about Converging Roads

Where Health Care Ethics and Medicine Converge
Converging Roads is a regional conference series offering continuing education for health care professionals that equips them to practice the highest ethical and medical standards of their profession. To learn more about Converging Roads, click here.
    • Feedback from past attendees of Converging Roads:
    • "I’m so glad I attended. It was so insightful and gave me more knowledge on how to study more about human dignity, disabled persons and the correct way to explain our duty to others (as health care providers to our patients)."
    • "It is edifying to be with so many people trying to live their faith in a field that constantly challenges the truth."
    • "Thus far in my (nascent) career, my Catholic and medical identities have unfortunately been largely separate. I’m confident that the knowledge I obtained at Converging Roads and my subsequent reflection will serve me well on my path towards becoming the Catholic physician I’m striving to be."




In-Person Ticket Options:
  • Physicians/Physician Assistants: $159
  • Nurses/Nurse Practitioners: $139
  • General Admission*: $85
  • Medical residents, clergy, or religious*: $75
  • Student Scholarship Rate**: $15
Online Ticket Options:
  • Online tickets include access to the livestream on Saturday, March 25, as well as additional access to the recordings (from noon ET on Sunday, March 26, to 11:59 pm ET on Wednesday, March 29).
  • Physicians/Physician Assistants: $129
  • Nurses/Nurse Practitioners: $109
  • General Admission*: $55
  • Medical residents, clergy, or religious*: $45
  • Student Scholarship Rate**: $0
  • *Not eligible for CME/CNE credits, however, Chaplain certificates of completion can be requested upon registration for continuing education purposes.
  • **Not eligible for CME/CNE credits.

Exhibitor Opportunities:
Includes 1 exhibitor booth and admission for 1 organizational representative
  • Ministry/Non-Profit (including CME/CNE credits): $180
  • Ministry/Non-Profit (not including CME/CNE credits)*: $105
  • Vendor/For-Profit (including CME/CNE credits): $230
  • Vendor/For-Profit (not including CME/CNE credits)*: $155
  • *Not eligible for CME/CNE credits, however, Chaplain certificates of completion can be requested upon registration for continuing education purposes.

  • If you and/or your organization is interested in joining our mission as a supporting sponsor, please click here for the Sponsorship Form. You can also submit the form online by clicking here.
  • For questions or more information, please contact the conference coordinator at [email protected].

Student Scholarships:
  • Undergraduate, graduate, nursing, and medical students are eligible to register for Converging Roads at our scholarship admission rate. If you are a student currently enrolled in classes and would like to attend the conference, please complete our student scholarship form prior to registering for the conference (click here). If you feel called to contribute to our scholarship fund, you can do so at the time of registration.

Refund Information:
  • If you are no longer able to attend the conference, after purchasing your ticket, you may choose to transfer your registration fees to a student in need, or request a refund.
  • All refunds must be requested 2 weeks prior to the conference. The last day to request a refund is Friday, March 10. All refund requests made on or after March 11 will not be accepted, but the funds will automatically be transferred to a student in need. Please email [email protected] to transfer your registration or request a refund.


  • Truth, Conscience, and Religious Liberty in Medicine
  • Melissa Moschella, PhD
  • The Primacy of Virtue and Navigating Moral Cooperation in Medicine
  • Sister Michaela Serpa, FSE, MA, PharmD, BCPS
  • Compassionate Care in the Midst of Suffering and End of Life
  • Farr Curlin, MD
  • The Well-Formed Conscience of a Health Care Professional
  • Farr Curlin, MD; Michael J. Deem, PhD; and Gwyneth Anne Spaeder, MD



  • A Distinctly Catholic Approach to Pediatrics
  • Gwyneth Anne Spaeder, MD
  • Genetic Screening, Genetic Engineering, the Gift of Life, and the Dignity of the Human Person
  • Michael J. Deem, PhD
  • The Vocation of a Catholic Health Care Professional
  • Jessica Clarke-Pounder, MD, FAAP; Gina Maria Noia, PhD; and Sister Michaela Serpa, FSE, MA, PharmD, BCPS


8:00 AM
  • Mass
8:00 AM
Check-In Begins
9:15 AM
Opening Remarks
9:25 - 10:25 AM
Truth, Conscience, and Religious Liberty in Medicine
10:30 - 11:30 AM
The Primacy of Virtue and Navigating Moral Cooperation in Medicine
11:30 AM
11:45 AM - 12:45 PM
Compassionate Care in the Midst of Suffering and End of Life
12:45 - 2:20 PM
Hippocratic Oath Luncheon
1:15 -2:15 PM
The Well-Formed Conscience of a Health Care Professional
2:15 PM
2:40 - 3:40 PM
A Distinctly Catholic Approach to Pediatrics
3:45 - 4:45 PM
Genetic Screening, Genetic Engineering, the Gift of Life, and the Dignity of the Human Person
4:45 PM
4:55 - 5:55 PM
The Vocation of a Catholic Health Care Professional
6:05 - 6:45 PM
Wine & Cheese Reception


Assistant Professor of Theology and Resident Bioethicist, Belmont Abbey College

Gina Maria Noia, PhD, is an Assistant Professor of Theology and Resident Bioethicist at Belmont Abbey College. She received her Ph.D. in Theology and Health Care Ethics from Saint Louis University. She has served as a clinical ethicist for OSF Saint Francis Medical Center in Peoria, IL and St. Alexius Hospital in St. Louis, MO, and she is published in Christian Bioethics and the Journal of Moral Theology.

Associate Professor of Philosophy, The Catholic University of America

Melissa Moschella, PhD, is Associate Professor of Philosophy at the Catholic University of America and a McDonald Distinguished Fellow in the Center for the Study of Law and Religion at Emory University School of Law. She serves as Associate Editor of Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics, on the editorial board of The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly and on the editorial advisory board of The Journal of Medicine and Philosophy. Dr. Moschella graduated magna cum laude from Harvard College, earned a Master’s in Philosophy summa cum laude from the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross, and received her Ph.D. in Political Philosophy from Princeton University. Her research and teaching focus on natural law, biomedical ethics, and the family, covering a variety of contemporary issues such as brain death, end-of-life ethics, parental rights, sexual ethics, abortion, reproductive technologies and conscience rights. Dr. Moschella is the author of To Whom Do Children Belong? Parental Rights, Civic Education and Children’s Autonomy (Cambridge University Press, 2016), and of numerous articles published in scholarly journals as well as popular media outlets, including Bioethics, The Journal of Medical Ethics, The Journal of Medicine and Philosophy, Christian Bioethics, The New York Times, USA Today, and The Washington Post.

MICHAEL J. DEEM, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Human Genetics, Core Faculty, Center for Bioethics and Health Law, Director, Consortium Ethics Program, University of Pittsburgh

Michael J. Deem, PhD, is an Associate Professor in the Department of Human Genetics and Core Faculty in the Center for Bioethics & Health Law at the University of Pittsburgh, and serves as the Director of the University’s Consortium Ethics Program, which provides continuing ethics education to health care professionals in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Ohio. He is also a Resident Fellow of the Center for Philosophy of Science at the University of Pittsburgh, subject faculty for the Children’s Mercy Hospital Pediatric Ethics Certificate Program, a member of the Hospital Ethics Committee at UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, and a member of the Modern Fertility Care Collaborative. Dr. Deem received his Ph.D. in Philosophy at the University of Notre Dame and completed the Pediatric Ethics and Genomic Fellowship at Children’s Mercy Hospital. He is the author of more than 20 scholarly articles and book chapters on philosophy of science, bioethics, ethical theory, and empirical health research. He is currently completing a monograph for Cambridge University Press on fundamental concepts in genomic medicine, and is co-editing the Oxford University of Handbook of Genetic Counseling and Nursing Ethics: Normative Foundations, Advanced Concepts, and Emerging Issues for Oxford University Press. Dr. Deem lives outside Pittsburgh with his wife, Katerina, and their five children. He is a candidate in the Deacon Formation Program of the Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh and works in shipping and quality control for Katerina’s Catholic company, Little Way Design Co.


Gwyneth Anne Spaeder, MD, attended the University of Dallas where she graduated with a degree in Political Philosophy. She then attended The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, graduating in 2005. She is a Board-Certified Pediatrician and has practiced in both community ER and private practice settings. She completed a certificate in Health Care Ethics through the National Catholic Bioethics Center in 2015 and has published several articles pertaining to vaccine ethics. She also served as the guest editor for a NCBC Quarterly edition focused on Pediatric-specific issues. She is a recurrent presenter at Theology of the Body workshops for teens and for NFP/Marriage prep within the Diocese of Raleigh. She is a member of the Catholic Medical Association Triangle Guild. She lives in Wake Forest, NC with her husband and three children.

Josiah C Trent Professor of Medical Humanities, Professor of Medicine and Co-Director of Theology, Medicine, and Culture Initiative, Duke University

Farr Curlin, MD, is Josiah Trent Professor of Medical Humanities in the Trent Center for Bioethics, Humanities and History of Medicine; Co-Director of the Theology, Medicine and Culture Initiative at Duke Divinity School. Before moving to Duke in 2014, he founded and was Co-Director of the Program on Medicine and Religion at the University of Chicago. At Duke, Dr. Curlin practices hospice and palliative medicine, and he works with colleagues across the university to develop opportunities for education and scholarship at the intersection of theology, medicine and culture. He has authored more than one hundred and thirty articles and book chapters dealing with the moral and spiritual dimensions of medical practice, and is co-author of, The Way of Medicine: Ethics and the Healing Profession, from Notre Dame Press (2021). Dr. Curlin’s work focuses on the relevance of religious ideas and practices for the doctor-patient relationship, the moral and professional formation of clinicians, and care for patients at the end of life.


Sister Michaela Serpa, FSE, MA, PharmD, BCPS is a clinical pharmacist licensed to practice pharmacy in four states, a board certified pharmacotherapy specialist, a member of the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP), the American College of Clinical Pharmacy (ACCP), and the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP) where she serves on the Ethics in Pharmacy Committee. Sister Michaela received her B.A. Psychology from Carroll College, Helena, MT, an M.A. Theology with emphasis in Bioethics from Holy Apostles College and Seminary, Cromwell, CT in conjunction with a certificate in bioethics from the National Catholic Bioethics Center (NCBC), and her PharmD from Idaho State University, Pocatello, ID. Sister Michaela was a member of the adult ethics committee at Yale-New Haven Hospital and the Hospital of St. Raphael, New Haven, CT for 12 years.

Neonatologist, Atrium Health Levine Children’s Hospital

Jessica Clarke-Pounder, MD, FAAP, is a practicing Neonatologist and an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Atrium Health Levine Children’s Hospital in Charlotte, NC. She is a member of the Atrium Health Ethics Committee and the American Academy of Pediatrics. Dr. Clarke-Pounder received her medical degree from the Medical University of South Carolina and completed residency in Pediatrics and fellowship in Neonatal-Perinatal medicine at the Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, MD. She has been an attending neonatologist at Levine Children’s Hospital since 2013. She leads the Neonatal Comfort Care committee and is active in both nursing and resident education. She is a member of the hospital ethics committee and provides ethics consultations throughout the pediatric and adult hospital. She is passionate about the care of sick neonates and their families, especially those requiring palliative care. 

Chancellor, Belmont Abbey College

Abbot Placid Solari, O.S.B., a native of Richmond, Virginia, was professed as a monk of Belmont Abbey in 1975. He was ordained in 1980 by The Most Reverend Michael Begley, Bishop of Charlotte. He served at St. Michael Church in Gastonia, NC, from 1979-1982, and has assisted in various pastoral and educational ministries in the Diocese of Charlotte. In November of 1999, Abbot Placid was elected the 8th Abbot of Belmont Abbey. Abbot Placid is the Chancellor of Belmont Abbey College, and has previously served the college as an assistant professor in the Theology Department, as Vice President for Academic Affairs, and as interim President. He earned his bachelor’s degree in history from Bellarmine College in Louisville, KY, in 1974. He earned the S.T.B. degree in Theology from the International Benedictine College of Sant’ Anselmo in Rome in 1978, and a doctorate in Theology and Patristic Sciences from the Pontifical Patristic Institute “Augustinianum,” also in Rome.




Accreditation Statement
This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the Essential Areas and Policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) through the joint providership of the Christian Medical & Dental Associations (CMDA) and St John Paul II Foundation. Christian Medical & Dental Associations is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

Physician Credit
The Christian Medical & Dental Associations designates this educational activity for a maximum of 7 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits(s)™. Physicians should only claim credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Physician Assistant
AAPA accepts certificates of participation for educational activities certified for AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™ by an organization accredited by the ACCME or a recognized state medical society. Physician assistants may receive up to 7 credits for completing this activity.

Nurse Practitioner
The American Academy of Nurse Practitioners Certification Program (AANPCP) accepts AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™ from organizations accredited by the ACCME. Individuals are responsible for checking with the AANPCP for further guidelines. Nurse practitioners may receive up to 7 credits for completing this activity.

This nursing continuing professional development activity was approved by the Georgia Nurses Association, an accredited approver by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation. Activity ID 40199 has been approved for 7 contact hours.

Click here for full CME/CNE details

The National Association of Catholic Chaplains has approved this program for 7.25 Continuing Education Hours. Please select the General Admission or Clergy/Religious (if applicable) ticket option and request a certificate of completion on your registration form.

Social Workers and Counselors
If you are seeking Social Worker or Counselor continuing education credits, we can provide you with a certificate which states that you completed 7 hours.  Please select the General Admission ticket option and request a certificate of completion on your registration form. For questions, please email Conference Coordinator Ellen Clements at [email protected]


St. Gabriel Catholic Church

3016 Providence Road
Charlotte, NC 28211

For More Information:
Ellen Clements, Conference Coordinator
[email protected]





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