Bethany Theological Seminary

Bethany Theological Seminary

Bethany Theology Seminary wants students to glean practical insights from science that they can use in their ministry, and also to see how scientific discoveries open up large questions that call for theological and ethical contemplation.  Bethany’s project is entitled “Binocular Vision: Seeing Life Through Eyes of Faith and Science.”  The project coincides with its inauguaration of a new graduate level certificate in Science and Theology, which students will earn by taking courses that examine the intersections of these two areas.

But the project primarily aims to have all students in all degree programs receive added exposure to science.  To this end, two core courses are undergoing changes.  Russell Haitch, who teaches a survey course on pastoral ministry across the lifespan, has been revising this course to include insights from neuroscience.  Nate Inglis has been revising his introductory course in theology to include insights from anthropology and biology.  Other professors are taking up the challenge.  A course that gives students a survey of modern Church History is now going to include a look at how the rise of modern science influenced religion in Europe and America.  A new elective course is being offered, entitled “Science, Theology, and Ministry.”  This course will examine lively topics, from NDE’s to AI (near-death experiences to artificial intelligence) through lenses of both science and religious faith.  In addition, several other professors are submitting proposals to add a week or more of science to their courses, and the project will offer small stipends in consideration of their time spent making these revisions.

To cast its net more widely, Bethany is preparing for a three-day conference in April, 2019, for everyone on campus, as well as alumni, clergy in the area, and the general public.  Called “Look at Life,” the conference will feature scientists and theologians in dialogue about questions related to the beginning of the universe, the start of human life on earth, and human development.  Other component of the project include a series of sermons during weekly chapel services, which delve into passages of the Bible where faith and science intersect for today’s audiences, and a series of lunches, where students and local church leaders learn about opioid addiction and other pertinent issues, from the standpoints of both science and Christian faith.

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Resources:

History of Christianity II

This course, taught by Denise Kettering-Lane at Bethany Theological Seminary, continues the overview of the history of Christianity from the Reformation to the present.  Topics of study include the Magisterial Reformation, the Radical Reformation, Roman Catholic reform, Protestant Orthodoxy, Pietism and the Evangelical Awakening, the impact of Enlightenment rationalism, missionary expansion, Protestant liberalism and fundamentalism,…
  • Course Categories: Church History
  • Science Topics: History & Philosophy of Science
  • Seminaries: Bethany Theological Seminary
  • Ecclesial Families: Mainline Protestant, Evangelical/Conservative Protestant
  • Syllabus: History of Christianity II Syllabus
  • Tags: history of science

Introduction to Theological Reflection

This course, taught by Nate Inglis at Bethany Theological Seminary, introduces theology as a practice of creative and critical reflection on humanity, the world, God, and Jesus from a faith perspective. In this class, perennial theological themes are placed in dialogue with insights from the natural sciences and current social justice issues that challenge Christian…
  • Course Categories: General Theology
  • Science Topics: Earth Science & Environment, History & Philosophy of Science, Life Sciences, Physics and Cosmos
  • Seminaries: Bethany Theological Seminary
  • Ecclesial Families: Mainline Protestant, Evangelical/Conservative Protestant
  • Syllabus: Introduction to Theological Reflection Syllabus
  • Tags: history of science, human nature, theology, cosmology, ecology, social and racial justice, gender and feminism

New Frontiers in Spirituality

This course, taught by Michael Birkel at Bethany Theological Seminary, explores the expanding frontiers of contemporary spirituality beyond conventional religious boundaries, including the phenomenon of spiritual independence or “spiritual but not religious.” The course looks at spiritual practices such as kabbalah and mindfulness, both within their historical communities of origin and outside them, as a…
  • Course Categories: Pastoral Theology
  • Science Topics: Neuroscience, Brain, & Mind
  • Seminaries: Bethany Theological Seminary
  • Ecclesial Families: Mainline Protestant, Evangelical/Conservative Protestant
  • Syllabus: New Frontiers in Spirituality Syllabus
  • Tags: neuroscience, spirituality

Science, Theology, and Ministry

This course, taught by Russell Haitch at Bethany Theological Seminary, deals with how Christians can see God in a scientific world. Science and theology both seek to understand reality, but they take different tacks, which can lead to feelings of conflict at places of intersection or a chasm of non-interaction, whereby people struggle to fit…
  • Course Categories: General Theology, Pastoral Theology
  • Science Topics: Life Sciences, Neuroscience, Brain, & Mind
  • Seminaries: Bethany Theological Seminary
  • Ecclesial Families: Mainline Protestant, Evangelical/Conservative Protestant
  • Syllabus: Science, Theology, and Ministry Syllabus
  • Tags: evolution, creationism, theology, end of life, medicine

Theological Anthropology (BTS)

This course, taught by Nate Inglis at Bethany Theological Seminary, considers human nature in relation to God, intersecting with questions of grace, sin, salvation, and the person of Jesus Christ. By putting traditional Christian views of humanity in dialogue with insights from the natural and social sciences, this course focuses on current questions about gender,…
  • Course Categories: General Theology
  • Science Topics: Life Sciences, Physics and Cosmos
  • Seminaries: Bethany Theological Seminary
  • Ecclesial Families: Mainline Protestant, Evangelical/Conservative Protestant
  • Syllabus: Theological Anthropology Syllabus
  • Tags: evolution, history of science, human nature, cosmology, sexuality, gender and feminism
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.