Andover Newton Theological School

Unlike most seminaries and theological schools, The Andover Newton Theological School—the nation’s oldest theological school and first graduate institution of any kind, located in Newton Centre, Massachusetts—organizes the building blocks of a theological education into distinct “competencies” students will need to be effective faith leaders. Examples of such competencies include “forming, leading, and sustaining faith communities with a theological and spiritual understanding of the Church’s mission in a changing world” and “demonstrating relational competencies embodying multicultural, racial, ethnic, gender, and interfaith understanding.” With funding from the Science for Seminaries project, Andover Newton will equip students with a new and exciting competency: “speaking with intelligence and authority about the intersection of science and theology, both historically and in today’s world.” The new emphasis will incorporate science into two of the core requirement courses: Systematic Theology and Christian Ethics. As the first step in a multi-step program, two professors from each of the two core disciplines will build science into their courses for the initial school year. As a second step, an all-faculty retreat will be held at which the project leaders will share their experiences and encourage others in the faculty to include science in their courses as well. The final step will be a campus-wide event for the whole community at which local scientists and the project leaders will present their experiences and generate enthusiasm for continuing conversations about science and theology. At the end of all of this, the academic dean will oversee an assessment process in order to make the teaching of science part of Andover Newton’s permanent core curriculum.

Contact information


Intro to Christian Ethics

This introductory course, taught by Thandeka at Andover Newton Seminary, gives students a spectrum of theological, biblical, and neuroscientific resources for studying ethical reflections in the Christian West. The course pays particular attention to the ethical reflections of four formative figures in the Christian tradition -Paul, Augustine, Martin Luther, and Friedrich Schleiermacher.
  • Course Categories: Ethics
  • Science Topics: Neuroscience, Brain, & Mind
  • Seminaries: Andover Newton Theological School
  • Ecclesial Families: Mainline Protestant, Evangelical/Conservative Protestant
  • Syllabus: Intro to Christian Ethics
  • Tags: Christian Ethics, neuroscience, ethics, science and religion, theology and science, brain and mind, mainline protestant

Systematic Theology II

This course, taught by Mark Heim at Andover Newton Seminary, is the second semester of a two semester exposition and exploration of Christian theology. It deals with major Christian doctrines, their meaning, coherence, and interpretation.
  • Course Categories: General Theology
  • Science Topics: History & Philosophy of Science
  • Seminaries: Andover Newton Theological School
  • Ecclesial Families: Mainline Protestant
  • Syllabus: Systematic Theology II
  • Tags: systematic theology, mainline protestant, doctrine, history of science, theology, eschayology

Theology and Emotions

This seminar, taught by Thandeka at Andover Newton Seminary, uses movies, music, theater, liturgical theory, affective neuroscientific research and affective theological studies to retrieve the lost emotional foundation of liberal faith. Students use insights gained from this multidisciplinary work to create an in-class presentation of a new liturgical strategy that can uplift the heart of…
  • Course Categories: General Theology
  • Science Topics: Neuroscience, Brain, & Mind
  • Seminaries: Andover Newton Theological School
  • Ecclesial Families: Mainline Protestant
  • Syllabus: Theology and Emotions
  • Tags: neuroscience, theology, pastoral theology, psychology, mainline protestant, theology and emotions, andover newton
Learn about the other Participant Schools

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.