Future Courses

CEPHAS 2024: ‘What is Knowing?

Divine, Human, and Artificial Intelligence

23rd-26th August 2024 

Until maybe a couple of years ago had I been asked what is the most pressing and important conversation we should be having about our future, I might have said climate change or one of the other big challenges facing humanity, such as terrorism, antimicrobial resistance, the threat of pandemics or world poverty, But today I am convinced the most important conversation we should be having is about the future of AI. It will dominate what happens with all of these other issues for better or for worse.”

            (Prof. Jim Al-Khalili, Head of the British Science Association,


CEPHAS 2024 will be an opportunity to engage in ‘the most important conversation we should be having’ about ‘the future of AI’.

We will reflect in a profound way on the nature of knowing, and the implications of Artificial Intelligence for the present and the future.

We will explore together Aquinas’s account of divine, angelic, and human knowing, as well as the nature, and uses (both actual and potential), of different forms of artificial knowing and intelligence.

There will be philosophy and theology workshops, evening talks with good wine, and plenty of time for discussion. There will also be the opportunity to participate in a daily liturgy, with further space for prayer and reflection.


  • Arrivals from 3pm (Friday)
  • Course commences with dinner at 7pm (Friday) and introductions; lectures commence Saturday at 9:15am.
  • Departures after lunch (Monday)

Venue and how to book? 

CEPHAS 2024 is delighted to partner again with the Christian Heritage Centre at Stonyhurst. Participants will stay in the new dedicated retreat centre Theodore House, in the tranquil and beautiful surroundings of the Stonyhurst estate.

To find out more, and to book, click here!

All CEPHAS courses have been oversubscribed, so please book early to avoid disappointment.

Single room: £320 p.p.

Twin room (sharing): £270 p.p.

Non-residential (includes lunch and dinner): £180

Is this course for me?

The course requires no prior qualification or knowledge, but is intended to serve as an introduction or primer to themes in Catholic, Thomistic philosophy and theology.

The course is offered to anyone wishing to engage in this area. It may be of special interest to future, current or former students of philosophy and theology, and secondary-level teachers of the same.

Feedback from CEPHAS 2023:

My first Cephas event which has been excellent and I would recommend to everyone to attend. Hope to book for next years. Great learning environment, relaxed and no pressure which I really appreciated.


Thank you! The thought, effort and time you all put into these courses really shows through the weekend and I always leave feeling enriched and renewed.


Presentation was brilliant! Clear and skilled in delivery.  


It’s a real tribute to everyone who have been involved in pulling off such a huge topic, brilliantly. Well done!


It’s like a very intense retreat. Loved it! Thank you. A privilege and joy to have had this opportunity.


Really high quality and comfortable facilities. Amazing quality and quantity of food and exceptionally pleasant catering staff. Thank you!


Really lovely food all weekend and fabulous catering staff.


The catering was really great. Wholesome. Friendly, kind staff.


Congratulations on another very successful event. Productive and useful for daily life, intellectually challenging, and always stimulating – and thoroughly enjoyed.


Excellent! I’ll be back!

The cost of the course includes food and accommodation.

There are some bursaries available for anyone (whether employed or not) who would like to come but would benefit from financial assistance.