Multnomah Biblical Seminary is one of 10 seminaries nationwide selected by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) for a combined $1.5 million in grants to incorporate science into core theological curricula.
The grant will provide resources to integrate science into select core courses, such as systematic theology, biblical studies, church history and pastoral theology. The courses will be developed and implemented over the next two years and provide seminarians with solid, science-focused instruction.
“Many people look to their religious leaders for guidance on issues relating to science and technology, even though clergy members may get little exposure to science in their training,” said Jennifer Wiseman, director of the AAAS Dialogue on Science, Ethics, and Religion.
Dr. Paul Louis Metzger, MU seminary professor and director of its Institute for the Theology of Culture: New Wine, New Wineskins, said evangelical Christianity has often experienced a difficult relationship with the contemporary sciences. “Ironically, the evangelical movement has benefited greatly from implementing scientific and technological advances in communication and media for gospel proclamation,” he said.
MU educates countless pastors, whose churches draw people from diverse backgrounds and vocations, including the sciences. “Often these parishioners feel like they live in two universes: one of faith and one of science,” said Metzger, who serves as the project leader. “Through New Wine, New Wineskins’ oversight and coordination, this generous grant will make it possible for our seminary faculty to equip students in the integration of faith and science. Our students will be more effective as pastoral leaders in serving their members, their vocations and their communities in our scientific age.”
FAQ: Science for Seminaries grant
Why is the Science for Seminaries grant an exciting opportunity for Multnomah Biblical Seminary?
At its home in the Pacific Northwest, Multnomah Biblical Seminary serves numerous thriving evangelical churches that draw people from diverse backgrounds and vocations, including science, medicine, and technology. The Science for Seminaries grant, overseen by Multnomah University’s Institute for the Theology of Culture: New Wine, New Wineskins, assists us in equipping future pastors and ministry leaders to engage faith and science more effectively in service to their congregations and broader communities; we live in a world where faith and science are constantly interacting. From the foundation of Multnomah’s biblical and doctrinal convictions, the seminary faculty will engage and incorporate crucial issues of scientific content as a component of course curriculum.
What makes this opportunity so important at this particular time?
The Barna Group, an Evangelical research organization, recently found that a significant number of young people are leaving the church because they feel they have to choose between God and science. In contemporary culture, it is often perceived that the Bible and science are at odds. The Science for Seminaries grant allows the Multnomah Biblical Seminary professors the time and resources to engage with experts in the scientific community to help bridge this gap.
What are the structures through which the Science for Seminaries grant will be implemented?
In keeping with Multnomah’s biblical heritage, Multnomah Biblical Seminary’s own faculty will incorporate science content into existing core courses where the integration of science is a natural fit. These courses include theology, biblical studies, church history and pastoral care. It should be noted that the AAAS Dialogue on Science, Ethics, and Religion does not advise on theological content, but only provides support for science through resources and mentor recommendations. As opportunity and student interest exist, the grant makes it possible for an elective course to be developed.
The grant also provides the resources for New Wine to host a large-sale conference on the integration of faith and science in the 2015-2016 academic year. Following the conference, New Wine’s academic journal, Cultural Encounters, will dedicate an issue to this topic.
How will Multnomah faculty address issues of scientific content that challenge long held convictions of the Christian community?
As is our consistent practice, Multnomah Biblical Seminary will address these challenges from our firmly held belief that the Bible is the inspired Word of God. We will continue to be faithful followers of Christ who are biblically orthodox and theologically sound in our approach.