Building upon the results of a 2017 survey of 739 faculty members at 186 ATS member schools, ATS staff and research consultants have completed further work to determine institutional perceptions about science engagement and to examine documents that reflect engagement already underway.
Science for Seminaries: Integrating Science into Core Theological Education
ATS has partnered with The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in a Templeton Foundation funded program to explore the relevance of science in seminaries. The goal is to incorporate science into theological school curricula and, thereby, support a growing number of pastors who are equipped to help their congregants find answers to science-related questions. The project hopes to create an atmosphere in places of worship in which science is relevant, complementary, and important to religious worldviews and ultimately promote the appreciation for science in the broader society. The project also encourages dialogue among scientists and theologians through a mutual exchange of ideas in one another’s professional contexts. In the first pilot phase, ATS member schools were invited to submit letters of interest to apply for grants that would support them in an effort to integrate more science into their core curricula, and ten schools were awarded grants.
Beginning in January 2018, Science for Seminaries: Phase II is a continuation of the previous project, designed to promote positive and respectful dialogue between scientists and religious communities by supporting science appreciation among future religious leaders. Seven seminaries were awarded grants as a part of the 2018 cohort, and nine seminaries were recently chosen for the 2019 cohort. To get ideas, apply, or learn more about the Science for Seminaries project, please visit www.ScienceforSeminaries.org.
The Templeton Foundation also awarded ATS with a grant to fund a two-year study, "Engaging Science in Seminaries," to establish a baseline understanding of teaching about science within Protestant schools in the United States and Canada. The three-part project documented what is being done in theological schools, revealing strengths to be accentuated and weaknesses to be addressed by future programming. Read the final research report to learn more.