Science for Seminaries News & Events

  • Congratulations to the participants of our new Science for Seminaries Seed Grant initiative!

    Image taken from the Science for Seminaries Retreat | Lilah Sloane-Barrett.

    AAAS DoSER is pleased to announce that we are launching a Seed Grant initiative as part of our Science for Seminaries project. The initiative offers one year of flexible funding to 12 seminaries accredited by the Association of Theological Schools (ATS). The goal is to increase their students’ capacity for engaging science and technology in theological education.    

     

    The goal of the seed grant is to help students and faculty members feel more comfortable when interacting with science and technology topics and issues. Project topics and implementation will vary based on the needs of students, faculty, and the wider seminary community. Science topics to be covered include neuroscience, biochemistry, racism and public health, epigenetics, health and well-being, and mathematics. 

     

     

    Schools participating in the 2021-2022 Seed Grant initiative include: 

    • Drew Theological School 
    • Fuller Theological Seminary 
    • Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary 
    • Holy Apostles College & Seminary 
    • John Leland Center for Theological Studies 
    • Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, Zygon Center 
    • Mount Angel Seminary 
    • NAIITS An Indigenous Learning Community  
    • Providence Theological Seminary 
    • Regis College  
    • Virginia Theological Seminary  
    • Wycliffe College 

    READ MORE

  • New Cohort of Seminaries to Incorporate Science into Coursework

    by: Andrea Korte

    Eight seminaries across the country will incorporate science into their coursework and campus life as participants in the American Association for the Advancement of Science’s Science for Seminaries project.

    The seminaries are the Academy for Jewish Religion, Boston College School of Theology and Ministry, Methodist Theological School in Ohio (MTSO), Palmer Theological Seminary, Portland Seminary, Saint Meinrad Seminary and School of Theology, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School and University of Dubuque Theological Seminary.

    The eight new institutions bring the total number of seminaries that have participated to 42, reaching thousands of seminary students since the project’s launch in 2014. The new participants represent a range of religious traditions, with the Academy for Jewish Religion joining as the program’s first non-Christian seminary. Other new participants represent traditions including Roman Catholic, United Methodist, Baptist, Interdenominational, Evangelical Free Church and Presbyterian.

    Science for Seminaries is a project of the AAAS Dialogue on Science, Ethics and Religion (DoSER) program in partnership with the Association of Theological Schools (ATS), provides participating institutions with resources to integrate science into their coursework and campus-wide events over the next 18 months. The goal is to foster a positive understanding of science among future religious leaders and to encourage informed dialogue on scientific topics among those leaders and their congregations. The project is funded by the John Templeton Foundation.

    Read the rest here!

    READ MORE

  • AAAS Program Brings Scientific Instruction to Future Church Clergy

    Eight Christian seminaries across North America will soon begin engaging their students — aspiring priests and ministers — on scientific topics as the latest participants in Science for Seminaries, a project of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

    Organized by the AAAS Dialogue on Science, Ethics, and Religion (DoSER) program in partnership with the Association of Theological Schools (ATS), Science for Seminaries provides schools with the guidance, funding and instructional resources necessary to integrate science and technology lessons into their curricula. The goal is for future faith leaders to emerge ready to address such issues with their congregations.

    (more…)

    READ MORE

  • Seminary Faculty Engage on Scientific Topics at AAAS Retreat

    This summer, faculty leaders from seventeen North American seminaries, along with scientific and theological experts, gathered near Salt Lake City, Utah, for the Science in the Curriculum Faculty Enrichment Retreat. The retreat, organized by the AAAS Dialogue on Science, Ethics and Religion (DoSER) program, provided an opportunity for seminary professors to engage across denominations, discuss and reflect on a variety of science topics, develop pedagogical skills and strategies for science integration into their curricula, acquire science resources, and build networks and relationships with the theological and scientific communities. The retreat was hosted as part of the Science for Seminaries project, which is organized by AAAS DoSER in collaboration with the Association of Theological Schools (ATS). Science for Seminaries equips seminaries and their faculty with the skills and relationships needed to provide improved science exposure to their students. These future religious readers are then better prepared to welcome good, relevant science into the conversations and ministries of their future congregations.

    (more…)

    READ MORE

  • Science for Seminaries Fall 2019 Newsletter

    Welcome to the new academic year! The Dialogue on Science, Ethics, and Religion (DoSER) Program is excited to advise and support the 2019 Science for Seminaries Cohort as they begin integrating science into their core curricula this year. Download a PDF of the Fall 2019 newsletter here!

    READ MORE

  • AAR Spotlight on Theological Education

    In this edition of Spotlight, Dr. Scott Alexander presents five essays focused around the Science for Seminaries project. These five insightful essays embody the rich and multifaceted nature of the conversation that took place last November at AAR Annual Meeting. The first two are by Curtis Baxter of AAAS/DoSER and Deborah Gin of ATS. What both of these essays have in common is the relative altitude of their perspectives. Both Curtis and Deborah give us a bird’s-eye view of the initiative from the perspective of the two national sponsoring organizations. Curtis provides a concise summary of the vision behind the Science for Seminaries initiative, an informative overview of its national scope, and an invitation to readers who may be interested in participating. Deborah’s piece is an ideal complement. Among other things, Deborah deftly summarizes and synthesizes the data ATS collected from graduating student questionnaires, revealing not only key aspects of the initiative’s impact on students, but also raising vitally important questions of pedagogical ethics. These two essays are followed by perspectives from three faculty, MT Davila, Paul Metzger, and Fred Ware, each of whom helped lead a Science for Seminaries initiative at their home institutions and each of whom teaches at one of three distinct types of graduate schools of theology and ministry!

    READ MORE

  • Science for Seminaries Spring 2019 Newsletter

    We are pleased to welcome nine new seminaries as participants in the Science for Seminaries project, organized by AAAS DoSER in partnership with the Association of Theological Schools (ATS). In all, AAAS will select 32 seminaries to carry out 18-month projects and prepare future faith leaders to engage their congregants in dialogues on science and technology issues….
    (more…)

    READ MORE

  • AAAS Program to Expand Science Engagement in Diverse Group of Seminaries

    This fall, a collection of nine geographically and theologically diverse seminaries will begin to integrate science into their core curricula as new participants in Science for Seminaries, an ongoing project of the AAAS Dialogue on Science, Ethics, and Religion (DoSER) program.  The group is the second of four that will participate in Science for Seminaries. Organized by DoSER in partnership with the Association of Theological Schools (ATS), the five-year initiative aims to prepare future faith leaders to engage their congregants in dialogues on science and technology issues. In all, AAAS will select 32 seminaries to carry out 18-month projects, building on a successful three-year pilot project that included 10 schools and ended in 2017….

    READ MORE

  • Science for Seminaries December 2018 Newsletter

    When the weather gets cold, DoSER gets moving! Representatives from the Dialogue on Science, Ethics, and Religion (DoSER) Program have been traveling across the United States to visit seminaries and present at conferences. We were happy to see several of you at the American Academy of Religion’s (AAR) annual meeting, where we co-sponsored a reception and spoke on a panel discussing the integration of scientific research into graduate theological education.

    Download a PDF of the December 2018 newsletter here and subscribe by filling out the form below!
    (more…)

    READ MORE

  • Inaugural Release of Science for Seminaries Quarterly Newsletter

    The Science for Seminaries project brings forefront science and science resources for future religious leaders to use in their own ministerial context. Now in its second phase, we are pleased to offer a quarterly newsletter to share special announcements, upcoming deadlines, and pertinent news.

    You can download a PDF of the newsletter here and subscribe to our newsletter by filling out the form below!
    (more…)

    READ MORE

  • Connecting Scientific and Religious Communities: A DoSER Program Q&A

    Science doesn’t exist in a vacuum. Research and researchers are connected to society as a whole, and their findings shape how people view the world — and make complex decisions with deep moral and ethical dimensions. Since 1995, the AAAS program of Dialogue on Science, Ethics and Religion (DoSER) has been exploring those issues alongside members of various faith communities. DoSER connects researchers and rabbis, theologians and theoreticians, pastors and post-docs at multiple levels to promote communication and understanding among groups that are often portrayed as being at odds with one another.

    READ MORE

  • Salman Hameed: Spiral Galaxies and Spirituality

    Salman Hameed started his career peering into the stars. Now, he’s bridging the gap between astrophysics and metaphysics. The Pakistani-born astronomer leads the Center for the Study of Science in Muslim Societies at Hampshire College, in western Massachusetts. He teaches courses on integrating science and the humanities, with a special focus on the relationship between science and Islam. And he’s been a guest speaker for the AAAS Dialogue on Science, Ethics, and Religion Program, most recently in January. The dialogue between scientific and religious communities can be enriching to both sides, he said.

    READ MORE

  • William P. Brown Explores Science and Religion

    William P. Brown, a Presbyterian minister, scholar, teacher, author and AAAS member, works diligently to bridge the perceived gap between science and religion. Brown is the William Marcellus McPheeters Professor of Old Testament at Columbia Theological Seminary (CTS) in Decatur, Georgia, one of ten theological seminaries of the Presbyterian Church (USA). From 2015 to 2017, he oversaw CTS’s participation in the three-year pilot program that launched Science for Seminaries, a project of the AAAS Dialogue on Science, Ethics, and Religion (DoSER), which promotes an ongoing conversation between scientists and religious communities.

    READ MORE

  • Faculty Forge New Paths for Science in Seminary Education at AAAS Retreat

    Faculty leaders from 17 seminaries across the country, along with scientific and theological experts, gathered near the Maryland Chesapeake Bay for the Science in the Curriculum Faculty Enrichment Retreat August 6-9. The retreat, organized by the AAAS Dialogue on Science, Ethics and Religion (DoSER) program in partnership with the Association of Theological Schools (ATS), provided an opportunity for seminary professors to engage across denominations, discuss and reflect on a variety of science topics, acquire pedagogical skills and strategies for science integration into their curricula, and build networks and relationships with the theological and scientific communities.

    READ MORE

  • AAAS extends Science in Theological Education Program

    Building on broad interest generated by a three-year pilot project integrating science into theological education, the American Association for the Advancement of Science is now expanding the Science and Seminaries initiative to advance understanding of science and technology across the religious community to as many as 35 seminaries over the next 5 years. A set of seven seminaries in Michigan, Missouri, Indiana, Illinois, and Wisconsin have been selected as the first of four groups to participate in the expanded program over the next 18 months.

    READ MORE

  • AAAS Enhances Support for Science in Theological Education

    AAAS, through its program of Dialogue on Science, Ethics, and Religion (DoSER), is embarking on a new 5-year initiative that will offer a unique suite of activities designed to expand the role that science plays in US theological seminaries. The new Science for Seminaries Phase II project will be carried out in consultation with the Association of Theological Schools (ATS). It is geared towards the goal of broadening contact with science in theological education for the benefit of faculty and students, and ultimately providing the religious public with the leadership it needs to consider advances and implications of science, in the context of their faith communities.

    READ MORE

  • How Can Science Inform the Jewish Understanding of Memory?

    AAAS-DoSER’s Rabbinic Training project is featured in this article at Big Questions Online: “Yerushalmi’s book explores the dynamics of Jewish religious and cultural memory, from antiquity through our own times, and the complicated ways memory is in tension with the discipline of history. My colleagues at the American Association for the Advancement of Science’s Dialogue on Science, Ethics, and Religion (DOSER) have, in our project on “Science Engagement in Rabbinical Training,” explored Judaism and Jewish memory as one of our themes. How might modern scientific discoveries shape the Jewish understanding of memory?”

    READ MORE

  • Science for Seminaries Final Report

    In this final report for the Science for Seminaries project, we summarize the activities and findings from Phase I of the Science for Seminaries project, in which several theological training institutions introduced scientific content in practical ways into their core educational programs. As AAAS DoSER’s work consistently
    demonstrates, both scientists and religious communities are enthusiastic about dialogue, and meaningful interactions remain critical to dismantling false perceptions and reframing the national discourse toward a greater public appreciation of science. For the scientific community, Science for Seminaries has represented a rich opportunity to advance science by fostering key partnerships and building an infrastructure that has the potential to make long-lasting societal impacts.

    READ MORE

  • AAAS Reaches Out to Theology Students

    Many Americans turn to religious leaders with questions about science and its implications, yet clergy members often have little exposure to science in their training. AAAS has taken the lead, based on years of planning, in addressing this conundrum by organizing the Science for Seminaries program, with a pilot project launched in 2013. The pilot effort provided science resources for seminaries as they sought to equip future religious leaders with solid scientific information and with connections to scientists.

    READ MORE

  • Film series helps seminary students understand scientific thinking

    Georgia Dunston

    At seminary, students tackle the big questions: How did the universe come into existence? Why are we here? What does it mean to be human?

    Religious traditions may suggest answers, but to ponder those questions in a deep and relevant way, students need to understand current scientific thinking as well. However, most seminaries don’t have reliable access to scientific experts.

    To help fill the gap, the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) is releasing an educational film series, “Science: The Wide Angle,” this month, presenting overviews of scientific topics through interviews with world-class scientists.

     

    READ MORE

In furtherance of the AAAS mission of advancing science in service to society, AAAS|DoSER’s role in the Science for Seminaries project is to support efforts to integrate science into seminary education. AAAS|DoSER does not advise on or endorse the theological content of the participating seminaries.