation on the crossroads between faith and science.
Evangelizing the Open-Minded
In this course, Dr. Matthew Nelson explains how to engage people who are confident in their nonbelief but willing to seriously consider reasons for believing in Christianity.
Dante’s Catholic Imagination
Bishop Barron leads us on a journey through the life of Dante and his major work, The Divine Comedy, the great literary treasure dedicated to the Catholic Faith and the understanding of the dynamics of the Christian spiritual life.
The One Christ: Augustinian Deification
In this course, Dr. David Meconi SJ explores the history of deification, or theosis (i.e. becoming like God), in the Christian tradition, particularly focusing on St. Augustine’s understanding of deification.
Word on Fire Institute Orientation
Welcome to the Word on Fire Institute! This course will give you the basic knowledge necessary to navigate the site and interact with our community of evangelists. Scroll down to get started.
Living the Liturgical Year in the Home
In her course, Haley Stewart unpacks the treasures of the Liturgical Year and explores how liturgical living can strengthen the Domestic Church or the life of faith in the family.
Understanding the “Nones” and How to Reach Them
In this course, Dr. Stephen Bullivant walks through the demographics of the religiously unaffiliated and how the Church can better reach them.
The Five S’s of Effective Evangelization
In this course, Elizabeth Scalia walks us through the five S’s of effective evangelization: storytelling, Scripture, sacraments, saints, and small moments.
Prayer, Beauty, Mission: The Hidden Springs of the New Evangelization
In this course, Fr. Murray highlights and explains the spirituality of the downward path and the upward ascent to the new sacred. Each lesson develops the biblical truth that God loved us first and desires us to partake in the fullness of his divine life.
Reading Scripture with the Early Church Fathers
In this course, Bishop Barron introduces the spiritual dynamics of Biblical exegesis in Origen and St. Augustine of Hippo.
From Books to Ballads: How Great Writers Form Wise Catholics
Dr. Tod Worner laments that his education was mostly lacking in reading classic literature. Only after obtaining his degree did Dr. Worner start to read the great books, and he came to realize the profound wisdom therein. In this course, Dr. Worner shares the wisdom he has learned from classic literature, and why all of us should read them.
Science for Evangelists
The narrative that science and Christianity are enemies is false. Not only are they not enemies but Christianity helped science develop beyond the limits imposed on it by ancient cosmologies. In this course, Dr. Trasancos introduces evangelists to the basics of science and why there is no conflict between science and Christianity.
Re-enchanting the Secular
Secularism is the predominate worldview in the West. However, it does not answer the deepest longing of the human heart. In this course, Dr. Petrusek explains how Catholics can save Secularism from itself.
The Evangelical Spirituality of Thomas Merton
Thomas Merton was one of the greatest spiritual writers of the last century. Despite his personal struggles, he inspired many people to seek holiness by applying the wisdom of monasticism to life outside the monastery. In this course, Jared Zimmerer explains Merton’s evangelical spirituality and stresses its significance today.
Happiness and the Meaning of Life
In this course, Dr. Jennifer Frey teaches us about what true happiness is and how morality and virtue play a part in achieving it. Referring to Aristotle, St. Thomas Aquinas, and modern figures like Elizabeth Anscombe, Dr. Frey demonstrates the link between morality and the meaning of life. All people seek meaning in life and as evangelists, we must be able to discuss the depth of this universal question.
The People You Will Meet
Knowing your audience is very important in effective evangelization. In this course, Fr. Stephen Gadberry distinguishes the different types of people you will likely meet, including: the religiously hostile, the fallen-away Catholic, the spiritual but not religious, and the modern-day scribe and Pharisee. His advice is based on years of experience as a Catholic priest engaging people about the faith. In this course, Fr. Gadberry illustrates how to engage the people we are bound to meet in the culture and how to effectively attract them towards Jesus Christ.
John Henry Newman: The Greatest Catholic Theologian Since Aquinas
In this course, Bishop Barron will examine Newman’s many theological contributions, which are important in understanding Vatican II and in addressing the challenge of modernity. You’ll be introduced to Newman by looking at his most significant texts: his autobiography Apologia Pro Vita Sua, the theologically meaningful Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine, the educationally pertinent The Idea of a University, and the challenging An Essay in Aid of a Grammar of Assent.
Christian Community as Leaven for the World
In this course Christian Community as Leaven for the World, Leah Libresco will explore how to build up Christian community through simple acts of love and friendship, showing why community is so important to the Christian life.
Seven Myths About the Catholic Church
There are many myths about the Catholic Church that are popular in today’s culture. In the following course, Dr. Christopher Kaczor highlights the big seven myths, distinguishing fact from fiction about Catholicism. This course will help you better address many controversial topics from contraception to women and the priesthood.
How Nones Can Misread the Bible
Catholics believe along with St. Paul that the Bible is “God-breathed” (2 Tim. 3:16). But with the growing number of religiously unaffiliated people in the world, our culture’s understanding of the Bible and its contents is more lacking and skewed than perhaps ever before.
In this course, Notre Dame professor of Sacred Scripture, Anthony Pagliarini, teaches us how to read the Bible ourselves and become better evangelists of an increasingly religiously unaffiliated culture in the process.
2019 Digital SummitJared Zimmerer
How do we share the Faith in a culture where many people don’t understand what we mean by words like ‘sin’ or ‘salvation’ – and where the media constantly bombards us with the idea that the teachings of the Church are irrelevant, outdated, or bigoted?
All too often, people aren’t even interested in hearing about the Faith! Especially when we seek to reach young people or bring back those who have left the Church, we must find ways to communicate more effectively – in short, to make our arguments meaningful. Here, the imagination is essential but often neglected.
In this course, Dr. Holly Ordway focuses on the role of the imagination in apologetics, showing how attention to language and meaning can make the work of catechesis and evangelization much more effective.
To the Peripheries!
In this course, Fr. Damian Ference will take us through numerous examples from the Gospels, his own life, and the philosophy of several saints on ways in which we evangelize. Each of these examples are modeled on the life of Christ.
There might be times in which we think of the task of evangelization and feel overwhelmed. Perhaps we aren’t quite sure where to connect with people. Perhaps we’re worried that we might say or do the wrong thing. Sometimes, we might even think that the culture is too far gone for us to find a place to start.
In the following lessons, listen in as Fr. Damian Ference covers how it is that Christ evangelizes and how many of the best moments in the Gospels apply both to our own spiritual lives, as well as our evangelical mission.
Reaching the Indifferent
“Man no longer wishes to reflect on his relationship with God because he himself intends to become God,” assessed Robert Cardinal Sarah in his acclaimed book God or Nothing. Indeed, in this hyper-individualistic age characterized by spreading religious disaffiliation and relativism, his diagnosis seems spot on.
How do you evangelize someone who doesn’t care to take religion seriously in the first place? The aim of this course is to provide you with intellectual ammo and practical strategies that will help you to successfully evangelize the spiritually indifferent.
Theology of Hans Urs von Balthasar
Hans Urs von Balthasar was one of the greatest Catholic theologians of the twentieth century. Henri de Lubac called him the “most cultured man in Europe.” The thought of this highly prolific intellectual was unique, profound, orthodox, and, through and through, Christocentric.
You might be wondering, why start with a course on Hans Urs von Balthasar? Balthasar has been a major influence on the way in which Bishop Barron expresses the faith, and this style of expression has been incredibly effective at reaching those outside of the Church. The way in which we express the faith can have a serious impact on the listener, and Balthasar is a fundamental theologian for our modern times.
In this 12-lesson course, Bishop Barron introduces us to several of the fundamental themes encapsulated in the theological work of Hans Urs von Balthasar.
8 Principles of Word on Fire
In this course, you will learn the animating principles of the Word on Fire movement and the guiding lights of the Word on Fire Institute. These principles stem from the years of Bishop Robert Barron’s evangelical work and have been recognized as the foundational pillars of our spirituality of evangelization.
Each of the principles reflects an integral aspect of the life of a Word on Fire evangelist.
Evangelization & Culture, the Journal of
the Word on Fire Institute, is published
quarterly and offered exclusively to Word
on Fire Institute Members. It exists to be
a tangible representation of the Word on
Fire Institute’s mission and goal: to lead
with beauty in order to bring others to the
knowledge of truth. It features academic
writing from premier theologians and
inspiring bits of literature, culture, and
daily life from fellow missionaries on the
journey to know and serve Christ.
The Word on Fire Institute publishes two podcasts to aid you in your mission of evangelization--during your morning commute, while the kids are napping, or when you simply need to revive your zeal for engaging the culture.
Bishop Robert Barron
Dr. Holly Ordway
Fr. Damian Ference
Dr. Anthony Pagliarini
Dr. Christopher Kaczor
Dr. Matthew Petrusek
Fr. Stephen Gadberry
Dr. Jennifer Frey
Dr. Stacy Trasancos
Dr. Stephen Bullivant
Fr. Paul Murray, OP
Word on Fire Digital
Get instant access to all of
Bishop Barron’s films, lectures, and study programs
from any of your devices.
Thousands of Conversations
Our Online Community is full of theological and practical threads that discuss the content and concepts offered within each Word on Fire Institute course. But the forums are also filled with the questions, musings, and prayers of other incredible people on the same mission—to encounter Christ and to share that encounter with the world.Join Now
What is included?
FOR ONLY $27/month
Unlimited Access to All Past, Present, and Future Institute Courses from Bishop Barron and Qualified Experts
Support from over 24,000 other members and Institute Fellows in the Community Forums
Access to ALL of Word on Fire’s Films and Study Programs
The NEW Institute Journal Evangelization & Culture in the Mail Four Times a Year
A hardcover copy of Bishop Barron’s newest book Centered: The Spirituality of Word on Fire
Unlimited Access to Exclusive Online Events and Live Web Classes by Bishop Barron and the Institute Fellows
What is the Word on Fire Institute?
Over the past few years, you may have heard Bishop Barron speaking of the need for a movement made up of both priests and laypeople who together share a common spirituality and possess the same vision of evangelizing the modern culture from within.
The first major step of realizing Bishop Barron’s idea of a movement is to establish a place of collective formation, training, and community online.
This “place” is the new Word on Fire Institute.
As such, the Word on Fire Institute (WOFI) exists to propagate the work and content of Bishop Robert Barron in an interactive, relational, digital education format, and to form missionaries in the Word on Fire ethos of evangelization, emphasizing Bishop Barron’s style and methods of evangelizing the religiously unaffiliated (or “nones”).
Can I share my Institute membership with others?
The Word on Fire Institute is designed for individual training, so you cannot share your login credentials with other people, share the videos online, or show the videos in a group setting.
Is there an app I can use on mobile for the Institute?
We do not currently have an app, however, the website is optimized for mobile phones.
Do you have scholarships/discounts for the institute?
We are currently working on a scholarship program for consecrated and ordained religious.
Can the Institute be used within my parish?
Is this a donation?
No, this is the purchase of a product/service and not a donation.
Can I get a yearly Institute membership instead of monthly?
We currently only offer a monthly subscription.
When will I be charged for the Word on Fire Institute?
Your card will be charged $27/month. The charges will continue on that same date for each subsequent month of membership. There are no contracts and you may cancel at any time by simply calling or emailing customer support.
Do I have to pay by credit card for Institute membership?
Payments for membership in the Word on Fire Institute must be made by credit card or PayPal.
How do I change/update my credit card for Institute payments?
You can update it on the “My Account” page. Just look for the big orange “Update Card” button.
Do I have to pay by credit card for Institute membership?
Yes, payments for membership in the Word on Fire Institute must be made by credit card.
My Institute account was canceled. How can I restart?
Unfortunately, there is no way to restart an account, so it must be recreated with the updating payment information.
How do I cancel my Institute membership?
Please email [email protected] letting us know you’d like to cancel your account.